GetUSB.info Logo

How To – View Linux Files on USB Flash Drive

This article will help you view Linux files on a flash drive when connected to a Windows 10 computer.

This is a more common problem than one would think. As of 2020 the percentage of computers running Linux is 25%. With this in mind, there is a good chance you will receive a USB flash drive (formatted in Linux) which you’ll need to gain access to. This article is a “how to” for a Windows user to read a USB flash drive from Linxu.

Linux will format USB flash drives as ext2, ext3 or ext4. Note: It is possible for a Linux OS to read/write to a FAT32 or exFAT flash drive.

In Windows, when a USB is formatted as the ext type, Windows will try formatting the drive. Don’t format it, try our steps first. (Previous article on best way to format USB drives)

Do the following to access a Linux formatted flash drive in Windows:

This first tip might not be “required” but it is highly recommended.

In the Search field of Windows type Control Panel and click Enter

This will take you to the Control Panel.

Click Programs and then click Turn Windows features on and off

In the dialog box which pops up, you’ll need to scroll down most of the way when locking for Windows Subsystems for Linux and be sure to check that checkbox. You can click OK and exit.

Windows Subsystems for Linux

Next, download the software which will actually do the work of reading ext formatted devices. You are going to download Linux Reader by DiskInternals, which is a free utility for Windows users. Here is the link.

view Linux file on USB drive

Once you have downloaded and installed the software your Windows computer is ready to view Linux files. NOTE: You might still get the Windows message to format the device, simply click Cancel on the message. Open File Explorer in Windows like you normally would to navigate to a USB drive letter… and you can view the files.

view linux partition on usb drive

The above process takes about 5 minutes. Quick easy solution for how to view Linux files on USB flash drives.

Was this article helpful?

Tags: , , , ,

Rich Gates

Administator for GetUSB.info GetUSB.info started in 2004 with the concept of providing USB information for everything USB related. At the time, USB was gaining momentum and every day new products, articles and news became published. Today, the site is focused on bringing technical information, tricks and hacks to USB related products. The site does publish off topic information as well, to keep the variety up. Please visit the footer area of any page if you or your company is interested in article or product placement via purchased advertising.

Copyright © 2006 +

USB Powered Gadgets and more...

All Rights Reserved

GetUSB Advertising

This is a high value website providing great exposure to your product and brand. Visit our advertising page to learn specifics.

For more information
Visit our advertising page.

Nexcopy Provides

USB copy protection with digital rights management for data loaded on USB flash drives.

Contact us learn more