Do you have a USB flash drive and saved some data on it which is no longer in use and so you want to delete it but unable to do so? If you want to get the perfect solution for this, then do not worry because I will mention here the best ways to delete files from flash drives that cannot be deleted.
However, if you want to recover any file which has been deleted accidentally then you can use USB Drive Data Recovery Tool.
So, just go through this blog and see what can be done when you get an issue like ‘flash drive won’t delete files’. Let’s get started…
How To Delete Flash Drive Files That Won’t Delete
Before we proceed to the ways to delete files from flash drives, it is important to check that the file you want to delete is already closed and is not used by a running application. Now, after checking this, you can try the following ways when ‘flash drive won’t delete files’ issue takes place:
- Delete The File With Command Prompt
- Clear Randomly Attributes Using Diskpart Utility
- Enter Safe Mode To Unlock And Delete Files
- Run Check Disk Tool To Fix ‘Flash Drive Won’t Delete Files’
- Get The Permissions From Windows Explorer
#1: Delete The File With Command Prompt
Deleting files using command prompt is sometimes more effective and you should once definitely it a try. Below you can see what steps you should have to perform with command prompt when ‘no delete option on USB drive’ is found:
For this, you have to press ‘Windows + R’ keys together and type there cmd to open the command prompt or just search for Command Prompt at the Start option.
Now, in the command prompt, enter del and also the location of the file you wish to delete and then simply press ‘Enter’.
This will simply delete files from flash drive that won’t delete.
#2: Clear Randomly Attributes Using Diskpart Utility
If you do not receive any error message and you don’t find delete option there then it is possible that it is write-protected. So, in such a condition, you can easily turn to remove write protection from an external hard drive with the use of Diskpart. You can try the following steps if you cannot delete files from flash drive write protected:
- First of all, you have to run Diskpart as administrator. You can do this by pressing Windows + R and then type ‘diskpart’ and then hit ‘Enter’ key.
- Now, in the next step, you have to run the commands as follows:
select disk n (Here, ‘n’ is the external hard drive’s disk number)
attributes disk clear readonly
After seeing the ‘Disk attributes cleared successfully’, you can close the window and then try to delete the unwanted files from the USB flash drive.
#3: Enter Safe Mode To Unlock And Delete Files
Generally, it happens that when you come across a locked file, you simply restart the device you are using to unlock it. However, if it doesn’t work then you can boot the device in Safe Mode to unlock and delete the file you want. And, to do so, you have to follow the below steps:
- First of all, you have to open Settings and then click on the option ‘Update & Security’ and then you have to click ‘Recovery’. You will get this option under ‘Advanced Startup’ and then simply click the ‘Restart Now’ button.
- Next, you have to click on the option ‘Troubleshoot’ and then go to ‘Advanced Options’ and then ‘Startup Settings’.
- Now, on ‘Startup Settings’, you have to press F4 to enable the Safe Mode.
- While in Safe Mode, you can use the File Explorer in order to locate and delete the files that were previously locked. You can then simply Restart the device as you would be used to exit the Safe Mode.
#4: Run Check Disk Tool To Fix ‘Flash Drive Won’t Delete Files’
It is possible that the file is unreadable or corrupted due to which flash drive won’t delete files error occurs. So, in this case, you can run disk checking utility to fix this issue and delete the files from pen drive easily. To do so, follow the below steps:
- For this, you have to first open File Explorer and then locate the drive that you want to fix or you can say where your files are saved that you want to delete. You can simply make a right-click on the drive and then choose Properties among the option that are listed there.
- Next, in the pop up window, you have to select Check under the option Tool.
After you complete the checking the files and fix the errors, you can simply delete the unwanted files again.
#5: Get The Permissions From Windows Explorer
Sometimes you have to get permission from the Windows Explorer to delete the files from flash drives. To do so, you have to follow the below steps:
- In the first step, you have to locate the file that you want to delete and right-click on it and then choose Properties option on the pop-up menu.
- Next, in the appearing window, you have to click Security and then go to Edit
- Now, permission for XYZ (here, XYZ is the name of the file that you want to delete) dialogue will prompt. After this, you have to click Add button to enter Select Users or Group screen.
- After this, you have to add a user named ‘Authenticated User’ and then click ‘OK’ button to continue.
- You will now go to the permission window, there you can give full control and then click ‘OK’ and then ‘Continue’.
After you complete all these steps, you will be able to overcome the issue stated as ‘flash drive won’t delete files’.
Why One Can’t Delete The Files From USB Flash Drive?
There are several situations where you may encounter flash drive won’t delete files issue. The major reason that causes this issue to occur are the following:
- USB flash drive holding file is write protected
- File is opening or occupied by a running program
- Disk’s file system is corrupted
- USB flash drive is under virus attack
- Have no permission to manage the files on the flash drive
People Also Ask
How Do You Force Delete A File On A USB Flash Drive?
When you wish to delete all the files from the USB flash drive and regain the full storage capacity then it is better if you format the USB flash drive. So, to do so, follow the steps below:
- First of all, you have to connect the USB flash drive to the Windows PC or laptop.
- Now, open This PC or Computer to find the USB flash drive and then right-click on it and choose ‘Format’ option.
- After this, you have to change the file system to FAT32 or NTFS. You can then simply click the option ‘Start’ to format the drive and delete all the data from it.
If I Format A USB Flash Drive, Will It Erase Data?
YES, of course, because formatting operation is a process to prepare a storage device available for initial use and create new file systems. If you try to format USB flash drive either using low-level formatting or partitioning process, it will delete the files from pen drive or other flash drives.
How To Delete Files From Flash Drive Permanently
Without using any third-party tool, if you want to delete files from USB flash drive permanently then you can try cipher. It is an inbuilt secure detection tool that is present in Windows PC. It will securely overwrite the files in a specific drive which has been deleted just once but was not deleted permanently.
So, before running Cipher, make sure that you delete the files already. Now, follow the below steps and delete files from flash drives permanently.
- Firstly, connect the USB flash drive and then type the below command in the CMD where suppose E: is the USB flash drive:
- After this, press Enter key.
- Now let it completely wipe the USB drive’s data and provide you a complete space on the flash drive.
Recover Deleted Files From USB Flash Drive If Required
Sometimes what happens is users delete the files in a bulk even without knowing that there could be any important files that can be required. So, in that case, recovery becomes an important agenda for the users.
However, to recover those accidentally deleted files from flash drive, you can try USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Tool. This tool will help you get back lost media files from USB flash drive in no time. To use this tool, you have to first download and install this recovery tool and then follow the steps.
This USB flash drive recovery tool will recover all file formats of photos, videos, and audio files in just three simple steps.
Here is the step-by-step guide you need to follow to recover data from USB flash drive in no time.
Well, it is clear that ‘flash drive won’t delete files’ can be occurred due to many reasons. So there is no need to worry if it happens. I am saying so because I have provided some easy ways with the help of which you will be able to delete files from flash drives. So, just try them and make your USB flash drive completely free from capturing space.
However, if you ever want to recover deleted files from USB flash drive then you can try USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Tool. This will definitely help you to recover the files that you don’t want to delete permanently from the USB flash drive.
Alex is an expert technical writer with 7+ years of experience. His in-depth knowledge about data recovery and fascination to explore new DIY tools & technologies have helped many. Alex has a great interest in photography and loves to share photography tips and tricks with others.