Format a USB Drive and Why You Would Need to: There are multiple reasons you would want to choose format over just deleting the files from a USB drive. Let us review some of them!
The ability to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10 is useful in a variety of situations.
For example, you may need to reformat a removable storage device to ensure it is free of malicious code or when the thumb drive is no longer accessible because of data corruption.
You received a flash drive with a file system that is incompatible with your current system setup. Alternatively, you may intend to dispose of the storage device and want to ensure that no personal information is left behind.
Virus or Malware: Since flash drives are often connected to many computers, the chances of them getting affected by a virus are quite high.
And when it is indeed affected by a virus or malware, the best option you can do to wipe out all the viruses is by formatting the USB drive.
Checking and fixing bad sectors: Like we discussed before, having bad sectors on your USB flash drive can reduce its storage and life span.
When you format a USB flash drive without enabling quick format, the computer scans for bad sectors on the flash drive and fixes them. This is a great way to ensure your USB drive is working in its best shape.
File deletion: Formatting is also a mass delete option that will erase all the data present on the USB drive. If you have lots of redundant files on the USB drive, then all you have to do is format the drive and all the data will be wiped out.
File format change: There are a handful of file formats that are available for USB drives, but they are not compatible with every operating system out there.
For example, if you were to format the flash drive with NTFS file format, then you cannot write any data into the drive when it is plugged into a mac system.
Likewise, if you format the flash drive with the APFS file format used by macOS, it won’t be readable by Windows computers. The safe bet when it comes to compatibility between the two platforms, choose ExFAT.
How to Format a USB Flash Drive Using File Explorer
To format a USB flash drive using File Explorer, use these steps:
Open File Explorer.
Click on This PC from the left pane.
Under the “Devices and drivers” section, right-click the flash drive and select the Format option.
Use the “File system” drop-down menu and select the NTFS option.
In the “Allocation unit size” drop-down menu use the default selection.
In the “Volume label” field, type a label to quickly identify the flash drive in File Explorer. For example, workFlash.
Under the “Format options” section, select the Quick format option.
Click the Start button.
Click the Yes button. Selling or lending flash drive: When you are selling or lending your flash drive to another person, it is critical that they cant recover any files from your flash drive.
Formatting your flash drive will help you delete all files within the flash drive. Changing the file system while formatting is also a great way to ensure that no data can be recovered.
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