How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive Without Software

Jean updated on Sep 18, 2019 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


What if you lost files from a USB drive? Here are effective ways to recover deleted files from a USB drive. In part 1, you can learn how to recover USB files without software. In part 2, you can easily restore deleted USB files with data recovery software.

Part 1. Recover Deleted/Lost USB Files Without Software
Part 2. Recover Lost USB Files with Software

recover data from a usb drive

Scenario - Deleted Files from USB 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:

Part 1. Recover Deleted/Lost USB Files Without Software (3 methods)

When your USB data is lost, stay calm. You still have a great chance to get it back. There are three manual ways to restore deleted USB data, let's see:

1. Check If You Have Backs

The very first thing is to check the backup. If you often back up data automatically, 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 do not have a backup, then you should consider starting backing up data immediately. It's a nice choice to back up files automatically with the help of file backup software. Even you don't have the technical knowledge, you can still create an image with it.

back up data with easeus todo backup

2. Show Hidden Files Using CMD

If your files are not deleted but missing from your USB, then you can follow this method. That is to say, this command works well if the files are hidden. Here's how:

  • Step 1: In Windows 10/8.1/8/7, press Windows key + R.
  • Step 2: Type CMD to enter command prompt.
  • Step 3: Type the command in the window.
Click to copy

(g 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 recovered.

3. Restore A Previous Version of Files or Folders

In addition to recovering permanently deleted files from USB using CMD, you can try another option to restore an older version of files in Windows 10/8.1/8/7. 

  • 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.

Part 2. Recover Lost USB Files with Software

EaseUS file recovery software is an effective tool, which 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:

  • Recover deleted and formatted data from different data loss situations.
  • Recover all types of lost files: photos, documents, videos, audio, emails, compressed files, etc.
  • Boot with a downloadable WinPE when your system fails to start or crashes.

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

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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.