How to Clean and Format Storage in Windows 10

Storage is essential for everything you do in Windows 10. Therefore, you need to know how to clean and format the storage on your PC. Without these skills, you cannot troubleshoot your SD Cards, MicroSD Cards, USB flash drives and external hard drives.

Windows 10 comes with several tools to help you fix storage problems. DiskPart is a command line tool for users with serious storage problems. The operating system also includes a Format tool in Windows Explorer and a Disk Management utility that gives you a detailed look at everything going on with your Windows 10 PC.

Here’s how to use these tools to clean and format your SD card, flash drive or hard drive to get it working again with Windows 10.

Format Storage in Windows 10 with Windows Explorer

File Explorer is the easiest way to format storage and it’s always ready.

Connect the USB storage device you are trying to troubleshoot. Make sure you hear the default connection sound Windows 10 makes when it detects a new device. If you do not hear this ringtone, problems with your USB storage device may be due to the storage device being dead or dying.

Go to the desktop and tap or click the button in the lower left corner of your screen to open the Start Menu.

Type it in the search bar. Press Enter on your keyboard or use your mouse to click the results in the window.

Now look for the drive in the region you are trying to mount. If you only see a drive labeled Windows, double-check the connection of your USB drive. If you still can’t see it, try one of the other methods in this tutorial.

If you see your external storage, right click the drive and select .

Now use the Format tool to format your USB drive. Use the File System drop-down menu to decide on the file system type for your external storage. Fat32 is compatible with most devices, so it’s a good idea to use it. Windows 10 also supports NTFS and requires it for some features. The field in the button of the Format utility allows you to change the name of your storage device.

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Formatting and Cleaning Storage in Windows 10 with Disk Manager

The Disk Management tool provides an elevated view of all the storage your Windows 10 PC can detect. Like the File Explorer tool, it can see all evidence of storage connected to your PC. It can also detect storage devices that File Explorer is having trouble accessing.

Use your mouse to click the button in the lower left corner to open the start menu.

Click in the search bar and type. Press Enter on the keyboard of your Windows PC. You can also use your mouse to click through the search results.

Welcome to the Disk Management tool. Again, this tool can see things related to external storage that Windows Explorer has trouble seeing. Formatting a drive that Windows Explorer can’t see with this tool solves most storage detection issues. You can do this in the troublesome driver in the diagram and in the .

Partitioning your device creates a Volume that your Windows 10 PC can see. For example, our hard disk has two volumes. Only one of these volumes is visible to Windows because of the partition. Deleting a Volume removes everything from it. You can create Volumes for the total amount of storage you have on your device.

Formatting and Cleaning Storage in Windows 10 with DiskPart

The most powerful tool that Windows 10 has for dealing with Disk Issues is called DiskPart Tool. Unlike the rest of Windows, it has a text interface, so they’re not easy-to-use tools if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

Connect your USB drive.

Press the Windows button on your keyboard and eventually search for “Command Prompt” and click it.

Type it and press enter.

Type it and press enter.

At this point, you need to search for the storage device you want to troubleshoot in the list of devices you got from the tool. Note the amount of available storage each device should have to ensure you are accessing the correct device. Removable storage – like flash drives – usually has the smallest disk size in DiskPart.

Type and enter the name of the driver. For example, we typed select disc 1.

Type it and press Enter.

Type it and press Enter.

Type it and press Enter.

Type it and press Enter.

Medicine . Wait for the partitioning and formatting to complete.

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Medicine . You can use any drive letter you want, but make sure no other drive is using the same letter. For example, you cannot assign device C because it is usually the letter of your main drive.

Now type and press Enter.

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