[Fixed] Recover Data from USB Flash Drive but not Recognized

It is frustrated that when you intend to recover data from USB flash drive but find USB is not recognized. This guide provides you with 6 solutions to fix recover data from USB flash drive not recognized as well as a simple way to recover data from USB.


By Demi / Updated on April 2, 2024

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The USB flash drive is popular for its tiny and portable features when it comes to saving files. Just in case, sometimes unexpected things can happen and result in data in USB loss. When you intend to perform USB data recovery, you may suddenly find that your USB flash drive is not recognized by the computer.

USB Drive

Here comes this guide, providing you with six effective solutions to fix the issue - recover data from a USB flash drive not recognized.

Common reasons why USB not recognized when data recovery

You may wonder why your USB is not recognized when data recovery. In this part, you can get some common causes of this issue, which may give you some clues for troubleshooting.

✘ Damaged USB. If your USB is physically damaged, the computer may fail to read your USB flash drive.
✘ An outdated disk drive. Chances are that you haven’t updated the hard disk drive in time. Correspondingly, the USB flash drive will not be recognized by your computer.
✘ Conflict or empty drive letter. This error happens when the USB is available in Disk Management but can not be recognized by your computer.

Apart from the common reasons, any software glitches can also result in the issue - USB not recognized when data recovery.

How to fix “recover data from USB flash drive but not recognized” issue on Windows

You are given six solutions to the issue - recover USB flash drive not recognized in this part. You can try them one after another until your issue gets fixed. Besides, one of the best free USB file recovery software is also available for you in the next part.  

1# Clean the USB contacts points

Physical elements such as dust and grime can accumulate over time. This might result in a physical barrier preventing the connection between your USB and the USB port. This may be avoided by cleaning your USB and USB ports on a regular basis.

Besides, you can also try to use different cables and ports or connect the USB flash drive to another computer to see if it can be identified. If there is nothing wrong with your USB flash drive, move on to try other solutions to fix a USB flash drive that is not recognized on Windows 11/10/8/7.

2# Change drive letter

As mentioned above, if your computer cannot recognize the USB flash drive when data recovery, but it shows in the Disk Management, it is likely to have something to do with the Drive letter. You can assign a letter or change it to address this issue. The followings are detailed steps about how to fix a USB flash drive is not recognized by changing drive letter using CMD.

Step 1. Type in cmd. in the search bar beside the Start menu > Click Run as administrator.

Run As Administrator

Step 2. Input the command DISKPART > list volume and press Enter. Then, you can see the list of all available volumes, not only physical drives.

CMD Diskpart

Step 3. Find the letter you want to change and note its number > Enter the Select volume X. Replace the X with the number.

Diskpart Select Volume

Step 4. Enter the assign=X. replace the X with the letter you want to assign. Finally, close Command Prompt.

CMD Assign Letter

3# Update or reinstall the USB drivers

An outdated disk drive can lead to kinds of issues, which "USB is not recognized when data recovery" may be included. Therefore, you could try to fix the issue by updating the disk drives. Here are how to do it.

Step 1. Right-click on the Start menu > Choose Device Manager.

Step 2. Go to Disk Drives and right-click on the USB flash drive you plugged in > Choose Update Driver.

External Hard Drive Update Driver

Step 3. Click Search automatically for drivers. Your computer will search the internet for the latest version of drivers and download/install them.

External Hard Drive Search Automatic For Driver

When it is finished, you can locate your USB flash drive in This PC.

4# Try to fix using a hardware troubleshooter

There are kinds of inbuilt troubleshooters in Windows, which are designed to target specific problems. Within them, the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter can scan your computer for issues that relate to USB flash drive not recognized when data recovery. Use these steps to launch and run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to get your issue fixed.

Step 1. Right-click Start and select Windows PowerShell > Choose Run as Administrator > Click Yes if prompted.

Windows PowerShell

Step 2. Type in msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press Enter.

Windows PowerShell Command

Step 3. Click Next and follow the on-screen instructions based on the problems that Windows discovers.

5# Reinstall USB controllers

The USB controllers are used to manage all your USB-connected devices, including your keyboard, mouse, and USB flash drive, which is a fundamental drive to make your USB devices work.

Reinstalling USB controllers helps re-establish communication between your system and USB. Follow the instructions below to reinstall your USB controller.

Step 1. Right-click Start and click Device Manager > Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.

Step 2. Right-click your USB controller and click Uninstall device, click Uninstall again when asked.

Reinstall USB Controller

Repeat Step 2 for all USB controllers under Universal Serial Bus controllers. When finished, restart your computer to force the drivers to install the controllers again.

6# Format the unrecognized USB flash drive

Formatting the unrecognized USB flash drive will be your last but effective way to fix the issue. However, this process will not only fix unrecognized USB flash drive but also delete any data that save on the USB. Now, format your unrecognized USB first by following the steps below.

Step 1. Right-click Start and select Disk Management > Right-click your USB volume and click Format.

Format USB

Step 2. Choose Perform a quick format > If necessary, modify the Volume label, File system, and Allocation unit size > Click OK to start the format.

Format USB Option

An easy way to recover data from USB flash drive

Hopefully, you can get out of the issue "USB not recognized when data recovery".  Now, you can connect the USB to your PC and recover data. It is highly recommended MyRecover for you to recover data from USB flash drive.

It can easily recover various missing data from computer, as well as USB flash drives, and NAS network locations in different data loss situations, such as accidental deletion, disk formatting, system crash, and so on.

ADR for Windows supports to recover more than 200 types of data, which includes texts, pictures, videos, audio, compressed files, etc.

With an advanced scanning algorithm, ADR for Windows provides you with a quick and deep recovery service to enable you to recover data with no effort in a short time.

Now, free download MyRecover on your computer and recover data from USB flash drive in three simple steps.

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

Step 1. Plug your USB flash drive into computer > Run ADR for Windows on your computer > Choose your USB flash drive on its homepage > Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to 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 your USB flash drive as the destination to save the files.

Recover Lost Data


Hopefully, you can get out of the issue - recover data from USB flash drive but not recognized by using the solutions mentioned in this guide. Hope you can also succeed in retrieving lost data from USB flash drive with the powerful tool - MyRecover.

It is highly suggested to backup files on USB flash drive regularly since any unexpected error can lead to data loss on your USB flash 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.