How to Recover Files from Formatted USB Flash Drive

In this article, we will explore effective methods of how to recover files from a formatted USB flash drive and offer a step-by-step guide.


By Dervish / Updated on July 27, 2023

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Understanding file loss on formatted USB flash drives

People always said: “How to recover files from formatted USB flash drive?”. When you accidentally format a USB flash drive, it might seem like all your data is gone forever. However, understanding the process of file loss on a formatted USB drive can give you hope that your data may still be recoverable.

When you format a USB flash drive, the data stored on it is not immediately erased. Instead, the file system on the drive is reset, marking the space where your files were stored as "available" or "free." In simple terms, the formatting process creates a clean slate for new data to be written.

If you were to save new files on the formatted drive, they would overwrite the old files, making them much harder to recover. This is why it's crucial to avoid using the formatted drive for storing new data until the recovery process is complete. The sooner you attempt data recovery after formatting, the better your chances of retrieving most, if not all, of your files.

Usb Flash Drive

Tips before recovering files from formatted USB flash drive

Before embarking on the data recovery process for a formatted USB flash drive, it's crucial to take some essential precautions to maximize the chances of successful data retrieval. Here are the key precautions you should follow:

▶ Avoid using the formatted drive: The first and most crucial precaution is to refrain from using the formatted USB flash drive for any new data storage. When you format a drive, the old data is not immediately erased; it remains intact until overwritten by new data. Using the drive for new files increases the risk of overwriting the data you want to recover, making it much harder or even impossible to retrieve.

▶ Don’t attempt further formatting: Resist the urge to format the USB drive again, as doing so can make data recovery more challenging. Formatting the drive multiple times can lead to more data overwriting and further complicate the recovery process.

▶ Disconnect the USB drive safely: If the formatted USB flash drive is still connected to a computer or any other device, make sure to safely eject it before starting the recovery process. Improper ejection may cause data corruption and hinder recovery efforts.

By adhering to these precautions, you can safeguard your data and improve the chances of a successful recovery.

How to recover files from a formatted USB flash drive on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

There are many data recovery software on the market, and some of them can really help users recover lost data. However, I prefer AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional because it has an easy-to-use interface, powerful recovery features and comprehensive disk partition management tools.

Compatibility with different storage devices: it is designed to handle the complexities of HDD/SSD/USB. It supports a wide range of USB makes and models, ensuring compatibility regardless of drive specifications.
✦ Advanced Recovery Algorithms: It employs advanced algorithms to locate and recover lost files from USB, even in challenging situations, it thoroughly scans the USB, identifies recoverable data fragments and pieces them together for successful file recovery.
Data Security: The software runs in read-only mode to ensure the security of recovered files and minimize the risk of further data loss or corruption. It respects the integrity of the USB and prevents any modifications during the recovery process.
Additional features: In addition to data recovery, it offers a comprehensive set of features to meet all your disk management needs. For example, it allows recovering partition on the USB, partition USB, Wipe USB, Clone USB, make bootable USB, etc.

Now, please download it to see how to recover files from formatted USB flash drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run it. Click Recover > Recover Data from the top menu.

Recover Data

Step 2. Choose the USB drive and click Start Scan.

Recover Windows Data

Step 3. After scanning, all deleted files will be listed. You should tick the lost files and click Recover file.

Select Recover Data

Step 4. Then, choose a path to save these files.

Select Saved Path

Step 5. When finished, go to the path to find them.


FAQs about how to recover files from formatted USB flash drive

Q: Can I recover files from a USB flash drive that has been formatted multiple times?

In most cases, files can be recovered even if the drive has been formatted multiple times. However, the chances of file recovery may be reduced in such cases.

Q: Can I use the same USB flash drive after data recovery?

Yes, you can continue to use the USB flash drive after data recovery. To prevent accidental data loss again, it is recommended to make a habit of backing up your files on a regular basis. If you have never done so, you can try using AOMEI Backupper.

Q: Is there a guarantee that all my files will be recovered using data recovery software?

Although data recovery software is effective, it does not absolutely guarantee 100% recovery. It depends on a variety of factors, such as the extent of data overwriting and the degree of drive corruption.

Q: How to recover files from formatted usb flash drive for free

You can try Windows File Recovery. It is a tool developed by Microsoft specifically for free file recovery on Windows systems. However, the program runs through a command line interface and is suitable for users who are familiar with the command prompt.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.