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 USB Files Go
What happens when you delete a file from a USB flash drive? 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 some effective solutions.
To improve your recovery rate of USB deleted file recovery, you need to pay attention to the following points:
|❌Don't copy files||Do not copy files from the USB or paste new files to the USB flash drive. Any read/write operation will increase the difficulty of data recovery.|
|😞Don't write new data||Stop using the USB drive, and don't write new data to USB. Otherwise, the lost data cannot be recovered once it is overwritten.|
|🚫Disconnect the USB drive||Disconnect the pen drive or USB flash drive from your computer until you start the USB data recovery.|
This page will explain four ways to help you recover deleted files from USB without software or using professional file recovery software to restore lost files from a pen drive.
The most effective and possible way to recover deleted files from USB or even restore permanently deleted files from a pen drive is to use professional data recovery software. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, a top-rank data recovery tool, can completely recover deleted lost files from UBS flash drives due to accidental deletion, device formatting, USB corruption, or virus attack.
Follow the steps below to recover deleted files from the pen drive/USB drive with a few clicks.
Step 1. Choose the USB drive to scan
Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose your USB drive where you lost important files. Click "Scan" to start.
Step 2. Check and preview USB drive data
When the scanning is finished, you can quickly locate a specific type of file by using the Filter feature as well as the Search option.
Step 3. Restore flash drive data
After checking and finding lost USB drive files, click "Recover" to restore them. You shall save the found files to a safe location on your PC rather than to your USB drive.
If you found the EaseUS file recovery tool helpful, share it with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
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 already backed up your USB, you can only use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to retrieve USB 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 to 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, and 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.
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 or Windows 11. Before you try this method, make sure that you have set up File History to back up files automatically. If you haven't turned on this feature, give up this method, and use EaseUS USB drive recovery software to make it.
Press the Win + E keys to open Windows File Explorer. Click "This PC", find your USB flash drive, then select "Properties" from the context menu. Click on the tab "Previous Versions". You'll be told there that previous versions come from File History or from restore points. Finally, choose a previous version and then click "Restore" in the lower right corner to retrieve USB files.
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", and select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".
Step 2. Click "Restore my files".
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.
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.
Share these ways to recover deleted files from USB without software with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
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 to use EaseUS backup and recovery software. With this software, you can still create an image even if you don't have the technical knowledge. Follow the details below to back up data with the help of EaseUS Todo Backup.|
|💗Use USB flash drive correctly||Use it properly when you plug in or disconnect a USB to your computer or laptop. When you disconnect it, right-click the "eject USB" option.|
|👍Scan and remove viruses on USB||Use anti-virus software to protect your computer against viruses, trojans, and other malware. Be sure to update your Anti-virus software with the latest patch and signature files for maximum security.|
How to Recover Deleted Files from USB Without Software FAQs
After reading the above parts of this passage, you may want to learn more about recovering files from USB flash drives. Check the following questions and answers to learn more!
How do I recover deleted files from my USB?
You can easily undelete files from a USB flash drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in three steps.
- Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.
- Step 2. Choose and scan the USB drive for lost files.
- Step 3. Preview and restore the files from the USB or pen drive.
How to recover deleted files from USB using the command prompt?
Take these steps to recover hidden files from a USB drive in CMD:
- Step 1. Press Win + R keys to start the Run box.
- Step 2. Type cmd and hit Enter to open the Command Prompt window as an administrator.
- Step 3. Type chkdsk E: /f and hit Enter. Type Y and hit Enter.
- Step 4. Type G: and hit Enter. ( G is the drive letter of the USB drive)
- Step 5. Type attrib -h -r -s G:\*.* /s /d and hit Enter.
How can I recover corrupted files from USB without software?
You can recover corrupted files from a USB flash drive by fixing the file system:
Connect your USB to your computer. Right-click it and click "Properties". Click on the "Tools" tab and click the "Check" button under Error checking. Windows will scan the USB drive and fix any disk errors.
Can I recover files from a USB hard drive without the software?
There are three ways to recover corrupted files from a USB hard drive:
- 1. Recover the hidden files using CMD.
- 2. Restore Windows to a previous version.
- 3. Recover files from Windows backup.
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Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.
Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.
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