If your USB stick is not recognized, you will not be able to access your files. We show you the essential steps to find out the causes.
You can do a lot with the USB port on your computer. With its help, you can connect your smartphone, an external hard drive, or even a drive to your PC. Or you use it for a small data carrier. But what to do if the USB stick is not recognized?
So that you are not unsuspectingly faced with this problem, we will help you.
What to do if the USB not recognized?
You only sometimes want to throw all your files in clouds like Google Drive or Dropbox. Either because you need more change for enough storage space or because of privacy concerns. And without internet access, the online servers won’t do you any good either.
Fortunately, there is a proven USB stick. But what to do if it doesn’t work? You can do this if your laptop or computer doesn’t recognize the USB stick.
There are two possible reasons why your USB stick is not recognized.
- The USB port is not working properly.
- The USB flash drive needs to be assigned correctly.
First of all, don’t assume that your stick has a defect. Check and act.
- Check your USB port.
The USB port may be faulty, i.e., the USB connection on your laptop or PC. You can check this:
- Insert your USB stick into a different USB port on your device. In most cases, not all ports are defective at the same time.
- Check if your USB driver is working correctly: To do this, connect another USB device to your laptop or PC. If this is running, your USB drive is not recognized for another reason.
- Check the drive
Your USB port is OK? The drive letter is to blame. Check if the letter is already in use by other hardware:
- Select “Computer” or “This PC” in the start menu or go directly to “Control Panel” – the designation varies depending on the device and operating system.
- Select Administrative Tools, then Computer Management, and finally Disk Management. If the USB stick appears there, it will also be recognized. Then it is only not visible in the desktop area. The drive letter is used by other hardware, such as an external hard drive.
- To access your USB stick, you must change the drive letter. Click on the drive letter of the USB stick and select the sub-item “Change drive letter and paths.”
- Now, a window will appear where you have to go to “Change.”
- You can assign a new drive letter to the stick in the next window.
- Confirm with OK, and done! Your USB stick should now be recognized.
More Errors & Reasons why the USB stick is not recognized
- The USB stick is no longer displayed and no longer recognized.
Defective or no file system and no partition > Check whether flash memory has been formatted. If not: The removable disk must be formatted.
- The file system on the memory stick is not compatible with the operating system > USB stick via Computer Management > Disk Management > format with a suitable file system (NTFS, FAT32, exFAT)
- Device hardware (stick) defective (cause number 1: USB stick controller or motherboard defective)
- Electronic problem or contact problem (torn, contaminated)
- Problem with the USB socket on the PC or the USB plug (e.g., broken/stuck)
- USB hub (distributor) defective or not compatible (problems with the energy supply due to little current from the computer or unsupported data memory size)
- Problem with Windows (frozen, service hung); restart required
- USB stick not recognized under Linux (often an incorrect file system or hardware defect)
- Apple Device Issues: USB Removable Storage Not Recognized by iPad or Not Recognized by MacBook (ruling out file system, memory size compatibility, and hardware issues).
Can a USB stick be repaired?
The data carrier is most likely defective if you need help with these solutions. In this case, you can format it. To do this, open Windows Explorer, right-click on the USB stick, and click “Format…”. If even that doesn’t work, you can still send the stick to the appropriate repair workshops, but depending on the problem, your data will probably be lost.
As with any technical problem, the same applies to unrecognized USB sticks: don’t panic. Take time to check whether your USB port is OK and if the drive letter is still free. That often leads to the goal. By the way, stranger USB cables are your next malware threat. Better not touch her. If you want to be sure, it is best to encrypt your USB stick. In any case, you can benefit from the flash memory industry crash.