Ever bumped into the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error message when attempting to format your USB flash drive, SD card, or other storage devices? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! This issue is not uncommon and can occur due to several reasons such as a virus infection, bad sectors, physical damage, or simply because the device is write-protected.
Windows 11 provides users with a few different methods to fix this issue. Here are the steps you should take to identify and isolate the root of the problem and correctly format your device:
- Check for Physical Damage – Before attempting any repairs, first inspect your storage device for any physical damage or signs of wear and tear. If there is damage (i.e., bent pins, water damage, etc.), the device needs to be replaced to prevent any further harm.
- Find and Remove Write Protection – If your device is write-protected, you won’t be able to format it as Windows will consider it a read-only device. To remove this protection, try disabling the “Write protect” option in the Advanced Settings of your Windows OS. If that doesn’t work, you can try using the diskpart utility to remove write protection from the device manually.
- Check for Bad Sectors – You can use a tool such as CrystalDiskInfo to check your storage device for any bad sectors. These are areas on the drive where data cannot be read or written due to physical damage or defects on the drive. If a bad sector is detected, it’s best to replace the device.
- Scan for Viruses – Malware or viruses can also cause this issue so make sure you scan your computer and storage devices for any malicious software with an up-to-date antivirus program before attempting to format your device.
- Format Your Device – If all the steps above are successful, you should be able to format your device without any issues. Windows 11 provides users with three different ways: Quick Format, Full Format, and Advanced Formatting. Choose the one that best suits your needs and follow the instructions provided by Windows to finish formatting your device correctly.
We hope this guide helps you fix ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error message and enables you to use your storage device without any issues. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support team for assistance.
[Note: It’s always a good idea to backup important files before attempting any repairs or modifications.]