How to Fix the Windows 11 Unable to Format USB Drive Error

You can learn what are the reasons for Windows 11 unable to format USB drive and how to fix the problem. You can also learn how to back up a USB drive before formatting. Keep reading.


By Jonna Updated on December 27, 2023

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Why won't Windows 11 Format My USB drive?

Recently, many users have reported the issue of Windows 11 unable to format USB drive. If you also receive the error message: Windows was unable to complete the format in Windows 11, as shown in the figure below, you can continue reading the article to find a solution to this problem.

Error Message

Before solving this problem, you can first understand the common causes of this unable to format USB drive Windows 10/11 problem. In this way, you will be able to avoid the possibility of such problems.

  • The drive is write protected.
  • The drive is empty.
  • The drive is physically damaged.
  • The drive has bad sectors.
  • The drive suffers from virus and malware infection.

Backup USB Drive before Formatting

Before you learn how to fix Windows 11 unable to format USB drive error, in order to better prevent data loss, it is recommended to back up your USB drive data in advance using AOMEI backupper Standard. In this way, even if your USB drive has any problems, you can use the data backed up for quick restore without losing any data.

  • Auto Backup: You can automatically back up USB drives, both for the data currently on the disk and for subsequent changes. You can run scheduled tasks daily, weekly, monthly, or even hourly.
  • Incremental Backup: Once you enable the scheduled task, it will only back up changed files incrementally.
  • Various destination paths: You can improve data security with a backup strategy. This software supports to backup data from USB drives to various destination path locations, such as external hard drives, network drives, cloud drives, etc. You can do it with some equipment in your hands.

Please download AOMEI Backupper and have a try. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard. Open the software, and click Backup > Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

Step 2. Click Add Disk to choose the disk that you want to be formatted.

Add Disk

Step 3. You need to select the destination for your disk backup and then click Start Backup.

Select Backup Destination


  • Schedule Backup: You can set the fixed intervals to backup your disk regularly, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in.
  • Backup SchemeYou can select different backup methods based on your own needs (incremental/differential/full backup are available) and enable the automatic backup cleanup feature to save disk space. (Most features here are accessible in the Pro version)

How to Fix the Windows 11 Unable to Format USB Drive Error

If you are facing the issue of Windows can't format usb write protected on Windows 11,  or the reason is due to the file system or bad sectors, you can try to format the drive using Windows Command Prompt. You can use the Diskpart formatting command to help you complete the formatting process according to the graphic tutorial below.

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon, type "command prompt" in Search, right-click on "Command Prompt," and choose "Run as administrator."

Step 2. Enter "diskpart" in Command Prompt and hit the "Enter" key.

Step 3. Hit the "Enter" key each time when you type the below-stated command lines in Diskpart to format the hard drive quickly.

  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with your disk number)
  • list volume
  • select volume 10 (Replace 10 with the volume number of the device that you wish to format)
  • format fs=ntfs quick (If you need to format a storage device to FAT32 or other file systems, replace NTFS with FAT32/exFAT, etc.)

Enter The Command Lines

Step 4. Finally, when Diskpart reports it has successfully formatted the volume, type "exit" and hit the "Enter" key to close the program.


This post explains why Windows 11 unable to format USB drive and how to try to format a drive using Windows Command Prompt. In order to protect data from loss before formatting, it is recommended that you back up your USB drive before starting to fix this error. The safe and reliable backup and restore software AOMEI Backupper can help you accomplish your goals easily and efficiently. Even if you accidentally have any problems with your USB drive, you can use the created backup for a quick restore to avoid the loss of important data.

In addition, this software is professional cloning software. It provides a system clone, disk clone, and partition clone. When you encounter a situation where you want to transfer data to another disk and hope that you can successfully use this drive to start the computer after cloning, you can download the software to try the cloning function.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.