How to Recover Files from USB Flash Drive with or Without Software

When you delete files from USB, you have 4 ways to recover files from USB or pen drive. You can recover deleted files from USB with EaseUS data recovery software in simple clicks. Or you can also recover files from USB without software by using CMD or files backup.

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Table of Contents

How to Recover Files from USB - Page Content

  1. 1. Recover deleted files from USB Using EaseUS data recovery software (Recommended)
  2. 2. Recover files from USB flash drive using CMD (Only recover hidden files)
  3. 3. Retrieve files from USB from previous versions (File backups required)
  4. 4. Restore USB files from Windows Backups (File backups required)

Several reasons can cause file loss on a USB flash drive or a pen drive, such as unintentional file deletion, hard drive formatting, storage device failure, and virus attack. Among them, accidental deletion is the most likely reason for data loss from USB. 

usb flash drive

Where do deleted files from USB go?

Since the USB flash drive or pen drive is an external device, files deleted on the USB flash drive are deleted permanently instead of going to the recycle bin, so you cannot perform recycle bin recovery to recover files from USB. But you still have a chance to recover deleted files from USB by using the 4 ways in this tutorial. 

Note: When you realize that you have deleted files on USB by mistake, stop using your USB flash drive immediately to avoid data overwriting. 

How to Recover Files from USB Using Data Recovery Software

The most effective and possible way to recover deleted files from USB is to use professional data recovery software. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, a top-rank data recovery tool, can completely recover deleted files from UBS flash drive, pen drive, SD card, HDD, SSD, camcorder, digital camera, and so on.

Effective Data Recovery Software

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Follow the steps below to recover deleted files from the pen drive/USB drive with a few clicks. 

Step 1. Connect USB flash drive to your computer. Open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and hover on USB device. Click "Scan" button to start looking for lost files on PC.

Step 2. When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or the click the search box to quickly find the lost files from USB.

Step 3. Preview the files you want to recover. Click the "Recover" button to restore files. Check video tutorial here.

How to Recover Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive Without Software

For some users who don't like to recover USB files with third-party software, you can try the three methods in this part to retrieve files from USB with CMD, Windows Backup, and previous versions.

However, these solutions have limitations and requirements. If you haven't backed up your USB in advance, you can only use data recovery software to retrieve USB files. 

Recover Files from USB Using CMD (Only Recover Hidden Files)

Command Prompt is a Windows application available in all Windows Operating Systems. If your files are not deleted but missing from your USB flash drive or a pen drive, then you can follow this method to recover hidden files on USB with CMD. 

Steps recover deleted files from a USB flash drive using CMD:

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

Step 2. Click the Search button, type cmd. Right-click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator. 

Step 3. Run the following command lines in order. 

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.

Type attrib -h -r -s  G:\*.* /s /d and hit Enter. (e is the USB drive letter. You should replace g depending on your own USB drive letter shown on the computer)

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

Restore Deleted Files from USB from Previous Versions

In addition to recovering permanently deleted files from USB using software or CMD, you can try another option to restore an older version of files in Windows 11/10/8/7. 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 use USB drive recovery software to make it. 

Step 1. Right-click on the folder that contains your deleted files on USB 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 to retrieve USB files.

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

Restore Deleted Files from USB with Windows Backups

If you have backed up data before, you can check the backups. Also, check the 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. 


Deleting files on USB doesn't mean permanent data loss. In this article, we've explained four methods to recover deleted files on pen drive with or without software.  EaseUS data recovery software offers the greatest chance to recover files from USB. It supports deleted file recovery, formatted recovery, raw drive recovery, and more data recovery features. 

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How 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", "Disk/partition" or "OS" for different backup purpose.

back up data with easeus todo backup

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

Product News
EaseUS Todo Backup now supports users to back up files to the cloud. All you need to do is sign up with an EaseUS account, then you could enjoy a large cloud storage space. More advantages of backing up to the cloud include accessing backup files anytime and anywhere, saving file copies offsite, so you don't need to worry about virus attacks or computer failures, and easier and faster backup and recovery operations.
back up data with easeus todo backup

Step 3. Click "Save" to start the data backup process.

Plug and Unplug the USB Flash Drive 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.

Scan and Remove Virus on USB 

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.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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