How to Recover Deleted Photos from USB Drive at Ease?

Learn how to recover deleted photos from USB drive via three methods and get practical tips for data loss prevention on this page.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How can I recover my deleted files from USB without software?

USB is an excellent choice to save or transfer data thanks to its light, tiny and portable feature. And users prefer to store photos/pictures on the USB because images render a richer message and are more vivid than words. But this action also brings potential risks for data loss as the case.


I accidentally deleted my photos from the USB flash drive. The folder is empty. Where did these files go? How to recover deleted photos from USB drive? Please help me!

As you can see, it could be a problematic issue for users to screen and choose a practical method after data loss. Please get methods to recover pictures from USB drive below.

Three methods to recover deleted photos from USB drive  

How to recover deleted photos from USB drive? This guide shows you three practical methods. The first two methods closely link to the command prompt but for different scenarios. If you prefer to recover pictures from USB drive with no effort, you could consider employing reputable photo recovery software recommended by the final method.

Method 1. Recover pictures from USB drive using CMD

The command prompt in the first method refers to the Attrib command. It can assist you in modifying and changing file attributes (read-only, hidden, system, and archive).

In this case, your photos are in a hidden situation instead of deleted ones because you cannot view hidden files by default. How do you use CMD to recover the hidden files from USB? Let’s perform how to recover hidden photos from the USB drive.

Step 1. Connect the USB to your PC. Then type “cmd” in the search bar, and select “Run as administrator”.


Step 2. Copy “attrib –h –r –s /s /d G:\*.*” in the window and hit “Enter”. Please replace the letter G with the real drive letter of your USB.


Step 3. After the process, you’ll find these retrieved photos saved in a new folder on your USB. If you need, change its chk format and store it at your destination place.

If you want to recover the deleted or lost photos from USB, you can give the above method up because the attrib command cannot work for you in this situation. And you can refer to another two targeted methods.

Method 2. Recover pictures from USB drive via Windows File Recovery

Released by Microsoft, Windows File Recovery aims to recover the lost files that have been deleted from your local storage devices (internal and external drives/solid-state drives/USB drives/SD cards). In other words, you cannot recover these files from the Recycle Bin.

This free data recovery software closely links to the command prompt because there’s no graphical user interface. Therefore, you need to modify the command line format according to the file system, data loss scenarios, etc. And it only works with Windows 10/11.

Please stop using your local storage devices and don’t add new data to them after data loss.   
It allows you to recover Word, PPT, Excel, ZIP, PDF, PNG, MPEG, JPEG, etc.
The Extensive, Regular, Segment, and Signature mode supports NFTS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.
Connect your USB to your PC. Click “This PC” > right-click on the USB > click “Properties” to check the file system of your USB.


After figuring out your file system, select a mode based on your data loss scenarios.

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago



After formatting a disk



A corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



Resemble and modify your needed command lines with common switches below.



Supported mode(s)


Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.



Recover specific extension groups.



Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment

Since you’ve got a clearer understanding of resembling command lines, let’s perform how to recover deleted photos from the USB drive using it.

Step 1. Click “Get” to download “Windows File Recovery” from the Microsoft Store and install it on your PC.


Step 2. After installation, “Open” it. Then you can put your needed recovery mode and switches in the basic command format: winfr source drive: destination drive: [/mode] [/switches]

Let’s take PNG pictures as an example.

The source drive: your USB flash drive (assume the drive letter of your USB is “U”).

The destination drive: the E drive of your PC.

You can enter “winfr U: E: /n \Users \Username\Pictures \*.PNG” in the window.

Step 3. Enter “y” to go on. If you want to stop the recovery process, press “Ctrl + C”. Please wait patiently, you’ll get your recovered photos after the process.

Method 3. Recover pictures from USB drive via MyRecover

In theory, Windows File Recovery could help you recover files using CMD. However, it is hard to operate with the command prompt in practice. Are you wondering how to recover deleted photos from USB drive? Use the most recommended software, MyRecover to recover pictures from USB drive without effort.

This data recovery software could be your second to none choice because it permits you to recover the deleted or lost files from SSD, HDD, USB, and other storage media. You can check the content of these retrieved photos by browsing their filenames. Moreover, it is accessible to get the original format for the deleted/lost files.

▶Recover 200+ types of data: Word, PPT, Excel, Photos, Audios, Videos, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.

▶Perform Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to detect all the deleted files and other lost files.

▶Support deleted file recovery, file formatted recovery, etc. For instance, you can use it to recover the formatted files from USB.

▶Be compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.  

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer. Then launch MyRecover on your PC.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the USB drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan to scan.


Step 3. You’ll see all the deleted files and other lost files saved on your USB after scanning.


Step 4. Check your scanning results and select the photos you need. Then click “Recover x files” to start the recovery process.


Bonus tips: Practical tricks for data loss prevention

How to prevent data loss? This part aims to offer you some practical tricks for data loss prevention. Moreover, it’s better to act than to think. If you are unwilling to suffer data loss, follow a pertinent suggestion at once!

✦Backup and Restore: Only can backup files and folders.  

✦File History: You can add an external drive to save files and folders.

✦System image: Support file recovery, partition recovery, etc.

AOMEI Backupper: This best freeware for Windows offers good coverage for making backups, syncing files and folders, and cloning data for disk upgrade and disk migration.

Compared with the first three Windows features, restoring data with the last free backup software seems easier. 

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.