3 Ways to Fix "Flash Drive Not Recognized" Problem on Mac and Windows

  • “One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and Windows does not recognize it. For assistance in solving this problem, click this message."
  • "The device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it."
  • “Flash drive not recognized”

These errors when you connect the USB drive are really scary!! These errors generally appear when an external device is connected to the computer and the operating system is unable to recognize it or read it. It doesn’t mean that the drive is corrupt. It’s just one of the common issues associated with connecting an external device to your computer. It’s time we dig deep and fix ‘flash drive not recognized’ problem.

However, such issues can arise in both Windows and Mac systems. It may be an initial indication of your flash drive corruption and losing access to data in it. Hence, try to fix the issue as soon as possible. Here, you will find few methods to fix such not recognizing USB error.

But, before going ahead with the troubleshooting process, you need to secure your data. Yes, in the process of fixing the USB error there are chances of losing or corrupting your data. Hence, before proceeding with this process, recover your data and save on a secure drive.

Recover data from not recognized USB flash drive – Remo Recover

Download Remo Recover to recover photos and other files for free Download Remo Recover to recover deleted files for free
In order to recover data from an unrecognized USB drive download Remo Recover software. This tool will scan your USB drive & extracts all files from USB drive. The software works on both Windows and Mac computers of all latest versions & helps in recovering files from corrupt flash drives securely. You can also use this software to recover deleted photos from the CF card on Mac. The entire recovery process takes few minutes:

Steps to Recover Data from Unrecognized USB Flash Drive: 

Follow the below steps to Restore files from USB flash drive that is not recognized:

  • First download and install Remo Recover software on your computer & launch the tool
  • From main screen select ‘Recover Partitions’ option
  • Here list of available drives will be displayed and choose the one from which you need to recover files and click on Scan
    recover data from unrecognised USB flash drive
  • Software now scans the drive and displays all recovered files from the drive
  • You can then preview and save files on any secure storage medium

Once, your data from flash drive is securely stored, you can now proceed with the troubleshooting methods. As said earlier, both Windows and Mac will have different methods. Read through the below procedure:

3 Methods That Can Fix USB Device Keeps Popping Up on Windows

Method 1: Scan the Flash Drive for Issues

Every Windows computer has an inbuilt utility to scan and fix minor USB flash drive errors. You can use this method to fix any minor errors present within your USB pen drive.

1 – Plug the USB drive on the computer

2 – Go to This PC (My computer for earlier versions) and right click on the flash drive and go to Properties

3 – Open Tool tab and click Check Now

This will scan and show you the results for any issues with your USB device. You can further troubleshoot the issues or use any third party element to fix them.

Method 2: Flash Drive Reformatting

Formatting your USB flash drive on your Windows computer might fix any minor system files issues. This reverts your pendrive to its factory state. Be aware that formatting your USB drive will delete all the data that is present within.

1 – Right click on the flash drive icon and click Format; this opens the format window.

2 – Go to the File system.

3 – Toggle between NTFS and FAT32 and click Start

This will reformat your flash drive and it will fix the flash drive not recognized issue. In case this method fails to fix the error, then follow the next method.

Method 3: Update Driver

To update the driver, you have to go to the device manager window. Do keep in mind you have the administrator rights to use and change the system settings.

1 – Open the Run command and Type devmgmt.msc and click OK to open the Device Manager tab.

2 – Go to the Universal Serial Bus Controller drop-down

3 – Select Generic USB Hub from the dropdown and right click on it

4 – Select the Update Driver Software option

This step will update your driver software and fix the Flash Drive not recognized problem in the computer.

Various Methods That Will Help You to fix Flash Drive Not Recognized on Mac

If you are a Mac user and facing flash drive nor recognized or USB not detected error, here are some free methods. These 3 free methods can help you to fix the Flash Drive Not Recognized problem. If you are looking to recover data after facing a USB device not recognized error click here.

Method 1:Change the Preference Of Your USB Flash Drive on the Mac 

In order to perform this first select a port to connect the USB flash drive.

1 – Go to Applications and click on Utilities

2 – Select “Ask me What to do” from the Devices pop-up box

3 – Go to Devices and click External Devices.

Method 2: Reset PRAM to Fix USB Device Not Recognizable on Mac

To perform this troubleshooting you have to return the PRAM.

1 – Shut down the Mac

2 – Press the Power button and hold Command + Option along with P+R while the system starts.

3 – As the system starts release the buttons. This will reset the PRAM and might fix the flash drive not recognized error on Mac

Method 3:Format USB Drive on Mac

This method solves the issue after the drive is formatted and reconnected to the system. In order to do that, here are the steps;

1 – Press Command + Spacebar and connect the flash drive.

2 – Open Application and click on Disk Utility Option

3 – Select the Flash Drive on the left pane.

4 – Click on Erase button to complete the process

This will resolve your issue and now you can reconnect the flash drive to your computer and start using it. If you have accidentally quick formatted your USB drive you can recover data from it.

Now, your flash drive will be free from errors and use the drive. As said earlier, fixing these issues or formatting the flash drive will result in deletion of all the files in that drive. So make sure to recover all the important documents, photos, videos etc. from the drive before performing any troubleshooting.

3 Ways to Fix "Flash Drive Not Recognized" Problem on Mac and Windows was last modified: June 18th, 2021 by John Harris

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