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Sometimes you may need to completely format the removable disks such as external hard drive, SD card, pen drive, SSD, USB flash drive and CD/DVD.

Now, even though the formatting a disk is pretty easy and straightforward process, many users come across a strange error “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” or “the format did not complete successfully.”

If you’re one of the users that are stuck on this error message, this guide is for you. In this post, we will explore different ways to fix the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” error on your computer. Before starting, let’s see what exactly is causing this error.

What are the causes of “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” Error?

If the Windows is unable to complete the formatting process, then there are chances that there is a major or minor issue with the removable disk and it is possible because:

  • The memory SD card is infectious by an unidentified virus
  • The Disk write has protection which won’t allow windows to format your SD card
  • The SD card has a few bad sectors
  • Storage device damage

Any of the above reason may lead to “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” error.

How to Full Fix the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” Error?

There are various methods for you to fix the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” Error. We have shortlisted the best for you. So, let’s do this:

1. Use the Windows Disk Management

When you face the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” error while performing the formatting process, try to fix this problem with the help of Disk Management tool first. Follow the steps below:

  • Open “This PC
  • Click on the “Computer” from the top menu
  • Click on the Manage to open the Computer Management window

Use the Windows Disk Management

  • Now go to Disk Management in the left panel under Storage section
  • Now, right click on the Micro SD card, USB or the flash drive you want to format
  • Click on Format

Now once the process is successful, you can use your disk immediately

2. Use the EaseUS Partition Tool

If the above method doesn’t work for you, you can try this reliable and easy-to-use third-party tool to fix the “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” error. Follow the steps below to use the EaseUS tool:

  • Download the EaseUS Partition magic software
  • Insert the SD card or any other external device you wish to format
  • Launch the EaseUS partition tool
  • Right-click on the device and select ”Format partition.”
  • Select the file system you want in the Partition Label bar
  • Select the file system from the File System menu


If your USB memory size is more than 4GB, select FAT32, EXT2/EXT3 or NTFS and if it’s greater than 4GB, select FAT, NTFS, FAT32 or EXT2/EXT3.

  • Click on Apply to confirm the format process of your external storage device.

The EaseUS application deals with almost any issue related to your USB format process.

3. Use the Command Prompt to Format the Hard Disk

This method directly formats your hard disk. However, before doing this process, we suggest you back up all your data from the USB drive.  Before you begin with the process, ensure that you copy down the drive letter. Now, let do this:

  • Press and hold Windows + R key to open the Run dialogue box
  • Type cmd to open the Command Prompt
  • Type and run the following command

Use the Command Prompt to Format the Hard Disk

F: /fs:ntfs
  • In the above command, “F” is the drive letter and “NTFS” is the file system
  • This process may take a while

Note: Do not shut the window in any condition as it may corrupt your drive.

That’s it! These are the three main solutions, which are most likely to solve your Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format” error. Let us know your doubts and reviews in the comments section below.


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