5 Ways to Recover Data from Formatted HDD

The article shows you recover data from formatted HDD without backup and software, and you make choices based on your specific situation.


By Bryce / Updated on November 15, 2022

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Can I recover files from formatted hard drive?

We may format HDD in some cases, such as human operation error, recovery of hard drive performance, data corruption, and so forth. All these situations will cause data loss, so whether the files in a formatted HDD can be recovered becomes a common question. Actually, recovering formatted HDD data relies on how you format it. Formatting is separated into the quick format and full format.

Quick format: It will delete files from the partition and reconstruct the file system, volume label, and cluster size. It is quicker than the full format. However, it does not erases your data on HDD, it just labels the partition as "formatted".
Full format: It will completely wipe files from the partition, which is a real format, so users cannot restore the files.

If you have the desire to retrieve data after the quick format, there are 5 methods to recover data from formatted HDD in Windows 10/11.

Retrieve data from formatted HDD without backup

If you didn’t back up your HDD files, you can use professional software to recover data from the formatted HDD.

Option 1. MyRecover: Recover formatted HDD files simply and quickly

MyRecover is a user-friendly recovery software with a graphical interface, and supports Windows 7 or later. It can recover the amount of data in a short time. I highly recommend you to use this software.

Shinning Highlights:

✦ Two scanning modes (Quick Scan&Deep Scan): It can completely scan out all the deleted and other lost files from HDD/SSD.

✦ Restore data integrity: It can restore the filename, path, and format of the original file.

✦ Wide range to use: It can restore data from SSD/HDD, and also supports FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows.

✦ Various files recovery: It can restore kinds of files, like PPT, Word, Excel, Photos, Videos, Audios, Zip files and etc.

Click the button below to get this professional tool.

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

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your PC, choose the formatted drive, and click Start Scan.

AOMEI Data Recovery Step1

Step 2. The software will make quick scan and deep scans for the formatted HDD to find out files.

AOMEI Data Recovery Step2

Step 3. Select a path to store the files, and then click Recover x files to retrieve your target data. 

AOMEI Data Recovery Step3

Option 2. Utilizing Windows File Recovery to restore HDD data

Windows File Recovery is a command-line tool published by Microsoft. It’s available for Windows 10 2004 and above and can restore various types of files, including jpg/png/pdf/docx/xlsx/mov/zip, etc. To use it, users have to learn some parameters that it’s complex for people without a computer background.



The command line format is like: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches].

Modes: You should choose a mode based on the file system of the partition and specific scenarios.


File system: Click This PC > Right-click the source drive > Tap the Properties.

File System



Now, you can download the tool and use it to recover data from a formatted HDD.

Step 1. Download and install this tool in Microsoft Store.

Open Start menu > Find and click Microsoft Store > Input Windows File Recovery on the search bar > Click Get button.


Step 2. Open Windows File Recovery and click Run as administrator.

Run As Adiministrator

Step 3. Input your command line, and click Enter.

Example: If you want to recover .PDF and .docx document from C: drive to E: drive. The command line: winfr C: E: /r /n *.pdf /n *.docx.

Restore files from formatted hard drive without software

If you have a habit of backing up data, you can easily retrieve your file from the backup disk. There are 3 methods of recovering data from formatted HDD for free without software.

Option 1. Retrieve formatted HDD data from File History

File History is a built-in feature for Windows. If you enable this feature before losing files due to HDD format, you can retrieve the HDD files easily.

Step 1. Launch the Control Panel, and click the System and Security.

File History Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Click File History and tap Restore your files with File History.

File History Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Find and right-click the Restore personal files on the left list.

File History Recover Data Step3

Step 4. The deleted file will appear on your interface and then click the Restore.

File History Recover Data Step4

Option 2. Recover HDD files from Backup and Restore

If you created a backup by using Backup and Restore, you can easily restore your formatted HDD files as well. 

Step 1. Launch the Windows menu and choose Control Panel > Click System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Recover from Backup Step1

Step 2. Click on the Restore my files button on this page.

Recover from Backup Step2

Option 3. Restore formatted hard drive data from Previous Versions

If you enable File History, you can restore files from Previous Versions after formatting HDD. The operation process is shown below.

Step 1. Start the Windows File Explorer on your computer.

Step 2. Find the folder where you save your files, and right-click it.

Recover from Previous Versions Step2

Step 3. Click Properties > Previous Versions > Choose the version that you want to restore > Tap Restore.

Recover from Previous Versions Step3

Bonus tip: AOMEI Backupper helps you protect your HDD data

Backup plays an important role in computer usage. If you make a backup, it's easy to get back your data. There is efficient backup software, AOMEI backupper. It supports Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP. You can set the time to back up your HDD regularly, and each time you back it up, only the new content will be backed up, which greatly saves your storage space. You can follow the process below to complete the backup.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper. Then, launch it, click on Backup and select File Backup.

AOMEI Backupper Step1

 Step 2. Click Add File or Add Folder to select the files/folders you want to backup.

AOMEI Backupper Step2

Step 3. Choose a storage path to save the files, and click Start Backup.

AOMEI Backupper Step3

To sum up

You will not be perplexed by how to recover data from formatted HDD anymore after reading this post. Beyond that, convenient backup software is also displayed. Restoring data will be easier only if you do a good job of backing up your data.

Bryce · Editor
Bryce is an editor of AOMEI Technology, he covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He would like to spend all time on reaserching computer problems. He is a very cute boy.