Tutorial: WD My Passport Data Recovery

This article helps you perform WD My Passport data recovery. Check the methods here to recover files from WD external hard drives easily.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“Can I recover data from WD My Passport?”

When planning to purchase a portable storage device, many people turn to a reliable brand – Western Digital.

Western Digital has manufactured a series of portable external hard disks. Regarding My Passport, there are six series of devices: Essential, Essential SE, Elite, Essential for Mac, Studio, and Essential SE for Mac.

But the storage device, as delicate machine, needs to be treated with care and is prone to be physically damaged, which causes severe data loss.

What’s more, data deletion can set WD users in data loss danger, which is also the biggest reason for data loss on WD external hard drives.


I deleted a folder from my WD passport without remembering that it had sub folders with my pictures, and subsequently deleted the files from my recycle bin. Is there any way to recover these files?


- Question from TechSupport Forum


Many anxious people seek solutions to perform WD My Passport data recovery after discovering WD My Passport files disappeared or were deleted.

This article aims to give feasible and practicable solutions to restore files from external hard drives. Let’s walk through the causes of data loss first.

Common reasons for data loss from WD My Passport

Usually, file loss on external hard disk results from these factors.

File/partition deletion. If you have mistakenly deleted partition from the WD drive, the data in it will be lost right away, so as deleting files.

◂ Physical damage. Clicking sounds and freezing/lagging may signal physical damage to the disk, head assembly, or other delicate elements, causing info loss.

Virus intrusion. Infected by ransom viruses, your files might get deleted, modified, hidden, or encrypted.

Disk formatting. Whether you do a quick format or a complete format, formatting a drive will erase everything on the external hard disks. Refer to the tutorial to recover data from formatted hard drives.

System crash. An abrupt shutdown might disrupt the data writing process, resulting in data loss.

Among these reasons, physical damage is the most severe and tricky one and usually could not be settled by an ordinary user. Please send the WD My Passport drive to a professional in-lab data recovery service ASAP.

Now follow the methods below to recover files from WD external hard drives.


Recover data from WD My Passport hard drive using commands

To deal with an external hard drive, common methods like Previous Versions, File History, etc., cannot work as well as they were, because they could only apply to a local drive.

Also, after you have deleted items from external storage devices, you would find deleted files are not in Recycle Bin. All data removed from a portable disk will be permanently wiped.

Given this, you might as well utilize Windows File Recovery. It is an official tool designed by Microsoft.

Using recovery modes and switches, it scans healthy/corrupted/formatted hard disks for deleted or missing files.

It is only available for Windows machines above Windows 10, version 2004, Build 19041. 
To learn how to use Windows File Recovery and get a more detailed introduction to the modes and switches. 
To avoid overwriting, the source and destination drives must be distinct.

Step 1. Connect the Western Digital My Passport to your PC properly > This PC > right-click the connected drive > Properties. Check the File System.


Step 2. Different recovery modes apply to different File Systems and data loss scenarios.

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

Step 3. Switches are parameters to filter and target the files you need.

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

Step 4. Access the Microsoft Store > search for Windows File Recovery > click Get.


Step 5. A command is required to scan the drive.

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

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


Press “y” to continue and get all lost jpg files back from the source f: drive to the destination drive.

The command must be correct to execute. Refer to the Windows File Recovery tutorial if you need help correcting the command syntax.

Effortless WD My Passport data recovery [Recommended]

Windows File Recovery is pretty comprehensive that can meet lots of data loss situations. But without an intuitive user interface, it is difficult for users to handle this tool.

Instead, users need a much easier and more efficient Windows data recovery tool that facilitates users to recover data from healthy/formatted external storage media in just a few simple steps.

MyRecover is undoubtedly a good choice.

WD My Passport data recovery software free download

Recover data from My Passport hard drive in a breeze
  • Easy. Restore data in only 3 steps, requiring no expertise.
  • Efficient. Scan and detect data in several seconds; recover data while scanning without waiting.
  • Convenient. Deleted data would be recovered with the original format/directory/filename.
  • Comprehensive. Suitable for all-inclusive data loss situations: deletion, formatting, crash, virus, etc.
  • Compatible. Support Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1/Server, and NTFS/exFAT/FAT32/ReFS, etc.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Easy process to recover files from WD My Passport hard drive

A detailed introduction is prepared. Follow the steps to start an effortless WD My Passport data recovery.

It is suggested to save the recovered data in another drive.

Step 1. Connect your Western Digital storage device to the PC > Hover the mouse over the external hard drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. Detected files could be sorted and searched by Type, Size, Path, etc.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files > navigate to the original location if you can still recall > choose files to restore > click Recover x files. If failed in locating your files, please go to Other missing files and select the files you need, e.g., Images.


Not only WD drives, but this tool could also work with other storage devices. E.g., it can help you recover deleted photos from Seagate external hard drives.

FAQ about WD storage devices

Practicable WD My Passport data recovery solutions are stated in this post. To recover data from My Passport hard drive, Windows File Recovery would be helpful.

If you don’t want to be bothered by complex commands, use a professional data rescue tool instead.

More related questions are prepared with answers in case you need them.

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.