Easy fixes: Flash Drive Folder Empty Problem

Users who want to fix the flash drive folder empty problem can refer to this guide. No matter whether your files hidden, deleted, or missing, this guide can help you.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“Why is my USB folder empty?”

Because of the portability of USB flash drives, many users are willing to utilize them as their storage or backup devices.

They could connect the USB to their PC and access the data on it whenever they needed to transfer or access the contents on it. But, some users have complained that they are being bothered by the flash drive folder empty problem.




I had files stored on a flash drive. They were in folders and some were out of folders. The contents of the folders are showing empty;


- Question from Microsoft Community


Some users may notice the flash drive or the folder on it saying: This folder is empty.


And they don’t know why this happens nor how to fix it.

Reasons for USB flash drive files disappeared

This part will discuss about the cause of files missing from flash drives issue. Many factors lead to this.

◢ Files were deleted. It is without a doubt the most common cause of data loss in general. Once removed from an external storage device, the deleted data and files will not appear in the Recycle Bin but directly be permanently deleted, making data recovery from the recycle bin impossible.

◢ Files were hidden. Once infected by viruses, they may hide, erase, or encrypt your files/folders. The virus-infected flash drive would meet problems such as data loss, system crashes, and so on.

◢ The USB was formatted. If you have intentionally or accidentally formatted the hard drive, all contents on it will be totally removed.

◢ Errors in reading and writing. If you do not properly remove the USB device, the data contained on it may be lost due to faults/errors.

Now follow the guide to fix the USB flash drive files disappeared issue.

How to fix flash drive folder empty problem?

According to the causes, there are 3 easy fixes to help you.

1. Unhide hidden files to find files missing from flash drive

As mentioned above, if you found the flash drive folder empty, the files might have been hidden by the viruses. Just use antivirus software and then follow the steps to unhide them.

Step 1. Connect the flash drive to the PC > go to This PC.

Step 2. Double-click the USB flash drive > View > Options > View> Show hidden files, folders, and drives.


In this way, you could access the hidden flash drive files and folders.

2. Turn to Disk Check feature

It is also possible that the flash drive was corrupted. Some trick can also help you recover corrupted hard drives. Here we could use the Disk Check feature to scan and fix the possible file system errors on your USB.


· If you are wondering or doubting does Windows Scan and Fix delete files, you could refer to the guide.

Step 1. Start This PC on your PC > right-click the USB drive > Click PropertiesTools > Check.


Step 2. Click Scan Drive to repair the errors on the file system.


3. Recover deleted files from USB easily

There is also a big reason for files missing from USB drives – file deletion.

If you have intentionally or accidentally removed files/folders from the flash drive, no files will be thrown to the Recycle Bin on your Recycle Bin, so you will find deleted files and folders not in Recycle Bin.

But don’t worry, with the proper help of an efficient Windows data recovery tool, you could even recover permanently deleted files from USB.

MyRecover is one of the eligible data rescue tools. It is developed by the outstanding and leading benchmark in the data security industry. With its help, you could fix the flash drive folder empty problem without any difficulties.

200+ types of recoverable data, including photos, videos, office files, zip files, etc. 
Recover deleted files with the original filenames, formats, and paths kept unchanged. 
Select files to recover from USB/SD card/ SSD/HDD, etc. 
Scanning and data recovery run at the same time, no need to wait. 
Support Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1 & Server. You could also recover data from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run the software > connect the USB device > hover the mouse over the flash drive > click Scan.


Step 2. Detected files can be checked, sorted, and searched using filters: extensions, Type, Date modified, Size, Path, etc.


Step 3. Go to Other missing files and select the needed data, e.g., Images, Documents, Compressed files, etc. > click Recover x files.


In this way, the problem files missing from flash drive can be settled properly.

Minimize USB data loss

This post aims at giving fixes to help you solve the flash drive folder empty problem. When using USB drives, it is difficult to prevent similar issues from happening again.

But to help you minimize USB data loss, some suggestions are prepared as well.

  • Connect and disconnect the USB properly every time.
  • Mind the maintenance of the USB drive, keep it from dirt, liquid, oil, etc.
  • Delete files on USB drives with more care.
  • Back up USB drives from time to time. Using professional data backup software for Windows will feasible.
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.