Periodically, users who follow our blog write to us that they have a problem with an external memory drive that they wanted to format. During cleaning, a window appeared with the notification Windows cannot complete formatting - a similar problem can occur both in Windows 11 and in any other edition of systems from Microsoft. In order to get rid of the problem and still format the external media, in such a situation it is not enough to use the usual right-click for many users and select the "Format" item, since here you need to choose a slightly different path.
Below, we offer you to familiarize yourself with three completely different ways, each of which is good in itself and only you can decide which one to choose, and which one should be abandoned.
- In this case, we will use "Disk Management": click "Win+X" → click on "Disk Management" → hover the mouse cursor over the device that is not formatted and right-click → select "Format" in the menu that appears.
- In this case, we will use the "Command Line": on behalf of the administrator, you need to open the command line → after which, we enter several commands in turn:
- diskpart – launches the disk management tool;
- list disk - displays a list of disks, here you need to remember the number of the disk that you are going to format;
- select disk 3 – select from the list the disk that you are going to format;
- clean – cleaning command;
- create partition primary – creating a primary partition;
- format fs=ntfs quick – format in NTFS format;
- assign letter=L – select the drive letter;
- exit – exit the tool.
- In this case, we will use third-party software "EaseUS Partition Master", which works quite well even without a premium, so there is nothing to buy, the free version will be enough. The only disadvantage lies in the fact that the software is English-speaking, but even this is not a problem, since everything is intuitive here: connect an external disk to the device → right-click on it and select "Format partition" → next, select: file system, partition label, cluster size → click on "Apply".
It does not matter which of the above methods you have chosen, the main thing is that with the help of them, it is possible to complete formatting in Windows 11 in a positive format and the device will again be 100% usable.