Show Hidden Files on USB Drive and Memory Card

Abby Haines updated on Jul 17, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


Files can become hidden on a memory storage device for a variety of reasons. On this page, you can learn how to show or recover hidden files on virus-infected USB flash drives, hard drives, memory cards, pen drives using Control Panel, CMD and EaseUS data recovery software.

Nowadays, more and more people store their personal data on USB flash drives, pen drives, memory cards, and other external hard disks. But sometimes, these files can go missing after a system update, programs installation, virus attack, and other unknown reasons. You didn't delete them or format the disk ever. In this case, when USB files & folders are invisible on the correct spot, how are you going to unhide them? This page introduces three ways to recover/show hidden files on a generic storage drive.

QuestionHow to unhide or show hidden files on USB drives or memory cards?

"I have lots of pictures and documents on my USB flash drive, but now when I open it, I can't see anything. The folder just shows that my device is empty. I don't know what happened. Is there any way to show hidden files in my USB?"

Many people have had a similar experience and may have felt helpless to see that all of their files have vanished. Before introducing memory card recovery solutions that allow you to recover hidden files on USB drives or memory cards, we would first like to talk about how the files can go missing in the first place. Often 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 for you to recover virus infected files from USB drives, hard drives, or memory cards. Here you can read on to learn how to fix a blank SD card and show hidden files on a memory card or USB drive in two possible ways.

Solution 1Show hidden files in USB with control panel

Step 1. In Windows 10/8.1/8/7, open File Explorer and on the left pane, double-click on the Control Panel.

Step 2. Switch the view to Category and click "Appearance and personalization".

Step 3. Click "Show hidden files and folders" under "File Explorer Options".

Step 4. Click the "View" tab, uncheck "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" and click "Apply".

show hidden files in usb in control panel

Solution 2Show hidden files in USB using CMD

Command Prompt (CMD) is the second choice when you want to show hidden files from external hard disk, USB drive, memory card, or other storage devices.

To unhide hidden files on your memory card or flash drive using  CMD:

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

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

open command prompt admin

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

Click to copy

Finish these steps and then you can go to your USB flash drive, hard drive, or memory card to check if you can see all of the hidden files. If you can't find the files you want, you can try another solution: recover hidden files on USB flash drive and memory card with EaseUS data recovery software.

Solution 3Recover hidden files in USB with software

In case neither of the Control Panel and CMD help show the hidden files, EaseUS file recovery software becomes a nice alternative solution. The program is professional recovery software that can help you recover hidden files from pen drive, hard drives and multiple storage devices such as USB flash drives, memory cards, external hard drives, etc.

Step 1. Preparations

  • Connect the USB drive to your PC.
  • Launch EaseUS data recovery software.
  • Select the USB drive.
select the usb to find hidden files

Step 2. Scanning

  • Click Scan after you have chosen the USB.
  • The software will scan the USB to find all of the hidden files and the existing files on the USB.
  • Wait patiently during the scanning process.
scan the usb

Step 3. Recover

  • Preview the hidden files. You can click Filter to help you find the recoverable hidden files. If the name or path of the hidden file has been changed, click Extra Files to find it.
  • Select the wanted files and click Recover to restore the hidden files from a USB.
  • Choose another place to save your recovered files to avoid data overwriting.
recover hidden files from usb

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Frequently Asked Qusetions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. 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

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