3 Feasible Methods to Undelete USB Flash Drive

Wondering how to undelete USB flash drive? This article gathers 3 feasible methods to find deleted files on USB drive can help you out.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can you recover deleted items from USB sticks?

The USB stick is undoubted a great storage device that has been invented. Thanks to its portability, tiny size, big storage volume, and easy access, users are very willing to utilize USB flash drives.

And of course, all users will perform file deletion on their USB drives, which is the biggest reason for file loss on USB flash drives.


How can I recover my USB files?


I accidentally deleted all of my important files on my USB drive. What can be done to recover these files? When I look at what is on my USB drive, there is nothing. The folder is empty. Where did these files go? How can I recover my deleted files from the USB DRIVE?


- Question from Microsoft Community


After deletion, you may move ahead to the Recycle Bin, but, unluckily, you found nothing in the Recycle Bin.

Then, why are deleted files not in the Recycle Bin?

Where are deleted files on the USB?

Why deleted files cannot be found in the Recycle Bin on your desktop? Do deleted files from USB go to Recycle Bin?

Shortly speaking, no. On one hand, on a local drive, when files get deleted, they will actually stay in the original location, waiting for new data coming in to overwrite it.

On the other hand, USB drives are external storage media, leaving no “deleted” tag on removed files. All the contents removed from the USB will be directly removed from the device.


But, you could still undelete thumb drive even if the files were permanently deleted.

How to undelete USB flash drives?

Firstly, in case your files were just hidden but not deleted, you could unhide them in File Explorer;

Then, for files indeed deleted from the USB, 2 feasible methods can help.

Way 1. Show hidden files on USB flash drive

Since files might get hidden by viruses, users could try to find lost files on the USB drives by unhiding them.

Step 1. Start This PC > connect your USB to the Windows PC > open the USB drive folder.

Step 2.  Click View on the toolbox > Options > ViewShow hidden files, folders, and drives.


Thus the disappeared files could be recovered.

Way 2. Find deleted files on USB drive via Windows File Recovery

If you are sure you have actually deleted the files from the flash drive, other approaches are needed.

Files that were lost/deleted/damaged on a local drive could be recovered with the help of backup tools, e.g., you could restore previous version of files and folders to get the removed files back.

But unlike that, files deleted from USB will be directly removed from it – that is to say, the data will be permanently deleted.

But you could turn to file recovery tools. Windows File Recovery allows users to use commands to recover deleted and missing files from healthy/corrupted/formatted hard drives.

It uses recovery modes and switches to scan for your targeted files.

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

The recovery modes to use depends on the file system your hard drive is using. Open This PC > right-click on the USB flash drive > Properties.


Also, you need switches to target the files quickly.

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


· To learn how to use Windows File Recovery, and learn more about the recovery modes and switches, refer to the guide.

· Windows File Recovery tutorial can help you fix possible errors you meet.

Step 1. Go to Microsoft Store > search for Windows File Recovery > click Get > Open.


Step 2. Input the recovery command:

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

Here the source drive must be different from the target drive.


E.g., winfr F: D: /extensive /n *.jpg

This command can help you get back all pictures from the USB drive.

Step 3. Then input y to continue.

Way 3. Recover deleted files from flash drive without difficulties

If you have tried using commands to recover deleted files from USB hard drive, you probably would have problems in figuring out which mode to use, and spending tons of time working out the complex parameters.

Given this, an efficient Windows data recovery app will be a better choice for you. Using a professional tool, you could quickly scan and find deleted files on USB drive without any difficulties.

MyRecover will be eligible and preferable. It uses advanced scanning techs to locate and detect your wanted files quickly in several minutes. With its features, you would never be bothered by the complex commands.

Undelete USB flash drive efficiently
  • Restore deleted and missing files in 3 steps from HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc.
  • More than 200 recoverable data types, including photos, videos, office files, etc.
  • Select and restore files while scanning.
  • Recover deleted data in the original filename, format, and path.
  • Support NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/RefS, etc., in Windows 11/10/8/7/Server, etc.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Download and run the app > connect the USB to the PC > hover the mouse over the affected USB flash drive > click Scan to undelete USB flash drive.


Step 2.  To target your needed files faster, you could input extensions or filenames in the search box, or use filters: Size, Type, Date modified, etc.


Step 3. Go to Other missing files> select file types: Images, Videos, etc > click Recover x files. Or go to Other missing files> select Images, Videos, etc.


Apart from an external storage device, you could also use it to achieve desktop data recovery.

How to minimize data loss from USB flash drives?

Methods to undelete USB flash drives are all introduced in this article. You could easily recover deleted files from flash drive by trying the 3 feasible means.

For the sake of data loss prevention, you need to do more to prevent data loss from flash drives. Here are some suggestions.

  • Connect and disconnect the USB drives properly.
  • Keep the USB contact port clean, tidy, and dry.
  • Do not delete files from flash drives readily.
  • Back up USB flash drive files using cloud backup service or backup software for Windows.
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.