[Solved] Do Deleted Files from USB Go to Recycle Bin?

Do deleted files from USB go to Recycle Bin? Check this post to learn where do files deleted from USB go and how to get them back.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What happens to files that you deleted from a USB flash drive?

When using USB flash drives on your computer to manage your files, please be careful if you need to "delete" something – you might delete an important file and can never find it anywhere on the computer.


What happens to a file when you delete it off a flash drive? I noticed it doesn't end up in the trash/recycle bin. Why is that?


- Question from Quora


Many people have noticed that after deleting items from a USB or SD card, they will find deleted files not in the Recycle Bin.

You might have seen this prompt when you try to remove something from a USB device: "Are you sure you want to permanently delete this file?"


That's the answer. Where do files deleted from USB go? They are removed from the device permanently but not moved to the Recycle Bin. And similarly, this is why you could not find the deleted files in the trash can.

Are deleted files from a USB recoverable?

Please don't panic; just because the data have been permanently lost doesn't imply you won't be able to restore them.

In fact, a deleted file is not actually erased; instead, the pointer to the exact file is removed. Meanwhile, the file's storage space will be marked as "free," indicating that it is available for new data to occupy/overwrite.

The deleted files will be erased once new data replaces the space.

As a result, as long as you stop using the USB and avoid overwriting, you can recover deleted data from USB.

How to recover deleted files from USB?

In this part, the feasible methods to retrieve erased data from USB flash drives will be given with detailed instructions.

Method 1. Undo flash drive delete via Windows File Recovery

When a file is deleted from the C drive, you could restore it from the root Recycle Bin and also restore previous version of the files and folder to get it back.

But it won't work on a USB because the File History and Previous Version can only save copies of a local hard disk.

Instead, you could turn to Microsoft's official tool. Windows File Recovery can be of help if you are familiar with commands. But for ordinary users, it will be too difficult to handle.

Refer to the Windows File Recovery user guide for more detailed information about this tool. Now follow the brief instructions to restore files from USB.

If you see errors like "there was an error parsing your command", please seek help to fix it. 
Remember that the source and target drives cannot be the same.

Step 1. Connect the flash drive to your computer > go to This PC > right-click on the pen drive > Properties. Check the File System.


Step 2. Choose a recovery mode according to the file system and data loss situation.

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. Switches help you narrow the scanning range.

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. Get Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store > run it.


Step 5. Input the command. Format:

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

for instance,

winfr F: D: /extensive /n *.jpg /n *.png


Then press y to proceed and wait for the procedure to complete.

Using this command, you can recover jpeg and png files from your USB device to another drive.

You may receive the error "Windows File Recovery stuck at 99 percent" and be unable to complete the process. If this is the case, get assistance and have it corrected.

A folder titled "Recovery_date and time" in the destination disk will be created automatically.

Method 2. Recover deleted files from USB using reliable data recovery software

Have problems using Windows File Recovery? As an app without a graphical user interface, it is no doubt that users cannot handle it well.

In this case, relying on an easy Windows data recovery tool would be a good idea. You will need a tool that can:

  • Recover multiple sorts of data from both internal and external hard drives.
  • Support a wide range of operating systems and file systems.
  • Restore data at high speed and recovery rate.

Given these requirements, MyRecover will be the preferable choice for you.

As an efficient data rescue tool, it scans for deleted and missing files from internal/external HDD/SSD/USB/memory cards. 
Scans and restore 200+ types of data, including photos, videos, documents, compressed files, etc. 
Support deleted/lost data recovery from Windows 11/10/8/7 & Server and NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/ReFS, etc. 
Deleted files can keep their original filenames, formats, paths, etc.

Don't hesitate to download MyRecover to start your USB data recovery.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download
Quick Scan only scans deleted files from NTFS hard drive, while Deep scan can seek missing files from devices of all file systems. 
If you use a non-NTFS USB flash drive, please seek your deleted files in Other missing files.

Step 1. Download and install the software > connect your external storage device to the PC > hover the mouse over the external hard disk >click Scan.


Step 2. It automatically finds deleted pictures on external hard drives with Quick Scan & Deep Scan.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files to select the deleted pictures, or go to Other missing files and select the Images you want > click Recover x files.


Using this practical data recovery utility, you could quickly get data back from pen drives.

FAQ about USB data recovery

The question "Do deleted files from USB go to Recycle Bin" has been answered with a clear explanation, and two ways to recover deleted files from USB can be of some help.

More info is prepared here if you want to make it clearer about USB data recovery.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.