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How to open USB drive that cannot open on Windows 10 and access file

Dec 22, 2017 / Updated by Abby Haines to Storage Media Recovery


Cannot open USB flash drive on Windows 10? Here are step-by-step tutorials to show you how to open an inaccessible USB drive and restore files in Windows 10 in different situations. Try it to regain access to your device and data.

Overview of cannot open USB flash drive in Windows 10 issue 

Usually, when you insert your USB flash drive or pen drive, it will be quickly detected by your PC and show up in File Explorer. But sometimes, Windows cannot recognize and open a USB device if something goes wrong. For example, the USB drive is missing or corrupted, the flash drive is infected by a virus or damaged due to certain reasons. The issue happened frequently in Windows 8/7 in the past and now it has become increasingly severe in Windows 10. Search on Google, and then, you will find a large number of users are asking for help about how to access a USB flash drive & data in Windows 10. 

If you are one of the victims who has been caught by a problem of USB malfunctioning and inaccessibility, here are some troubleshooting steps you can go through to fix the issue and open the USB flash drive to regain access to your vital data.

Note: If you are tired of trying many methods, we recommend that you recover data and format to effectively fix USB flash drive won't open on Windows 10

General methods to access a USB flash drive that won't open on Windows 10

Case 1. Open the USB drive that is not showing up in Window 10

USB not showing up in Windows 10 is one of the symptoms of Windows 10 "cannot open USB" issue. Most times, the problem is caused by a drive letter confliction or USB driver issues. 

To fix the issue and to open USB on Windows 10 successfully, first try to give the USB a new path

1. Right click on This PC, select Manage. In the Storage menu, click Disk Management.

2. Here, locate the USB drive, right-click and select Change Drive Letter and Paths

3. Click the Add button, enter a location the USB drive will be accessible at, such as C:\USB.

Fix cannot open USB on Windows 10 issue by giving the USB drive a new path

Your flash drive will now be accessible at the new folder location you specified.

If USB flash drive still cannot be opened in Windows 10, then try to remove and reinstall all USB controllers 

1. Press Windows key + X and select device manager to go to Device Manager.

2. In the list of hardware categories, find and expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.

3. Under the list, right-click every device and then click Uninstall to remove them all at a time.

4. Finally, restart the computer, and let the USB controllers get reinstalled.

5. After finishing all the operations, plug in the removable pen drive/ flash drive or other USB devices to check if it can be opened.

Case 2. Open the USB flash drive which is detected but not showing data

Sometimes, you ask for a solution to open the USB in Windows 10 when the pen drive not showing data. Most times, it happens when the device is damaged or infected with unknown viruses. In this case, you can try to fix corrupted USB using CMD to regain access to your device and data.

1. Press Windows Key + X button, in the power users menu, select the Command Prompt (Admin) option. 

2. Click Yes when you are presented with a UAC window requesting permission to launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.

3. In the new Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r /x and hit Enter. Here you should replace E with your drive letter.

This command will run chkdsk to check and repair any possible errors, bad sectors or corrupted files on the USB flash drive. When it is finished, exit the command prompt. Safely eject and reconnect the USB flash drive to see if it can be opened.

Recover data and format to fix the "USB flash drive won't open" in Windows 10

Have you tried all the methods but USB flash drive still won't open in Windows 10? Don't worry! You can try to format the device to effectively solve the issue. Here, you may worry about the disgusting data loss disaster caused by the operation, Fortunately, file recovery before formatting is allowed to retrieve all your inaccessible data with the help of EaseUS disk data recovery. Here’s the guide.

To recover data from a USB flash drive that won’t open in Windows 10

1. Connect the USB drive to your PC, launch EaseUS disk data recovery, select the drive and click the Scan button.

Recover data from USB flash drive that won't open - select USB drive
2. The software will soon start a quick scan to find all the data on the pen drive or flash drive. After this, a deep scan will automatically launch in order to find more files.
3. After the scan, preview and choose the files you want. Finally, click the Recover button to retrieve them back from the USB flash drive that cannot open properly.

Recover data after fixing Windows 10 won’t open USB by formatting

To fix Windows 10 won’t open USB flash drive by formatting

Right click on This PC, select Manage option. In the Storage menu, click Disk Management to open the utility. Here, right-click the USB flash drive or pen drive and select the Format option.