USB sticks or flash drives have become a common essential in our daily lives as they provide us with a convenient and quick way to store and transfer data. However, the unfortunate events of accidentally deleting important files can happen to anyone, and this can be a nightmare. In this article, we will be discussing how to recover deleted files from a USB stick.
Recovering deleted files can be tasking and cumbersome. However, when dealing with a USB stick, the process is relatively easier as long as you follow the right steps. In this guide, we will show you different methods that are available for recovering your deleted files.
Before delving into the process of recovering lost files from your USB stick, there are some things that you are required to have in place. These include:
- A working computer with a USB port
- A reliable USB data recovery software
- The USB stick in question
What Requires Your Focus?
When attempting to recover deleted files from your USB stick, there are two primary aspects that you need to focus on. These are:
- Prevention of overwriting data- When you delete a file from a USB stick, it is only marked as deleted, but the space it occupies is not yet available for use. As long as that space is not overwritten with new data, you have a high chance of recovering deleted files.
- The right recovery method- Depending on the cause of data loss, some recovery methods may not be effective. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a method that corresponds to your scenario.
Different Methods to Recover Deleted Files from USB Stick
Method 1: Using Recycle Bin/Trash Recovery
This method only works if the deleted files were stored in the USB stick and not removed permanently from the Recycle Bin/Trash. If you have not emptied your Recycle Bin/Trash, then follow these steps:
- Open the Recycle Bin/Trash and look for the deleted file in question.
- Right-click on the deleted file and select "Restore."
- The deleted file will be restored to its original location on the USB stick.
– Easy process
– No software required
– Does not work for files deleted from the USB stick when the Recycle Bin/Trash has already been emptied
Method 2: Using USB Data Recovery Software
Using data recovery software is an effective method of recovering deleted files from your USB stick. It works by scanning the USB stick for the deleted files and restoring them to their original state. To do this:
- Download and install a reliable data recovery software. Some options include EaseUS, Recuva, and Disk Drill, among others.
- Launch the software and select your USB stick where the deleted files were stored.
- Choose the file type you want to recover or select the "All" option to recover all file types.
- Start the scanning process.
- Once the scanning process is complete, preview the files found and select the deleted files you want to recover.
- Select the destination where you want the files to be restored and click on the "Recover" button to complete the process.
– Can recover files deleted from the USB stick, irrespective of whether the Recycle Bin/Trash was emptied.
– Suitable for various data loss scenarios
– Not all software guarantees 100% success rate
– The scanning process can be time-consuming
Method 3: Using CMD
The Command Prompt or CMD is another option that you can use to recover deleted files from your USB stick. Use the following steps to execute this method:
- Insert your USB stick into your computer and open the Command Prompt by pressing "Windows+R" and typing "cmd."
- Type "chkdsk X: /f" in the Command Prompt and press Enter (X represents the letter for your USB stick).
- Type "Y" to confirm and press Enter.
- Type "X:" (X represents the letter for your inserted USB stick) and press Enter.
- Type "attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.*" and press Enter. Wait for some time as the command runs.
- Check your USB stick for the recovered files.
– Free of charge and available on all Windows versions
– No need for third-party software or download
– The Command Prompt can be daunting for beginners
– May not work for advanced data loss scenarios
Why Can’t I Recover Deleted Files from My USB Stick?
While the above methods are effective in most cases, there are some situations where it may not be possible to recover deleted files from your USB stick. These include:
1. Overwriting Data
As stated earlier, the chances of recovering deleted files from your USB stick are high as long as the space they had occupied has not been overwritten. If the space has been overwritten, there is no chance of recovery.
Avoid using the USB stick immediately when you discover that files have been deleted. This reduces the risk of overwriting data.
2. Physical Damage
If your USB stick has physical damages like a broken connector or a short circuit, recovering deleted files might not be possible.
Seek professional help from technical experts, or use data recovery tools that are designed for physically damaged drives.
When you format your USB stick, all data is usually erased from it, including the deleted files.
Ensure that you have a backup of all important files before formatting your USB stick.
Implications and Recommendations
It’s important to note that data recovery is not always 100% successful. Therefore, having a backup of your important files at all times is highly recommended. It’s also crucial to avoid doing anything that may lead to data loss, such as pulling out your USB stick abruptly or exposing it to extreme conditions.
5 FAQs About Recovering Deleted Files from USB Stick
Q1: Can all data recovery software recover deleted files from USB stick?
A: No, some data recovery software may not recover deleted files from USB sticks due to different factors like data corruption, formatting, and physical damages.
Q2: Is it possible to recover files deleted from a USB stick years ago?
A: The possibility of recovering files deleted from a USB stick years ago is almost impossible, as the space they had occupied might have been overwritten by new data.
Q3: Is it possible to recover files deleted from a USB stick that has been infected by a virus?
A: Yes, it’s possible to recover files deleted from a USB stick that has been infected by a virus. However, it’s crucial to install antivirus software to protect your files from permanent deletion.
Q4: Can I recover files deleted from my USB stick on a Mac?
A: Yes, it’s possible to recover deleted files from your USB stick on a Mac using data recovery software that works on Mac OS.
Q5: Does the size of my USB stick affect the chances of recovering deleted files?
A: No, the size of your USB stick does not affect the chances of recovering deleted files. However, the amount of data stored on it may affect recovery time.
Recovering deleted files from your USB stick can be an overwhelming process, but with the right methods and software, it can be fairly simple. Remember to avoid overwriting data and physically damaging your USB stick as this could lead to complete data loss. Additionally, ensure that you have a backup of important files at all times.