Answered: Can You Undo A Formatted Hard Drive? [3 Tested Solutions]

Can you undo a formatted hard drive? Don’t worry, this post provides you with 3 options on how to undo a formatted hard drive. Keep reading and find the easiest one.


By Ellie / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Is it possible to undo a format?

"Is it possible to undo a format? We did one without backing up files from my hard drive that I required. Is it possible to reverse this? Please assist.”

-Question from Microsoft Community

Can you undo a formatted hard drive? Before answering whether it is possible to undo a format, you should first figure out the difference between a quick format and a full format. What is a quick format and what is a full format?

Quick Format VS Full Format

A quick format removes files from the partition without scanning the disk for bad sectors, and it will only delete the journaling part of the file system, and then lay a new, simple, and blank file system on top, making the quickly formatted data recoverable.

A full format includes an additional step that looks for bad sectors on the hard drive. It only writes the file system structure blocks and completely erases your hard drive, rendering the formatted data unrecoverable even with professional data recovery software.

Therefore, if you commit a quick format on your computer’s hard disk, you can undo the operation. But if you commit to a full format, nothing can be done to get back your lost data.

Can you undo a formatted hard drive? YES! 

3 methods of how to undo a format on a hard drive on Windows 11/10//8.1/8/7 are given in this part.

Option 1. Recover data from quick formatted hard drive via data recovery tool

The first choice for recovering data from a hard drive that was quickly formatted is MyRecover. It can quickly recover emails, compressed files, videos, pictures, text, photos, and other sorts of files.

Step 1. Download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer.

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

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

Select Partition to Scan

Step 3. Then the scanning process will start automatically. You don’t need to wait for the process to complete if you find the data you want to recover.

Scan Lost Data

Step 4. Choose the data that you want to recover. Click Recover xx files and choose a destination path to save the restored data.

Choose Lost Photos

Option 2. Perform quick format data recovery via Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is one of the qualified tools. It uses recovery modes and switches to restore deleted and missing files from a healthy/formatted/corrupted source drive to a target drive.

Step 1. Go to This PC > right-click on the formatted hard drive > click Properties. Check the File System.


Step 2. Choose a recovery mode. Extensive is recommended.

File system Scenarios mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Step 3. Select switches to narrow the scanning range and target your files faster.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFS Segment​​​​​
/segment Segment mode; recovers files under NTFS drives using file record segments. Segment
/signature Signature mode; recovers files under all file system types using file headers. Signature
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS Segment

Step 4. Go to Microsoft Store > click Get to install Windows File Recovery.


Step 5. Run the program > input the command:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

For example, if you need to recover deleted photos from C: drive to D: drive, then the command will be like:

winfr C: D: /n *.png


Option 3. Using File History to retrieve formatted hard drive data

Another service provided by Windows to recover formatted hard drive data is the File History, which allows you to recover your files from backup copies. However, you must ensure that it is turned on.

Note: File History will only backup your files in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Desktop folders, as well as OneDrive files on your computer that are available offline.

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

File History

Step 2. Click Restore personal files.

Restore Personal Files

Step 3. Select the files you need to recover and then click the Restore button.

Restore Deleted File

Bonus tip: Make a hard drive backup with AOMEI Backupper

If you have a backup of the hard drive, then the method of how to undo formatting a hard drive would be easier. You are able to directly restore files from the backup. Here we recommend the professional data backup software for Windows AOMEI Backupper.

  • Automated disk backup. You can select one of its daily, weekly, or monthly schedule backup options to back up the disk.
  • Backup incremental. This software offers incremental backup by default, which only backs up changes made since the last backup.
  • Other practical tools. You can create bootable media using a CD or USB disk so that, even if your system fails, you can still start your PC from the bootable media and access your backup hard drive.

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper for Windows on your computer. 

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

Step 2. Under the Backup tab, select the Disk Backup option.

Disk Backup

Step 3. Click Add Disk to choose the external hard drive. You can also change the Task Name here to help you distinguish backups from each other.

Add Disk

Step 4. Select a location for the disk image by clicking the folder-shaped button.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. Click Start Backup to carry out disk backup and wait until the operation is complete. Click Finish to exit the interface.

Backup Finish


Can you undo a formatted hard drive? This post primarily introduces 3 methods of how to undo a formatted hard drive. Please make sure that you have committed a quick format instead of a full format before trying the mentioned methods. Also, always making a backup of your hard drive using AOMEI Backupper is a good way to avoid data loss.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.