Among the unexpected things that happen to us with computers, connecting a USB pendrive and not showing the files is something as surprising as usual. Even having it connected and working correctly, information disappearing is also something that can happen to you. There are several ways to recover that information , we should not throw our hands at our heads.
After ruling out that you have tried the universal solution for (almost) everything in life, which is to Restart the computer, let’s see what other possible solutions we have at our disposal to recover the files and folders that we do not see on our USB drive. On many occasions, if we look at the storage space used, we will see that it is correct, yes, it coincides with the weight of the data that we previously saw. These types of problems also have different solutions depending on the source of the failure.
Causes of the error
In the latter case, the file hiding error may be of unknown origin , but it is usually due to malicious elements or errors in the system.
Malware or virus
If your hard drive, or the USB drive itself, has been infected by any type of malware or virus, one of the consequences is that all or part of the information on the drive disappears. In the case of USB sticks, it may be that the files and folders have been hidden and not permanently deleted.
It is true that there are even USB drives capable of physically destroying a computer , but the most normal and common is that it simply hides files and folders from us.
USB port error
When we format the unit, the correct thing is that the information disappears. It is true that, if we have done a quick format, some of the tools shown below will help you recover the lost information, but it is not the case. Errors in your computer’s own USB port can be caused by the sudden removal of the drive without having ejected it correctly can cause problems in accessing the data.
The physical damage or manufacturing defects in the pendrive are other causes that can cause such errors, also displayed some of the solutions we can help recover files and hidden folders.
Recover files from Windows
Before using external programs, we must look at the Windows configuration and some of the native tools that can be very useful.
Show hidden files
Either because we have configured it this way intentionally and we do not remember it, or because the way to show the files has been changed by mistake, the USB data may be marked as hidden and that is why Windows does not show them. We have two ways to show hidden files in Microsoft operating system.
In Windows settings
To show hidden files and folders in Windows 10 we have to do the following:
- In the Search box we will write Folder and then click on Show hidden files and folders .
- Let’s go to Advanced Settings .
- We select Show hidden files, folders and drives .
- We click OK to save the changes.
We will only have to check our USB drive to see if all the content is displayed.
At the Command Prompt
We type CMD in the Search box to open the command prompt and we will use the attrib command. This command defines the attributes of the elements contained in a storage unit.
In our case we will have to enter this command attrib -h -r -s / s / d X: *. * Where X is the letter of the USB drive that is giving us problems. We press the Enter key and wait for the process to finish to check if the problem has been solved.
It is important that we make sure that the antivirus we use is working correctly. If you have installed your own, you must run its configuration menu and check that it does not present any errors. It is also advisable to do a scan of the storage unit.
If you use Windows Defender as an antivirus, you can check its status as follows:
- Select Start and type Security .
- Click on Antivirus and Threat Protection .
- In the Anti-virus and threat protection settings section , click on Manage settings .
This way we can make sure you are protecting us properly.
With external tools
Once we have ruled out that it is not a problem with hidden files or viruses, we will have to use third-party applications that have been expressly designed to solve these types of problems.
Ease Us Data Recovery Wizard
This program recovers all types of files and folders (images, videos, documents, etc.) in formatted drives, with operating system failures, damaged by viruses or any other cause of data loss. Causes include drive formatting or tampering errors, improper removal, and many more. Although the application is paid with subscriptions starting at € 66.69 per year, you can try the application for free and you have 30 days to make the return. It is compatible with Windows XP / Vista / 7/8/10 / Server (2019, 2016, 2012, 2008 and 2003).
Once Ease Us Data Recovery Wizard is installed, you just have to select the drive you want to scan, make sure you choose the correct drive because if you start to analyze the hard drive the process will be much longer. You will receive a preview of the data that can be extracted so that you can select what you want to recover, if all the information or only part of it.
This application is free and available for Windows and macOS. Recovers all types of data that have been previously deleted . The truth is that the operation is very simple, similar to that of the Ease Us Data Recovery Wizard.
Once Disk Drill is installed we will have to choose the location that we want to analyze, in this case it would be the USB pendrive that we have connected to recover the data. Once we click on the Search for lost data button we just have to wait for the magic to be done. Perhaps you have too much information saved that can be recovered, if you want to save time you can select in the preview only the files and folders that you are interested in recovering.
Disk Drill is available for Windows and macOS and is compatible with most devices with storage drives including tablets and smartphones. The free version allows you to recover up to 500 MB of data, if you need an unlimited version you can purchase the Pro package for € 93.44.
Ontrack’s data recovery program can recover data even on drives not recognized by the operating system. It can recover all types of files that are hidden regardless of the reason why we do not have access to them. It is available for Windows and for macOS . The free version is limited to 1GB of recovered data for items up to 25MB in weight. The paid version of the Home package costs € 81 for Windows and € 87 for macOS.
To perform the recovery you just have to run Ontrack EasyRecovery and connect the USB drive. We choose the correct unit and start the data search. In the preview of analyzed data we will see what we can recover and those that are overwritten and unrecoverable. Among the first we will select the ones that interest us.
Wondershare’s dedicated application to recover lost or hidden data on USB, recovers files and folders that were intentionally deleted or mistakenly deleted. Recoverit can recover images, videos, documents, emails, audios, etc. Besides the mentioned drives, it can also analyze hard drives, memory cards and internal memories of external devices. The basic Recoverit plan for Windows is priced at € 59.95 per year, the Mac edition costs € 79.95 per year. You can use the trial version for 7 days with a money-back guarantee.
Once the program is installed and opened, what we have to do is connect the USB drive to the computer. We select it in the program and click on the Start button to activate the scan. We will make a preview of the data that can be recovered in order to select only what interests us, click on Recover and choose the destination location.
Remo recover software
Remo Recover is another of the most interesting applications to recover draft, formatted or corrupted data on a storage drive. Although this program is also useful for internal and external hard drives, SSD drives, memory cards, etc. The Windows version is priced at $ 39.97 for its basic edition, and the Mac edition is $ 59.97.
To recover the hidden files from our pendrive we have to execute Remo Recover and connect the unit to our computer. We will click on the Recover Partitions section of the upper menu . There we will select the unit and then press the Scan button and wait. We will only have to choose the material to recover and click on Save to choose its destination location.
This free application is one of the most popular, developed by Piriform Software (CCleaner) allows advanced recovery of files hidden or deleted as a result of formatting or virus infection. It can be used on all types of storage drives besides USB (hard drives, memory cards, etc.), even on damaged storage drives.
Once you have installed and opened Recuva, you just have to choose the unit that you are going to analyze and click on the Scan button . The list of results will mark all the detected files and which of them can be recovered, you will only have to choose the ones that interest you and click on Recover …
Although there are the paid versions Professional (19.95 euros) and Professional Bundle for 3 PCs (34.95 euros) it will be enough to install the free version , which is compatible with Windows and macOS .