Flash drive technology is an extremely popular method of adding extra storage to a computer or mobile device. These small, portable storage devices are known by many names including thumb drive, memory stick, pen drive, and USB stick.
Millions of users rely on USB flash drives or comparable removable storage devices to save and protect their data. Music, photos, videos, and other items are stored on flash drives from smartphones, cameras, and handheld devices. Unfortunately, flash drive technology is just as susceptible to data loss as other storage technologies.
How to Restore Deleted Files on Your Flash Drive Using Data Recovery Software
Data Recovery software is the first way we will consider to undo the effects of accidental file deletions or inadvertent flash drive formatting.
Our editorial team prefers Disk Drill. This is a simple but feature-rich solution that can help you undelete files from your USB in a few easy steps.
To maximize your chance of recovering lost files and folders, you should stop using the flash drive as soon as you suspect data loss has occurred. This includes not using the drive to download and install Disk Drill.
Download and Install Disk Drill
Connect the Flash Drive to the Computer
Launch Disk Drill
Select the USB Drive You Want to Recover
Scan Your Flash Drive
Review the Results
Recover Your Data
How to Recover Deleted Files From Flash Drive Using CMD
Windows users can use the command prompt to attempt flash drive file recovery using two native commands, one of which checks and fixes file system integrity, while the other one reveals hidden files and folders.
To recover files using CMD, follow these steps:
- Open a command prompt by pressing Windows + R and typing CMD in the search box.
- Type chkdsk “drive letter”: /f and press the Enter key.
- Use this command to recover the lost files on the drive: ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D “drive letter”:*.*
How to Restore a Previous Version of Files on Your Flash Drive
You can attempt to recover deleted files from a thumb drive by restoring a previous version of the files and folders. This can be done in a number of ways.
Here is a simple procedure to follow:
- Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder that contained the files or folders you wish to recover.
- Right-click and select Restore previous versions.
- Select the version you want and click Open to verify it is the file you want to restore.
- Complete the restore by selecting the previous version you want and click Restore.
Another way to restore a previous version of a file is through backups that have been previously created. The specific steps will vary depending on the method you use to make the backups, but the general procedure is the same.
- Fire up your backup tool.
- Search for the lost files or folders.
- Restore them from the backup storage media or the cloud.
Advantages of Using USB Data Recovery Software
USB Recovery Software offers you the best chance to recover deleted files from USB drives. You can attempt to perform recovery without software using the methods described above, but they are an inferior solution to using data recovery software.
Recovering from a previous version or a backup forces you to use an outdated file that will not contain any changes made since the last backup. Recovery software goes after the actual data that was deleted and restores it to the state it was in before deletion.
Protect Files on Your Flash Drive From Accidental Deletion
You can protect the files on your flash drives in a variety of ways. Some of the best are:
|🛡️ Backup the files||This task can be easily accomplished with the cloud backup option available with many mobile devices in which a flash drive is used. You can also use another physical storage device to create an extra copy of your data. Regular backups are key to data protection.|
|🔤 Label the flash drives||Clear labeling can help prevent accidental formatting or file deletion.|
|✅ Keep your flash drives safe||Thumb drives can easily be lost or damaged if not cared for properly. This can lead to the loss of valuable and potentially irreplaceable data.|
Most Common USB Flash Drive Issues
– USB Device not recognized
Solution: There are a few different ways to approach the “USB Device not recognized” issue.
- Try a different USB port.
- Completely power down your system and restart it.
- Remove and reinstall or update the driver.
- Try the device on a different computer.
– USB Flash Drive Showing “Disk Not Formatted”
Solution: USB drive is asking to be formatted? Format the drive or try it on another computer. If you need the data on the drive, after formatting you can attempt to restore it with data recovery software.
– Connected Flash Drive is not detected in Windows
Solution: This problem can be caused by drive corruption, erroneous BIOS settings or compatibility issues. Try a different computer if available. Data recovery software may be able to rescue the data from the drive if it can identify it as a raw disk.
Files deleted from your USB drive do not take up temporary residence in your Recycle or Trash Bin. They are essentially permanently deleted from a logical perspective. However, until they are overwritten, they can be recovered.
Here’s a super-quick guide on recovering deleted files from a USB stick:
- Download Disk Drill’s software & install it.
- Connect your USB stick & run launch the software.
- Select your USB drive & click “Search for lost data”.
- Preview & select all files you need to retrieve.
- Choose a safe recovery destination & recover your files.
There is no need to format your USB drive before attempting data recovery. You should avoid using the drive for any reason until the recovery is complete.