How to fix Error “Windows could not complete the format”

How to fix Error Windows could not complete the format

It is possible that during the format of a USB we will find a system message stating ” Windows could not complete the format “. A message that usually appears if you encounter a problem or malfunction during the USB formatting process. Some of the most frequent causes are specific errors, that the unit is write-protected, that it is physically damaged or that the USB port of the PC does not make a good connection.

Therefore, to try to fix the error, the first thing to do is check that the USB port is not damaged. If we try to connect them to another port, we can determine if it is from the connector itself or if the problem is another.

A simple system update may solve the problem, so it does not hurt to check if we have an update pending to install in Windows 10, in which case, we must proceed with its installation.

Although it is not something general, we can find that our USB device or USB memory is write-protected, in which case, it will be necessary to deactivate it to be able to format the said device.

Now, if we are trying to format a USB memory from the Windows 10 Disk Manager and we find this error, we can try to use a third-party tool such as or try it from the command line with the Diskpart utility. In this case, we open a command prompt window, type Diskpart, and hit Enter.

Next, we execute the list disk command to identify the unit that corresponds to our USB and we execute the select disk X command, where X will be the number that corresponds to the memory unit. Once selected correctly, we execute the following commands:

  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • select partition 1
  • format fs = NTFS label = »USBname» quick . If we want it to be formatted with the FAT32 file system, we must replace NTFS with FAT32.
  • active
  • assign letter = E , or whatever letter we want.

Programs to format a USB

There are programs that can be used to format a USB drive and some of the best are the following:

MiniTool Partition Wizard

This program, in addition to creating, deleting or copying partitions on any drive, is also capable of formatting whatever we need. The interface is very neat and extremely intuitive, as well as easy to use. It is compatible with the FAT, FAT32 and NTFS systems, so we will not have any problem for the formatting work.

We have a free version of MiniTool Partition Wizard and that, of course, is in Spanish. The option with more functions (Pro) is paid and costs $ 99 for a valid license for three computers.


This tool that offers us many possibilities. In addition to being able to format a disk in FAT, FAT32 or NTFS , we can also make, edit or delete partitions, manage them, make backup copies and even restore them. The interface is not particularly attractive, but it is complete and even too much. It is fairly intuitive with a short adaptation period, especially since the subtasks are usually within other menus.

DiskGenius has a very functional free version and with which we can perform multiple tasks, but then there are two Standard and Professional versions, with more options, which cost $ 69 and $ 99 respectively.

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