5 Easy Ways to Format USB to NTFS Windows 10/11

5 Easy Ways to Format USB to NTFS Windows 10/11

A USB drive is a convenient and quick way to transfer data between PCs or other electronic devices. However, its performance may deteriorate with time, because of crappy segments or residual information. Is your USB drive slow or lagging? If so, don’t worry! Just try formatting it, to speed up its operation.

Formatting your USB can be a complicated procedure, especially if you are not a tech-savvy person. But with all the help out there, you should have no trouble. In this article, we’re going to take a look at five different ways that are super easy and quick to format your USB drive to NTFS Windows 10/11.

Procedures to Format USB to NTFS Windows 10/11

Windows NTFS file system is the preferred method for transferring massive amounts of information due to its superior performance compared to FAT32. In Windows 10/11, there are a few different ways to format a USB drive as NTFS.

Take note that formatting your USB drive will completely wipe out any data stored on it. Before following either of the procedures provided next, we strongly suggest you create a backup of your data.

See Also: How to Fix Video Playback Shuttering Issues on Windows 11?

Procedure#1: Utilizing the File Explorer’s Context Menu Format Option

  1. First, plug-in your USB drive inside your PC/Laptop.
  2. Next, navigate to “This PC”. Alternatively, you can also open “File Explorer” by simultaneously pressing these keys together i.e., “Windows + E”
  3. After that, locate your attached USD drive. Once found, right-click on it.
  4. Now, from the context menu that appears on the screen, click on the option labeled “Format…”
File Explorer's Context Menu USB Format Option
  1. Next, a prompt will be displayed. Inside it, click on the chevron present beneath the option titled “File System”.
  2. After that, from the dropdown list, click on “NTFS”.
  3. Now, proceed with clicking on the checkbox present on the left-hand side of the option i.e., “Quick Format”
  4. Next, click on the button named “Start”
  5. Finally, a dialog box will appear. Here, click on “OK”, to validate your decision.

So, that’s the whole thing! Having completed this step, your USB drive will be formatted in Windows 11’s NTFS file format. 

Procedure#2: Via Disk Management 

  1. First, launch the “Run” dialog box, by pressing these keys together i.e., “Windows + R”
  2. Next, inside this box, type in the following command i.e., “diskmgmt.msc” followed by clicking the “OK” button.
Format USB to NTFS Via Disk Management
  1. After that, at the lower end of your PC screen, locate your attached USB drive. Once found, right-click on it.
  2. Now, from the context menu, click on the option labeled “Format…”
  3. Next, a prompt will be displayed asking for your consent to format the USB drive. Here, click on the “OK” button. 
  4. After that, give your USB drive a name next to the “Volume Label”.
  5. Now, click on the chevron present right next to the option titled “File System”. Then, click on “NTFS” from the dropdown menu. 
  6. Next, click on the checkbox available on the left-hand side of the option i.e., “Perform a Quick Format”
  7. Finally, proceed by clicking on the “OK” button. That’s all there is to it!

Procedure#3: Using Diskpart

  1. First, launch the Runbox, by pressing these keys simultaneously i.e., “Windows + R”
  2. Next, inside the box, type in the following command i.e., “cmd” followed by pressing “Ctrl + Shift + Enter” on your keyboard.
  3. After that, inside the command prompt, type in “diskpart” and hit the “Enter” key for its execution.
Format USB to NTFS Using Diskpart
  1. Now, to see a list of the drives currently installed on your PC, type the following command i.e., “list disk”.
  2. Next, look up the model of your USB flash drive here. To specify a USB drive, type the following command i.e., “sel disk NUM”. In this expression, “NUM” should be replaced by the disk number of your USB drive.
  3. After that, if you want to wipe your USB drive clean, use this command i.e., “clean”.
  4. Now, simply enter the following command i.e., “create partition primary” and hit the “Enter” key to execute it.
  5. Next, make your new partition active with the following command i.e., “active”.
  6. After that, here is the command i.e., “format fs ntfs label “NAME” quick” you can use to format your freshly cleaned USB drive. Change “NAME” to the name you’ve chosen for your flash drive. 
  7. Now, to give your USB a drive letter, run the command i.e., “assign letter=X”. Substitute the letter of the drive you want to use for “X”.
  8. Finally, type the following command to exit Diskpart i.e., “exit”. To exit CMD, just type the same command.

So, that’s all! You can now remove the USB from your computer after formatting it to NTFS in Windows 11, via the command prompt.

Procedure#4: Via Powershell

  1. First, launch the “Run” dialog box. For this, hit these keys simultaneously on your keyboard i.e., “Windows + R”
  2. Next, inside the box, write the following string “powershell”, followed by pressing “Ctrl + Shift + Enter”.
Format USB to NTFS Via Powershell
  1. After that, simply type in the following command i.e., “get-disk”  to see all of the hard drives or other external disks currently connected to your computer.
  2. Now, you should locate your USB drive on the list and make a note of the corresponding number in the first column.
  3. Next, when you do, run this command i.e., “clear-disk -number NUM -RemoveData” to clean or erase everything from your USB drive. Put in the disk number of your USB, where “NUM” appears.
  4. After that, please confirm your selection by typing “A”.
  5. Now, the data on your USB drive will immediately be erased. To make a new partition for your USB stick, type the following command i.e., “new-partition -disknumber NUM -usemaximumsize -isactive -driveletter LETTER”. Here, simply substitute the disk number for your USB drive in place of “NUM” and the desired drive letter for “LETTER”.
  6. Next, you can format the newly created partition on your USB drive. Simply use the command i.e., “format-volume -driveletter LETTER -filesystem ntfs -newfilesystemlabel USB Label”, switching out “LETTER” for the new drive letter you just assigned your USB drive. Do the same, just switch out “USB Label” with your flash drive’s actual label/name.
  7. Finally, in order to leave PowerShell, type “exit” as the final command.  

And with that, we’re done! Success! You have successfully used PowerShell to format your USB drive to NTFS format, on Windows 11.

Procedure#5: Utilizing a Third-Party App

There is a plethora of third-party software and applications, available to aid with the formatting of drives and disks, to suit a variety of purposes. “Rufus” is a free, simple, and effective tool for making bootable USB sticks, and it comes highly recommended by me and many other experts.

Using this amazing third-party tool, you can format your USB drive to the NTFS file system, without facing any hassle, by following the simple steps mentioned below.

  1. Simply connect your USB drive to your computer after downloading “Rufus”, first. Then, start Rufus by double-clicking the “.exe” file.
  2. Next, click on the chevron present underneath the option i.e., “Device”, and pick your USB drive from the dropdown menu.
  3. After that, proceed with clicking on the dropdown menu icon for the option labeled “Boot Selection”. Here, click on the option i.e., “Non-Bootable”.
  4. Now, in the space provided below the “Volume Label” option, type in a name of your own choice, for your USB drive.
  5. Next, select the “File System” as “NTFS”, by clicking on the chevron icon.
Format USB to NTFS Utilizing a Third-Party App (Rufus)
  1. After that, uncheck the checkbox for the “Quick Format” option, by clicking “Show Advanced Format Options”.
  2. As a final step, please click the “START” button, present at the bottom. Just confirm your selection, by clicking “OK” inside the prompt, displayed on the screen.

Well, that wraps things up! When you’re done, your USB drive will be formatted as NTFS via Rufus on Windows 11 OS.

See Also: How to Install Notepadqq on Ubuntu 20.04?


There you have it — 5 easy ways to format USB to NTFS in Windows 10/11. No matter which method you choose, the process is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. So, go ahead and give it a try — your USB drive will thank you for it!

I hope these tips have been helpful, and that you can now go forth and format your USB drive without facing any problems. Please feel free to ask any questions or queries you have in your mind. I will surely appreciate it, and try to answer them in the best possible manner, asap.

Frequently Asked Questions

What format is NTFS?

The Windows NT operating system (OS) utilizes the NT file system, also known as the New Technology File System, or in short NTFS, to store and retrieve data from Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Solid-State Drives (SSDs).

Is NTFS faster than FAT32?

NTFS has a superior read/write time speed compared to FAT32. Flash memory devices with little storage space (such as memory cards) can use the FAT32 file system, while big-capacity disks must use the NTFS file system.

How do I know if my flash drive is NTFS?

To access the flash drive, connect it to a computer running Windows OS. Then right-click the “My Computer/This PC” icon and select “Manage” from the drop-down menu. Your portable drive will appear when you double-click the “Manage Drives” option. It will reveal, whether it is FAT32 or NTFS formatted.

Posted by
Sarmad Nadeem

In addition to being one of IAT's co-founders, Sarmad is a blogger, a digital marketer, and a business consultant.

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