How to Fix Pen Drive Not Showing on Windows PC

What causes pen drive not showing or pen drive detected but not showing? This passage will introduce the reasons and help you fix it.


By Irene / Updated on October 13, 2023

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Pen drives, commonly known as USB drives, are extensively used in daily life. But some users face issues with “Pen drives not showing” (also refers to the problem of “USB device not recognized”). This article aims to assist in identifying the reasons for this issue and offers steps to resolve it and restore the functionality of your pen drive.

Why pen drive not showing in Windows?

When your pen drive detected but not showing up, it's important to figure out if the problem is with your computer or the USB drive itself. To do this, you can try restarting your computer and letting it fully start up to see if the USB drive appears.

usb flash drives

Once you know which part is causing the problem, you can try technical solutions to fix it. But before that, let's go over some common technical reasons that might be causing the issue.

•Drive letter conflicts
•Outdated pen drive
Wrong file system which is incompatible with your PC
•The pen drive is physically damaged.
•Virus attack or insufficient power supply

How to fix pen drive not showing issue

When encountering the pen drive not showing issue, you can try the following 4 methods to troubleshoot that.

Method 1. Uninstall and reinstall the pen drive

If the error shows as "USB device not recognized", you can examine if the driver is working or not on Device Manager and then fix it by uninstalling and reinstalling the pen drive.

▌Update USB driver

An outdated pen drive may also make Windows 10 unrecognized. So you can try to update it.

Step 1. Type “Device Manager” on the Search icon in the task bar, and then expand "Universal Serial Bus Controllers".

Step 2. Find the target pen drive, right-click it and select "Properties",  and choose "Update Driver" below "Driver" option.

Step 3. Then click "Search automatically" to update

Step 4. Reboot your computer and connect the pen drive to test if it can be detected

update usb driver

▌Reinstall disk driver

Step 1. Type “Device Manager” on the Search icon in the task bar

Step 2. Find the target pen drive in “Disk drives”, right-click it, and the choose “Uninstall

Step 3. After confirming your drive has been uninstalled, you can click “OK.

uninstall disk driver

Step 4. Reconnect the USB flash drive to the PC, and wait for it to reinstall new device software. The USB flash drive could be detected after these steps.

Method 2. Reassign drive letter or change path to pen drive partition

Another possible reason for a flash drive not showing up is if it shares the same name with other volumes, thus causing recognition conflicts. To resolve this, you can reassign the drive letter or change the path to address the issue.

Step 1. Select the Search icon and type “Disk Management”, and then choose “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option.

Step 2. Select a new drive letter and then click "OK”. Now, you can test again on detecting the pen drive.

drive letter

Note: Sometimes you may find the Change Drive Letter and Paths option greyed out. Please check whether the volume is formatted in FAT or NTFS or your drive is being write-protected.

Method 3. Format unrecognized pen drive

As the listed reason shows, the wrong file system will also cause the USB not showing up. To fix this, reformatting the drive to a compatible file system like FAT32 or NTFS can be useful. By the way, removing the pen drive abruptly without safely ejecting can also damage the file system or make it turn to RAW format, resulting in flash drive not recognized.

At this time, formatting the unrecognized USB drive is suitable for both cases. Compared to traditional formatting methods like CMD or Disk Management, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a handy way that suits all people, no matter you have computer techniques or not, you can easily format the wrong pen drive file system to NTFS or FAT32 on Windows computers.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Now, let’s work with the detailed guidance to fix the USB not showing up problem.

Notice: Formatting will wipe all the data of the pen drive, kindly please backup them before beginning.

Step 1. Open the installed software, and right-click the target pen drive. Select “Format Partition”

format raw to ntfs 256gb

Step 2. Select the suitable file system in drop-down menu of the pop-up window, and click “OK”

choose file system 256gb

Step 3. Click “Apply” >“Proceed” to run the operation

apply proceed 256gb

Method 4. Create new partition

If you can find that the drive just shows in Disk Management as unallocated space but it is not shown in “This PC”. Creating a new partition on the target USB can also be one of the solutions. To quickly fix this problem, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant, and right-click the unallocated space on the pen drive, and select “Create Partition”.

create partition 16gb

Step 2. Set the Partition size, Drive letter, and File system according to your demands in the window. And then click “OK”.

edit new partition ok

Step 3. Click “Apply” on the upper right corner and wait the proceedings done.

apply create partition 16gb


4 methods for fixing the pen drive not showing are mentioned above. As we can easily see, using the software AOMEI Partition Assistant can not only deal with various situations but also break some annoying limitations.

This tool is also a versatile assistant that can manage the partition efficiently, such as merging, checking, and deleting partition, etc. Furthermore, if you hope to enjoy more convenience in better dealing with problems like allocating free space from one partition to another, defragging disk or partition, and migrating OS MBR to GPT, etc. In that case, upgrading to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is recommended.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.