How To Fix Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format Error

Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format Error

USB devices are excellent tech accessories, mainly used to store and transfer files. They are fast, and you can write anything you want at any time. The best thing about these USB devices is that you can carry their small, portable storage anywhere.

However, these electronic devices tend to corrupt, misbehave, and stop working as intended. Until now, we have shared a few of the best tutorials on USB, like how to recover unallocated space, fix USB device not recognized errors, etc. Today, we are going to discuss another USB error that displays ‘Windows was unable to format Pen Drive'.

How To Fix Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format Error

The ‘Windows was unable to format PenDrive’ error mainly occurs when users try to format the pen drive. This is a standard error, and almost all Windows users might have faced it already. So, here in this article, we will share some of the best methods to fix the ‘Windows was unable to format the pen drive’ error message from your computer.

1. Format the drive from the disk management utility.

You can manage the installed drives with Windows 11's ultimate disk management utility. You can create partitions, resize, and shrink drive space. Here’s how you can format a drive in Windows from the Disk Management.

  1. In Windows search, type disk management. Next, open Create and format hard disk partitions from the list.

  2. This will open the Disk Management Utility on Windows.

  3. Right-click on the drive you want to format, and then select Format.

  4. On the Format prompt, enter the volume level, file system, and allocation unit size. Check the Perform a Quick Format option, and then click OK.

That’s it! This will immediately format your selected drive. You can use this method to format your drives if you get the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error.

2. Remove the Write Protection.

If you are trying to format a USB flash drive or SD card, chances are that the drive has write protection. When a drive is write-protected, you won’t be able to add new data or remove existing ones. So, before you try the next method, ensure the drive is not write-protected.

3. Check for errors.

For those who don’t know, the Windows operating system offers a built-in error-checking utility that can fix most USB-related errors. So, in this method, we will use the error-checking utility to fix the Windows unable to format pen drive error.

  1. In the first step, open File Explorer and right-click on the PenDrive. From the right-click menu, select Properties.

  2. You must head to the Tools tab and click on Check under Error-checking.

  3. Now, you will see another pop-up window. Click on the Scan and Repair Drive option.

That’s it! Now, the error-checking utility will check for errors. Once done, try to format it again; you will not get the error message this time.

4. Update the USB driver.

Sometimes, the ‘Windows was unable to format the pen drive’ error occurs due to outdated USB drivers. So, using this method, we will update the USB drivers to fix Windows's inability to format error messages from the computer.

  1. First, open the RUN dialog box on your computer. Press the Windows Key + R simultaneously, then type in devmgmt.msc. Press Enter.

  2. Now, you will see the Device Manager. There, you need to find and expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Find the corrupted USB devices by checking the Unknown Devices, right-clicking on them, and clicking on Properties.

  3. In the next window, click ‘Update Driver’ and select Search for driver automatically.

That’s it! Now, the utility will automatically search for the latest version of the USB driver and install it on your device.

5. Using Command Prompt

If the above two methods have failed to fix the ‘Windows was unable to format Pen Drive’ error message, then you need to use the Command Prompt. Through Command Prompt, you can easily format your pen drive. Here’s how you can use CMD to format a pendrive.

  1. Connect your pen drive to the computer and remove all other USB devices.

  2. Now open Command Prompt as administrator, type in diskpart, and hit enter.

  3. In the next step, you must type list disk. It will list all connected devices. Take note of your USB device's disk number.

  1. Now, you need to input the selected disk number. Make sure to replace ‘disk_number’ with your disk number.

  2. Now type "clean" and press Enter.

That’s it! This is how you can use the command prompt to fix the ‘Windows was unable to format Pen Drive’ error from your computer.

6. Scan your computer for malware.

Malware infection is another prominent reason why Windows is unable to complete the format error message. The problem arises when a malicious file or program prevents formatting the drive.

Therefore, we recommend running a full antivirus scan with the Windows Security program to remove all malware or viruses. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. In Windows Search, type in Windows Security. Next, open the Windows Security app from the list of best match results.

  2. When the Windows Security app opens, switch to Virus and Threat Protection.

  3. Next, click Scan Options under Virus & Threat Protection.

  4. Next, select Full Scan and click Scan Now.

That’s it! Now, you need to wait for the scan to complete. Once complete, restart your computer and try to perform the format again.

7. Format the drive on another computer or OS.

If you are still unable to format your drive, the best option is to format the external drive on any other computer or operating system.

Connect the external drive to a computer and format it. It will assist you in determining whether the problem is with the connected drive or Windows.

8. Using the BLR Partition Tool

BLR Partition Tool is one of the best and top-rated Windows partition management software programs. You can also use the BLR Partition Tool to format any USB drive. However, only use this method if the above fails to fix the error message. So, here’s how you can use the BLR Partition Tool to fix Windows, which could not complete the format error message.

  1. First of all, download and install the BLR Partition Tool from this link on your Windows 10 computer.

  2. Once downloaded, open the tool. Right-click on the drive you want to format, and then select Format.

  3. The next step will ask you to set the partition label. Next, select the file system.

  4. Now, you need to click OK.

  5. In the final step, click on Execute Operation and Apply.

That’s it! Depending on the processing speed, the BLR Partition Tool will complete the process.

So, these are the best methods to fix the ‘Windows was unable to format Pen Drive’ error from your computer. The best part is that these methods work on almost all Windows operating systems, including Windows 11. Let us know in the comment box below if you know of any other method to fix the USB format error.