USB Data Recovery Tutorial: How to Recover Files from USB in 2021

Tracy King updated on Jan 22, 2021 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

Don't be panic when you lost data on USB drive by accidental deletion, formatting, virus attack, or other reasons. EaseUS USB data recovery software allows you to simply recover lost data on USB flash drive, pen drive, USB 3.0 or SD card with three simple steps. Learn how to recover USB data right now.

This page covers everything that you need to know about USB data recovery. If you are looking for a way to recover files from USB flash drive, or USB 3.0 external hard drive, follow to find the best solutions and bring back your lost data immediately.

Basic info:

  • 3-5 Minutes Reading
  • 4 Solutions Included

Provided solutions apply to recover data from USB flash drive, USB pen drive, USB external hard drives with USB 4.0/3.0/2.0 ports. All brands of USB drives, like SanDisk, Seagate, Kingston, Toshiba, Samsung, etc., are supported.

USB data recovery

Recover Files from USB Drive with 4 USB Data Recovery Solutions 

A USB drive is portable for users to take anywhere and fast to read, write, transfer, and save data. However, due to improper operations or unexpected errors, data loss on a USB seems unavoidable among most USB users.

Is there any way to recover files from USB? What to do when you lost data on the USB drive, SD card, or other storage devices? Here you can follow the guidelines here and pick up one of the listed methods below to restore data from your USB flash drive:

#1. Stop Using USB Device Immediately

No matter how you lost your files on the USB flash drive or USB external hard drive, stop using the device immediately. And don't save any new data to the drive. Then turn to a reliable data recovery solution as recommended below for help. 

#2. Turn to Reliable USB Data Recovery Solution or Software for Help

Here, we collected 4 reliable USB data recovery solutions, including manual ways and USB data recovery software, for you to pick up one and bring your lost files back immediately:

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

Note that the provided solutions are listed from easy to complex. As for beginners, we suggest you pick up one that works the most effectively with the easiest operations 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, finding 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. 

With its quick scan and deep scan modes, you can recover all files and folders from your USB device lost due to wrong deletion, formatting, virus infection, USB damage, USB becoming RAW, etc with a high success rate. 

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

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

Detailed Guide: 3 Steps to Recover Data from USB

With it, you can quickly recover files from all popular brands of USB drives, including SanDisk, Kingston, Transcend, Toshiba, Sony, Lexar, etc.

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

Please save the recovered data to another location on your PC before making sure that the USB drive is secure for saving data. If your USB is not working properly, you may format USB for a quick fix. 

If you lost data on other storage devices, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard also helps 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 possible method that you can try is using the CMD command to recover data from a USB drive. But this command only works when the files are hidden on your USB.

If the files are deleted, formatted, or lost due to other reasons instead of being hidden, EaseUS USB data recovery software is the only way to retrieve your data.

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.

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.

Note that this method only works when you have a backup of the lost USB data. If you have the habit of creating backups for important data, congratulations. You can 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 it 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

A free backup software tool for you is EaseUS Todo Backup. With this software, you can back up data on your laptop hard drive, partition, computer system, files, USB drive, etc. to an internal or external storage device with compressed images in only a few simple clicks. 

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

Of course, you can also manually copy vital data to a secure device as a backup. 

#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 drive 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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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.

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