The following table helps to quickly learn ways to solve USB Pen Drive not showing data, files, and folders:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Unhide files with Windows Explorer If the data on your USB has accidentally been hidden or made invisible by a virus, you can try to unhide...Full steps
2. Recover hidden files If the steps above didn't work for you, try to retrieve your data with EaseUS disk data recovery Wizard...Full steps
3. Show hidden files with CMD

Windows Command Prompt is a suitable tool for professionals to solve many computers...Full steps

4. Show hidden files with a disk tool Manual execution of the command line is suitable for computer professionals, since incorrect...Full steps
More useful solutions Format the USB pen drive that is not showing files, check and fix USB pen drive errors...Full steps

Why Is USB Not Showing Files?

Pen drive not showing data but using space is one of the main reasons you lose data. This situation prevents you from accessing your data while the used space and unused space are showing correctly when you check. The most likely cause of this issue is a virus attack. Some unknown viruses can not only infect your files but also makes them hidden. This creates an empty shortcut of your files and folders that leads to nowhere, like a shortcut virus. In addition to virus infection, there are other causes that may lead to USB not showing files:

  • Files and folders on your pen drive are hidden
  • Data is accidentally deleted
  • The file system is not recognized by the OS of your computer

If you are annoyed by the pen drive not showing data problems and you are trying to find a USB data recovery solution, you are at the right place. Here, we will show you how to recover files from pen drives to fix USB drive files or folders not showing but space used in simple ways. Know that this tutorial also works with flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards, or other external USB devices.

If you experience the same problem on a Mac computer, follow this page and solve the issue USB not showing up on Mac and restore all lost files.

How to Fix USB Pen Drive Not Showing Data

Depending on the cause, the solution to the issue of "USB not showing files" varies. If you haven't identified the specific cause yet, you can follow the standard methods below to solve your problem. In total, we offer five effective solutions to restore disappeared files and fix the USB not showing data issues.

  1. 1. Unhide Files in Pen Drive Using Windows Explorer
  2. 2. Recover Hidden Files with EaseUS USB Recovery Software
  3. 3. Unhide Files in Pen Drive in Windows Command Prompt
  4. 4. Show Hidden Files with EaseUS CleanGenius
  5. 5. Format Pen Drive that Is Not Showing Data Files
  6. 6. Check and Fix USB Drive Errors

Fix 1. Unhide Files in Pen Drive Using Windows Explorer

If the data on your USB has accidentally been hidden or made invisible by a virus, you can try to unhide your files using CMD. There are other ways available to show hidden files on a USB drive too, check them out if you want.

Step 1. Connect the USB pen drive or flash drive to the PC.

Step 2. Open Windows "File Explorer" > Go to "Tools" > "Folder" Options > Go to the "View" Tab > Check "Show hidden files, folders, and drives". Finally, click "Apply". This will make sure that the files and folders are not in hidden mode. 

fix usb pen drive not showing files in windows explorer

Fix 2. Free Download USB Recovery Software to Recover Hidden Files From a Pen Drive

If the steps above didn't work for you, try to retrieve your data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which is a popular third-party data recovery software. This method can recover your files and folders in all the situations mentioned above.

Whether your pen drive is not showing data due to a virus attack, hiding files, accidental deletion, or file system errors, you can directly recover your data using this reliable tool, you can even recover corrupted files from USB drive. This tool does a decent job to recover shortcut files, hidden files, deleted files, and RAW files from a USB pen drive or flash drive. When your USB is not showing files, this is the most effective way to retrieve your data.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Step 1. Run USB Data Recovery Software

Connect the USB drive or pen drive to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software on your PC. Select the drive which is labeled as a External drives, and click "Scan for lost data" to start looking for lost files.

Select USB/pen drive to scan and find lost files

Step 2. Scan and Search Lost Files on a USB Drive

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will thoroughly scan your USB flash drive/pen drive and find all your lost data on it. When the scan process completes, use the Filter feature to find wanted files.

Scan USB flash drive/pen drive to find lost files

Step 3. Restore All Lost Files from USB

A double-click will allow you to preview the files. Select the target files to restore and click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

Restore lost USB/pen drive data

If you cannot find missing files, you can also let EaseUS data recovery services help.

EaseUS Disk Repair and Recovery Services

Click here to contact our experts for a free evaluation

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after a FREE diagnosis.

  • Fix HDD, SSD, external hard drive, USB flash drive errors, and restore data from all RAID levels
  • Recover lost partition that cannot be restored by data recovery software
  • Fix disks that cannot be read or accessed because of bad sectors
  • Fix disks that become GPT protected partitions
  • Wipe data, unformat hard drive, Install/uninstall software or driver, etc.

Fix 3. Show Hidden Files in Windows Command Prompt

Windows Command Prompt is a suitable tool for professionals to solve many computer storage issues. It's a kind of high-level tool that requires administrator permission.

Step 1. Click on the "Start" Menu > "Run" > Type cmd and press "Enter".

Step 2. To make the USB pen drive data show up, type this commands: attrib -h -r -s K:\*.* /s /d press "Enter". (Replace "K" with the drive letter of your pen drive.)

Fix 4. Download EaseUS CleanGenius to Show Hidden Files on a USB drive

Manual execution of the command line is suitable for computer professionals, since incorrect commands can do more harm than good. Therefore, for security and usability, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative - EaseUS CleanGenius. It is a practical tool that enables you to check and fix file system errors, enable/disable write protection and update your system 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 CleanGenius for Free.

Step 2. Start EaseUS CleanGenius, choose "Optimization" on the left panel. Next, click "File Showing" on the right panel. 

show hidden files - step 2

Step 3. Select the hard drive and click "Execute".

file fixing - step 2

Step 4. After the operation completes, click the here link to check the hidden files. 

show hidden files - step 3

Now all your files will start showing up on your USB flash drive or pen drive. If you see a folder without a name, rename it to recover its data.

You can also run antivirus software on your computer to try and remove the virus. But, it does not always help. Even when it does, it may delete the virus-infected files on your USB. So, you will need to use Method 2 to recover the lost data.

Fix 5. Format the USB Pen Drive That Is Not Showing Files

When your USB pen drive data not showing, you'll see some error messages appear on your screen. This indicates something has gone wrong with your USB file system, which includes the drive is corrupted, damaged, inaccessible, or showing RAW, and asking you to format it. The common errors are usually as follows.

To overcome this kind of USB problems that cause the data not showing, you need to format the drive to a Windows-recognized file system. Since formatting erases data completely, do not start to format the disk before recovering data.

Step 1. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and perform data recovery.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Step 2. Open Windows Explorer, right-click on your USB drive, and choose "Format".

Step 3. Choose a Windows-compatible file system such as FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT to your USB, and click "Start".

format usb drive using file explorer

Fix 6. Check and Fix USB Pen Drive Errors

Other than the five methods outlined above, you can also try to fix the USB that is not showing files using CHKDSK. The CHKDSK command is used to check and repair the disk error on your pen drive that is not showing data correctly. Compared to running the CHKDSK command in CMD, it's more convenient to run the CHKDSK utility.

Step 1. Open "This PC", right-click your pen drive, and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Go to the "Tools" tab.

Step 3. Click "Check" to check and repair the errors on your USB.

Fix USB not showing files - Run CHKDSK

If unhiding files fails to bring your data back, it's highly likely there is something wrong with your USB. In that case, you are recommended to perform data recovery directly and then format your pen drive to remove the error. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will help you retrieve all your data as long as the data is not overwritten. Try it and you will get back your files and folders immediately.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

FAQs about USB Pen Drive Not Showing Files

Apart from offering solutions for fixing USB pen drive not showing files issue, some users may also want to know the cause of USB pen drive not showing files and how to view files. To help resolve your queries, we have collected 4 top questions that you might be interested in.

Here are those questions and answers:

1. How do I recover my pen drive data?

You can get your pen drive data lost due to deletion, formatting, or other misoperations. You should first check and restore the files from Recycle Bin.

To avoid complete data loss, you can recover deleted/formatted files from the pen drive using the reliable data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. In addition to this, you can also use CMD to recover data from a pen drive if the files are hidden. For more details, you may refer to How to Recover Deleted Files from Pen Drive for help. 

2. How do I view files on my USB?

Files can become hidden on a USB drive for a variety of reasons. You can use Control Panel, CMD and EaseUS data recovery software to show or recover hidden files on virus-infected USB flash drives, hard drives, memory cards, and pen drives.

By doing so, you can make all your files viewable again on your USB drive. For detailed instructions, please refer to Show Hidden Files on USB Drive.  

3. Why do files disappear from USB?

Many users say that the files they copied to their USB drive suddenly disappear.

One might wonder, how can files on a USB pen drive go missing mysteriously? Here are the common reasons why that happens:

  1. 1). Virus infection on USB drive
  2. 2). File Explorer settings hide files on USB
  3. 3). Unfinished file transferring or failed file copying on USB 

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Updated by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS, who focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced computer tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

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