How to Format My USB for a PS3

By Charlotte Richards

All USB storage devices, also known as flash drives or USB drives, work with the PlayStation 3, or PS3. However, not every USB drive will work straight out of the box. If your PS3 does not detect your brand-new USB device, the most likely problem is that the stick is not properly formatted. PS3 requires your flash drive to be in the old "FAT32" format. Most new USB drives come formatted in the newer and widely used "NTFS" format. The solution is simply to format your USB device.

Step 1

Plug the USB drive into a USB port on your PC, and go to "My Computer" in Windows XP or to "Computer" in Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Step 2

Back up the data found on your USB drive by copying everything to a folder on your computer. If the flash drive is new and contains no data, you can skip this step.

Step 3

Find the icon for the USB drive, and right-click on it. Select "Format" from the menu. If you are unsure which drive it is, simply unplug the USB drive, plug it back in ,and see which drive reappears.

Step 4

Choose "FAT32" from the "File system" menu. You can also give the drive a name no longer than 12 characters by entering it in the "Volume label" field.

Step 5

Leave the other settings default and click "Start". If you backed up your files or you know your USB drive is empty, click "OK" when the "Formatting will erase everything on the drive" warning appears.

Step 6

Do not interrupt the formatting process in any way, including shutting down your PC.

Step 7

Click "OK" when a box appears telling you that the formatting is done. You can now use your USB stick with your PS3.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have a "FAT2" option in the "File System" menu, go to "Start", click "Run," and type the following command:
  • format X: /fs:FAT32
  • Replace "X" with your drive letter.