You have been given a pen drive with some files that you need to see on your PC but, after connecting it to your PC, you don't see anything happening on the desktop. Therefore, you would like to know if the device has been correctly recognized by the operating system or if there is a problem that prevents you from browsing the data within it and transferring new ones. The problem is, not being particularly tech savvy, you have no idea how to proceed.

Well, don't worry, I'm here to help you. In this guide of mine, I will illustrate how to open a usb stick so that you can manage the data it contains, whether you have connected it to a PC with Windows operating system or Mac. Also, in case you need to access the files contained in the USB memory from your mobile phone or tablet, I will give you some useful tips about it. If you find problems with the operation of the device later, I will also indicate some possible solutions to restore it.

So what are you waiting for? Let's get started right away: sit back comfortably and give me five minutes of your free time. I can assure you that, at the end of the reading, you will have learned all those useful notions to open a USB memory and manage the files it contains. All I have left is to wish you a good read and have fun!

Open USB stick in Windows

When you insert a flash drive USB into the corresponding slot on your PC, the auto play function usually starts in Windows ( Automatic playback ), which shows a series of options to manage the content of the unit.

These options are displayed in a box that is shown in different positions, depending on the version of Windows installed on the PC. in Windows 10For example, after waiting for the automatic installation of the necessary drivers to access the files on the device, you can immediately click on the box that appears at the bottom right of the desktop, to display the screen with all the possible operations that will take place.

The available options depend on the type of files inside the USB memory and the installed software. In any case, to see the files inside the key, click on the item Open folder to view files.

en Windows 7 instead, after installing the drivers to recognize the hardware, a box is displayed in the center of the screen through which you can make some decisions: play the audio / video content ( game ), import multimedia content to your PC ( Import images and videos ), browse the contents of the USB memory ( Open folder to view files ) or use the hardware as a backup drive for Windows 7 ( Use this unit for backup ).

In the event that the function does not work Automatic playback Windows, you can act from Control panel (for all versions of Windows) or from adjustments Windows 10

en Windows 10, press the key combination Win + i or click on icon with a gear what do you find in the menu comienzo. In the panel adjustments select items devices > Automatic playback and make sure it has moved up EN the lever near the wording Use auto play for all media and devices.

So make sure your voice is set up Request confirmation every time under the voice Removable drive, to show you the options selection box when you connect the USB memory; alternatively, choose the item you prefer from the drop-down menu, to automate the behavior of Windows when inserting the USB memory into the slot of the PC.

If you still use Windows 7 instead, press the button windows at keyboard and click on the entry Control panel. If you don't see it, you can start the Windows search function by typing the terms » control Panel «And selecting the corresponding search result.

On the screen that is displayed, go to the items. Hardware and sound > Automatic playback and make sure the box is checked Enable auto play for all media and devices.

In case you have lost the auto play panel or disabled this function, you can browse the files inside the USB memory manually. To do this, open File Browser by clicking on the a folder icon what do you find in taskbar and select the item corresponding to name of the USB flash drive Be Kingston (F 🙂, located in the side menu.

I remind you that to properly open a USB stick on a Windows PC, you must have a compatible file system. The device must be configured in FAT32, exFAT o NTFS. If you have a USB device configured in HFS o HFS +, that is, those developed by Apple, this will not be accessible from Windows.

In this case, you need software that allows you to do this, such as MacDrive I told you about in my guide. If you want to learn more about the topic, you can check out my guide on how to format a USB stick, in which I explained in detail the different types of file system to choose from for your storage device.

Open USB stick on macOS

en MacOSOpening a USB stick is really simple. What you should do is simply connect the device to the USB port, so that the operating system mounts it desk Ready for use. By double-clicking the icon in question, you can start the discoverer and access the files it contains.

If your Mac doesn't have a standard USB (Type A) port, you probably have one Thunderbolt (USB-C), for which you will need an adapter, such as those listed below.

Apple USB-C to USB adapter

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USB C HUB Network LAN Hub Gigabit Ethernet HDMI and RJ45, with 40 Gbps Th…

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Also, you can access the files on a USB memory directly from the discoverer (the smiley face icon in the Dock bar), via the left side panel, by clicking the storage device name.

Pcs running the macOS operating system can open any storage device, regardless of the file system used. Regarding that though NTFS instead, macOS only allows you to read the files contained in the peripherals with this file system, without any possibility of transferring or creating new data.

In this case, you can use some third-party tools for macOS that allow you to enable full support for NTFS, such as Paragon NFTS for Mac. If you want to know more about how to enable data writing in USB sticks on NTFS on macOS, I recommend that you read my guide dedicated to the topic If, on the other hand, you only want to change the file system of the USB memory with one that is fully supported natively, I recommend that you read my tutorial, in which I explain how to format a storage drive in macOS.

Open USB flash drive on Android

The devices Android allow you to open USB sticks with both file system FAT32 y exFAT, Which NTFS. What you need is a USB stick with a micro USB or USB Type-C port, like the one you can see below.

Dual USB Drive 3.0 Android Flash Drive 32 GB Type C Micro USB memory ...

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Otherwise, you can use any USB hub or adapter with a micro USB port or USB Type C, for connecting storage devices equipped with USB Type A port, of which you can find some examples below.

ICZI USB C Hub 6 in 1 Type C Aluminum 4K Adapter HDMI 2 USB Port…

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NOVOO USB C Hub 6 in 1 Aluminum Adapter with HDMI 4K USB-C Player…

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AUKEY USB C to USB 3.0 adapter (2 pieces) Type C to USB A connector for…

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UGREEN OTG Micro USB 2.0 Male to USB 2.0 Female OTG Cable Adapter ...

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When you connect the USB stick to an Android mobile phone or tablet via a hub or adapter, a notification will be displayed on the Notification Center, indicating that the device was successfully recognized. Once this is done, launch any application to manage and explore files, such as Files of Google and select the entry for name of the USB flash drive, to access the files it contains.

Open USB stick on iOS

A USB flash drive can be inserted into the corresponding slot flash of lightning dell ' iPhone or Protectors to view and transfer a copy of the data stored in the device memory. You cannot connect any USB device, but you must have one that has bring lightining and dedicated app to access the data reading and writing functions.

If you don't already have one, you can check out the list of USB storage devices that you can find below.

HooToo iPhone 32G Flash Drive (MFi Certified) USB 3.0 to Memory Supe…

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en iPad Pro Launched since 2018, however, a USB Type-C port is available, making it easier to connect peripherals with this Apple device. For this reason, you can use any USB device with a Type C connector or a USB Type A to Type C adapter to connect mass storage devices and import media files directly with the application. photo.

Open USB flash drive on PS4

If you have one PlayStation 4 and you want to use your USB memory with this console, the operation is simple. First insert the USB memory into the corresponding slot of the game console and then launch the app Media player.

Once this is done, among the elements you see, select the one that corresponds to name of the USB flash drive and press the button X on the gamepad to access it. By doing so, you will be able to play the multimedia content within the mass storage device through PlayStation 4.

However, if you want to use the USB device as a storage device to install applications on it, you must meet the requirements: it must be a USB 3.0 or higher mass device, with at least 250 GB of total space, up to a maximum of 8 TB.

If the USB memory meets these requirements, start the control panel adjustments PS4 and selected items devices > USB storage devices > Mass storage device (device name). On the displayed screen, press the button Format as extended storage memory and wait for the process to finish, to use the USB memory as additional memory for the PS4.

Open a USB stick without formatting it

It may happen that, when inserting a USB memory into the USB slot of the PC, the operating system does not recognize it, as if it had not been connected. Possible problems can be of different magnitude: USB stick or PC USB port has hardware damage (often cannot be solved), there are virtual errors on the storage device (which I will talk about in this chapter) ) or hardware recognition for operating system errors does not start. In the latter case, the possible solutions may be different, depending on the operating system in use.


en windows, the hardware recognition problem could be due to a malfunction of the drivers or the failure to assign the letter to the peripheral. But let's go in order.

In case Windows has not assigned a letter to the deviceright click on the button comienzo (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and from the context menu select the item Disk management. On the screen that opens, right-click the name of the USB flash drive and select the item Change drive letter and path from the menu that appears.

Now in the window that opens click the button Add, select the article Assign this drive letter and choose one of the unassigned letters from the dropdown next to. Click on good to confirm the task.

If, on the other hand, the problem stems from errors in the USB port drivers, you will have to act through the panel Device management, which you can access from the context menu you find by right-clicking the button comienzo Windows

After the panel has started successfully locate the entry USB driver press icon with a triangle to expand it and verify that all peripherals are active. You can verify this by the fact that there is no icon with an arrow in the different USB icons.

Otherwise, right click on the disabled item and on the context menu press Enable device, Rebooting the PC. When connecting the USB memory, Windows should now recognize it correctly.

If the problem persists, you can try to select the item Uninstall device and restart your PC. Windows will download the drivers for Internet to ensure the correct operation of the USB port.


en MacOSSolving the problems of recognition of a USB memory takes little time. Often the problem arises from a malfunction of the System management controller ( SMC ), which requires a restart to restore it.

Before beginning the reset of this component, I recommend that you verify that the USB flash drive is properly connected to the Mac. Then click icon with bitten apple and select the article About this Mac. In the box shown, press the button System report And, on the new screen you see, click on the USB entry in the left side panel.

If, among the entries, you should read the name of the USB flash drive, just click on the entries or > Go to folder, which you can find in the top menu bar. In the box you see, write the string / Volumes / and press presentar on the keyboard You will see all the storage devices within the screen of the discoverer. Now that you have the discoverer open, go to menu discoverer > preferences (at the top) and check the box External discs, to display the icon of the USB memory mounted on the desk by macOS.

However, if you do not have to read the name of the USB flash drive inside the System report, you need to reset the SMC, a procedure that often solves this type of problem. Next, I will explain how to proceed, depending on the type of PC with macOS in your possession.

  • If MacBook is equipped with battery removable, turn it off, remove the battery and hold turn off Botton for 5 seconds Reassemble the battery and turn on the MacBook again.
  • If MacBook It has one non-removable batteryturn it off and on again, holding down the keys capital letter + ctrl + opción + power button. Hold for about 10 seconds and then release the keys. Then press again power button to start the MacBook.
  • If you have a Mac Plugging directly into the outlet, turn it off and unplug the power cord. Wait about 15 seconds, plug the power cord back in and wait another 5 seconds. Now press the power button, to start the Mac.
  • For Apple Pcs With T2 chip, turn off the device and hold power button for 10 seconds Release the button, wait a few seconds and press it just one more time to start it normally. Alternatively, in case of Macbook with T2 chip, after turning it off, hold down the keys cultural, law + opción hand + Left Ctrl for 7 seconds keep pressing these buttons and also press the power button for another 7 seconds. Release all the keys and wait a few seconds. At this point, press the button again power button to turn on the MacBook.

Open a damaged USB flash drive

If your USB memory has problems to be recognized by the operating system in use on your PC, it is most likely that the problems arise from virtual errors. These can be resolved without the need to format the hardware, as the default Windows or macOS tools will correct them, giving you the opportunity to open the USB stick.

en windows, the tool to use is Error verifying. Your screen is displayed when you insert a problematic USB memory or reach it from the panel property hardware. In the latter case, open File Browser, right click on the name of the USB flash drive, located in the left sidebar, and select the tab instruments from the panel you see.

After that, press the button Check What do you find next to the writing? Error verifying and wait for the analysis to complete. Then press the button Scans and restores drives, to solve problems detected by the Windows tool.

en MacOS instead you can trust Disk utility, through the function First keychain help. Start the Launchpad and click on the icon Disk utility. In the window you see, click on the name of the USB flash drive, then press the button First keychain help and finally in race. In doing so, the scan and recovery procedure will be performed to correct the virtual errors on the USB flash drive.

If you want more information on how to restore a USB memory without formatting it, I recommend that you read my guide dedicated to the subject

However, if you want to format the partition anyway, I recommend that you read this guide dedicated to the topic Finally, if you wanted to recover some lost data from a USB stick, due to the errors mentioned above, I recommend that you read my guide on how to recover deleted files.