There are several causes for this problem if you have connected a cell phone like Samsung galaxy S2 S3 or S4, or an Apple iPhone but if you have connected just a simple memory stick your issue is likely caused by a simple issue with formatting.  Most memory sticks are quick large and so often they are formatted with NTFS.  Ford Sync does not support

  1. Insert the USB memory stick into your PC
  2. Open COMPUTER (formerly My Computer)
  3. Right click on the stick and select FORMAT
  4. Change the FILE SYSTEM drop down from NTFS or exFAT to FAT32

Now you can copy you still pictures and music onto that USB memory stick and when you plug it into your Ford Sync car or truck, it will be recognized.

NTFS has many advantages over FAT32, but Ford Sync does not support it… so just use a FAT32 formatted stick and be happy!



Matt Jarvie · September 9, 2021 at 11:26 am

I wanted to add onto this because nothing else worked for me, and I don’t see what eventually worked for me listed in any of the other comments here.

The only thing that made it work reliably for me was not only to format as FAT32 but also to set the allocation unit size for the format to 4096 bytes.

Before doing this, the drive had come pre-formatted as FAT32 but Sync would intermittently either completely not recognize the drive, or recognize it but then randomly freeze up/fail/disconnect, it was absolutely maddening.

After reformatting with the 4096 allocation unit size, it works flawlessly.

For reference this was on a 2013 Edge with Sync 2 (Sync with My Ford Touch), using a 64GB thumb drive (cheapo one bought on amazon)

B.B. · March 23, 2020 at 6:42 am

Had a problem with my 09 Eddie Bauer in that Syncc would recognize but not emit sound from my USB stick in center console. I formatted thye usb to fat 32 and still did not emit sound. I disconnected the negative cable form the battery and re connected it. Sound now works fine. How long this fix lasts is anyones guess.

Chas Dwyer · March 14, 2020 at 6:59 pm

I have Ford Ranger PX2, I had my music on an USB Stick, I removed the “Stick” to change the stick and change contents,
I checked in owner’s manual for the format of the stick, it was “Fat 32,” I formatted the stick and added the Mp3 files I wanted,
With this stick and others I tried, the message I was getting, “USB Device not recognized, noway were these sticks going to be accepted. It wasn’t untill I used a program to format the stick that the USB Stick was accepted.

Dirk Crafford · February 12, 2019 at 2:36 am

Is there a limit to the number of songs the usb can play? My flash has over 800 songs on but it only reads until 255. Ive made it FAT32 and named the flash aswell

    Ian Matthews · February 27, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    I have not hit a limit myself (other than the 2TB limit that FAT32 has), but I no longer have my Ford for testing, so there may be a limit

    RobD · March 10, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I have a 128gb thumb drive (actually have 2 of them, but different manufacturer) with over 21,000 songs on them. The most I am able to read is 18,155. I got to that number by playing with the metadata i.e. shortening artist names, album names, etc. it seems that the amount of metadata does affect the storage capabilities of SYNC (either that or it needs to have the metadata arranged consistently throughout your library. There is a free piece of software that Ford provides called SyncMyRide that can help you with the metadata). Incidentally, I tried out my 128gb thumb drives in two different brand new 2018 Ford vehicles last year, and both vehicles read all 21,000+ songs on the thumb drives.

John Kirkpatrick · February 2, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I have a 2012 Ford F150 and sync recognizes and plays music from the USB Flash Drive (stick) but will not advance to the next song, just plays the same one over and over. I have used the voice commands to “Play All” and it starts from #1 and repeats. I went to the manual menu input and turned on Autoplay and to Play All, still not advancing. Is there a special way of listing the songs?

    Steve · January 6, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    use the voice command Set Repeat off. My usb in my 2012 Escape did same thing. Repeat appeared to be on, which played the same track over and over.

James · January 12, 2019 at 11:51 pm

I did format a 8 Gig. Flash drive to Fat 30 and the Ford Sync 3 will not recognize it?

    Ian Matthews · January 16, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    If you have formatted as FAT32 and it still does not work, use a smaller stick. I have seen reports that 4GB is the limit Sync likes… although I can’t imaging why it cares.

Splaturbate · October 26, 2018 at 9:34 am

Cheers Tim, that tip of renaming the USB worked for me. · August 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological
world everything is available on net?

Tim · July 12, 2018 at 8:19 pm

I found with my 64 GB SD card SYNC would not recognize it unless the sd card was named (i named mine MUSIC). the default format of the card is exFat. Everything was found and played correctly. I hope this helps

Questions or Comments?