CMD File Recovery - Recover Deleted Files Using Command Prompt

Tracy King updated on Oct 13, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

If your files are hidden or lost on your computer or USB drive due to human errors or virus infection, you can recover files using the command prompt. While if you have accidentally deleted, formatted, or lost files on Windows 10/8/7, you need to use EaseUS data recovery software to get data back.

How to recover deleted files from USB using CMD?

"Last night, when I connected my USB flash drive (Kingston 64G) to my computer to work on my unfinished Word document, but to my surprise, there was nothing found. I might mistakenly delete the Word file without any backup. Someone told me that I should try command line which may help me to recover the deleted files easily. The problem is that I know nothing about CMD! So can you tell me how to recover deleted files from USB flash drive using Command Prompt?"

Command Prompt, or also known as Command Line/CMD, is available in most Windows operating systems. It can execute entered commands to perform advanced administrative functions, and troubleshoot or resolve certain kinds of Windows issues. The CMD serves as a free Windows built-in tool for helping users recover lost files, repair bad sectors on storage devices or even convert file system from RAW to NTFS, etc. for free. And on this page, we will focus on how to recover files using command prompt

How to Recover Files from USB Flash Drive Using Command Prompt

The most popular command prompt is the attrib line. With this command, you can recover lost and hidden files from USB flash drive, hard drive, SD card, or other external hard drives due to mistaken settings, or virus attack (see how to recover files from shortcut virus).

This command prompt only allows you to recover files from USB flash drive if they are hidden instead of deleted. If your files are permanently deleted, the CMD won't be helpful, and you need to use data recovery software as CMD alternative.

1. Press Win + R keys and type: cmd, hit Enter to open Command Prompt window as an administrator.
2. Type: chkdsk E: /f and hit Enter. (Replace E with the drive letter of the device where you lost files or data)
3. Type: Y and hit Enter to continue.
4. Type: E: and hit Enter again. (Replace E with the drive letter of the device where you lost files or data)
5. Type: E:\>attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* and hit Enter. (Replace E with the drive letter of the device where you lost files or data)

how to recover files using command prompt

Manual input of the command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause more severe problems. Therefore, for security and usability, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative. EaseUS Tools M is a practical tool that enables you to check and fix files system error, enable/disable write protection and system update with one-click instead of typing intricate command lines.

Follow the simple steps below to show hidden files with this 1-click-fix software. 

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free.

Step 2. Start EaseUS Tools M, choose "File Showing" on the left pane. Next, choose the target drive for scanning.

show hidden files - step 2

Step 3. After the operation completes, click the View button to check the hidden files. 

show hidden files - step 3

Refresh your device after the process; then your lost files will appear on SD card, USB drive, or hard drive. If the CMD fails to recover your lost file, or if you need to recover deleted files from USB flash drive or other storage devices, move to the next part and let EaseUS Data Recover Wizard help you out. 

How to Recover Lost/Deleted Files with a CMD Alternative

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best CMD alternative to recover lost files due to accidental deletion, formatting, virus attack, file system crash, OS corruption, lost partition, or other complex circumstances. With this ultimate data recovery tool, you can recover deleted files from SD card, external hard drive, USB flash drive, pen drive, HDD, SSD, etc. 

If your lost data is much more than 2GB, you can upgrade it to EaseUS Data Recovery Pro version so to gain unlimited data recovery capacity. Download and install it on your Windows 10/8/7 and then follow the steps below to recover deleted files from USB flash drive. 

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the partition where you lost data, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Preview and select the files.

Wait until the scanning completes. If you need to double-click the item to preview the file, then select the data you attempt to recover.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

Click "Recover", choose a location to save the recovered data, then click "OK". You should store the data in another place instead of the original one.

Recover lost 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, 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.

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.