How To Fix Windows was Unable to Complete the Format Error

The Windows always throws random errors while we’re using the computer. I had to face a lot of errors while doing anything on the computer. For example, I suffered the Taskbar and Start Menu not working, Random file missing while trying to open any software and what not. The most irritating error I encountered was the “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error. I faced this error while trying to format my USB drive. The USB drive was fully functional just few moments before, and windows showed me this error. After working for few minutes, I was able to format the drive by fixing the error successfully. Also check how to fix windows 10 taskbar not working.

This is a standard error with Windows, and you may face it even when your USB drive is fully functional. If you are facing the error while trying to format your fully functional USB driver or any external storage, then you should check this post. In this post, I am going to share some working methods to fix windows was unable to complete the Format error.

Windows Was Unable to Complete Format

How to Fix | Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error

Formatting through Disk Management

The Disk Management utility in Windows is very helpful to format the drives and create or merge partitions. If you are unable to format your external storage device from File Explorer, then you should follow this method, which explains the formatting through the Disk Management utility.

  1. First of all, connect your USB Storage Device, which you want to format and facing the Unable to Complete the Format error. Once connected, open the “Windows Explorer” to see if the Windows can recognize the Storage device or not.
  2. If the Windows can recognize the storage device and shows the details about Free Space and Used Space, then right click on it and Format it. If you only see the USB storage device with its name and nothing else, then you should open the Disk Management.
  3. To open the Disk Management, Press “Windows Key + R” key on your keyboard. This will open the new “Run” window. In the text field, type “diskmgmt.msc” and Press ENTER.
  4. This will open the Disk Management Windows on your Desktop. In the Disk Management Window, you’ll see all of the Connect Storage devices. The first one is the primary hard drive and its partitions. Next is the USB Storage device you connected.
  5. Now, Right Click on your Connected USB Storage device and select “Change Drive Letters and Paths.” Assign the new Drive Letter to the USB drive and save the changes. After changing the drive letters, try to format the drive through Windows Explorer. Now, the Windows will format the USB Drive without throwing any error.
  6. If you are still facing the issue, then go to the “Disk Management” utility again and right click on the Connected USB Storage device. Now, choose the “Format, ” and it’ll format the USB Drive.
  7. If you do not see a Clickable “Format” option after right clicking on USB Storage, then choose the “Delete Volume” option.
  8. Once clicked on “Delete Volume,” you’ll see the “Unallocated Space” in the Disk Management on your USB device. Again, right-click on it and choose “New Simple Volume.”
  9. Make sure you select the “FAT32” format while creating the New Simple Volume. That’s it! You’ve successfully formatted the USB Drive by fixing the “Windows Was Unable to Format ” error.

Recently, we have also shared how you can fix start menu not working on Windows 10.

Plug USB Drive in Another USB Slot

When you face the Windows was unable to complete the Format error, there is a good probability of Damaged USB slot. The damaged USB Slot makes windows unable to recognize the connected drives and devices, and then Windows throws such error.

If you are continuously facing the same error even after trying to format through the Disk Management Method, then you should plug the USB drive in another USB slot. In the case of Desktop, there are At least Two USB Slots in the back of your CPU and 2 or More in Front of the CPU. Try changing the USB Slots and then follow the Disk Management Method to format the USB drive. This may solve the issue, and you’ll format the USB Drive successfully.

Uninstall the Drivers

The corrupted USB drivers can be the reason behind Windows was unable to format Error. Well, we can uninstall the USB drivers and then reinstall to check if it works or not.

  1. First of all, press “Windows Key + R” on your Keyboard. It’ll open the RUN window. In the window, type “devmgmt.msc” and press ENTER.
  2. Now, you’ll see the Device Manager Window. Find the “Disk Drives” drop down option in the Device Manager. Click on it, and you’ll see the Drivers of connected USB drive.
  3. Right click on the USB Drivers and choose “Uninstall.” This will remove the drivers of the connected device.
  4. Now, disconnect the USB drive from your computer and reconnect it. The Windows OS will attempt to install the drivers automatically. You’ll see the notification balloon when Windows completes the Driver installation.
  5. Again, open the Device Manager and Right click on the USB Drivers of the Device that you just connected. Now, choose the option “Update Driver Software” and let windows find and update the driver software.
  6. Once done everything, just open the Windows Explorer and try to format the USB drive. While formatting, do not choose the “Quick Format” option. Windows will take few minutes to complete the format.

Final Words | Fix Windows Unable to Complete Format Error

So, this is how you can fix the Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error. The Windows users are used to facing weird errors while doing their work on the computers. Fortunately, there are solutions available on Microsoft community site and other blogs to help users fix the errors. I hope you tried all these methods and successfully fixed the error while formatting the external storage device. If you are still facing the same issue, then please make a comment below, and we’ll help you solve this.

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