How to Open USB Drive that Cannot Open on Windows 10 and Access File

Abby Haines updated on Sep 16, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

Cannot access USB 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. The data recovery software you are going to use is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

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.

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. 

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

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

Step 3. Click the "Add" button, enter a location the USB drive will be accessible at, such as C:\USB. Your flash drive will now be accessible at the new folder location you specified.

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

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

Step 1. Press "Windows key + R" to bring up Run, and type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

open device manager

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

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

uninstall driver to fix 'cannot access usb drive' error

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

Step 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.

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

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

Step 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.

Click to copy

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.

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select "File Fixing" on the left pane. 

On the right pane, choose the drive and check off the box at the bottom - "Check and fix file system error". Then, click "Fix" to start repairing the error.

Step 3: Wait until the operation completes. Wait until the operation completes. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

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.

How to Recover Data from a USB Flash Drive that Won't Open in Windows 10

Step 1. Choose the flash drive to scan.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose your flash drive where you lost important files. Click "Scan" to start.

Scan flash drive

Step 2. Check and preview found flash drive data.

After a quick and advance scan, you can quickly locate a specific type of file by using the Filter feature as well as the Search.

  • Filter: A quick way to your wanted files.
  • Search: e.g. File name/file extension.
Find lost flash drive files

Step 3. Restore flash drive data.

After checking and finding lost flash drive files, select them and click Recover to restore. You shall save the found files to a safe location on your PC rather than to your flash drive.

Restore lost files from flash drive

How to Fix Windows 10 Won't Open USB Flash Drive by Formatting

Step 1. Press "Windows key + R" to bring up Run, and type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

open disk managemeng in the run box

Step 2. In Disk Management, right-click the USB flash drive or pen drive and select the "Format" option.

format usb drive in disk management to make it accessible

Step 3. Follow the onscreen wizard to choose a file system, such as NTFS, FAT32 to the drive. Click OK.

 
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.