Format USB stick in Windows 10

When you connect a USB drive or USB stick to a Windows 10 computer, you can format this drive or USB stick for various purposes. Sometimes you solve a problem with it, while at another time you prepare the writing for another device in the house, such as an Xbox.

Whatever your reason, it is good to know exactly how to do this. You can achieve this, for example, by using the Explorer. Connect the disk or stick to your PC or laptop (and if necessary put the plug in the socket). Open the Explorer (file manager) and press on the left side of the panel This PC. below Devices and stations there will be a new writing. In our example, this is the 1 TB HP Desktop Drive.

Format via Explorer

Now right click on that disk (or stick) and select the option Format. Under the cup File system make a choice, which is necessary. If you only use the disk for Windows you want to use it, leave it on NTFS. If you also want to use the external drive on a macOS computer, Xbox or PlayStation, you are supposed to select exFAT. For the heading Cluster size, press the button below it, so that Default settings for devices will appear there. That way you can be sure that everything is going well.

Then there is the heading Volume name. This is simply the name you give the hard drive or USB stick, so that Windows and you know which drive it is. So enter the name you want here. Then you still have the choice of whether you want to have a quick formatting session or not. If you check the box next to Quick Format, the process will take less time and certain data can still be retrieved later. If you do not place a check mark, the system will take longer to format and really all data will be deleted. Make your choice and press the Start button. Then confirm that choice (only if you are sure that the disk can be completely empty).

Using disk management

Another accessible option is formatting via Disk Management. You can find disk management by going to Start > Windows > Disk management to go. Find the hard drive in the list that you want to format and click on it with your right mouse button. The option now appears on the screen Format. Here too you can change the name at Volume name. Once you have done that, you can choose from the file systems exFAT or NTFS and at Cluster Size you just leave Default. Finally, you have the option to Quick Format and if you want you can also enable file and folder compression.


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