Overview of Formatted USB/Pen Drive Data Recovery

Sometimes you may accidentally format your USB drive or find yourself in a situation that requires reformatting because you can't use the device otherwise. These include:

Formatting a USB drive usually leads to losing most of the data that was stored on it. Or at least, that's how it seems. In reality, so long as you don't start using the drive and writing files to it, the data can still be there.

Restoring the data isn't easy though unless you use dedicated recovery software or don't mind entering command line code. Here's how to do both:

Two Free Solutions To Recover Data From Formatted USB/Pen Drive

Stop using the USB drive immediately after it's been accidentally formatted because once the data is overwritten, you will lose the chance to recover any previous files. The quicker you perform the formatted USB data recovery, the higher the chance you have of retrieving your data successfully.

Method 1. Recover Data from Formatted USB Drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Software

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard should be your first port of call, as not only is it an easy-to-use solution for recovering data but it's also free, so there's no financial risk involved.

Other than USB flash drives, it also allows you to recover files from a formatted computer hard drive, external hard drives, SD card, memory stick, and other PC-compatible storage devices. Here are the reasons why we recommend this tool:

  • Recovers data from formatted USB drives in three simple steps.
  • Recovers data from deleted, hidden, lost or RAW partition.
  • Supports users previewing the recoverable files.
  • Provides two scan modes: quick scan and deep scan.
  • 100% secure and works well on both Windows PCs and Macs.

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for free. Then, see how easy it is to use by watching the video tutorial or reading the detailed steps provided below:

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

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Select the formatted SD card, USB flash drive, or Pen drive from which you what to restore lost files and then click "Search for Lost Data".

select the formatted memory

Step 2. After the scan completed, all scan results will be displayed on the screen. Use the "Filter" or "File Type" feature to find your target files. If you remember the file name, you can also search in the search box, which is the fastest way to find the target file.

search for lost files

Step 3. Choose the files you want to recover from your formatted external drive and click "Recover". A new window will appear, you need to choose a local storage or Cloud drive to store the files. Then, click "OK" to confirm.

recover data from formatted memory card

As you can see, EaseUS file recovery software allows you to restore all lost data due to formatting. The only thing you need to do to recover a formatted USB is to choose the location of the lost data and the files you want to recover. It is also popular among users who need to recover files after emptying the recycle bin, retrieve lost data after a system crash, and more. Since data loss due to various reasons occurs daily. It's wise for you to equip your computer with it to maximize your chance of recovering all the lost files.

As you can see, EaseUS file recovery software is a pain-free way to retrieve files you thought lost after reformatting your drive. That's not the only scenario it can help with though, as it's also proved popular among users who needed to recover files after emptying the recycle bin, retrieve lost data after a system crash, and more.

Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS, and corrupted virtual disk file (.vmdk, .vhd, .vhdx, etc.)
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat the hard drive and repair the RAW drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT-protected partitions

Method 2. Retrieve Data from Formatted USB Using CMD

Some tips will tell you that you can use the CMD to recover formatted USB, actually, the Command Prompt can only help you unhide the hidden files. If your USB data is permanently deleted, you can only apply EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover it.

In case some users want to know how to show hidden files with CMD, here we give the detailed steps.

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

How to Recover Formatted USB

Step 2. Check the drive letter of your USB via This PC.

Step 3. Click the search icon in the taskbar, enter "cmd", then right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 4. Enter chkdsk F: /f in Command Prompt. (Replace F: with the drive letter of your formatted USB.)

Step 5. Enter Y and then enter the drive letter of your pen drive.

Step 6. Enter F: \ >attrib –h –r –s /s /d *.* and CMD will show you all hidden files from your pen drive. (F means the drive letter or your USB)

Bonus Tip. Restore Formatted Files from USB Drive Backup

If you're lucky enough to have a backup of your USB drive data, then just restore that to recover your files. We always recommend backing up your data, so take a look at our guide on the best free backup software to avoid losing any precious documents, images, or other files.

How can Data Be Recovered from Formatted USB/Pen Drives?

One question that often raised by users is 'How can the data on formatted USB drives be recovered?'. In this section, we'll quickly explain why this is possible with tools like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Generally, after formatting, your deleted files are not completely gone from the drive, it's just that you can't see them. They don't get permanently erased until new data is written, as this then replaces the data that has been marked by the system as no longer required.

Therefore, it is essential that you don't use a USB drive or other storage medium after you've accidentally reformatted it. By doing so, you will most likely write over the data you thought was lost, making it irretrievable.

Data recovery software knows what to look for when scanning drives, so it's able to find the files that Windows or macOS now thinks are unwanted, then give you the ability to copy them to new destinations.

Conclusion: Why EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is Your Best Choice

Although the three methods we've explained in this guide will all restore data thought lost after reformatting a drive, by far the simplest to use is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Due to being a dedicated, professional software tool, it makes finding and retrieving files quick and easy, plus it also offers additional features that cover other data loss situations.

Here are the top three reasons why you should consider using the software:

  • Easy to Use

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is famous for being user-friendly. To recover files from a formatted USB, you just need to perform a 3-step process to get things done.

  • 100% Secure

It's virus-free and plug-in-free. You can download it without worrying about causing any damage to your computer.

  • Great Compatibility

It supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, allowing you to recover files from your Windows laptop/desktop and Windows-compatible external storage devices. You can also use this software to recover files from partitions with file systems such as FAT, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2/ext3, HFS+, and ReFS.

Compared to using command line code or backup files, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard provides more flexibility in choosing the files you'd like to recover and can help in a variety of data loss situations. Don't hesitate to give it a try.

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

Recover Formatted USB Drive FAQs

It is the last part of this passage. If you have some extra questions about recovering a formatted USB drive, keep reading.

1. Does formatting a USB delete everything?

Does formatting USB delete everything? The answer is yes. When you are asked to format a USB drive, your USB drive may be corrupted or damaged already. You can perform a quick format, and the bad sectors won’t be checked. And you can perform a full format to format the whole USB drive, and it will take longer time than a quick format.

If you want to recover all the files from the USB drive, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help.

2. Can data on a USB drive be recovered after formatting?

Yes, the files stored on your USB drive are not erased forever, and they still remain on the USB drive. With the help of handy data recovery software, the data can be recovered easily. How to recover lost data from a USB drive?

  1. 1. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and launch it on your PC.
  2. 2. Scan the USB drive to find deleted files.
  3. 3. Restore the files on the USB drive after previewing them.

3. What is the best USB recovery software?

We select nine reliable USB recovery software for you:

  1. 1. EaseUS Dara Recovery Wizard
  2. 2. Stellar Data Recovery
  3. 3. Recuva
  4. 4. Disk Drill Data Recovery
  5. 5. SysTools Pen Drive Recovery
  6. 6. Aiseesoft Data Recovery
  7. 7. Data Rescue 6
  8. 8. DMDE
  9. 9. R-Studio

4. How to format my USB drive correctly?

You can follow the steps below to format a USB drive correctly:

  1. 1. Connect the USB drive to your PC and run CMD.
  2. 2. Type in disk part, list disk, select disk x, list, volume, select volume x, format fs=ntfs quick, and exit one by one.
  3. 3. Or you can download a USB drive format tool to perform a format.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Approved by Martyn Casserly

Martyn Casserly has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews. He is a professional content contributor for many known ITwebsites like Macworld.co.uk and techadvisor.com.

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