Sometimes due to various reasons, a catastrophic situation arises where all of your files disappeared from your flash drive. It could be due to accidental deletion, but there is more to it. Knowing the reasons behind this issue might help you fix it and educate you to avoid such blunders. That's precisely what you will get in this article; what happened to your files on a USB flash drive? Is it possible to recover them? Let's get it started.
The following are why your files might go missing or disappear from the USB flash drive.
- You accidentally deleted your files
- If you have hidden your USB drive or the files/folders, then there are chances that your files on the USB drive are missing.
- If you have accidentally formatted the drive
- Malware or virus intrusion might result in files disappearing on the USB.
- If your drive is physically or logically damaged, then your data on the flash drive might disappear.
How to Fix Files Disappeared from Flash Drive?
- Scenario 1: Files Copied to USB Disappeared
- Scenario 2: The USB drive is Visible in File Explorer, But there are no Files
- Fix 1: Check and Unhide the Files
- Fix 2: Search in the Folder Path
- Fix 3: Run CMD
- Fix 4: Use Error Checking Tool
- Fix 5: Format the USB to Fix the Files that Disappeared from the USB on Windows 10/11
Scenario 1: Files Copied to USB Disappeared
"I moved some photos, movies, and Word documents to a pen drive. And they were in separate folders. A few days later, when I opened the pen drive, they were only the folders, but they were empty. All the photos, movies, and Word file content were gone. Please tell me the way to recover my copied data. Thanks."- User Query
The strange disappearance of files copied on a USB device is common. In forums, users have complained that they can't locate data on USB drives that they're positive they copied on the devices. In such a scenario, using professional data recovery Software such as Remo Recover would help you recover your data.
I connected my USB drive to Windows 10. I could see my USB drive in File Explorer but not my files stored on this drive. So put, USB Drive is visible, but the content is not! Why?
You might have encountered a similar issue, and there are various reasons why this issue arises, as discussed in the above section of the article. But first, learn how to fix and recover data that disappeared from USB.
Note: You can follow the same fixes for both scenarios.
Fix 1: Check and Unhide the Files
Step 1: Go to the File Explorer, go to the View tab in the taskbar, and go to the Options.
Step 2: From the Options, click the Dropdown, select the Change folders, and search options.
Step 3: Now go to the View tab, select the radio button with the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option, and click on the OK and Apply controls.
This will unhide any hidden files on the USB drive. If this method does not work for you, you can move to the article's next section.
Fix 2: Search in the Folder Path
If the above method does not work, you can search for the disappeared files in the folder path. Every folder has a uniquely identified location in the directory structure, separated by delimiting characters.
Step 1: Go to the flash drive and click on the Path.
Step 2: In the box, place the backslash and search for the folder with the files you are looking for.
Now you will be able to locate the folder and the files. If you cannot find the missing or disappeared files, then you can run the Command Prompt.
Fix 3: Run CMD
Cmd, commonly called Command Prompt, is a command line window that can assist you in resolving any minor issues with the drive. For example, to determine the "files disappeared from USB drive" problem, follow the below instructions.
Caution: Command Line is a time-consuming process. If there are any interruptions while performing this fix or if you goof up with the commands, it might damage the files, and recovering them becomes problematic. Hence, take a backup or recover the files using a USB recovery tool before you proceed with the attrib command.
Before we head to the command window, let us understand the commands used to fix the issue's functionality.
|-h||You will make use of this command letter to unhide the files.|
|-r||Once the hidden files are unhidden, this command letter will help in modification.|
|-s||This command letter will help clear the system file attributes|
|/s:||This command letter will help you match the attrib command to the file in the selected directory.|
|/d:||This command letter will help you in matching the attrib with the directory.|
To fix the issue, 'files copied to USB drive disappear' run the Command Prompt. To do so, follow the steps.
Step 1: Go to the Command Prompt and Run as Administrator.
Step 2: Hit Enter by typing the following command attrib -h -r -s /s /d X:\*.* (where X is the drive letter, you can replace it with your drive letter).
Now you will be able to locate the files. If you cannot find or locate the disappeared files, you can check for any errors on the USB.
Fix 4: Use Error Checking Tool
Error-checking tools can help you verify if there are any errors with the file system of the USB. With the help of this tool, you can fix if there are any minor issues on the USB drive.
Step 1: Go to File Explorer, navigate to your flash drive, and right-click on it.
Step 2: Select the Properties option, and you will be promoted to a window. Next, select the Tools tab and select the Check option.
Step 3: Now select the option Scan, repair the drive, and click the OK and Apply buttons.
Verify if you can locate the disappeared or missing files on the USB. If you can locate them, the only option is to format the drive.
Formatting the drive might result in data loss. If you have not taken the backup, you can employ the USB recovery tool—many USB recovery software like Remo Recover, Stellar, and Easeus. However, we will use the most potent USB recovery tool by Remo.
Remo Recover is built with a Deep Scan engine that can scan every drive sector to return the disappeared or missing files from the USB drive. The tool can recover more than 500+ file types, and it is a renowned tool for USB recovery across the globe, with more than ten million+ downloads.
"I was very happy with Remo software. They were able to recover all the files on my USB that I thought were lost! Remo is a safe and user-friendly service. I highly recommend them."Source: Trustpilot
- Becca, January 07, 2023
Fix 5: Format the USB to Fix the Files that Disappeared from the USB on Windows 10/11
Step 1: Go to File Explorer, your Pen drive, and right-click on it.
Step 2: And then, select the Format option, the File System, and the check box with the Quick Format option.
Step 3: Finally, click on Start.
Download and install Remo Recover on your Windows and connect your USB from where you want to recover data.
Step 1: Then launch the tool, select the drive from the main screen, and click the Scan option.
Step 2: The tool will quickly complete the Quick Scan, and then Deep Scan is automatically initiated.
Step 3: The tool will display the files in the Tree Structure once you double-click the recovered files to Preview them.
Step 4: Finally, select the files you want to save and click the Recover option.
In conclusion, experiencing disappearing files on your USB drive can be a frustrating and stressful experience. However, with the right approach, it is possible to recover your lost data and prevent the issue from happening in the future. First, to fix the problem, check your computer's virus scanner and ensure your USB drive is not infected. Next, try using a data recovery tool to retrieve any lost files.
If these methods do not work, you may need professional help from a data recovery service. In the future, back up your important files regularly and keep your USB drive safe from damage and corruption. By taking these steps, you can minimize the risk of losing important data and ensure that your USB drive remains a reliable tool for storing and transferring files.