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How to Use USB on Vizio TV

I’m the owner of a Vizio TV, and I know from experience that trying to figure out how to use USB ports on it can be quite frustrating. It wasn’t until I did some research, trial and error, and even consulted a few experts for tips and tricks, that I was able to figure out how to make it work.

Now that I’ve been able to successfully use a USB connection on my Vizio TV, I wanted to share my experience and discoveries, as well as the solutions I’ve found from other sources, in a blog post titled: How to Use USB on Vizio TV.

Begin by checking the formatting of the flash drive and your media files. After that, it’s just a matter of connecting the USB drive to the TV and changing the input source.

1: Check Flash Drive FormatConnect the flash drive to a laptop and check its file system format in the Properties tab. Ensure it is one of the following: FAT, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, or exFAT. If not, reformat the drive accordingly.
2: Check Media Files FormattingEnsure that your media files have compatible file extensions. For pictures: JPG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, TGA, PNG; for videos: MP4, FLV, AVI, DIVX, WMV; for audio: MP3, WMA, WAV. If the files don’t match, reformat them using an appropriate guide.
3: Insert the USB DriveClean the flash drive and the TV’s USB port (if experienced with cleaning electronics) using cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. Insert the flash drive into the USB port on the Vizio TV.
4: Switch the Input SourceUse the remote control to switch the TV’s input source to the USB device tab. This should display the contents of the flash drive on the TV.

Using USB on Vizio TV

Connecting a flash drive to your Vizio TV is a simple process. Although, there are a few steps you have to follow.

So, let’s jump into what you can do to make use of the TV’s USB port.

Step 1: Check Your Flash Drive Format

The first step to using a USB flash drive is identifying the system format. To do that, you’ll need a laptop.

Once your computer powers on, plug in the flash drive.

Then, open up a file explorer tab. On the left, you should find a menu with a series of shortcuts. Find the one with the title This PC.

As soon as you click the option, all the computer drives should show up. That includes your removable USB device.

Next, right-click on the flash drive and go to the Properties tab, which will launch a pop-up menu.

At the very top of the new window, there’s a slot named File System, which shows you the format type.

Your Vizio TV will only recognize a few formats, including:

  • FAT
  • FAT12 
  • FAT16
  • FAT32
  • exFAT

If your flash drive doesn’t match one of these, you’ll need to reformat it. To do that, right-click on the USB device in This PC.

Click on the format tab and choose one of the compatible system types. Finally, select OK and wait for the process to wrap up.

Step 2: Check Media Files Formatting

Once you’re done with the flash drive, you can turn your attention to your media files. These will also need to be in a specific format to play on the Vizio TV. 

To make your life easier, it’s a good idea to turn on the visible file extensions option. Start by launching your file explorer.

Next, look in the top toolbar and navigate to the View tab. There, you should find a checkbox with the title File Name Extensions.

Enable the option and restart your computer. After that, every file you click on should show you its extension.

Generally, there are only a few file types that the TV can work with. This will depend on the type of media you’re using.

For pictures:

  • JPG
  • JPEG
  • BMP
  • GIF
  • TGA
  • PNG

For video:

  • MP4
  • FLV
  • AVI
  • DIVX
  • WMV

For audio:

  • MP3
  • WMA
  • WAV

If your files don’t match these extensions, then you need to reformat them. This isn’t as easy as changing the USB file type.

Instead, you’ll need to use a guide to switch the extensions.

After you’re done, you can turn your TV on before continuing with the instructions.

Step 3: Insert the USB Drive

This step is simple enough. All you have to do is connect your flash drive to the USB port. To do that, align the male and female portions of the plug and friction fit it in.

You may want to clean the flash drive first to avoid a spotty connection.

For that, you’ll need cotton swabs and a bit of rubbing alcohol. 

Dip the tip of a swab in the alcohol and wave it through the air for a couple of seconds. This will allow any excess moisture to evaporate off the cotton.

Lastly, go over the entire outer surface of the flash drive, then give it a couple of minutes to dry off.

You can also go through the same process to scrub the TV port. However, it’s not a good idea if you don’t have experience with cleaning electronics.

The slightest mistake may cause a few hardware issues.

Step 4: Switch the Input Source

With the USB flash drive in place, it’s time to change the source input

For this step, you’ll need your remote control. Look for the white rectangle with an arrow going through it.

Once you click the button, the TV will display all your input source options. Navigate to the USB device tab and select OK.

This should load up the flash drive and show you your files.


If you’re wondering how to use USB on Vizio TV, there are a few steps you can follow. Start by checking the flash drive formatting.

Once that’s done, move on to identifying your media file extension types. This will let you know if you can display the media on your TV.

Next, insert the drive into the USB port, and lastly, change the input source.