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Format a USB Drive in Windows

Brian Tempero -

Formatting a USB drive is no different than formatting any other drive.  But how often have you actually formatted a drive and did you ever wonder what the various options mean?

Most of us go with the default settings without second guessing their logic. Naturally, optimal settings depend on the type of hardware to be formatted and what you are planning to do with it.


How To Format a USB Drive In Windows


Whether you’re running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, the steps are essentially the same. Connect the USB drive, go to > Computer or > My Computer, right-click the drive and select > Format… from the menu.




The formatting options you have are > File system, > Allocation unit size, > Volume label, and >  Format options.



To format your drive, you simply make your selection, click > Start, click > OK to confirm that you really want to erase all data and the drive will be formatted.

The default selections that Windows sets are usually good enough. Perform a Quick Format to delete all data. Uncheck Quick Format if you want it to erase all data as well as check the drive for errors. 

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