SOLVED: Ford Sync Does Not Read USB Sticks – This USB Device Is Not Supported

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!



  1. Avatar
    hankflapper June 8, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Use my flash drive with my mp3s with no problem in my Acura
    Wont play no matter what i’ve tried in my Escape.
    Ford Sync Sucks!! Dealer Service Departments have no clue about this either!!!

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews June 8, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      I had no issues of note with my Ford Sync, however mine was the old Microsoft based product. I understand that Ford Sync is now based on a different product and perhaps that is more problematic. I would suggest that you ensure your USB stick if formatted using FAT32

  2. Avatar
    steve March 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    its a fat32 issue, not that ford sync has an issue with the larger format drives. since they opted for fat32, they locked it into the fat32 requirements. fat32 cant index a higher capacity drive.

  3. Avatar
    john February 8, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I formatted my usb flash drive, wiping it clean . Changed the format to FAT32 and reloaded songs and bingo,it worked after not having worked for months and months. I still don’t understand the ” index full” command that sync sometimes says when trying to play an ipod.

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    Tony September 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    This is only part of the problem. I have tested thumbs even with a fat32 format, sync will not properly index and play anything more then 7.5gb of music period. so no matter what you do to any thumb drive. that seems to be its read limit.

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    Brett August 7, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Hey folks…for all you Mac users here’s the deal. Best to format your USB stick on a windows computer (FAT32) then download the ziP file from FORD…unzip the file, then copy the syncMyRide, autoinstall.lst , install.lst , and paste them onto your USB drive. Basically, just do this whole process on a windows computer because the MAC creates some 4-5 random files upon unzipping, causing the sync system not to see the installer. The files must be in place on USB drive as downloaded and on the mac side this will not happen. Thats what did it for me. Good luck!

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    Rob D July 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I have spent days, months, almost a whole year trying to get SYNC to recognize all the AAC music files on my 128 GB Kingston thumb drive. The most it would recognize was about 18100 out of 21671 songs. I tried every idea offered on multiple forums, and even consulted the concierge help desk several times. Nothing helped. I suspected the problem had to be with the SYNC software, not my thumb drives (I actually went as far as buying a 2nd 128 GB thumb drive, but it didn’t help…same problems). Then it hit me. Test drive a new car and insert my thumb drives in the car. It worked! Test drove 2 different vehicles, and both cars recognized all 21671 songs, on each thumb drive I tested. This confirms that the SYNC system in my car is the problem. I don’t know how many hours I wasted reworking my music library trying to get it to conform to SYNC’s requirements, only to find that there is nothing wrong with it. I have scheduled an appt at the dealer to get my SYNC system fixed. Hopefully they can fix it.

    • Avatar
      Kevin E August 19, 2017 at 10:49 am

      The Sync system doesn’t recognize all formats. I haven’t tested them all, but here are the ones I know do and don’t work:

      * MP3
      * MPEG4
      * Waveform

      * AIFF-C
      * Protected files (such as Protected MPEG-4)
      * Quicktime

  7. Avatar
    Pete S. February 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve tried this with both FAT32 and ExFAT for my 2014 Ford Escape. Each time the system tells me the device is not supported, but after waiting a few seconds it detects all the music and allows me to browse and PLAY it. However, everytime I start the car and the radio turns on, it prompts me with the message. I would really like to know a fix for this, so I don’t have to look at that message each time.

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews February 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      I have found that ‘large’ USB sticks (i.e. 16gb) seem to have more issues than smaller ones (i.e. 4gb)

  8. Avatar
    Tim December 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    I tried reformatting my USB Drive using FAT format, and that fix failed.

    The only thing that consistently works Sync equipped 2012 Mustang is to copy all my music content onto a brand new USB (USB doesn’t have to be new; it just has to be never inserted into your Ford’s USB port before), and when USB is plugged into port, Sync immediately initializes.

    As a software developer by vocation, it looks like there’s a bug in the Sync software that won’t allow software to detect content modifications to a USB drive that has already been initialized.

  9. Avatar
    Jerry B June 11, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I couldn’t play music on my thumb drive in my 14 mustang until I did this. 1) Uncheck “quick format” when formatting to fat32. It takes longer of coarse . 2) I placed my music files in a folder and titled it music. Then I loaded my music files into that. Got it! Im not sure which one of the two things I did worked because I did them both at the same time. But hey it works now.

  10. Avatar
    BigAl September 8, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Meant Master Reset of the Ford Sync/Radio.

  11. Avatar
    BigAl September 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I did the master reset on the drive to no avail. Then went to the Install Applications and got a Error FIle not found on Storage Device. Frustrating, brand new environment with efat format USB Disk.

  12. Avatar
    Kevin August 21, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Your instructions helped a ton. It updated first time around. Thanks for your help

  13. Avatar
    odiebugs May 2, 2015 at 3:34 am

    For sync update tried 8 of my flash drives, formatted all to fat32, and kept getting unsupported, did a master reset, then pulled power by removing battery Neg, still same. Formatted using HP format tool in fat32, now get doesn’t see files, so instead of using their way with sync USB, I went system settings, advanced and install application, and sync voice came on an said updating, complete, then I knew to wait for the next complete, about 8mins and screen showed install complete. Worth a try. odiebugs

    • Avatar
      Kevin August 21, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      Your input helped a ton, maybe Ford should have consulted you before they put out their directions on how to update.

    • Avatar
      KWS March 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

      odiebugs you are a life saver. going to system settings was the only thing that worked. I have been searching for ever and used at least 5 different usb drives trying to get this update done.


    • Avatar
      Dusty June 8, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Using Advanced then install, whatever worked. took about 10 minutes

  14. Avatar
    Andros February 16, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Ford SYNC DOES recognize ex-FAT. I loaded a huge number of files onto a Kingston 1 TB drive, no problems reading initially. Then some of the files went “missing.” They were still on the flash drive but not recognized by SYNC.

    If this happens, try a Master Reset of SYNC first. This should fix the problem in 9 of 10 cases. If it does not, take the car to a dealer and get a “hard reset” done.

    If some files are still missing, load fewer files onto the drive.

  15. Avatar
    Will Gray September 19, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Tried this and it still doesn’t work. Also does not work with Ipod Shuffle, so effectively it is not recognising USB.

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