By AOMEI / Last Updated August 29, 2019

Overview of Windows 10 not detecting USB drive

USB device is widely used in our daily work. It can be used to store and transfer data between different devices. It can also be used as bootable media. I guess most of us may meet this situation: Windows 10 cannot detect USB drive. This issue could be caused by different reasons, such as broken hard drive, out-dated drives, dead USB ports, etc.

When you meet this issue, just calm down and have some trouble shootings. You can first try a different USB port or cable to see if it can be recognized. If not, you can try the following methods.

Method 1. Turn off Fast Startup

Sometimes, Fast Startup feature can cause the issue: your USB drive may not be recognized by Windows 10. Therefore, you can turn off Fast Startup can see if the problem can be fixed.

1. Open Control Panel go to Hardware and Sound -> Power Options.

2. When Power Option opens, click on Choose what the power button does.

3. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable.

4. Find Fast-Startup option and disable it. Then save your changes and restart your PC.

Method 2. Make sure the drive is enabled

If the drive is disabled, it won’t show up in Windows. Follow below steps to check and see if the drive is disabled, enable it if necessary.

1. Go to Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the list.

2. Expand category Disk drives. Under this category, if there is an icon with an arrow pointing down over the drive name, the drive is disabled. To enable it, double-click on the drive name and click on Enable Device button.

3. Click Next button, and then click Finish button.

Method 3. Update your driver

The out-dated driver may also be the reason that causes Windows 10 not recognized USB drive. Therefore, you can update your driver.

Open Device Manager, click on Device Manager and see if there is yellow exclamation point beside any of the listed hardware. Right-click on the device that has a yellow exclamation point beside it, and then clicks "Properties." under the "General" tab, click on "Troubleshoot" and follow the instructions to solve it.

Method 4. Uninstall hidden devices from Device Manager

Sometimes, USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 might be hidden in Device Manager, so let’s see how to uninstall hidden devices from Device Manager.

1. Open the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter after each line in order to run it:

  • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

  • cd

  • cd windowssystem32

  • start devmgmt.msc

2. Then Device Manager should start. Click View and choose Show hidden devices.

3. Now you need to expand all sections and delete all grayed out entries.

4. After you’ve done that, restart your PC and reconnect your USB hard drive.

Method 5. Use free disk manager to manage the USB drive

If your USB drive is not partitioned, initialized or assigned letter, it will not be detected by Windows. Therefore you should partition it and assign drive letter.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a professional yet free disk partition software which is designed for Windows 10/8/7. It has many particle features to manage your disk. You can partition disk, assign the drive letter, format the hard drive, convert NTFS to FAT32,etc.

To initialize USB drive

1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant and open it. Locate the USB drive and right click it. Select Initialize Disk.

2. Select to initialize disk to MBR or GPT style.

3. Click Apply at the toolbar to confirm the operations.

Choose Disk Style

To partition USB drive

If the drive is unpartitioned, it is actually full of unallocated space. You can try to create a new partition on it.

1. Located on the USB drive, right-click it and select Create Partition.

2. Select the partition size, assign the drive letter and File System, and then click OK.

3. Click Apply to commit the pending operations.

Create New Partition With Unallocated Space

To assign drive letter

1. Right-click the USB drive and select Change Drive Letter.

2. Select a drive letter for the drive

3. Click Apply to submit the task.

Select Drive Letter

If the USB drive is still cannot be detected in Windows 10 after initialization, assigning drive letter, creating partition, you can consider formatting it.

To format USB

1. Right-click the partition and select Format Partition.

2. You can enter partition label, choose NTFS or FAT32 file system and change cluster size in the pop-up window.

3. Click Apply to save the change.

Format Partition

Tips: The Format Partition feature can also help to remove write protection from USB drive.

To make a summary, you can have altogether 5 methods to fix Windows 10 not detecting USB issue. Find the one that works for your situation.