How to Fix Corrupt USB Drive on Windows & Mac Computers?


Wondering how to fix corrupt or damaged USB drive? Do not worry, with the help of different approaches for windows and macOS explained in the article, you can repair the USB drive and recover data without losing any bit of it.

When USB drives get corrupt or damaged, you will receive several error messages that indicates the data stored on USB drive is inaccessible or cannot be accesses without formatting. Here are a few error messages that indicates your USB drive is corrupted.

Table of contents:

Indications of corrupt USB

Is it possible to repair corrupt USB?

How to fix corrupt USB on Windows?

How to Fix Corrupt USB on Mac?


Symptoms of Corrupted USB Drive

Be it Windows or Mac, error message displayed when USB is corrupted remains same. listed are few of the error messages that is displayed when your USB drive is corrupted.

  1. You might witness your USB drive is not recognized on your computer.
  2. You need to format the disk in drive before using it
  3. Drive is not formatted
  4. Drive cannot be accessed

There could be other errors that stops you using your USB drive. Follow the methods explained in the next section to fix the corrupt USB drive and get back your data without any data loss.

How to Fix Corrupt USB Drive without Data Loss?

Here are the workarounds that help you to get access to your data by fixing the corruption on the USB drive.

  1. Fix Corrupt USB on Windows
  2. Fix Corrupt USB on Mac

Can a corrupted USB flash drive be fixed?

Be it Windows or Mac, the first and foremost solution suggested to fix any corruption or logical errors on the drive is to format the drive. However, it is known that formatting not only fixes the errors, also erases your data on the drive. The most intriguing question is how to fix the USB corruption on the drive without losing data?

If you have formatted the drive before taking backup of the data, do not panic! You can still recover your files from corrupt USB drive.

If you have taken backup earlier and looking solutions for fixing an USB drive, go on to the next section and fix your corrupt or damaged USB flash drive.

If you have taken backup earlier and looking solutions for fixing an USB drive, go on to the next section and fix your corrupt or damaged USB flash drive.

How to Repair a Corrupt USB Flash Drive on Windows?

If your USB is recognized by the computer, below mentioned methods will certainly help you fix the USB drive. If your USB drive is not recognized by your Windows, check with the connection in USB and try repairing it.

Method 1: Assign the correct Drive Letter

First, check if your thumb drive is assigned with a drive letter. If drive letter is not assigned or incorrect, assign one to it.

Disk management to fix corrupt USB

  1. Right-click Start button -> Click on the Disk Management.
  2. Right-click on your corrupted USB drive -> Select Change Drive Letter and Paths…
  3. Click on the drive letter -> Click Change button
  4. Select a different letter from the drop-down list -> Click OK

Certainly, changing the drive letter helps you fix the errors on the drive. Yet, there still exists a threat to your data. Therefore, it is recommended to recover or backup your data before trying any of the repairing process to fix corrupt USB/ thumb drive.

Method 2: Update the device drivers

There is always a possibility of drive corruption if the device driver is not updated or itself got corrupted. Therefore, updating the driver might help you fix corruption on it.

Device Manager-update disk drivers

  1. Right-click on the start button -> Select Device Manager
  2. Go to Disk Drivers -> Find your corrupted USB drive name
  3. Right-click on the USB drive name -> Click on Uninstall device
  4. Unplugging and re-plugging the USB drive into computer will automatically reinstall the latest driver.

Consequently, this method helps you fix the corruption if the problem exists on the device driver.

Method 3: Fix the USB drive using Windows Repair Option

To fix corruption on USB drive, insert your damaged drive into your computer and follow the steps given:

  1. Go to My Computers -> Select the USB Drive that appears on the computer
  2. Right-click on the drive -> Click on the Properties -> Choose the Tools Tab
  3. Click on the Check Now button (Windows 7 it is replaced by Rebuild option)
  4. Two repair option are displayed on the screen Scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors and Automatically fix file system errors
  5. Check both the boxes -> click on start to initiate the scanning process.

Once the scanning process completes close the screen and try re-inserting the USB to your computer and verify if you can access the data on your corrupted drive.

If none of the above USB repairing methods helped you fixing the corrupt drive, try formatting/re-formatting of the drive. But, make sure you take a backup of your data. you can recover data after format as well using SFWare.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

How to Repair a Corrupt USB on Mac?

Every Mac computer comes with an in-built troubleshooting tool called as First Aid in Disk Utility. The function of this utility is to detect the disk issues related to directory damage on all types of file system that is HFS, HFS+ including APFS volumes. Follow the steps to fix USB corruption on Mac computers.

  1. Go to Applications and select Disk Utility
  2. USB drive will be listed on the sidebar of Disk Utility -> Select the USB drive
  3. From the top of the window click on First aid
  4. Select Run on the pop-up window and the scanning process initiates.

Scanning process depends on the size of the USB. Once the scanning process completes, re-insert the USB drive and check for the errors.

With the help of above-mentioned methods, you can try fixing corruption on USB drive on Windows and Mac.  If your data is lost due to any of the repair process or accidental formatting, try recovering your data using SFWare USB Recovery tool.


What causes USB to corrupt?

Various factors lead to corruption on USB flash drive. The most common reasons that lead to USB corruption are virus intrusion, file system damage, improper handling of flash drive, removal of USB without ejecting it safely.

How to fix a corrupted flash drive without formatting?

We all know formatting is the easiest method to fix any kind of errors or corruption on USB. However, there are other feasible methods described in the article that can be used to fix corrupt flash drive.

How to fix corrupted flash drive without losing data?

At instances, when you try to fix the corrupt USB drive, this may end up with data loss. Based on the type of the corruption you can make sure your data is safe. If the errors are due to improper connection, you can just remove and re-insert the USB drive. If it is due to inappropriate drive letter, you can change the drive letter. You can also make use of the Windows Repair option to fix corrupt flash drive. With the help of disk utility, USB corruption on be fixed on macOS.

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