How To Format a USB Memory Stick Using Linux

This 2020 blog post tells you how to format a USB memory stick using Linux.

A photo of three USB memory sticks


I wanted to quickly format a USB memory stick that I had solely been using with Linux. I needed format the stick to use a partition type to be read on both Linux and Windows 10.

I performed the steps mentioned below on Xubuntu, but the instructions should be relevant to a lot of current Linux distributions.

Install the GParted software

The partition software is widely used by the Linux community and it works with removable storage devices, such as USB memory sticks. If you’re using a popular Linux distro, then you should be able to easily install the application.

Warning: Before you continue, please make sure you’ve backed up any data on the USB memory stick you wish to keep.

How to format a USB memory stick using GParted

  1. Attach the USB memory into your computer.
  2. Open GParted and then select the USB drive (top right area).
  3. Unmount the partition and then delete it.
  4. Create a new partition, making sure to select the correct Filesystem type.
  5. Click on the green tick icon to apply the changes.

A screenshot of the GParted application

Final thoughts

I’ve used GParted for a while and I find the software easy to use and straightforward, whether using the partition software to handle a memory stick or a hard disk.

I hope you’ve found this short blog post helpful.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments