How to Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive without Software

If you accidentally delete some files from USB flash drive, how to get them back? Keep reading and you will find solutions to recover deleted files from flash drive even without software.


by Lily Updated on July 7, 2023

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Can you recover deleted files from a flash drive?

I just made a stupid decision that I deleted part of files stored on my USB flash drive. When it pops-up the warning “Are you sure you want to permanently delete these 9 items”, I clicked “Yes”, and at that moment, I realized that I made a big mistake. Can you recover deleted files form a flash drive?

Delete Files

Most of users know that once the files stored on flash drives like USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive, have been deleted, they won’t be removed to Recycle Bin like the files stored on the local hard drives. But does this mean the files deleted from USB drive cannot be found anymore? Not exactly. This article will show you how to recover delete files from flash drive without software.

How to recover files from a flash drive in Windows 11/10/8/7

There are so many third party software recommended when you search for the solution to recover deleted files. But actually you can try following ways to recover deleted files from flash drive without software.

Solution 1. Recover deleted files from a flash drive using CMD

To recover deleted files from USB, SD card, pen drive, or other flash drives in Windows 10/8/7, you can do as following steps:

1. Press Windows +R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog.

2. In the box, type CMD and press Enter to enter command prompt as administrator.

3. In the command prompt, type the command ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D F:*.*

Tips: F is the drive letter of your flash drive. You need to replace F depending on your flash drive letter shows on your computer.

Wait a minute. After this procedure, you will find all deleted files on a newly created folder on your USB drive.

Solution 2. Restore a previous version of files or folders

You can also recover deleted files from a flash drive by “restore previous version of Windows Properties” in Windows 10/8/7.

Step 1. Right-click on the folder that contains files you deleted, select Restore Previous Versions.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, click on the tab “Previous Versions”, you’ll be told that the previous versions from File History or from restore points.

Step 3. A list of older versions of the file will be displayed. Choose the file edition you’re looking for and click the Restore button.

If you don’t see “Restore Previous Versions” by right-clicking, go to Control Panel to turn on the System Protection:

Click on System & Security> System > System Protection

Available drives with corresponding protection will be shown, and you need to select a particular drive and click on configure. Then, click on “Restore system settings and previous versions of files”, and click on “OK”.

It is necessary to backup important files on flash drive

The files stored on a flash drive also need to be backed up. It is not as safe as your imaging. Like this article said, once the files on USB flash drive deleted, it is difficult to get it back. Even the two methods we introduced may fail.

However, things will be different if you backed files on USB flash drive, or SD card, pen drive, etc, once the files lost, no matter what causes, you can retrieve files back with the backup image.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a great FREE backup software for Windows 10/8/7 users. It allows you to backup files on a flash drive and allows you to restore files when you need.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Recover delete files from USB flash drive with AOMEI Backupper

Note: Using AOMEI Backupper to recover deleted files from a flash drive, you should backup files on USB flash drive via AOMEI Backupper in advance. Thus you can restore files from the backup image whenever you need.

To recover delete files from USB flash drive with AOMEI Backupper, you can do as below:

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper. Click Restore and Select Task to locate your backup image. If your image is not in the Restore page, you can try to browse a path to find the image by clicking Select Image File option.

Select Image File

Step 2. You will be moved to the Restore page, select a backup image to restore, click Next.

Select Image

Step 3. Then, select the files or folders that you want to restore. Click Next.

Select Folder from Image

Step 4. Here, select to restore to original location and click Start Restore. If you want to restore to new location, you can tick Restore to new location and select a path to save your backup.

Restore to Original Location

Step 5. When the file restore progress reaches 100%, click Finish.

Besides, you still can restore files using Explore Image feature under the Tools tab. It will save all the files to its original location. Also, you can select a new location to store files. 

And it is really useful when you don't have a file backup, for example, you create a system backup. It will mount all the partition (s) on the system image and specify a drive letter for them. Then, you can view them in Windows Explorer and manually copy any files you want to another location.

Explore Image


Backup data is the most effective way to protect data safe. AOMEI Backupper should be the great helper for data backup and restore. You can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to get more advanced features. For Windows Server users, you can turn to AOMEI Backupper Server.

Backup data can save a lot of problems easily. Once the data lost, you can restore it in a short time. For example, if you backed up system in advanced, once the system crashed, you can restore computer to earlier state instead of reinstalling system.

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.