[Easy & Quick] How to Recover USB Drive Data in Windows

This post covers 3 different but useful ways to recover USB drive data. Please scroll down and learn more information about them.


By Zoey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can USB data be recovered?

I formatted my USB drive and now can’t recover my files because of format and that is second writing of data on a USB drive. If you know any program that can recover my files from USB after formatting, please tell me. It will mean a lot to me. It was pictures of my family and me, our animals and everything, my passwords and emails and my parents’ work contract and my brothers, too. Please help me out thanks.

USB hard drive is a great option for storing information, but there is also a risk of information loss with USB hard drives. There are many messages in various forums asking for help as in the user case above. They all want to know if USB data can be recovered, in various ways, because that information is important to them. The answer is yes and we will provide 3 different ways to recover USB drive data in this article.

What leads to USB drive data loss?

There are many reasons for USB drive data loss, and here are some common ones:

• USB drive data is deleted by mistake.

• USB drive is formatted accidentally.

• USB drive is attacked by viruses.

• USB drive is not unplugged properly.

• USB drive occurs other hardware errors.

But don’t worry too much, here we prepared 3 solutions for USB data recovery. Please scroll down to know more about them.

How to recover USB drive data: 3 methods here

If you cannot find your USB drive data, it may be hidden or deleted. There are different ways to recover data from different situations and you can pick one according to the situation you met.

Method 1. Recover USB drive data with CMD

Sometimes, your USB drive data is not deleted exactly. It may be hidden. If you met such a situation and want to recover USB drive, CMD built-in Windows PC is your best choice. It can help you to make USB drive data normal and you will be able to access it then. Now let’s see how to recover hidden files from USB using Command Prompt:

1. Connect your USB drive to your computer properly and make sure your computer can recognize the USB drive.

2. Press the Windows and Q keys to open the search bar, then search for Command Prompt. And click Run as administrator.

Run As Administrator

3. Input chkdsk G: /f and press Enter. (Replace G with the USB letter of your USB drive.)

Chdsk Cmd

4. Input attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* and press Enter. (Replace G with the drive letter of your USB drive.)

Attrib Cmd

If this method cannot make your USB drive data reappear, don’t panic, go to try the following 2 solutions and they will help you a lot.

Method 2. Recover USB drive data using Windows File Recovery

If your data is really deleted from USB drive but you want to recover files from USB, you can choose the Microsoft recovery tool - Windows File Recovery. It can help you recover lost files on Windows 10/11. You should go to check for updates for the operating system of your PC first. Windows File Recovery supports recovering photos, videos, documents with winfr command but it is difficult for users who do not know much computer knowledge.

Before using Windows File Recovery to recover USB drive data, please go to This PC to right-click on your USB drive and check the File System in Properties so that you can choose the right mode.

Check File System

Wfr Mode

Then, follow the steps below to recover your USB drive data via Windows File Recovery:

1. Go to the Microsoft Store to find Windows File Recovery, and click Get to download and install on your PC.

Microsoft Store Get

2. Go to the search box and search for windows file recovery. Please choose Run as administrator.

Windows File Recovery Run As Administrator

3. Enter the command line according to the general command line syntax: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches].

For example, input the command line winfr D: E: /extensive /n *paper* and hit Y to continue.

Winfr Extensive Filaname

⇒ Tip: If you think the command line is quite difficult to use, you can switch to an alternative to it - WinfrGUI, an easy tool with a clear user graphic interface and clickable buttons. You do not need to be an expert in computer knowledge and you can recover USB data with it in Windows 10/11.

Method 3. Recover USB drive data with an easy recovery tool

If you need to recover deleted files from USB in an older Windows operating system like Windows 8/7, here comes another easy data recovery tool - MyRecover.

MyRecover can be operated in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server and supports multiple file systems including NTFS, FAT32, exFAT. Besides, you can recover 200+ types of data from USB drives, SD cards, etc. via MyRecover.

Compared with command-line tool, AOMEI Data Recovery is much easier to use. You can preview data after a quick scan or deep scan. Then you can recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10/11/8/7/Server.

Now, click on the Download Software button to download and install MyRecover on your PC. Then follow an easy 3-step guideline to recover data from USB drive:

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

1. Hover the mouse over the USB drive where your data are lost. Click Scan to let the USB drive be scanned.

Select External Hard Drive Start Scan

2. After Quick Scan/Deep Scan, you can see your deleted files and other missing files.  You can also type the filename in the search box or use the Filter feature to find them quickly.

Scanning External Hard Drive

3. Then, check the scanning result it provides. Select a new location to store your recovered files. After that, click on the Recover X files button to begin the recovery task.

Select Files To Recover From External Hard Drive

Final thoughts

That’s all about how to recover USB drive data. You can choose CMD, a Microsoft recovery tool, or a professional data recovery tool to help you. Among them, MyRecover is the easiest method and can be compatible with most Windows operating systems.

Besides, if you want to avoid data loss on your USB drive, it is advisable for you to create backups of your USB drive data regularly. For this, you can try a professional backup software like AOMEI Backupper to protect your data better.

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.