Unhide USB Files Using Windows, CMD, or Software

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

Table of Contents

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

Solution 3. Recover Hidden Files on a USB Using Software

In case neither the Control Panel nor the CMD help shows the hidden files, EaseUS file recovery software becomes an effective alternative 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.

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

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Hover on the hard drive partition, external hard drive, USB flash drive, or memory card on which you want to show hidden files, and then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Wait until the quick scan and deep scan completes. After then, you can look for the hidden files in the scan results by going to the original path from the left-side tree-view pane, or use the "Filter" feature quickly display only one category, like Pictures, Word, Excel, Videos and so on.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. You can choose to preview the found files before doing a final recovery. If you have no problem with the preview result, click "Recover" and choose a location on another drive to save the recovered files. By doing so, you can make the hidden files show up again.

Recover lost data

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced comuter 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.

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