There are moments in front of the computer when you just want to scream out loud. Reason for the inner hatred is always the fact that you can not understand why something just does not work as it should. One of the most common examples from the "hair pulling" series are moments in which the USB stick is not recognized. It’s not so bad if you want to present the photos of your last stay abroad in front of your family. A real nightmare is when you have to give a presentation at school, university or work and the computer doesn’t recognize the USB stick. But in such cases you don’t have to throw in the towel right away. Finally, it does not automatically mean that the drive is broken. What you can do if USB stick and PC don’t get along again, we will show you in the following guide.
Check the USB port
Before you start worrying about whether your USB stick is defective, you should first look for problems on the receiver side. After all, you can’t change anything on a broken USB stick anyway. Your first target should be the USB port on your computer. First make a comparison to other USB ports. You should simply plug the stick into another USB port of your PC. This can sometimes work wonders. Because it does not necessarily have to be the USB stick that is defective. A USB port on your PC or laptop may also stop working. It is very unlikely that all ports are defective in this case.
Changing the USB port did not help either? Then you should, if possible, use another disk for comparison. Plug the USB device into the port and observe if it is recognized or not. If the USB port responds this time, you can be sure that it is not defective. Furthermore you can be sure that the drivers of the USB ports are up to date.
Check the drive
If your research hasn’t yielded any results yet, you don’t have to despair. There is another reason why your USB stick is not recognized. In this case you should take a closer look at the drive. The name of the USB stick plays an important role in this check. Your computer may not recognize the disk because another drive has the same name. Finally, the PC cannot access two drives at the same time. In this case you should follow the steps below:
- Right-click on "Computer".
- Click in the appeared menu click on "Manage.
- Now you are in the "Computer management". Once here, click on "Disk management".
- A list with all disks appears. If the connected USB stick is also in this list, you can be sure that it is at least recognized by the computer. Since the name of the drive corresponds to an existing one, you cannot see the USB stick on your desktop in the usual way.
- So you have to change the drive letter. To do this, right-click on the drive.
- In the menu that appears click click on "Change drive letters and paths".
- Now click on "Change.
- Select a new letter for the USB flash drive and click "OK"
- In the best case you will be able to recognize the data medium on your desktop again.
This is how you proceed with MacOS
The previous solutions were mainly for Windows PCs. But of course you can also get into the predicament that a disk is not recognized on your iMac or MacBook. When checking the USB ports, do the same on your Mac. ÜJust check if one or all of your USB ports are defective. If this doesn’t solve the problem, there are two methods you can use to fix the problem.
Incorrect setting in the Finder
First you should go into the Finder. There might be a wrong setting here, which causes that the drive is not recognized correctly. ÜSo first check how your Mac handles removable media. To do this, follow these steps.
- Go to the Finder.
- Now choose "File in the upper menu from.
- Click on "Settings.
- Click on the tab "General.
- Now you can decide what will be displayed on your desktop and what not.
- Should be at "External hard drives no check mark has been set yet, make up for this now.
- Last but not least, open the "Sidebar".
- Here you set again at "External hard disks" the hook.
If that didn’t help, you might have to do some heavy lifting and dig a little deeper into your Mac’s settings.
way via Disk Utility
Your Mac has the so called "Disk Utility. Here you can make profound settings for your data media. Among other things also to external hard disks and USB sticks.
- Örun the "Disk Utility".
- Take a look at the list on the left side of this page. Here you can see which drives are currently connected to your Mac. On top of that, the "Hard Disk Utility" will show you here, which respective partitions are on the drives.
- If your USB stick does not appear in this overview, you can probably assume that the format is not compatible with your Mac. If you have turned your data medium into an additional data storage device, for example with the help of the Smart TV or the game console, you have to reckon with this.
- In this case you need to format the stick. We recommend you to choose the file format FAT32. The Mac can read this without any problems.
- If the stick is still not recognized, it is to be assumed that the stick is defective or a compatibility to Mac is simply not given.
alt="Picture by Simon Luthje" width="140" height="140" /> Simon Luthje 17. December 2021