ExFAT File Recovery | How to Recover Data from exFAT Drives?

Discover the methods to retrieve lost data from exFAT drives in this comprehensive guide, offering helpful insights into exFAT file recovery.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I recover files from an exFAT drive?

Do you experience anxiety when important data is lost? Many users are urgently seeking methods of exFAT file recovery. Some also want to recover exFAT partitions after the deletion or disk formatting.

The good news is that exFAT data recovery is not an elusive concept; it is entirely possible.

Whether you have recently lost data stored on an exFAT drive, you might wonder about the feasibility of exFAT data recovery.

Luckily, it is indeed achievable. Moreover, you don't have to possess expert knowledge to recover your data; the process is relatively straightforward.

This guide will provide a step-by-step walkthrough for performing exFAT recovery, enabling you to retrieve your valuable data promptly.

Firstly, let’s dive into the definition and advantages of exFAT devices. Also, it is necessary to figure out why files are lost from exFAT drives before solutions.


What is the exFAT file system?

The exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) format is specifically designed for flash memory devices like USB flash drives and SD cards. It is widely utilized by large storage devices, such as external hard drives, due to its seamless compatibility with Windows and Mac computers.

Advantages of exFAT devices

There are several reasons why the exFAT file system outshines its counterparts:

Compatibility: exFAT works well with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, making it versatile across different devices. 
Multimedia support: Unlike other file systems, exFAT is more compatible with multimedia devices such as cameras, media players, and TVs, ensuring better detection and playback of files. 
Large File Support: exFAT allows for much larger file sizes than older systems like FAT32, eliminating restrictions when dealing with large files. 
Easy Recovery: In case of data loss, exFAT drives can be easily recovered using reliable third-party software or specialized recovery tools.

Common causes of data loss on exFAT systems

Data loss on exFAT systems can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Formatting: Accidental formatting of the exFAT external drive can result in losing all stored data. You have to recover data from formatted drives after that.
  • Accidental or Intentional Deletion: Unintentionally deleting essential files or purposely deleting them without a backup can lead to data loss.
  • System Errors: Malfunctioning of the system or errors in the file system structure can cause data loss on exFAT systems.
  • Virus Attacks: Malicious software or viruses can infect the exFAT drive, leading to data corruption or complete data loss.
  • Bad Sectors: Physical damage or errors in specific sectors of the exFAT drive can render the data inaccessible or corrupt it.
  • Drive Corruption: Corruption of the exFAT drive's file system due to various factors like power outages or improper ejection can result in data loss, forcing you to recover data from RAW SD cards/USB drives.


Any of these factors, whether minor or major, can lead to data loss, emphasizing the importance of promptly initiating the data recovery process.

How to recover data from exFAT drives?

Multiple methods exist to assist you in recovering data from exFAT hard drives. We have curated 2 tried-and-tested techniques, ensuring successful exFAT data recovery.

Method 1. Perform exFAT file recovery using MyRecover

As deleted files from exFAT devices (like USB flash drives & SD cards) bypass the Recycle Bin, traditional recovery methods become ineffective.

Employing trusted third-party software is the most efficient and straightforward approach to overcoming this challenge. But selecting reliable and professional USB or SD card recovery software is crucial for safety and efficiency.

These specialized tools simplify the recovery process across various file formats. Our top recommendation is MyRecover, the industry's leading data recovery software.

MyRecover - Efficient exFAT Data Recovery Software
  • User-friendly interface: all users can easily operate and get data back.
  • Advanced technology: Deep Scan for files on external flash memory devices; 200+ recoverable files, including jpg/png/gif/tif/mpv/mp4/pdf/docx/xlsx/ppt/html/zip, etc.
  • Support multiple storage devices: including SD cards, USB drives, HDDs, SSDs, etc.
  • Widely apply to various data loss situations: deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, Recycle Bin emptying, system crash, etc.
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MyRecover ensures a seamless exFAT file recovery process in just three simple steps:

Step 1. Installation and launch of MyRecover > connect the exFAT drive > hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan to Scan. Here we will take exFAT USB drive as an example.


Step 2. Utilize sorting options such as Date modified, Type, Size, etc., to preview and locate your files quickly.


Tips: ExFAT device files will only be detected by the Deep Scan process due to their frequent data writing and deletion, leading to fragmentation.

Step 3. Navigate to the Other missing files section, select the desired files, and click Recover x files to recover data from exFAT drives.

E.g., Choose Image and select your wanted images to recover deleted photos from USB drives.


The free version of MyRecover allows users to recover up to 30 MB of files at no cost. Consider upgrading to the Pro or Tech versions for unlimited data recovery across multiple devices.

Method 2. Utilizing Windows File Recovery

When attempting to recover files from a local hard drive, users often rely on Windows backups or attempt to restore previous versions of files.

Unfortunately, these backup functions are not suitable for memory cards and external storage media, as they only store copies of files from local drives.

Moreover, exFAT file recovery from the Recycle Bin and Windows backup tools is not possible for internal drives.

In such scenarios, Windows File Recovery—a file recovery application—can be helpful. Using different recovery modes and switches, this command-line utility scans the hard disk for deleted and missing files.

Follow these simple steps to utilize Windows File Recovery:

Please note that filenames and paths will be lost during this process. 
If seeing the error Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command; check the tutorial.

Step 1. Insert the SD card using a card reader and access the Properties of the SD card drive in "This PC" to identify the file system in use.


Step 2. Choose the appropriate recovery mode based on the drive type (use the extensive mode for non-NTFS drives).

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. Utilize switches to filter the files you wish to target.

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. Visit the Microsoft Store > click Get to install Windows File Recovery.


Step 5. Enter the command to scan the hard disk, specifying the source and destination drives. If it warns you: Windows File Recovery failed to create destination folder, it indicates that the command syntax is wrong; turn to the tutorial to correct it.

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

Example command: winfr F: D: /extensive /n *.jpg


This command will facilitate the recovery of lost pictures from the SD card, with all recovered photos stored in the specified destination drive.

If seeing Windows File Recovery stuck at 99%, check the tutorial to fix it.




This article introduces what is the exFAT file system, the edges of the exFAT file system, the causes of file loss from these devices, as well as the solutions to get back your files from the exFAT storage device.

Losing data from your exFAT hard drive, USB flash drive, or SD card can be annoying, but there is no need to worry because MyRecover offers the most effective solutions to recover data from exFAT drives.

Download this software now and regain access to your valuable exFAT data.

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.