2 Best Solutions to Recover Formatted External Hard Drive

To recover formatted external hard drive, here come the 2 best methods on it. You can choose one that suits you better after reading.


By Zoey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How can I recover deleted files from my external hard drive after formatting?


My partner was in the process of creating a backup of her external hard drive and she made the mistake of deleting and formatting the drive with her photos instead of the one used as a backup. She was clearly upset. She realized this straight away and ejected the drive without taking any further action. What hope do we have of getting back the 500GB or so of pictures and videos? Is there any software you can recommend or should we send the drive to a recovery specialist? Thanks in advance.

Many people like you use an external hard drive as a tool to extend your storage space, and it brings you a convenient experience to store your files and data. However, a significant number of people also suffer from bad experiences, such as accidentally formatted external hard drive how to recover it?

How to recover formatted external hard drive? It is possible for you to get the data back with software to recover files from formatted hard drive.

How to recover formatted external hard drive: 2 best ways

There are lots of data recovery tools on the market and which one is the best? After comparing the recovery success rate, recovery speed, file system/type support, and price, we have provided you with 2 suitable data recovery software here.

Way 1. Recover formatted external hard drive with Windows File Recovery

How to recover formatted external hard drive? The first data recovery software is called Windows File Recovery, provided by Microsoft. It is available for Windows 10 version 2004 and later versions of Windows operating systems. Windows File Recovery supports HDD partition recovery, USB data recovery, SD card recovery, etc.

However, Windows File Recovery is a command-line rescue tool, which requires you to learn something parameters and something about the command line. If you think it is difficult for you, please consider the second recovery tool directly.

The basic command line is: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

First, you can learn the definition of some switches and supported modes.


And please check your File system by right-clicking on your external hard drive option in This PC and choosing Properties.

Check File System

Then you can choose the correct recovery mode according to the File system referring to the table below:

Wfr Mode

After knowing the contents above, you can follow the steps below to use Windows File Recovery:

1. Go to the Microsoft Store and click on Get under Windows File Recovery to download it on your PC.

Microsoft Store Get

2. Next, go to the Windows menu to locate it, and choose Run as administrator under it.

Windows File Recovery Run As Administrator

3. Type the proper command line and tap the Enter key. For example, input winfr D: E: /extensive /n *paper* to recover the paper file from D drive to E drive. Click Y to continue.

Winfr Extensive Filename

Since Windows File Recovery is a nice recovery tool, it requires you to master some professional IT knowledge about command line. And there is no clear graphic user interface in it. So it is not quite user-friendly for you.

Way 2. Recover formatted external hard drive using an easier recovery tool

If you want to recover data from formatted external hard drive with some easy clicks, we highly recommend the easier recovery tool - MyRecover. You can get it on all Windows systems including Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.

AOMEI Data Recovery can help you to recover files from formatted hard drive and many other different situations like partition loss, system crashes, virus infections, and so on. With its Deep Scan and Quick Scan, all your lost data can be recovered successfully.

It also provides some exclusive advantages for free:

Flexible data recovery: Support recovery from external hard drive, SD card, USB drive, local disk, etc.
High recovery rate and speed: Your data will be recovered at a high recovery rate and speed.
Retrieval for 200+ types of data: Photos, videos, audios, emails, zip files, Word files, PDF files, etc. are all supported to be recovered.

No need to learn anything extra about IT, you just need to download MyRecover, and follow 3 simple steps to recover your formatted external hard drive easily:

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

1. First, connect your external hard drive to your computer and hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan to scan. 

Select External Hard Drive Start Scan

2. Then you can see your deleted files and other missing files from the formatted external hard drive after Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically. You can input your filename in the search box or use the Filter feature to find your files quickly.

Scanning External Hard Drive

3. After checking the scanning result and you can choose a new location to store your recovered files. Finally, click on the Recover X files button to recover formatted external hard drive easily.

Select Files To Recover External Hard Drive

How to protect your external hard drive data

How to recover data from external hard disk after format? If you protect your external hard drive data with backups, you can restore files from backup with ease. You can try an easy and professional backup software called AOMEI Backupper. With the help of it, you can back up the data on your external hard drive to another external hard drive easily. Then you can find your external hard drive data after formatting without effort.

Aomei Backupper Main Page

Written in the end

That is all about the 2 best ways to recover formatted external hard drive. If you are an expert on computers, you can consider using Window File Recovery to restore your formatted external hard drive. If you just want an easy method, let MyRecover help you directly. After 3 steps, your formatted external hard drive will be back successfully.

Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.