4 Ways To Fix Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format Easily

Try Canva Pro

People store lots of data in the hard drive of a computer or in the external Pen Drive. To give a long-life to any storage device, it becomes necessary to scan and format it with a certain span of time.

windows was unable to complete the format

Sometimes when we try to Format the drive using windows, we see a pop-up message ‘Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format’. It is an error that needs to be fixed in order to format the drive.

There are lots of methods to fix the Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format error. In this article, I am going to show you a few methods to solve this issue.

Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format

Quick Tip: Before moving to the format methods, you should check the drive and try to repair it with the troubleshoot option. To do this, just follow the following steps:

STEP 1: Right click on the drive where you face this issue

STEP 2: Click on the properties

Jayendra Properties Right Click

STEP 3: Go to Tools and click on check button

STEP 4:Now click on Scan and Repair drive

On the completion of the above steps, the windows will scan the issue and try to repair the drive. If it doesn’t solve with this option, then you can move to the different methods shown in this Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error step by step guide

Before we go to the method to fix this issue, you need to know what this error is and why it occurs.

NordLocker Deal

What is Windows was unable to complete the format error?

Sometimes any Virus or technical issue damages the drive. It becomes very necessary to repair it immediately as it can damage the other drive too.

When we try to Format it by Windows default Format option, a pop-up appears with Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format message.

If such an error occurs, then you’ll need to format the drive using other methods.

Why do Windows fail to Complete the Format?

Bad Sectors, virus, bug in drive

Windows can format any drive but sometimes, it gets fail to format the drive due to following reasons:


Hard Disk or external disk has a read and write function. You can perform any action on the disk which supports both read and write.

But some disk comes with write protection which means windows can just read the drive. You cannot perform any write action such as Copy, Move, Delete. Due to write-protection, Windows fails to complete the format action.


Sometimes the drive comes in contact with the virus. Disks can get infected by viruses easily since we surf the internet or download any files.

Virus can come with the downloaded files or by clicking on some malicious links and damaging the drive.

Bad Sector

Bad sector in the drive disables the windows to read and write it. Basically, a hard drive contains multiple sectors and data gets stored in it.

But sometimes discontinuous occurs and leads to the formation of bad sectors. Since bad sectors cannot be read and write, it is unable to format the drive.

Physical Damage

Physical damage occurs in the drive due to improper handling or any other reason. The damaged part of the drive disables the reading and writing function.

How to Fix the Windows was unable to complete the Format?

Use below mentioned tips to fix the issues which creates Windows was unable to complete the format error.

In order to fix the issue, you have to work on the reason behind this error. Since we know that this error can commonly occur due to Write-protection, Virus infection, Formations of Bad sector, Physical damage, etc. fixing these problems and repairing the drive.

Virus Infection: It can be repaired using anti-virus software. Scan the drive with anti-virus and remove the virus detected.

Write-Protection: It can be removed by using cmd

Bad-Sector: It can be easily scanned by windows itself. Just follow the following instructions:

Scan and Repair Drive
  1. Right-click on the drive and go to Properties.
  2. In the properties window, go to Tools option
  3. Now under Error checking, click on the Check button to scan for the bad sector.
  4.  It will take a few minutes to scan the drive.
Download Brave Browser

If the issue does not solve by fixing the reasons which cause this error, then you can use windows cmd to complete the format. 

Format the Drive using Command Prompt

Format the Drive using Command Prompt

To format the drive with command prompt, just follow the following the steps:

Step1: Go to Search Option, located on the side of the Window Start Icon.

Step2: Enter cmd in the box

Step3: You’ll see Command Prompt

Step4: Right-click on that and Run it as Administrator. Now Command Prompt ( A Back Window) will open.

Step5: Command- diskpart (without space)and press Enter

Step6: Command- list disk and press Enter. (Now all the disks will appear. To format the drive, you’ll need to select it first.)

Step7: Command- select disk 1 and press enter. (Now disk 1 will be selected)

Step8: Command- clean and press enter.(After the cleaning process, the pen drive will be successfully formatted. Now you’ll need to create a partition.)

Step9: Command- create partition primary and press enter.

Step10: Command- active and press enter (to active the partition.)

Step11: Command- exit (to close the Command Prompt)

Step12: Now plug-out the drive and plug-in again ( In case of external drive )

Now again format the drive by using the default Format option. The drive will be successfully formatted.

Format the Drive using Third-party Software

If the issue does not resolve with the windows, you can use third party software.

Format the Drive using Partition Guru


To Format the drive, you can install Partition Guru, a software specially meant for Disk or Drive problems.

How to Format drive using Partition Guru?

Step1: Install and open Partition Guru. Then you’ll see a list of all the drives of your computer.

Step2: Right-Click on the Drive you want to Format. Now you’ll see a window with lots of options

Step3: Click on Format Current Partition. Then a new window will be there to set labels and File System, You can leave as default.

Step4: Click on Format and confirm with OK.

Step5: Clicking on OK will start formatting the drive.

Format the Drive using EaseUS Partition Master


Fix Windows was unable to complete the format with EaseUS Partition Master

EaseUs Partition is a tool which is used to Merge, Copy Disk, Format and other such issues. It is an easy to use tool that deals with driving issues.

Repairing corrupt USB drives becomes much easier with this tool. If you’re facing Windows was unable to complete the format issue, then it is easy to fix this issue with EaseUS Partition Tool.

How to Format the drive using EaseUS Partition Master?

Step1: Install and Open EaseUS Partition Master. It will show all your drives and connected USB Drives.

Step2: Select the drive you want to format, right-click on that drive. This will open a pop-up. Click on Format from the pop-up menu.

Easeus format

Step3: Now a window will open which says to name Partition Label and Choose File System Type between NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3. Then set Cluster Size for the drive you’re going to format.

Step4: A new warning pop-up will open and warn you about the data to be erased. Just Click on OK.

Step5: Click on Execute Operation in the top-left corner to review your changes in the drive you’re going to format. Now you’re all set to format your drive. Just click on Apply and formatting will be initiated.

 It will take a few seconds to complete the operation.

So in just Five easy steps, you can format any drive with EaseUS Partition Master. In this way you can fix windows was unable to complete the format issue.

Other Features of EaseUS Partition Master

Create/Resize Partitions: This feature is used to create partition or resize the drive.

Migrate OS: This feature allows you to migrate OS without losing data.

Clone Partitions: This feature allows you to copy the entire disk with just a single click

Merge Partition: This will merge the selected partitions or drives

Format Partition: This feature will format the partition.

It comes with Three Versions viz. Free, Professional and Server.

Deleting or Creating Partition

If the format error does not solve with the Disk management tools, then deleting or creating partition can format the drive.

Creating a Partition can be done by both Windows and third-party software. first, let’s see how to create a partition through Windows

Create partition Create Partitions from Windows


As the external drives have changed to RAW files system, it cannot be formatted by Windows. It appeared as an unallocated volume. Making a new volume can fix the format issue.

To create new volume using windows, follow the following steps:

  1. Right-click on my computer
  2. Click on Manage
  3. Click on Disk Management. There you’ll see your flash drive as unallocated volume.
  4. Right-click on the flash drive
  5. Click on New Simple Volume
  6. Select the Format This Volume with the following Setting.
Download Advanced System Optimizer

Now formatting will start. It will take some time to complete the format.

You can use a third-party tool to perform this action. MiniTool Partition Wizard is one of the best tools to create partitions.

Create Partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard


Fix Windows was unable to complete the format using MiniTool Partition Wizard

If the drive you’re going to format has only unallocated space, then creating a partition will fix the issue. You can create a partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard.

MiniTool Partition Wizard tool is the best solution for problems regarding Disk/Partition management. It is the best partition and disk management tool, reviewed by millions of users.it has got 4 out of 5 ratings from most of the users.

How to create a partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard?

  1. Install and Open MiniTool Partition Wizard
  2. Select the Drive/Disk
  3. Click on Create Partition. A new pop-up window will open
  4. Fill the details of partition such as Partition Label, File System, Partition Size, and all. Then click OK to continue the process.
  5. Now the preview of Disk Partition will be presented. To make actual/real changes, click on Apply located in the upper left corner. You can also Undo or Discard on some mistakes.

After creating the partition, the drive will be repaired successfully. These five easy steps will fix the Windows was unable to complete the format issue.

Highlighted Features of MiniTool Partition Wizard/Delete/Format

Download Iobit Driver Booster

Create/Delete/Format: This feature allows you to create partition and Format Drive

Wipe Partition: You can erase the partition from this feature

Move/Resize Partition: This feature allows us to move partitions from one disk to another or resize any disk.

Windows was unable to complete the format FAQs

How do I fix Windows was unable to complete the format?

To fix windows was unable to complete the format issue you can use command prompt and type commands mentioned in this article.
You can also use tools like mini tool partition wizard, Easeus partition master to fix this issue.

Why can’t I format my USB?

Due to windows was unable to complete the format issue you can not able to format your USB.


Windows was unable to complete the format is such a common error and it can be fixed easily. I have shown few methods to solve. If any method doesn’t complete the task, you can move on to the next method.

If the drive isn’t formatted with all 4 methods, then it might be seriously damaged and you’ll need to contact professionals to complete the task.

But I’m sure that these few methods will be enough to format any drive. If you still have some doubts about ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ issue, you can comment below.

Default image
Abhijeet Shrivastava
I Love tech in any form and covers Good and Bads of tech by doing micro observation.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • >