We’ve found the best solution if your Firestick 4K doesn’t detect USB drive. Let us share how you can access it in a matter of minutes.
The Firestick 4K only comes with 8GB of storage. You can’t even use all of it since a portion of it is allotted for Fire OS system files. Expanding your Firestick’s storage means you’ll need to attach a USB to it.
Let us show you how to do it!
To get your Firestick to detect your USB drive, you’ll need to use one that’s not too large. We found out the sweet spot is around 4GB to 8GB. You also want to ensure that your USB is formatted to FAT32.
The most important one is that you should turn off ADB debugging so your device detects your USB drive.
Now that we have a general idea regarding this issue let’s look at some of the sources so you’ll know the next steps you can take.
One of the first things you want to check out is the settings that allow you to connect a USB to your device.
The USB drive’s file system also matters as it needs to be compatible with your Firestick.
Here are some of the things you need to look out for with your Firestick:
1. USB Drive too Large
Your Firestick might not have enough processing power to control a large USB drive. Make sure it’s not insanely large, as your device will not detect it.
2. Using the Wrong File System
The file systems you’re using for your USB need to be compatible with your Firestick for it to be detected.
3. Can’t Access the USB Drive
By default, your Firestick is not capable of reading files from your USB. You’ll need to use a different app to detect the drive and read the files saved.
4. USB Port Access is Disabled
There are settings on your Firestick that blocks access to your USB port. Configuring this properly allows you to detect USB drives so you can use them as additional storage for your streaming device.
We can now proceed to the steps on how you can enable your Firestick to detect your USB drive and read its contents.
Your Firestick may already be configured correctly to read a USB drive but simply suffers temporary glitches.
Before going into the different troubleshooting steps, we recommend rebooting your Firestick.
Doing this should flush out any temporary issues that can save you a lot of time.
If a restart does not do the job, here are some of the steps that you need to perform:
USB drives can get insanely large nowadays, with some reaching up to 1TB in capacity. Of course, using this is fine if you’re plugging it into a PC.
For sure, a streaming device with only up to 8GB in storage won’t be able to detect and open its contents.
If you plugged in a USB drive and your Firestick does not seem to respond and detect it, consider checking its capacity. You might need to use one with a much smaller size so your device can handle it.
Firestick USB drive capacity recommendations:
- Use a USB drive between 4GB and 8GB for best results.
- A 16GB drive can still work.
- Don’t use one that’s 32GB or over.
Note: You might need to reduce your saved content to use a much smaller USB drive with your Firestick.
Your Firestick has a file management app that should do it for the regular user.
However, you’re not most users if you’re planning on using a USB with your streaming device.
The built-in file manager won’t detect external storage and files.
If this is the case, you’ll need to get a more robust app that will offer you the features you’re looking for.
We recommend using an app like ES File Explorer.
Here’s how to get the app on the Firestick app store:
- Go to your Firestick’s Home page and select Find.
- Navigate to the Search tab.
- Type in ES File Explorer.
- Select the ES File Explorer icon.
- Click on Get or Download.
Tip: You’ll need to enable the Install unknown apps option so you can sideload apps directly using ES File Explorer.
Now that you have a USB drive that you can use with your Firestick, you want to make sure it uses a compatible file system.
Your Firestick uses FAT32, which is a way how it processes data and files.
If you want to plug in a USB drive, you need to make sure it uses the same system so your Firestick can access its contents.
Your Firestick won’t be able to format your USB directly, so you’re going to need to do it with the help of a computer or laptop.
Here’s how to format your USB drive to FAT32.
- Plug your USB drive into your computer or laptop.
- Go to your computer’s This PC menu and look for the USB drive.
- Right-click on it and click on Format.
- On the File System tab, select FAT32.
- Click Start.
Note: The format process will delete the files on your USB drive, so make sure to have a backup.
ADB debugging gives your Firestick a lot of versatility when configuring it according to your needs.
Switching this on will allow you to connect your Firestick to your computer via a USB cable.
However, it does not make that USB port available for file transfer. It’s about giving your computer access to your Firestick’s system files.
Turning it off should open the storage features of your Firestick’s USB port. If you have played around with your Firestick, make sure that you check this setting as it can be switched on.
Here’s how to turn off ADB debugging on your Firestick:
- Go to your Firestick’s Settings.
- Navigate to the Device menu item.
- Scroll down to select Developer options.
- Select ADB debugging.
- Toggle the switch to OFF.
Note: If you debug your Firestick, you will need to activate it again, then deactivate it when you want to use a USB drive.
If you’re still having issues with your Firestick not being able to detect your USB, you can perform a factory reset to revert it to its original settings.
You might have changed a lot of settings where there are a lot of configuration clashes that simply won’t allow you to access your USB.
Here are the steps to reset your Firestick:
- Open your Firestick’s settings.
- Select My Fire TV.
- Navigate to the Reset to Factory Defaults option.
- Click on Reset.
Note: Resetting your Firestick will delete all your apps and data, so you’ll have to set these up again.
Completing these steps should allow you to use a USB drive with your Firestick 4K. You can now increase its capacity to save extra content you can watch later on.
If you continue to have a hard time with your USB, you can contact Amazon support for additional assistance.
Read Next: Firestick Won’t Fit In HDMI Port?
Now that you know the causes and fixes for your Firestick 4K doesn’t detect USB drive, you should be able to follow the troubleshooting guide and get it working in no time.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.