Fixed: USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 10/11

A USB drive not showing up in Windows is one of the common issues related to external storage devices. This issue may be the result of various causes. In this guide, we'll show you what happens when this error occurs, what the reasons for this issue are, and provide you with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from your USB drives that are not showing up in Windows.

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USB Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

"I've tried all the methods I can think of to connect this USB flash drive to my PC, but my computer still does not show up any signals of the drive. All of my projects from this semester are stored on the drive, how can I get to my files?!”

USB Flash Drive

Preliminary Checks on Your USB Drive

Many users have encountered this particular problem where their USB flash drive just won't show up on their computer. Generally, a USB drive not showing up basically means the drive is disappearing from File Explorer. It might be that the drive is visible in the Disk Management tool.

To verify this, go to This PC > Manage > Disk Management and check whether your USB drive shows up there. Depending on whether it shows up or not, use an appropriate section below to fix your issue.

Here, we offer multiple solutions as there are two possible scenarios where your USB is not detected by your PC. These methods should help you fix your issue without making you lose any data. If you have this issue on a Mac, check out our flash drive not showing up on the Mac guide to resolve your issue.

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Fixes for USB Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 10/11 File Explorer Only

If your USB drive shows up in Disk Management, it means Windows can still detect your drive. But, due to some reasons, the USB cannot show up in File Explorer as expected. Some possible reasons are:

  • USB driver issues
  • Drive letter conflicts
  • File system errors

The solutions vary based on the causes but all the solutions are detailed below. Follow these solutions and your issue should be gone.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Update USB Driver Connect USB flash drive to your PC, right-click "This PC", choose "Properties", select "Device Manager"...Full steps
Fix 2. Reinstall Disk Driver Right-click "This PC" > click "Properties" > "Devices Manager". Click disk drives, right-click USB drive...Full steps
Fix 3. Create New Partitions If your USB shows up as unallocated space in Disk Management, you can create a new partition...Full steps
Fix 4. Assign a New Drive Letter Right-click "This PC", select "Manage" > "Disk Management". Right-click the volume on your USB flash drive...Full steps
Fix 5. Fix File System Errors by Formatting If your USB flash drive has file system errors, it will show up as RAW and become inaccessible. Format USB...Full steps

You can check this video tutorial to see the methods of fixing USB not showing up on Windows PCs.

Method 1. Update USB Drive Driver

This method works when your USB drive does not show up in File Explorer but shows up as unallocated space in Disk Management. Follow the detailed steps below to make your USB drive usable again.

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to your PC, right-click on This PC, and choose Properties.

Step 2. Select Device Manager and expand Disk drives. Find and right-click the problematic USB drive and select Update driver.

Step 3. Click Automatically search for driver software online on the following screen.

Step 4. Wait for the driver to be updated. Then, reboot your computer. Afterward, you can try to reconnect your USB drive to your PC and check whether the USB drive shows up or not.

Fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 -  Update Driver

This method can also be helpful in solving disk-related issues like "The system cannot find the file specified"

Method 2. Reinstall Disk Driver for USB Drive

Step 1. Right-click This PC and choose Properties > Device Manager.

Step 2. Click on Disk drives, right-click on your USB drive that is not showing up in File Explorer, and choose Uninstall device.

Step 3. In the prompt asking you to confirm the removal, click OK. (Wait patiently and let the process finish. If it takes too long, you can remove the USB flash drive from the PC.)

Step 4. Restart your computer and reconnect the USB flash drive/external hard drive to the PC. After the computer restarts, the driver will be automatically installed.

Fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 -  Reinstall Driver

Also Read: Top 10 Best Data Recovery Software on Windows and Mac

Method 3. Create New Partitions

If your USB shows up as unallocated space in Disk Management after updating or reinstalling the driver, you are recommended to create a new partition to make it ready for data storage.

To create new partitions on the USB drive:

Step 1. Right-click This PC and choose Manage > Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.

Step 3. Follow the wizard to finish the remaining process.

Fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 -  Create New Volume

Your USB drive should now show up in Windows as usual. You can copy the files you recovered back to your USB if you want.

Method 4. Assign a New Drive Letter to the USB

If the drive letter of your USB drive is the same as one of the drive letters of your computer's hard disk partition, you won't be able to see it in Windows File Explorer. In this case, you need to assign a new drive letter to your USB drive.

Step 1. Right-click This PC and choose Manage > Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the volume on your USB flash drive and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.

Step 3. In the window that opens, click Change.

Step 4. Assign a new drive letter to your USB drive and click OK.

Fix USB drive not showing up - change drive letter

Method 4. Fix File System Errors

If your USB flash drive has file system errors, it will show up as RAW and become inaccessible. Here, the file system error refers to an unsupported file system or a damaged file system caused by misoperations or improper formatting. To fix the file system error, you need to format the drive to convert RAW to NTFS or FAT32.

When you format your USB drive, all data on it will be deleted. Therefore, you should first protect your data by making a copy of it. Use a file recovery tool like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from your USB drive before you format it. This program works even when your USB drive is not accessible.

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Download it now and follow the guide below to restore data from your USB flash drive easily.

Step 1. Connect USB flash drive to your computer. Open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and hover on USB device. Click "Scan" button to start looking for lost files on PC.

Step 2. When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or the click the search box to quickly find the lost files from USB.

Step 3. Preview the files you want to recover. Click the "Recover" button to restore files. Check video tutorial here.

After storing your data in a safe place, you need to format the USB drive to convert the file system back to NTFS or other Windows-compatible file systems.

Step 1. Open the Start menu, search for Computer Management, and click Computer Management in the search results.

Step 2. Click Disk Management in the bar on the left-hand side, then find the device in the drive viewer.

Step 3. Right-click on your USB flash drive and select Format to format the drive and make it usable.

USB drive not showing up - format the USB

If you have similar issues with your hard drive, check out the fixes below.

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How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

Are your hard drives, be it new or old, internal or external, not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management? Follow along to learn how to make your hard drive to show up again in Windows 11/10/8/7 without losing data.

Hard drive not showing up

Fixes for a Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows File Explorer and Disk Management

If your hard drive is not showing up in both Windows File Explorer and Disk Management, the reasons could be:

  • USB driver issues
  • USB port/cable error
  • Physical corruptions of USB

Follow these simple tips to fix your issue.

Method 1. Fix Driver Issues

Whether your USB drive appears in Disk Management or not, you can potentially fix this issue by updating or reinstalling your USB drivers. Refer to the first two methods in the last part of the linked guide to learn how to do that.

Method 2. Change USB Connection

Connection failure is a possible cause. It's a hardware problem that you can identify by checking the USB connection. Generally, there is more than one USB port on your computer. Try another USB port on the same computer, switch from the front USB port to the rear USB port, or connect your USB drive to another computer and check whether the problem persists. Similarly, you can change the USB cable if you are using an external hard drive.

Method 3. Fix Physical Corruptions

If the tips above fail to fix your USB drive that is not showing up in Windows, it's highly likely there is physical damage or corruption on your USB flash drive or external hard drive. This is a tough issue to fix and your best bet is to send your USB drive in for repair.

The Bottom Line

When a USB flash drive does not show up on your Windows PC, it means that the computer has failed to read the USB drive. Therefore, in order to get a USB drive to show up, you should make the USB readable again.

There are many methods for you to make an unrecognized USB drive to show up on PC: update USB flash driver, change drive letter, use Windows’ built-in Disk Management tool to detect the USB, and more. Hope one of these methods fixes your USB drive issue.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced computer tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

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