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

Jean updated on Dec 25, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

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.

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. 

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. 

Your Reliable Choice - EaseUS Partition Master

  • Perform a deleted and formatted USB data recovery 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.
  • Recover files from USB due to accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, RAW drive, malware infection, etc.

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

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

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 /s /d e:*.* and hit Enter. (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

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 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 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. 

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 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

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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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, so 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.

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