How to Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive

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You were moving some precious photos and videos from the flash drive to the phone or computer, and suddenly being forgetful, you removed the flash drive before the process is completed.  You are horrified to realize all those precious files got accidentally deleted from the flash drive. No matter how much compunction you have, you think there is no way to save the day. Well, this certainly is not something that happened only to you, and you can recover deleted files from the flash drive.

It is not impossible to get back those files, in fact, it is quite facile. If you are inquisitive to find out how to recover deleted files from the flash drive, scroll through this article. If you want to alleviate the situation,

How to Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive FI

What Happens to the Deleted Files?

Firsts of all, you need to understand the situation. When the files get deleted, they are not permanently gone, rather than hidden by Windows. These files are kept in order to be overwritten later on down the line. These can be recovered if you act fast and unhide them using some backup methods or by software.

Primary Steps to Recover Deleted Files from Flash Drive

Missing files can be either deleted or hidden. So, if you have accidentally deleted something from the flash drive, first thing you can do is stop using the flash drive again. This will help to avoid any further corruption and deletion of your valuable files. Second, unplugging the drive from the computer is a good idea. This will make sure that nothing will go into the drive or come out of the drive. In simple words, just leave the drive alone and do not mess with it not to lose the probability of file recovery.

Method-1: Using CMD

  • First, you need to connect the USB flash drive to your computer using the USB port.
  • Open up the start menu and type “CMD” and click the “Enter” key.
Using CMD 2
  • We are going to use two types of commands here. The first one is “chkdsk X: /f” and this will scan the entire drive using CMD. In this command, the “X” needs to be replaced by the drive letter of the drive that you are trying to recover files from. To find out the drive letter you need to go to the windows explorer and you will see the assigned drive letters to different drives on the left.
Using CMD 3a

Now enter the command by replacing “X” with the drive letter and hit “Enter”.

Using CMD 3b
  • Now finally, we will use the next command on CMD which is “ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.*”. You have to replace the “X” with the drive letter here too. Now hit “Enter” and wait for the process to be completed. This will populate any missing or hidden files from the flash drive back on the drive.
Using CMD 4

Method-2: Using History Tab

  • Make sure that the USB flash drive is connected to the computer. Now, from the file explorer open up the flash drive. Now, under the “Home” tab, and select “History”. The history tab is built right in the windows explorer. This will help you to scroll back through time and see the different versions of the flash drive captured in history software.
Using History tab 1
  • Once you have found out the file that you want, just click it and restore it.
Using History tab 2

Method-3: Using File Recovery Software

There is a bunch of recovery software out there but we need something that gives you the maximum probability to get back your data. So, the software needs to be advanced enough to pull the data out from the flash drive without any corruption. Let’s have a look at how to recover the files using a few of that software.

Recoverit by Wondershare

  • First, you need to download the “recoverit” software by Wondershare, the free trial version. This is available for both Windows and Mac OS. For this, you need to type “recoverit wondershare” and go to the 1st or 2nd link on top of the screen.
Using File Recovery Software 1
  • After downloading the software, install it in the desired location of your computer.
Recoverit by Wondershare 2
  • Once the installation is done, open up the software. Now, you have to search the storage where you accidently deleted the files from and select it by clicking on that. After the selection is made, click on “Start” and this will start scanning for any type of files located in that drive. It can take several hours depending on the size and type of the files. Once the scanning is completed, it will show “Scan completed!”.
Recoverit by Wondershare 3
  • Next comes the fun part. You have to find out the specific files you have deleted. On the left corner panel of the window, you will see some folders like photos, video, and others and you will see the number next to them telling how many files are in each folder. for instance, let’s say you have deleted photos so, you need to select the photos and click on “Recover”. 
Recoverit by Wondershare 4
  • On free trial, you can only recover up to 10 files. If you want to recover more files you will need to buy the ultimate edition for one month. But if you think you will need this application in the future, consider buying the one year or lifetime license. For now, let’s see the recovery on the free trial so, click on “Recover”.
Recoverit by Wondershare 5
  • Now, they will allow you to choose the desired location where you want to save the recovered files. After selecting, click on “Recover”. This part you can anticipate will not take that long.
Recoverit by Wondershare 6
  •  Finally, it will lead you to the location that you selected and show you the recovered files.
Recoverit by Wondershare 7

Disk Drill for Windows

  • First, free download and install the Disk drill software. You can recover files up to 500 mb using this software for free. Then launch it.
Disk Drill for Windows 1
  • In the main screen, this will open up the data recovery panel by default. From the panel, you have to select the particular flash drive for scan and data recovery. Now click on the “Search for lost data”. This will initiate the scanning algorithm. Depending on the flash drive size, this will take a while.
Disk Drill for Windows 2
  • When scanning is finished, you can see the files within the file structure in the drive by tapping on “Review found items”.
Disk Drill for Windows 3
  • You have to make sure you can preview the lost files before recovery. This will give you the guarantee that the files are fully intact and has not been overwritten at all. You can preview the files by clicking on the little eye icon if it is preview-able. This step is very paramount as if you recover an overwritten file, the original file will be lost forever.  
Disk Drill for Windows 4
  • Now select the files you would like to recover and then click on “Recover”.
Disk Drill for Windows 5
  • Next, you have to choose a location for the storage of the recovered files and hit “OK”. It is strongly recommended to choose a location from the c drive and avoid any external drive, special the flash drive you are using for file recovery.
Disk Drill for Windows 6
  • Finally, when the process is finished, you will find the files in the selected location and you can copy, move or share them just like before.
Disk Drill for Windows 7

TestDisk and Photorec

  • First, search on google the Testdisk for data recovery and download it. this software works for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
TestDisk and Photorec 1
  • Now unzip the downloaded folder and extract this on the computer.
TestDisk and Photorec 2
  • After that, go to the folder and find out “photorec_win.exe” which is an application file. Now open it up.
TestDisk and Photorec 3
  • Next, select the flash drive name from the list appeared in the black window and hit enter.
TestDisk and Photorec 4
  • In the bottom of the next window you will see a couple of options. There the option “File Opt” allows you to choose an action that you want to perform. So, press enter on that.
TestDisk and Photorec 5
  • Now, using the down arrow of the key board, look for “Exchange Database” and press enter on that.
TestDisk and Photorec 6
  • Now type B to save these settings.  Press enter to get back to the main menu. Now go to “Search” and hit enter. This helps to search the drive you have selected.
TestDisk and Photorec 7
  • You will see two options there. The first one is for Linux and Ubuntu users and the second is for others. Next, if you want to recover a single file chose “Free” and if you want to recover the complete flash drive choose “Whole”.
TestDisk and Photorec 8a
TestDisk and Photorec 8b
  • To recover the file, enter Y from the keyboard. When the process is done, you can quit it by pressing enter.
TestDisk and Photorec a
TestDisk and Photorec 9b
  • Finally, you will find a new created folder in the unzipped folder of the software. This new folder contains all the deleted files that you wanted.
TestDisk and Photorec 10

Glary Undelete

  • First, download and install Glary Undelete software.
Glary Undelete 1
  • Now, open the software and click on the three dots on the top side of the window. This will lead you to select the flash drive you want to recover files from.
Glary Undelete 2
  • Click on “Search” after the selection is made. This will search for all the deleted files from the drive. This software doesn’t change the name of deleted files.
Glary Undelete 3
  • When the search result appears, look for the deleted files you want and select them. Then click on “Restore”.
Glary Undelete 4
  • Now, choose the destination location and hit ok. After restoration is completed you will find it in the folder you chose previously.
Glary Undelete 5

Wrap Up

Getting back valuable data that you lost from the flash drive is not impractical. Initially, you need to make the flash drive hermetic. The method using CMD doesn’t work all the time. History software cannot always go back far enough. So, if none of these two works, you can use data recovery software like Recoverit, Disk drill, Glary undelete, or TestDisk and Photorec by following the steps we mentioned to recover deleted files from the flash drive. Hopefully, this will help you out.

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