Pen Drive Recovery: How to Recover Deleted Files from Pen Drive

Daisy updated on Jan 21, 2021 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

You may get your pen drive data lost due to deletion, formatting, or other misoperations. To avoid complete data loss, you can recover deleted/formatted files from the pen drive using Windows CMD and reliable data recovery software.

Overview of Pen Drive Data Recovery

Being small, portable, and lightweight, pen drives are widely used to store files and transfer data between devices. However, there's also much data loss that happens on pen drives quite frequently. Accidental deletion, formatting, virus attack, and file system becoming RAW are common reasons that cause data loss on storage media. Luckily, with the help of advanced pen drive data recovery software and CMD, it is possible for you to recover data from a pen drive.

The precondition for successful data recovery on any storage device is that the lost data is not overwritten by new content. Thus, stop using your pen drive once there is data loss on it and perform pen drive data recovery as soon as possible.

Pen Drive Data Recovery Software vs. CMD

There are two methods for you to choose to recover pen drive data, which are using third-party recovery software and using the CMD. You might wonder which one is better, and which one works more effectively. Here is a comparison chart that shows you the pros and cons of these two ways.



Data Recovery Wizard
Recovery Scenarios

Hidden Files

Deletion, formatting, hidden files, virus attack, OS crash, OS reinstallation, and more.
Operability Difficult


Preview Recoverable Files



As you can see, to recover hidden files, the CMD can help you with it. If your pen drive data is lost due to reasons like deletion or virus attack, choose a professional data recovery software might be a better choice. In the next part, we will introduce both of the two methods in detail. Keep reading and learn more about it.

Method 1. How to Recover Files from Pen Drive Using Software

Among hundreds of hard drive data recovery software, we'd like to recommend EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard here. It is simple, reliable, and powerful to recover pen drive lost data, including deleted and formatted data. Here are the detailed features of this tool:

  • Recover data from all removable media devices such as pen drives, thumb drives, hard drives, digital cameras, and more
  • Recover almost ALL existing file types like photos, videos, audio files, Microsoft Excel/Word/PowerPoint, Adobe files...
  • 100% secure, virus-free, and plugin-free. Works perfectly on both Windows and Mac computers
  • Two scan modes: Quick Scan and Deep Scan, help you to find all the files you want

Other than these common scenarios, EaseUS data recovery software can rescue your files in situations like pen drive not showing data in Windows. Download it now and recover deleted files from your pen drive in minutes.

Follow the three steps to recover deleted/formatted files from pen drive:

Step 1. Connect the Target Pen Drive to Computer

Connect your pen drive to the computer and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Choose your pen drive and click the Scan button.

Select the pen drive to start

Step 2. Scan the Pen Drive and Preview Files

After the scanning finished, all your lost files will show up in the scan results. Use the Filter function to quickly filter a file type and preview the files before recovery.

Scan the pen drive

Step 3. Recover and Save Lost Files

Click the Recover button to save the selected files to a secure location on your PC or another external storage device.

Click Recover to save files

There is a video tutorial showing you how to use EaseUS Data Recovery to find back lost files. Watch it if you are interested in. 

Method 2. How to Recover Data from Pen Drive Using CMD

When your pen drive got damaged or corrupted, some files would disappear. In fact, these missing files are hidden.  CMD is helpful to recover data from a pen drive when the files are hidden from your device. Here are the detailed steps of using CMD to recover data from the pen drive. 

Step 1. Click "Start" and enter cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. In Command Prompt, type attrib –h –r –s /s /d e:*.* and hit "Enter".

Recover Data from Pen Drive Using CMD

Syntax Explanation: The "-h" option is used to clear the hidden attribute, the "-r" option to clear the read-only attribute, and the "-s" option to clear the system attribute. The "/d" attrib option includes directories, not only files, to whatever you're executing. You can only use /d with /s. The part "e:" means the drive letter of your pen drive. Replace it with your own drive letter. 

Additional Help - How to Protect Data on Pen Drive

After losing important files on your USB, you may realize the necessity of data protection. There are two directions for you to protect your pen drive files:

  • Grow a good habit of using the device
  • Back up your files regularly

A good habit like ejecting the pen drive before removing it can help reduce the risk of data loss on your device and at the same time extend the lifespan of the pen drive. However, good habits can minimize but not eliminate the chance of data loss on a pen drive. That's why data backup is necessary. You can back up your pen drive data by manually copying files, using free backup software, or syncing to cloud storage. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Apply the option best suited to your needs.

The Bottom Line

Generally speaking, recovering data from a pen drive can be done with third-party software or CMD. But the applicable scenario varies. Pen drive recovery software enables you to recover deleted/formatted data while CMD can only retrieve hidden files from your device. Besides, Backing up data is needed if you want to avoid complete data loss on your storage device. Although software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is useful in getting files back, it's always better to prevent data loss from happening.

Was This Page Helpful?


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.