Have you ever disconnected a USB drive while some files were still being transferred, only to find later that you had lost files that were already on the USB drive in addition to those that were in the process of being transferred?

Since you wouldn’t be the only person in the world to experience this, we have compiled a list of 4 methods for recovering deleted files from USB drives.

Causes of Data Loss on USB

Apart from disconnecting a USB drive while it’s still in operation, there exist multiple other causes for the sudden disappearance of data from USB devices, such as:

    ❓ Unintentional removal of files.

    🐜 Infection with malware.

    ♻ USB Drive Formatted.

     Damaged physically.

    A hardware malfunction.

    ❌ A glitch in the software.

Problems with the USB ports’ power source.

Nevertheless, there are a few steps you must take to guarantee that you may effectively recover erased contents from flash drives, regardless of the cause of USB data loss:

   As soon as you realise your data is lost, stop using the flash drive.

     When you have a moment, turn off your computer and securely store the flash drive. This will allow you to begin the USB data recovery process.

    Avoid attempting to read or write data from the flash drive to another location as this could make recovery efforts more difficult.

It’s time to go over the four methods of flash drive file recovery that we want you to know about now that you are aware of the most frequent causes of data loss on USB devices and how to guarantee a successful recovery.

How Deleted Files Can Be Recovered from a USB Drive Without Software

It’s wise to use built-in commands for particular USB recovery circumstances before looking into third-party recovery solutions. Finding hidden files with the CMD “attrib” command is frequently a fast way to recover data that appears to have been lost. In the meantime, “chkdsk” resolves file system issues on damaged discs, thereby bringing everything back to normal.

Method 1: Make use of the feature to restore earlier versions.

The Restore previous versions feature, which is available in all current Windows operating system versions (Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11), allows you to recover deleted data without the need for any additional software. However, it is only functional if you enabled it prior to deleting your files.

Deleted data on a USB flash drive can be recovered by:

    Link the flash disc via USB to your PC.

    Type “This pc” into the Start menu and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

    Use the right-click menu to choose “Properties” from your USB flash drive.

    Navigate to the “Previous Versions” page and review the possible recovery methods from there.

You are not able to restore erased files from your flash drive using this method if you do not see any prior versions. If so, we advise you to try the third approach, which is always guaranteed to succeed.

Method 2: Use CMD to Retrieve Deleted Files from a USB Drive

Not because this is the simplest or most efficient approach, but rather because using it doesn’t need downloading any additional software or activating any data protection features, is why we chose to start with it. Command Prompt, or CMD, is a crucial component of 

It works with all Windows installations and supports every command you’ll need to finish following the steps below.

  1. Link your computer to the USB flash drive.
  2. Select “cmd” from the Start menu and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type “chkdsk X: /f” and press Enter. Simply make sure that the letter designated for your USB flash drive is substituted for “X.”
  4. Finally, enter “ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.*” and press Enter (again, substitute the USB drive letter for “X”). 
  5. Hold off till the procedure is finished.

If the procedure was successful, all of the removed files ought to be visible in a freshly made USB drive folder.

Getting Back Files That Have Been Permanently Deleted from a USB Drive

There is still hope if ‘Restore Previous Versions’ and CMD were unable to retrieve the files from your USB flash drive. Using third-party software like Disc Drill and built-in tools like Windows File Recovery is the next stage. 

To recover deleted files, use the built-in Windows File Recovery tool.

Microsoft released Windows File Recovery, their own data recovery programme, in response to the significant demand for third-party programmes like Disc Drill. 

You can use Windows File Recovery to recover deleted files from any USB drive if you have Windows 10 version 2004 or later. The tool’s lack of a graphical user interface makes it less user-friendly than Disc Drill, which is the only drawback. 

Using Windows File Recovery, recover erased data from a USB flash drive: