Last updated on 11/10/2020
A photo telling the error - Windows was unable to format removable usb if you format usb flash drive in Windows 10/8/7
Format tool is unable to format usb telling device media is write protected
When the usb is damaged or not working properly, or when users have previously set up write protection on the usb, it would be unable to be formatted. You know something worse may happen; flash drive cannot be formatted nor deleted if you perform a folder deletion.
The Causes - Why unable to format usb drive
Don't feel bizarre if your usb flash drive can't be formatted in Windows 10/8/7 since this error is brought by several factors when your usb is...
Note: Disabling write protection attribute shall be done before the formatting since any readonly file or folder would make the whole formatting failed. However you need to face the fact that it's not the only factor that Windows was unable to format usb since physical damages, bad chips, logical damages, damaged file system, incorrect registry settings for usb would lead to a format failure on flash drive.
Note: you need to turn off the write protection lock and remove readonly attribute before formatting usb drive and the following first 2 methods would show you how to remove them.
Turn off the write protection switch on the usb if there is a lock on your usb. No button? Try the following solutions
Video - how to remove write protected pendrive
This following cmd would remove readonly attribute by the following steps.
Formatting usb with Rufus would mostly work when your usb can't be formatted due to unknown reasons.
Rufus download url: https://github.com/pbatard/rufus/releases/download/v3.11/rufus-3.11.exe
If the above link does not work, be free to get the latest download link at https://rufus.ie/
Rufus to format usb that cannot be formatted
This formatting is different that built with clean inside of the steps. Watch it here
This is operated by cmd and you may replace #6 'format fs=ntfs quick' with 'format fs=fat32 quick' instead.
This is another efficient way of formatting a usb that is cannot be formatted in other ordinary methods.
Type "chkdsk /X /f USB drive letter", for example "chkdsk /X /f H", when H is the drive letter of your flash stick.
How to open it? => 'This PC' -> 'Right click flash drive' -> 'Properties'