Solved: Can’t Format Flash Drive in Windows 10/8/7

February 27, 2019

This article will show you the common reason of can’t format flash drive and the solution of this problem.


“I noticed something weird when all of the sudden I couldn’t delete files off of the flash drive. I tried to format it and it either stays in a formatting state (e.g. light on, but getting nowhere) have to cancel out or it says it is write protected after I scan and fix’ when I connect it. Under disk management the option to format is grayed out. After I ‘scan and fix’ I can access the files on the drive fine, but I can’t format this flash drive, just can’t do anything more than read them. What’s wrong with it? What should I do? Is there any suggestion?”

Why you can’t format flash drive?

The issue of flash drive write protected or can’t format flash drive is usually seen in removable storage devices of many big brands, such as SanDisk, Samsung, Kingston and other USB/SD card/memory card and so on. It may due to the fact that the physical switch has not been slid to the unlocked area, data damage, or system files destroyed.

How to format flash drive in Windows 10/8/7?

How to solve the problem of unable to format flash drive? Here provides you four methods to fix this issue.

Method 1. Check the physical switch

Have a check at your flash drive at first, if there is a physical lock switch on the side, you can slide the switch to the unlock area. Then, connect it to your computer, and you can format it in your need.

Method 2. Clear read-only attributes with Diskpart utility

Connect your flash drive to the computer at first, and make sure it can be detected.

1. Press “Windows” + “R” combination on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.

2. Then type “diskpart” in the Run dialog box, click “OK” to open the Diskpart Command Prompt.

3. Type “list disk” and press “Enter”, all the disks connected to the computer will be displayed.

4. Type “select disk n”, here n refers to the drive letter of your flash drive. Then, press “Enter” to continue.

5. Type “attributes disk clear readonly”, diskpart will change your USB’s properties so that it is no longer read-only.

Clear Read Only Attributes

After that, you can format flash drive in your need.

Method 3. Fix “can’t format flash drive” error with CMD

Connect your flash drive to the computer at first, and make sure it can be detected.

1. Click “start” and type “command prompt”.

2. Then, right click “command prompt” and select “run as administrator”.

3. After that, type “diskpart” and press “Enter”.

4. Type “list disk” and press “Enter” to display all disks on your computer.

5. Type “select disk n” and hit “Enter”. Here “n” refers to the drive letter of your flash drive.

6. Type “clean” and hit “Enter”.

7. Type “create partition primary” and hit “Enter”.

8. Then you can format your flash drive in your need. If you want to format it to FAT32, type “format fs=fat32 quick” and hit “Enter”. If you want to format to NTFS, type “format fs=ntfs quick”.


Method 4. Fix “can’t format flash drive” error with third party flash drive format tool.

If you’ve tried all the methods above, and still can’t format flash drive, you can turn to a third party flash drive format tool to format your flash drive easily and effectively. Compare with other software, here I highly recommend free AOMEI Partition Assistant – the best flash drive format tool which provide you many powerful functions like format partition. You can use it to format USB flash drive, SD card, as well as other storage drive in Windows 10/8/7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Let’s see the example of formatting flash drive to NTFS in Windows 7, the specific steps are as follow:

First of all, connect your USB drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 1.Download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the partition you want to format (here is your flash drive) and select “Format Partition”.

Format exFAT Partition

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose “FAT32” file system. And you also can specify “Cluster Size” under file system if you need to. Then, click “OK”.

Format exFAT To FAT32

Step 3. After that, it will go back to the main interface. Preview the virtual result and click “Apply” > “Proceed” after your confirmation.


The formatting progress won’t take you too much time. Of course, the more data on your flash drive, the more time the formatting will take.


Follow these simple steps, you can format flash drive in Windows 10/8/7 easily and effectively. AOMEI Partition Assistant can be the best flash drive format tool. It can help you easily solve problems such as format partition. This feature also can help you to fix the error like current read only state yes. Besides, it also provides you many other powerful functions such as resize/move/delete partition, disk copy, wipe hard drive and so on. If you want to convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data, the feature convert to NTFS can help you. To avoid data loss caused by some special situations, you can back up important data in advance. If you meet the problem like c drive full in Windows 10/8/7, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to solve this issue.