How to Get Your Computer to Recognize a USB Drive

By Joanne Reid

Updated September 28, 2017

i Hemera Technologies/ Images

Have you ever plugged in your USB drive to backup files, load data, save your music or any of these necessary and sometimes urgent purposes only to get a USB drive not found error message? Here’s how you can fix that frustrating problem without the assistance of a computer technician. In a few simple steps you can make your computer recognize the USB drive.

FInding the USB Drive

Plug your USB drive into any USB port on your computer. Give it a few second to be recognized by your computer.

Locate "My Computer." It is likely an icon on your desktop. If it is not on your desktop, click on the "Start" button and "My Computer" will be listed there.

Right click on "My Computer" and find "Manage."

Select "Manage" and the Computer Management box will open. Two panes are visible in Computer Management.

Near the end of the right pane, you will see "Disk Management." Click on "Disk Management."

The USB drive will show up at the very bottom of the right pane. Right click the USB drive box and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" from the drop-down list.

In the "Change Drive Letter and Paths," select "Change" at the bottom of the box.. A down arrow will appear showing you all the drive letters that are available. Choose one and click "OK."

A warning box will appear asking you if you are sure you want to do this. Select Yes.

Close the "Computer Management" box.

Reopen "My Computer" and your USB drive will be there with the new drive letter you assigned to it.


Always be sure to click on the Remove USB Device in the Taskbar before unplugging your USB Drive. If you cannot find the Remove USB Device (it has a little green checkmark on it) go to My Computer and right click on your USB drive and select Eject.