Show Hidden Files on USB Drive and Memory Card

Abby Haines updated on Mar 16, 2020 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.

If you've downloaded the Windows 10 KB4540673 update and are encountering files hidden or any issues, the best way to fix the problem is to uninstall the update:

Go to Settings > click Windows Update > Click View update history > click Uninstall updates and then select KB4540673 to uninstall it.

If uninstalling the update did not show hidden files either, download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and let the software scan and unhide all hidden files & folders for you.

Being unable to view or check the saved files on your memory card? When saved files become invisible on USB or memory card, don't worry. Follow any method below, you will make them show up on your device again:

Workable 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 is the 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

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, program 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 don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File Fixing" option. 

On the right pane, choose the drive and check off the box at the bottom - "Check and fix file system error". Then, click "Fix" to start repairing the error.

Step 3: Wait until the operation completes. Wait until the operation completes. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

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. Connect the USB drive and start scanning.

Connect the USB drive, like an external hard drive and USB flash drive, to the computer. Then launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the USB drive from which you want to recover the hidden files, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select the hidden files.

Wait until the scanning completes. Afterward, select the hidden files you want to recover from the USB drive. To check the file, double-click it to preview its content.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover the hidden files from the USB drive.

After choosing the files, click "Recover" and choose a location on another drive to save the files.

Recover lost data

100% of people found this article helpful.


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 to better 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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.