How to Recover Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive Without Software

Jean updated on Sep 17, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


What if you lost files from a USB drive? There are 5 effective ways to recover deleted files from USB flash drive. It's a wise choice to use EaseUS data recovery software to get back permanently deleted USB files easily and quickly. The other solutions also work well, you can try them one by one.

Quick Navigation: How to Recover Deleted Files from Pen Drive/USB

how to recover

Because you have lost important files doesn't mean that there's no way to bring them back. Here, we have provided you with five practical methods on how to recover deleted files from USB, including a professional-grade data recovery solution called EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It's your time to follow our instructions and save the day.

  1. Fix 1. Use EaseUS USB Data Recovery Software (Recommended)
  2. Fix 2. Recover USB Files Using CMD
  3. Fix 3. Retrieve from Windows Backups
  4. Fix 4. Restore from Previous Versions
  5. Fix 5. Turn to Data Recovery Service

Scenario - Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive Permanently

"I just accidentally pressed "Y" when prompted to permanently delete some files from my USB flash drive. The USB files weren't in the recycle bin. Is there any possibility to get my lost data back? It's important to me."

Once your USB, SD card, or external hard drive files get lost, you cannot perform recycle bin recovery. It's confusing and surprising, but the Recycle Bin seems to be used inconsistently across versions of Windows when it comes to a "removable" device. So, don't rely on the recycle bin. But how to recover deleted USB files? Here are the solutions:

recover data from a usb drive

Fix 1. Recover Deleted Files from USB Using Data Recovery Software

In a vast sea of data recovery software over the globe, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a qualified candidate. It can completely recover lost files, pictures, documents, videos, after deleting, formatting, partition loss, OS crash, virus attack, and other data loss scenarios. Follow the steps below to recover pen drive data. It has helped more than 72 million people solve their data loss problems. This easy-to-use program restores lost data within three steps with the following highlights:

To Recover Deleted Files from a USB Drive

Download this software and bring back USB data. Users can instantly recover all lost data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Follow the instructions to unlock your data recovery capacity immediately:

Step 1. Run USB data recovery software.

Connect the USB flash drive to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software on your PC. Select your USB drive which marks as a removable disk, and click "Scan" to start finding your lost files.

Select USB to scan and find lost files

Step 2. Scan all lost files from USB.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will thoroughly scan your USB flash drive and find all your lost data on it. After the scanning process,  use the Filter feature to filter a specific file type. You can check and preview found USB files in this program.

Scan USB drive to find lost files

Step 3. Restore all lost files from USB.

A double-click will allow you to preview the file results. Choose the target files and click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

Restore lost USB data

Fix 2. How to Recover Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive Using CMD

How to recover deleted files from flash drive without software? If your files are not deleted but missing from your USB flash drive or a pen drive, then you can follow this method. That is to say, this command works well if the files are hidden on your USB drives.

How to Recover Deleted Files from a USB Drive Using CMD:

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer.

Step 2. Open the Start menu, type cmd, and hit "Enter" on your keyboard.

Type chkdsk X: /f in the Command Prompt window and hit Enter. Just make sure to replace "X" with the letter assigned to your USB flash drive.

how to recover deleted files from usb using cmd - 1

Step 3. Type the command in the window.

Click to copy

(e is the USB drive letter. You should replace g depending on your own USB drive letter shown on the computer)

how to recover deleted files from usb using cmd - 2

Then, wait for the process to complete and close the window. Then you can check if your files are back.

Fix 3. Retrieve USB/Pen Drive Files from Windows Backups

If you often back up data, you should check the backups. Also, check online or cloud storage service you use. It is possible you've synced your files to a cloud storage service such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive. If you have turned on the Windows backup, you can retrieve USB data with it:

Step 1. Open "Control Panel", go to "System and Maintenance", select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)". 

Step 2. Click "Restore my files".

Restore files from Windows Backup

Step 3. Click "Browse for files" or "Browse for folders" to select the previously created backup.

Step 4. Choose a location to save the backup - "In the original location" or "In the following location". If there's a conflict, choose "Copy and Replace", "Don't copy" or "Copy, but keep both files" according to your needs.

recover usb data from backup

Step 5. Wait for the restoring process to complete. Then all of your files or folder that were permanently removed will show up on your PC at the original or the new location. 

Fix 4. Restore Deleted USB/Pen Drive Files from Previous Versions

In addition to recovering permanently deleted files from USB using software, CMD, and backup, you can try another option to restore an older version of files in Windows 10/8.1/8/7. Before you try this method, make sure that you have set up File History to automatically back up files. If you haven't turned on this feature, give up this method, and jump to Solution 1.

Step 1. Right-click on the folder that contains your deleted files and select "Properties".

Step 2. Click on the tab "Previous Versions". You'll be told there that previous versions come from File History or from restore points.

Step 3. A list of older versions of the file will be displayed. Choose the file edition you're looking for, and click the "Restore" button.

restore previous version of files in usb flash drive without using software

If the methods fail to recover permanently deleted files from USB flash drive, we strongly recommend you to download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It makes recovery easier and faster.

Fix 5. Turn to Data Recovery Service to Recover Deleted USB Files

After using EaseUS disk data recovery software, you may have restored all the lost USB flash drive data. This software works well in analyzing and restoring data from any device. However, if your USB becomes RAW and the file name, structure, signature, and content separate from each other, what can you do? My suggestion is to ask data recovery specialists for help. Here I'd like to recommend EaseUS manual data recovery service:

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)

Possibilities to Avoid USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive Data Loss

It is also of vital importance to protect your USB data in effective ways. If you don't want to suffer from USB data loss, you can follow these tips to help:

Regularly back up files

It's a nice choice to back up files automatically with the help of file backup software. Here my suggestion is using EaseUS Todo Backup. With this software, even you don't have the technical knowledge, you can still create an image. Follow the details below to back up data with the help of EaseUS backup and recovery software.

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

Connect to the PC correctly

When you plugin or disconnect a USB to your computer or laptop, use it properly. When you disconnect it, use the "eject USB" option by right-clicking it.

Use anti-virus software 

Use anti-virus software to protect your computer against malicious computer viruses, trojan, and other malicious-ware. Be sure to update your Anti-virus software with the latest patch and signature files for maximum security.


According to the 5 solutions, you may have solved your problems. The easiest and quickest way to retrieve permanently deleted USB data is by using EaseUS USB data recovery software.

FAQs - Recover Permanently Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive

There are some hot topics about permanently deleted file recovery from USB drive:

Can you recover deleted files from a flash drive?

Of course, you can. There are four reliable ways to recover the deleted USB file. My recommendation is EaseUS data recovery software. With the help of it, you can get back lost USB flash drive data easily and quickly.

Where do deleted USB files go?

Usually, when you delete a file from your computer, it goes to the recycle bin. However, it turns out that files deleted from the USB device, USB flash drive, or USB memory card, etc. will not be put into the Recycle Bin.

How can I recover my deleted files from USB? 

Step 1. Run USB data recovery software.

Step 2. Scan all lost files from USB.

Step 3. Restore all lost files from USB.

Can I restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10?

Yes. Permanently deleted files by using shift+delete keys or third party software are also recoverable with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. See how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.