2021 USB Data Recovery | How to Recover Files from USB [ 5 Ways]

Don't worry if you lost USB files due to deletion, formatting, virus infection, etc. 5 USB data recovery methods are available to help. For the easiest way out, go and download EaseUS data recovery software, and learn how to recover files from USB on your own now.

Table of Contents

Applies to: USB data recovery on USB flash drive, USB pen drive, external USB drives with USB 4.0/3.0/2.0 ports.

Is there any way to recover files from USB? This page covers everything that you need to know about USB data recovery. Follow to learn how to recover USB data immediately.

USB data recovery


USB Data Recovery Preparation - What to Do When You Lost USB Files

The USB drive is widely used to transfer and save files as it's portable, fast in reading and writing data. However, when data loss occurs on your USB drives due to improper operations or unexpected errors, what will you do?  

Check the below preparation list, you'll know what to do when you lost data on the USB drive, SD card, etc., devices:

#1. Stop Using USB Device Where You Lost Files Immediately 

  1. 1. Stop using the USB device where you lost files immediately.
  2. 2. Don't save any new data to the USB drive.

#2. Turn to Reliable USB Data Recovery Solutions for Help - 5 Methods Available 

Here, we collected 5 reliable USB data recovery solutions that you can pick one and follow to recover files from a USB drive immediately:

  1. #Method 1. Use USB Data Recovery Software - 97% Success Rate
  2. #Method 2. Use CMD Attrib Command - 80% Success Rate
  3. #Method 3. USB CMD Alternative Tool - 80% Success Rate
  4. #Method 4. Use USB File Backup - 50% Success Rate
  5. #Method 5. Use Previous Version - 20% or Less Success Rate

As for beginners, we suggest you pick up USB file recovery software as recommended in Method 1 that works the most effective to restore your USB files. Let's start to recover your USB data now.

Method 1. Recover Files from USB Drive with USB Data Recovery Software

Applies to: All levels of Windows and USB drive users.

To quickly restore the lost files from your USB drive, turning a reliable USB data recovery software tool is the most advisable choice. Here professional hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is able to help. 

See What Can EaseUS USB Data Recovery Software Do for You

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • 3 Steps to recover all files and folders from your USB device.
  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, emails effectively
  • Recover deleted files from all brands of USB drives, like SanDisk, Seagate, Kingston, Toshiba, Samsung, etc.
  • Recover USB data from sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash, etc.

Download this 100% secure software and follow the tutorial below to do USB file recovery with a few simple clicks.

Detailed Guide: 3 Steps to Recover Data from USB

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

Note: After the recovery, remember to save the recovered data to another location and format USB to make your USB drive safe and work normally again.

Video Tutorial: Recover  from USB Flash Drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

You can also follow this video and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to perform SD card recoveryrecover files from external hard drive, hardware RAID, SD card, memory cards, etc.

Method 2. Perform USB Data Recovery Using Command Prompt

Applies to: Advanced Windows users who know how to use CMD command very well.

The other method that you can try is using the CMD command. It works to recover data from a USB drive.

But this command only works when the files are hidden on your USB. So, if you hide your files on USB, you may follow the steps below to bring back the data:

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer.

Step 2. Run Command Prompt as an administrator.

Run command prompt as administrator

Step 3. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d e:\*.* and hit "Enter".

Note: Replace e: with the drive letter of your USB flash drive or USB external hard drive.

Recover USB hidden files with CMD command

After the steps above, the hidden files on your USB will be shown again.

Method 3. Recover Hidden USB Files with CMD Alternative Tool

Apples to: Recover hidden files from USB flash drive or USB pen drives, SD card, etc., with a CMD alternative tool.

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

Method 4. Recover Lost Files from USB with Backup

Applies to: Recover lost or deleted files from USB drive with previously created backup.

If you have a backup of the lost USB data, you can quickly restore the lost USB data with a 100% success rate. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Find your USB data backup on your computer or external storage device.

Step 2. Locate and select your lost data from the backup.

Step 3. Copy and save the data back to your USB drive.

If you don't have a backup, the success rate is 0%. At this moment, you can turn to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard as recommended in Method 1 for help.

Method 5. Recover USB Data from Previous Versions

Applies to: Recover USB data from the previous version on Windows. 

This is a Windows feature that sometimes you delete files on Windows computer, you may try to restore them from the Previous Version feature.

Note that this feature doesn't work all the time. Here are the steps for you to try:

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer.

Step 2. Open This PC and right-click your USB drive, select "Properties". 

Step 3. Go to the Previous Versions tab, select an available previous version and click "Restore".

Note that this feature may not show up on the latest or new Windows 10 computers. For 100% successful data recovery on your USB, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is always the best option.

Causes of USB Data Loss

If you've successfully restored lost data from your USB flash drive or external hard drive, congratulations. Almost everyone has suffered from data loss at one time or another.

Getting to know the causes of your USB data loss is also vital. Here is a list of reasons why you lost data that we think you should check carefully:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Careless formatting
  • Invalid file system error
  • Virus or malware infection
  • Hardware failure
  • Connection issue

So how to protect the data on your USB drives? Follow the tips in the next part, you'll know what to do.

Bonus Tips: How to Back Up USB Data

Not only USB, other devices like hard drive, SD card, memory card, and more are also the places where data loss occurs.

It's always better to nip data loss in the bud than to recover the data after the disaster happens. To minimize the chance of complete data loss, here are some tips that you can follow to protect the data on your USB flash drive easily:

#1. Create a backup of USB data regularly

To backup USB files, you have three options:

1. Turn to free file backup software for help; 2. Manually copy and paste files to another location; 3. Upload and save USB data to a Cloud drive.

Here, we recommend you try EaseUS Todo Backup - reliable file backup software. With this software, you can back up all files on USB drive to an internal or external storage device in only a few simple clicks:

Note: Make sure that the new USB flash drive is empty and big enough for saving the backup image of your present USB files and data.

Step 1. Connect the new USB flash drive to your PC/laptop.

Step 2. Launch and EaseUS Todo Backup on your PC and click "Disk/Partition" on the home screen. Or, click the menu icon at the left top corner, and choose Disk/Partition Backup

Select Disk/Partition backup mode to start backing up your disk

Step 3. Choose the USB that you want to back up as the source disk, and select the new USB flash drive as the destination disk to save the backup image of the selected USB data.

Choose the source and destination disk to backup computer to USB flash drive

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to start backing up USB to USB now. When the process finishes, you can unplug or disconnect the USB flash drive. And all the data on the old USB flash drive will appear on your new USB flash drive, displaying as a compressed form by taking small space.

You may interest in: Auto Backup Files to External hard Drive.

#2. Deal with USB drive carefully

It's also advised that you deal with USB flash drives and external devices carefully on your computer. Here are some daily cares that you may follow to make your drive work properly:

  • Set a valid file system for USB or USB flash drive. (FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT are acceptable.)
  • Run antivirus software to clean up viruses or malware on USB.
  • Connect and eject the USB drive from the PC properly.
  • Be aware of deleting or formatting your device. 

The Bottom Line

On this page, we collected 4 reliable USB data recovery solutions to help all levels of USB owners to recover files from USB drives due to various data loss issues.

For USB data recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an unmissable choice since it outperforms its equivalents with its excellent performance. With it, you can recover data from various kinds of storage devices in different kinds of data loss situations. 

We can reduce the chance of data loss, but we cannot eliminate the possibility of losing data. Thus, both the backup software and data recovery software are necessary to ensure data security.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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