Recovery & Repair
Data Transfer

How to Recover Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive [5 Ways]

author Emily Watson
date Wednesday, December 19, 2023

We often use a USB drive to store documents, photos, videos, etc. But sometimes it happens that you delete important files by mistake, or your USB drive unfortunately gets damaged by a virus attack or data loss caused by hardware failure. Faced with this situation, you would be eager to know how to recover deleted files from Flash Drive.

Don't worry! In this post, we will explore 5 effective ways for USB data recovery with or without backup to solve your problems. Please note that before using the method provided in this article to recover deleted data from USB, stop using the flash drive.

1. Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive via FonePaw Data Recovery

When you encounter data loss on USB flash drive and you don't have a backup, it is quite difficult to recover data. Here we recommend you try a professional software – FonePaw Data Recovery. In addition to data recovery from USB flash drives, it also supports recovering deleted files from Windows 10/11, Mac devices, SD cards, etc. Whether these losses or inaccessibility are due to virus attacks, malware, or USB drive failure, this data recovery software will recover them all without any problem.

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👍 Key Features of FonePaw Data Recovery:
  • Offers a user-friendly operation interface.
  • More than 1000 file types are supported for USB data recovery.
  • Quickly scan data without root for free.
  • Two scan modes to quickly or deeply restore your files.
  • Preview files before USB drive data recovery.

Here is the step-by-step guide to recovering permanently deleted files from flash drive using FonePaw Data Recovery on your Windows or Mac computer.

Step 1. After installing and launching FonePaw Data Recovery, connect the USB drive to your computer. On the software interface, check the files you want to recover. Additionally, choose the USB drive from the "Removable Drives" list. Press the "Scan" button to start the analysis.

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Choose the USB Drive to Retrieve

Step 2. The software then starts scanning all the files on your USB drive. You will then see an interface showing the scanning process. By clicking "Stop", you can interrupt the analysis at any time.

Scan Deleted Files on USB Flash Drive

Step 3. When the scanning is completed, the detailed information about the files and folders that were found will be displayed in the software window. If a large number of documents are found, it is best to use the two filter methods on the left and the search box at the top.

Scan Deleted Files from USB

Step 4. Click the "Recover" button after you have chosen the files from the USB drive to recover. When the recovery is completed, you can click "Open Folder" to check whether the files appear in the destination folder.

Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive

2. Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive via Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is a command-line application that can be used to recover deleted files for free from your computer, hard drive, and USB drive. It does not support cloud storage and network files. It is currently available for Windows 10 and above. To use Windows File Recovery to restore your lost data, you need to enter the corresponding commands.

tips Tips:

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  1. Download and install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Type Windows File Recovery in the search bar and select "Run as administrator" to launch Windows File Recovery.
  3. View the file system of your USB drive. Please enter the following command: Winfr E: C: /extensive.
    · Replace E: with the drive letter assigned to your USB flash drive
    · Replace C: with the drive letter assigned to the storage device where you want to store recovered files
  4. Wait a moment. The program will automatically scan and recover deleted files.

USB Data Recovery via Windows File Recovery

3. Get USB Flash Drive Data Recovery via Previous Versions Feature

Many of you probably don't know about the feature called "Restore Previous Versions" of the Windows system, but this feature can be extremely useful if the file has just been deleted from the flash drive. This method allows you to recover deleted files from USB flash drives without software. Follow the following steps to recover a deleted folder or file using this feature.

  1. Navigate to the folder containing the deleted file or folder. Right-click the folder and select "Restore Previous Versions" from the menu.
  2. A list of all previous versions of the file that are available will appear. Double-click the one that was created just before the file was deleted to open the folder.
  3. Select the previous version and click "Restore".

USB Data Recovery via Previous Versions Feature

4. Restore Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive Using CMD

In addition to the solutions mentioned above, you can also use CMD (Command Prompt) to recover data from USB drive. It is a tool provided by Windows. Therefore, you do not need to download any third-party tools to recover USB drive contents. However, since this method is performed by typing the command codes, it can be a bit complicated to use. Besides, you cannot freely select the files you want to recover.

tips Note:

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  1. Connect the USB drive to your computer. Find the CMD by searching in the search box on the menu bar.
  2. Type chkdsk X: /f in the Command Prompt window and press the "Enter" key. Make sure to replace "X" with the letter assigned to your USB drive.
  3. Type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.* and press the "Enter" key. Don’t forget to replace "X" with the USB drive letter.
  4. Wait for the process to complete. You would finally see the deleted files in a new folder on the USB drive.
Use CMD to Recover Data from Flash Drive

5. Achieve USB Flash Drive Data Recovery from Local Backup

If you have made a backup of USB drive data on your computer, you can use it to recover lost USB drive files. However, please note that this will delete any existing data not included in the backup. Here's how to achieve USB flash drive data recovery from backup.

  1. First, open "Control Panel" and go to "System and Maintenance". Then click "Backup and Restore".
  2. In the new pop-up window, click "Restore my files". Typically, Windows chooses the latest backup. If you want to recover USB drive data from a previous backup, click "Choose another date".
  3. After backup selection, you can then choose the folder or file to recover. Add the files to recover to the list and click "Next". On the next page, choose an output location.
  4. Finally, click "Restore" to start USB drive data recovery on your PC.

Restore USB Files from Windows Local Backup


After reading this article, you've learned 5 methods for USB data recovery solutions when you lose data on the flash drive. While it is possible to recover deleted files from flash drive with a backup, it's recommended that you try a professional data recovery software like FonePaw Data Recovery for a quick and simple recovery process with a high success rate.

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