How to Fix Tesla Not Play Music From USB

How to Fix Tesla Not Play Music From USB

If your Tesla isn’t playing music from USB, the culprit is most likely that your flash drive is formatted to NTFS instead of FAT32. To fix this, insert the flash drive in your computer and format it as FAT32. After that, transfer all your music to the USB and jam away.

The family and I were heading out on a road trip with a full battery and a USB filled with our favorite songs. 30 minutes into the trip, we discovered the USB had to be formatted to FAT32. That would have been an eerily quiet road trip if not for Spotify’s download feature and Tesla’s Bluetooth capabilities.

In this article, I’ve listed everything you need to know to play music from USB in your Tesla.

How Do I Play Music From A USB Drive On My Tesla?

Playing music from a USB drive in your Tesla is a straightforward process. If you’re not interested in simply using voice commands, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1. Prepare Your USB Drive

  • Ensure your USB flash drive is formatted in exFAT or FAT32.
  • Organize your music files into folders or playlists on the USB drive to make navigation easier.

2. Insert the USB drive.

  • Locate the front USB ports in your Tesla’s interior.
  • Gently insert the USB flash drive into one of the available USB ports.

3. Access the Media Player

On the Tesla’s main touchscreen, navigate to the “Media” or “Entertainment” section.

4. Select USB as the music source.

Within the Media menu, select “USB” or the name of your USB drive from the available sources. Your Tesla will scan the USB drive for music files.

5. Browse and Play Music

  • Once your USB drive’s content is loaded, browse through the folders or playlists you created.
  • Select the desired music folder or playlist, and then choose a specific song or track to start playing.

6. Control Playback

Use the on-screen controls to pause, play, skip tracks, adjust volume, and shuffle your music as desired.

7. Enjoy the music.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the tunes as you drive. Your Tesla’s infotainment system will continue playing music from the USB drive until you choose a different source or stop playback.

What Do I Need to Play Music From A USB Drive On My Tesla?

To enhance your Tesla journey with music from a USB drive, gather the essentials:

  1. USB Flash Drive: Ensure you have a USB flash drive with ample storage space to accommodate your music collection.
  2. exFAT or FAT32 Format: Preparing your USB drive in the exFAT or FAT32 file format is crucial. These formats are widely compatible with Tesla’s media system, ensuring smooth playback.
  3. Front USB Port: Insert your USB flash drive into the front or middle USB ports in your Tesla. This placement allows easy access and efficient connection to the car’s infotainment system. The rear USB port is only for charging.
  4. Organize with Folders: Maximize your music enjoyment by creating folders on the USB drive to categorize and arrange your tracks. This organizational step simplifies navigation, making it a breeze to find your favorite tunes.

Tesla USB Music Format

Tesla vehicles support playing music from USB flash drives that are formatted in FAT32 or exFAT. Tesla does not support NTFS file systems.

The majority of devices, including computers, TVs, and audio players, support the legacy file system FAT32. However, FAT32 has a file size limit of 4GB, which can be a problem for music files that are larger than 4 GB.

ExFAT is a newer file system that does not have a file size limit. However, exFAT is not as widely supported as FAT32. Some devices, such as older TVs and audio players, may not support exFAT.

If you plan to play music from a USB flash drive on your Tesla, it is best to format the USB flash drive in FAT32. This will ensure that the USB flash drive is compatible with your Tesla and other devices.

Here are the steps on how to format a USB flash drive in FAT32 on a Windows computer:

  • Connect the USB flash drive to your computer.
  • Open File Explorer.
  • Right-click on the USB flash drive and select Format.
  • In the File System drop-down menu, select FAT32.
  • Click Start.
  • Click OK to confirm the format.

Once the USB flash drive is formatted, you can copy your music files to it. The music files must be in a supported format, such as MP3, FLAC, or AAC.

Once your music files are copied to the USB flash drive, you can insert them into the front USB port on your Tesla. The music files will be automatically detected, and you can start playing them.

Tesla USB Music Folder Structure

Tesla vehicles do not have any specific requirements for the folder structure of USB flash drives that are used to play music. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when organizing your music files on a USB flash drive for your Tesla:

  • The music files must be in a supported format, such as MP3, FLAC, or AAC.
  • The music files must be named in a way that Tesla can understand. This means that the file names cannot contain any special characters, such as spaces, brackets, or parentheses.
  • You can create folders on the USB flash drive to organize your music. This can be helpful if you have a lot of music files.
  • You can create playlists on the USB flash drive. This is a great way to listen to your favorite music in a specific order.


Use your Tesla’s USB music playback feature to seamlessly orchestrate the symphony of your favorite songs during every drive. Embrace the convenience of plugging in a formatted USB drive, organizing your music, and letting the rhythm flow.

With a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls, your Tesla becomes a rolling concert hall. Start your journey towards a harmonious driving experience—plug in, play on, and let the melodies drive you forward. Unleash your music, and let your Tesla be the conductor of your road trip soundtrack.

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