These days, a lot of people store their personal data on USB flash drives, pen drives, memory cards, and other external hard disks. But, sometimes, these files go missing after a system update, program installation, virus attack, or other unknown reasons. You didn't intentionally delete them or format the disk ever. In this case, when USB files and folders are invisible at their location, how to show hidden files in USB? Here on this page, you will learn how to unhide files and folders on USB using three methods, including Windows, CMD, and third-party USB drive recovery software.

Effective Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Solution 1. Use Recovery Software Connect USB/SD to PC > Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard > Scan and restore hidden files...Full steps
Solution 2. Use Control Panel Connect device to PC > Open Control Panel > "Appearance and personalization" > "Show hidden..."...Full steps
Solution 3. Use Command Prompt Open Command Prompt as Administrator > Enter attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*-* (G for device drive letter)...Full steps

How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on a USB Pen Drive

The hidden files and folders on a USB drive are defined as a group of items that take up disk space but don't show up normally. These files might be set as hidden in Windows by default, or these are made hidden by a virus. If you lost important documents, pictures, or videos and you know you didn't delete any of those, it's likely that they're hidden somewhere. You need to take appropriate measures to unhide files from the portable device as soon as possible.

Many people have had a similar experience and may have felt helpless to see that all of their files have vanished. Before introducing hidden file recovery solutions that allow you to view, check, and show hidden files on various types of USB drives, we would first like to talk about how the files can go missing in the first place. If your USB drive, memory SD card, or other storage device shows no data, it might have been infected with a virus or malware. Malware can sometimes mark the files on your device as hidden so that you cannot see them when you open the device.

Fortunately, it is possible to recover virus-infected files from USB drives, hard drives, or memory cards. Here, you will learn how to fix a blank SD card and show hidden files on a memory card or USB drive using three effective ways.

You might want to watch this video tutorial first:

Solution 1. Recover Hidden Files on a USB Using Software

In case neither the Control Panel nor the CMD help shows the hidden files, EaseUS EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard becomes an effective solution. This program is professional recovery software that helps you recover hidden files from pen drives, hard drives, and multiple storage devices such as USB flash drives, memory cards, external hard drives, and more.

Recover Hidden Files with EaseUS

  • recover any data that has been showing up in the result during the process of the scan.
  • Initiate, pause, or resume a data recovery scanning process at any time so you can customize your data recovery schedule.
  • Support data recovery after sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6

By performing the 3-step hidden file recovery, you'll see hidden files showing up again.

Step 1. Select the virus infected drive to scan

Run EaseUS virus file recovery software on your Windows PC. Select the disk attacked by the virus to scan for lost or hidden files. Note that:

  • If it's an HDD where files were hidden or deleted by virus, it's better to install the software on a different volume or an external USB drive to avoid data overwriting.
  • If the infected device is an external hard drive, flash drive or memory card, it doesn't matter to install the software on the local drive of the computer.
select a location to scan

Step 2. Check all scanned results

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will immediately start a scan process to find your deleted or hidden files on the virus infected hard drive. To quickly locate the wanted files, you can use the Filter or type grouping feature to display only the pictures, videos, documents, emails, etc.

filter deleted or hidden files

Step 3. Preview and recover deleted/hidden files

When the process finishes, you can preview the scanned files. Select the files you want and click the "Recover" button. You should save restored files to another secure location on your computer or storage device, not where they were lost.

Restore virus infected files

Solution 2. Show Hidden Files on USB Using Windows File Option

Step 1. In Windows 10/8/7, press Windows + E to bring up the Windows Explorer.

Step 2. In the Folder Options or File Explorer Options window, click the View tab. Under Hidden files and folders, click the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.

how to show hidden files in usb in windows file explorer options

Step 3. Click Apply, then OK. You'll see the files on the USB drive.

Solution 3. Show Hidden Files on a USB Using CMD

Command Prompt (CMD) is the second choice when you want to show hidden files on external hard disks, USB drives, memory cards, or other storage devices. Here, you will learn the full attrib command for hidden files.

To unhide files using CMD, follow these three steps:

Step 1. Properly connect the USB drive to your computer.

Step 2. Press Windows + X keys to bring up a menu and click Command Prompt (Admin) in this menu.

open command prompt admin

Step 3. Enter attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* (replace G: with the drive letter for your device) in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.

When you finish these steps, access your USB flash drive, hard drive, or memory card to check if you can see all of the hidden files.

Show Hidden Files with CMD Alternative Tools

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

If you don't find the files you were looking for, try another solution: recover hidden files on a USB flash drive and memory card with EaseUS data recovery software.

Show Hidden Files in USB FAQs

To help resolve your queries, we have collected 3 questions you might be interested in.

1. Why can't I see my files in USB?

A virus attack is the most likely reason for this problem. Other factors, besides virus infestation, could result in a USB not showing files:

  • Your USB drive's files and folders are hidden
  • Unintentionally deleted data
  • Your computer's OS does not recognize the file system

2. How do I see hidden files on my USB?

Several factors can cause files on a USB device to become hidden. To reveal or recover hidden files on USB flash drives, hard drives, memory cards, and pen drives that have been infected with viruses, use Control Panel, CMD, and EaseUS data recovery software.

3. How do I recover hidden files on my SD card?

To recover hidden files on SD cards, we advise using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

  1. Attach your Android SD card to your computer.
  2. Search for the desired files on the SD card.
  3. View the documents.
  4. Recover files that are buried on the SD card.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and loves various electronic products.

Read full bio

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.

Read full bio