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PS4 Can't Read USB Flash Drive, How Can I Fix It?


Summary: It is most likely that PS4 fails to read USB drive when using a USB storage device in PS4. Do you know the reason and the solutions? Read the following content to search the answers now.

PS4 Can't Read USB

If you are a game user, PS4 will be a good choice. During playing games with PS4, in all probability, you need to use a USB flash drive to do some things, for example, you want to transfer PS4 video files and pictures to a USB drive so as to watch them in other places or make a backup of these important files to avoid data loss in event of PS4 system failure. However, you probably fail to do this job since this USB storage device can't be used by PS4.

As a matter of fact, this issue has been asked by many persons. When searching can't read USB PS4 on the internet, you will find many forums are discussing it. In this case, do you know why PS4 not reading USB drive? What should you do to fix this issue so as to move files to your USB device successfully? Read on, please.

Why PS4 Not Recognizing USB Hard Drive

Suppose that you plug a USB flash drive to your PS4, this game console fails to read your USB flash drive. Usually, PS4 prompts two error messages about this issue:

"The USB storage device cannot be used. The files system is not supported" or "The USB storage device is not connected". Look at the following figures:

can't read usb ps4

usb not connected

These two messages show you two different cases which are caused due to some reasons:

In situation 1, it is due to the limitation of the file system. In other words, it is because your USB drive is formatted to NTFS which is not compatible with PS4. If you are using a PS4, you should know this game console can only recognize exFAT and FAT32. If the USB storage device adopts other file systems, PS4 not recognizing USB hard drive issue will happen to you saying "..cannot be used. The file system is not supported" after connecting a drive to PS4 console.

As for situation 2, if your USB drive is connected to PS4 but shows not connected, you should consider the compatibility. As you know, PS4 is the newest game console of PlayStation series, so it is possible that some old USB storage devices are not compatible with PS4. In addition, the USB interface of PS4 is different from other game consoles and it is very difficult to plug a drive. You probably fail to plug in the port if the interface of your USB drive is too big. Actually, you think you have connected it to PS4 but it is not.

How to Solve PS4 Can't Read USB Issue

In the above two parts, we show you different reasons in two situations, and now we will introduce you the different solutions about these two cases.

Case 1: PS4 USB Storage Device Cannot Be Used

If you receive a message saying the device cannot be used due to the unsupported file system, it is necessary to change the file system to FAT32 or exFAT or format USB drive. So, how to do this work? Here we will show you the methods in details.

tip PS4 exFAT VS FAT32
Some of you may ask: PS4 supports exFAT and FAT32, so which one is better to choose as the file system of your USB drive? Like NTFS, exFAT allows individual files larger than 4GB. FAT32 is a better common file system but it doesn't support up to 4GB individual file. So please choose one according to your actual needs.

① Convert USB Drive to FAT32 without Data Loss

Usually, there are some important files stored on your USB flash drive. Once PS4 can't read USB issue appears, you want to change the file system to FAT32 or exFAT to be compatible with this game console. If you choose to format this device, these vital files will be deleted. So, how to solve it? As a matter of fact, it is very easy so long as you ask a piece of third-party software for help.

Here we strongly recommend you to use MiniTool Partition Wizard since this dedicated partition software has won many reputations of users all over the world, and over 20,000,000 users have downloaded it from CNET. As a professional partition and disk management tool, it is designed to format partition, resize or extend partition, create partition, convert disk between MBR and GPT without losing data, convert file system between NTFS and FAT32, migrate OS and more.

tip Tips:
  • This partition manager can't help to convert NTFS to exFAT without data loss, so here take FAT32 as an example.
  • Since "Convert NTFS to FAT" is a paid feature, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition if you are not a server user. Before you do, you need to purchase a license key..

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition. Then in the main interface, please select "Convert NTFS to FAT" feature after selecting the target NTFS partition by using following ways:

  • Click "Partition" in the menu bar and then select it from the drop-down menu.
  • Right-click on NTFS partition of your USB drive, and then select this function.
  • Click it from "Change Partition" menu.

convert to fat32

Step 2: Then you will go back to the main interface. Here you can preview this partition becomes FAT32. Please click "Apply" button in the top left corner to execute this operation.


Note: Then you will receive a message "We strongly recommend you close all other applications before you apply the pending changes". Please click "Yes" to enter the operation process.

click yes

After finishing this operation, PS4 can't read USB issue is fixed. Now you can plug your drive to PS4 and then move files smoothly.

② Format USB Flash Drive

In addition, if there are no important files saved on your USB drive, some of you probably choose to format this drive. But how to format USB for PS4 to FAT32 or exFAT? There are three ways listed below.

img Via MiniTool Partition Wizard

To finish disk formatting to fix PS4 not recognizing USB hard drive issue, we still advise you to format with MiniTool Partition Wizard. Here its Free Edition provides such a feature. Before you do, please download this free manager and install it to your computer.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, then select USB drive partition and click "Format Partition" feature from "Partition Management" menu.

Step 2:Next choose FAT32 or exFAT as the file system. During the process of formatting, you can set partition label. After selecting a file system, click "OK" to go back to MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface.

Step 3: Finally, click "Apply" button to make this operation effective.

format to fat


Formatting can lead to data loss. It is believed that you choose disk formatting in that case no important data is saved on the USB drive. However, it is possible that you accidentally perform formatting but you don't know, so you want to get data back. In this case, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is worth recommending. With its "Damaged Partition Recovery", it is simple to recover data from formatted, RAW and damaged partitions.

recover froamtted partition data

img Via Windows Explorer

When it comes to disk formatting, the common way is to format via Windows Explorer.

1. Please open it, then right-click on the USB partition, and click "Format" feature.
2. Next, in the pop-up window, you can choose exFAT or FAT32 from file system list. Here you are allowed to set volume label. "Quick Format" is chosen by default. Then click "Start" button to perform quick format for your USB drive.

quick format


It is most likely that you fail to format the USB drive with "Windows was unable to complete the format" error message. Click this post to learn its solution.

img Via Windows Disk Management

In addition to formatting USB to exFAT or FAT32 via Windows Explorer, some of you probably choose to do this thing to fix PS4 won't recognize USB issue with Windows Disk Management.

1. Click "Win+R" and type "compmgmt.msc" to run Disk Management.
2. Right click on USB partition, then select "Format". Next, you can choose FAT32 or exFAT as the file system. Click "OK" to finish PS4 USB storage device format.

disk management

When using Disk Management to format a partition, "The format did not complete successfully" error may appear. Turn to this post - How Can You Fix "The Format Did Not Complete Successfully" for solutions.

Now all the ways about how to format USB to exFAT/FAT32 are listed. Please choose one to do this job to fix PS4 can't read USB issue.


If you want to format USB drive partition larger than 32GB to FAT32 for PS4 via Windows Explorer and Disk Management, you must have a failure. Why? Windows doesn't allow to format a partition larger than 32GB to FAT32. In this case, please adopt the professional program – MiniTool Partition Wizard to convert NTFS to FAT32 without data loss or format a large disk to FAT32.

Case 2: PS4 USB Storage Device Not Connected

As part 2 has mentioned, some USB flash drives are not compatible with PS4. In this case, you should use a branded USB drive, for example, Samsung, SanDisk or Sony to connect to your PS4 for file transferring because these USB drives have better compatibility. Besides, it is difficult to plug your drive into the USB interface of PS4 if your device port is too big. If so, please use a USB 3.0 cable to connect your storage device to PS4. Like that, PS4 doesn't read USB drive issue will be solved.

Tips about NTFS and FAT32

Now all the solutions of PS4 is unable to read USB issue is told you. Some of you may be curious about the difference between NTFS and FAT32:

img NTFS is the newest file system which can be used in Windows NT, 2000, XP, server 2003, server 2008, Vista, Windows 7/8/10. It makes some technical improvements over FAT and HPFS (High Performance File System). For instance, NTFS provides a good security due to file encryption feature, and it supports single file which is larger than 4GB.

img Moreover, FAT32 is an old file system which adopts 32bit file table. But FAT32 has an obvious limitation that it doesn't support single file larger than 4GB. Besides, this file system has a very good compatibility since it supports some old operating systems including Win 95, Win 98, Win 2000, Win 2003, and Vista as well as some game consoles like PlayStation 3/4. What's more, for some USB flash drives, they use FAT32 as the file system by default.

Then, you know much information about why PS4 USB storage device cannot be used. When using PS4/3, please choose the proper file system – FAT32, otherwise, some issues will happen.

Bottom Line

Now we come to the end of this post. In this article, we introduce you what PS4 can't read USB issue is, why USB fails to be used in PS4, how to fix this issue in two situations and some tips about NTFS and FAT32. To convert NTFS to FAT32 with MiniTool Partition Wizard or to format USB to FAT32/exFAT with three tools can help to quickly fix PS4 doesn't read USB drive issue. Besides, by changing a branded USB drive or using USB 3.0 to connect PS4, it is easy to solve PS4 USB storage device not connected error. Just try these ways according to your own needs.

If you have any question about this issue or post, you can email us via support@minitool.com or leave a comment in the following text. Of course, any suggestion is much appreciated here. Thanks in advance.