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What Happens When You Delete a File from a USB Flash Drive? Recover Data

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 17th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Data Recovery

Most users have suffered data loss problems whenever they store their important data on a USB flash drive. Basically, most of the users are unaware of the reality i.e., when they normally delete or permanently delete any file from a flash drive by pressing the shift+delete button. So, the file will be deleted permanently from USB drive alternatively of going to the recycle bin. After permanently deleting files, users find an instant solution to recover permanently delete a file from a USB flash drive.

There is no manual method that guarantees to recover deleted data from a USB drive. Basically, using software is the best way to get prominent results. So, with the help of this article, we are able to resolve the most commonly asked queries, like what happens when you lost a data from a flash drive and how to retrieve the deleted data.

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Users Queries

“Hello, I used a Samsung pen drive for two years. I stored all my important data, like pictures, videos, documents, etc. in pen drive. Yesterday I deleted some unwanted data from my pen drive. I don’t know when I deleted my important official folder from it. Now I want my data back because all my data is very crucial to me. Please help me and suggest How do I permanently delete files from my flash drive?”

“Yesterday, I gave my HP pen drive to my friend. He wants to copy our vacation pictures. When he returns the pen drive to me. Pen Drive was empty. There was no data. Now I want my data back. Please give me a better suggestion to recover permanently deleted files from the pen drive.”

Few Steps to Delete Files from a Flash Drive

  1. Launch the USB Data Recovery Wizard.
  2. Connect the flash drive to your computer.
  3. Select “Scan USB drive for lost files.”
  4. View and recover files from a flash drive.
  5. Click the Save tab to restore data from anywhere.

Where Do Deleted Files From USB Go?

Normally, deleted files from a USB flash drive are permanently deleted instead of going to the recycle bin. So you cannot just restore the items from the recycle bin. After all, the deleted files from USB are not in the recycle bin. But if you consider the answer in technical terms, then the deleted files are actually still present on the physical drive. It’s just that the storage used by it is marked empty and cannot be seen by users. This is also the reason that if you overwrite the USB drive, then the “empty” storage space gets used and you lose the chance to recover the deleted files.

Recover Lost File from a Pen Drive with Expert Solution

Here, we come up with an effective technique to instantly recover deleted files that are either emptied from the recycle bin or permanently deleted beforehand. This is a third-party tool named Pen Drive Recovery Tool to recover lost data from USB flash drive without losing any information. This tool has the capability to recover corrupted, deleted, and formatted files from USB flash drive

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However, this software has a unique feature, i.e., it highlights the deleted files in red. So, it becomes simple to define which data is deleted permanently. Moreover, this tool does not have any compatibility issues.

Also Read: How to Fix Corrupted Files on an USB Drive?

Steps to Recover Delete a File from a USB Flash Drive

Here, in this segment, we are going to disclose the directions to recover lost files from USB flash drive in a smart way. Just follow all the steps in a sequential way to implement the recovery procedure effectively:

Step 1: First, download and install the software on your desktop. The home screen will show the list of all connected USB flash drives to your system.

Step 2: Here, this recovery software provides you with two options to scan your flash drive, i.e., a scan and a formatted scan. You can choose the Scan option to recover corrupted data from a USB drive or the Formatted Scan option to retrieve deleted files from the drive.

Step 3: Subsequently, the tool will list all recovered folders in the left panel and highlight in bold black all the folders contained inside. So, you can explore the folder and view the entire data in the right pane of the software.

Step 4: This USB flash drive recovery tool will give you two options to store the recovered data, such as saving specified data or completing recovered data. Here, you can choose the option according to your needs.

save all data

Step 5: All listed files have been successfully recovered.

export successful

Recover Deleted Files from USB without Software

If you do not wish to use the software, although it is recommended, there are two other options to consider. If you are lucky, then either of these methods should do the work for you.

I. Use Command Prompt to Retrieve USB data

  1. After connecting the USB drive to the computer, hit the Windows+R key. Now, type cmd and click the OK button.
  2. You can also search for CMD in the search bar to launch the Command Prompt screen.
  3. Once it opens, type attrib -H -R -S /S /D Z:*.* (here, replace Z with the drive name of your connected USB drive).
  4. Press the Enter key.
  5. Windows will now attempt to recover the deleted files from the pen drive. Once the process is complete, look for them on the USB.

II. Use “Restore Previous Versions

If the feature “System restore” was enabled before deleting the files, then you can restore the deleted files that existed when the system created a restore point for it. Without the protection feature turned on, the below steps are of no use:

  1. Right-click on the folder that once contained the deleted files, or do it for the complete USB drive.
  2. Select Restore previous versions.
  3. If the restore points exist, then they will be shown.
  4. Select the file version you want to recover and click the Restore button.

Its Time to Verge

In the above article, we have explained what happens when you delete a file from a USB flash drive. To overcome this situation, you can try the above-mentioned software and recover your data safely and securely without any trouble.

Commonly Asked Questions

I accidentally deleted all my photos from my flash drive. Can I get them back?

Yes, the flash drive recovery tool is enough to easily recover permanently deleted images from flash drives.

Q: Can you recover deleted files from the pen drive?

Yes, if you have a backup or hidden volume, or if the files were not completely overwritten by the USB drive.

Q: Is there a tool to recover deleted files from a flash drive in the Windows 10 operating system?

Yes, of course, this program is compatible with all versions of Windows operating systems, such as 11, 10, 8, 7, etc.

Q: Can I recover permanently deleted data using this USB flash drive data recovery software?

Yes, you can use this USB flash drive to recover deleted or permanently deleted data.


By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.