How to Recover Erased Data from External Hard Drive on Windows PC

Chances are that you accidentally deleted data from your external hard drives. If you are looking for solutions about how to recover erased data from external hard drive, just try the three ways introduced in this guide.


By Demi / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How can you get erased data back to external hard drive?

The tiny and portable storage devices, the external hard drive is popular to store and transfer a large amount of data nowadays. It’s mind-boggling how much data a single external hard drive can save these days, from a lifetime’s worth of photos to whole songs and albums of your favorite singers.

External Hard Drive

However, the only problem is that the more data save in your external hard drive, the more vulnerable your data is! If you never backup external hard drive, you may have got an accidentally erased external hard drive that saves important files. That’s why this guide comes, providing you with three ways how to recover deleted data from external hard drive on Windows 10/8/7 PC.

Can you recover erased data from external hard drive?

To answer the question - can you recover deleted data from external hard drive, it is necessary to be acknowledged the difference between data deletion and data wipe.

Data Delete
You can simply request the operating system to erase any files from the external hard drive using a data delete request. All traces of data are not completely wiped throughout the data deletion process, and you can retrieve deleted data from Recycle Bin or in any other possible way.

Even if you have emptied the Recycle Bin, you can still recover the deleted files with the methods in this post.

Hard drive Wipe
While hard drive data wiping occurs when using security tools to overwrite data from your external hard drive to prevent the data recovery. It will overwrite every sector of the hard drive with new data (like zeros, ones, or random data), making the erased data difficult to recover.

No matter how you erased data on your external hard drive, try the three methods below to get the deleted files back.

How to recover erased data from external hard drive via MyRecover

The most simple and time-saving way to recover erased data from external hard drive is to rely on professional data recovery software. Here MyRecover is highly recommended.

What can MyRecover offer you:
✔ Apply to different data loss conditions. MyRecover can assist you regardless of how you lost data from external hard drivers, such as accidental deletion, disk formatting, system crash, virus attack, and so on.
✔ Scan drives deeply and quickly. Equipped with an advanced scanning algorithm, MyRecover deeply scans and filters all deleted and lost files in a short time. You can be free select files to be recovered.
✔ Support 200+ types of data recovery. The software supports recovering files including but not limited to texts, pictures, videos, audio, compressed files, etc. In addition, the files will be restored to their original quality.

Click the icon below to free download MyRecover on your Windows 11/10/8/7/Server computer and recover deleted files from external hard drive by following the simple three steps below.

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

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to computer > Run MyRecover on your computer > hover the mouse over your external hard drive > Click Scan.

Select Partition To Scan

Step 2. Wait for the scan process to finish. During the process, you can click the folders in the Scanned files list to browse and choose the wanted files you’d like to recover.

Scan Lost Data

Step 3. Make sure you have selected all needed data to recover > Click Recover x files to get the lost files back > Finally, choose a destination to save the selected files.

Recover Lost Data

How to recover erased data from external hard drive using CMD

If you wonder how to recover deleted files from external hard drive without software, you can try the Windows Command to get erased files recovered. Please keep in mind that while this method can recover deleted data from external hard drives, it does need a more hands-on approach. Follow the steps below to know how to recover deleted files from external hard drive using CMD.

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive with computer > Type in cmd in the Search bar next to the Start menu > Click Run as administrator to continue.

Run As Administrator

Step 2. Input the command ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.* > Replace the X with the letter of your hard drive.

Execution Commands

Now, you can get the data recovered from the external hard drive. Close the window of CMD, and have a check in your external hard drive.

How to recover erased data from external hard drive by Windows File Recovery

The official Microsoft command-line software - Windows File Recovery is also a nice try to get lost files in external hard drive back. You can make use of it restore points to recover deleted files from external hard drive. 

Preparation to utilizing Windows File Recovery

Before the recovery process, you need to check the file system of your external hard drive. Click This PC > Locate and right-click your external hard drive > Select Properties to view it in the File System section.

Check File System

Now, you can recover lost files from externla hard drive with the steps below.

Step 1. Search for Windows File Recovery in the Microsoft Store and click Get to install it on your PC.

Microsoft Store Get

Step 2. Search for the program in the Windows search box, and click it > Click Run as administrator.

Windows File Recovery Run As Administrator

Step 3. Choose a suitable mode to recover your files based on the File System you just check.

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago

Segment, followed by Signature


After formatting a disk

Segment, followed by Signature


A corrupted disk

Segment, followed by Signature

FAT and exFAT



Step 4. Follow the prompts to enter the correct command line, such as winfr D: E: extensive /n *paper* > Click to continue.



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

Winfr Extensive Filename


That’s all for the three effective ways how to recover erased data from external hard drive. Hope you can get your deleted files back with one of the methods.

As it is mentioned at the very beginning of this guide, you may lose the data from external hard drive unexpectedly if you haven’t backed it up. Therefore, it is suggested to regularly backup your files on external hard drive. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.