A Comprehensive Guide to Recovering Formatted USB Drives

A Comprehensive Guide to Recovering Formatted USB Drives

USB drives are a convenient way to handle data. It makes your work easier when transferring data from one device to another and users find it seamless to backup data with them too. However, data loss from these devices is very common. Some of these scenarios are however accidental.

If you meant to format your USB drive for any reason and ended up with lost files, you do not need to worry. This is because formatted USB drive recovery is very possible. The easiest way is to use backups. We prepared this comprehensive guide on recovering a formatted USB drive.  To ensure you do not miss a thing, read through all the tips to recover formatted USB drives to the last word. 

Recover Formatted USB Drive with Disk Drill

Handling USB drives may be a little challenging. As you are already aware, many scenarios could lead to data loss from an external drive. Some of the causes include physical damage to the drive, corruption, malware and even accidental deletion.  

Nonetheless, the recovery process can be very straightforward, if you have the right tools. We recommend using the best data recovery software. Disk Drill by CleverFiles is a user-friendly software everybody talks about today. 

We understand it may not be so easy to choose a good data recovery tool urgently. Even if you had to cherry-pick a data recovery software from among the best, getting one that meets all your customer needs is still a challenge. Disk Drill is used by professionals to repair storage devices, including external hard drives. 

We choose Disk Drill for several reasons. The software is not just intuitive but also comes with versatile features that support quick and deep scans. Still, deeper corrective measures are implemented to restore your USB drive. In addition, the software allows users to recover a variety of file formats without requiring expert knowledge. 

Other crucial features to look out for in this tool include data protection, USB cleanup, disk monitoring, backup, and much more. Below are additional features to consider:

  • The free trial version of this software is available
  • Supports Windows 10, 11, and macOS
  • File preview helps you review the files before recovery
  • Works on any storage device

Even though this software can sort all your USB drive challenges including recovering USB that needs to be formatted, you still need to take some precautions to safeguard your data. Also, if you are dealing with a USB drive asking to format, check out the fixes through this link. Otherwise, below are some key points to note that will improve your data management experience. 

  • Stop using the USB drive to store more data to avoid overwriting your lost files
  • We suggest you restore the data on a different storage device
  • Use Disk Drill deep scan to recover all your files

The recovery process with USB data recovery software is simple and easy. Follow the steps below. 

  • Step 1: Connect the USB drive to the PC.
  • Step 2: Download, install and launch Disk Drill on the computer and choose the USB drive you need to recover.
  • Step 3: Click “Start” to scan the USB drive for lost files. You should be able to see all your recoverable data in the left panel, and you can stop or even pause the process at your convenience. 
  • Step 4: Preview the files that have been found, choose the ones you want to recover, and click “Recover.” Choose a different recovery location.

Recover the Formatted USB Drive with CMD

Sometimes you do not want to use a third-party software for whatever reason. The command line is the other method you can try in that case. It is an integrated management application that is built in for Windows and can be used for issuing various commands. Follow the steps below to implement your recovery with CMD.

  • Step 1: Type cmd in the Windows search box to open the command prompt.
  • Step 2: Choose to run as an administrator.
  • Step 3: Type chkdsk G: /f/x/r and replace G with the formatted USB drive letter.
  • Step 4: Hit Enter and allow the command to run.

Recover Formatted USB Drive with Backup

Backups are another efficient and effective way to recover formatted drives. If you backup your data regularly either on an external hard drive or on the cloud, you stand higher chances of restoring a formatted USB drive. This is because the saved version of your files available in the backup spaces will always remain intact. 

1. Restoring from an External Hard Drive Backup

With an external hard drive as your backup, it is easier and simpler. You will need to insert the external drive where your files were backed up into a PC. Navigate into the drive through “My computer,” launch it and select the files you need to be recovered. You can drag them and drop them into your preferred folder or just copy and paste them right back. 

2. Restoring from iCloud Backup

If you have an iCloud backup that was active up to the time your USB drive was formatted, then you will be in a position to restore data from there. Simply login to your account, choose the files you want to recover and tap “Restore.” You will be able to restore all your files or a selection of what you need much more easily. 

3. Restoring from Google Drive Backup

If you use a Gmail account then you are most likely familiar with Google Drive. Google Drive gives you up to 15 GB free cloud storage. You can easily use this space to back up your data. If your files were backed up here before formatting the USB drive, log in to your Gmail account, tap “Drive” to open and choose the files to be recovered. Once you have selected the files, hit the download button to restore them to your PC and subsequently to the USB drive.

Note that as much as backups are an easy way to restore lost files, they must be created and regularly used. Otherwise, you will not be able to use this method to recover formatted USB drives. 

Santos Cruickshank

Santos Cruickshank

With years of software development experience under his belt, Santos Cruickshank has always been passionate about learning about different kinds of software for PC and apps for smartphones. Santos Cruickshank has been one of the lead developers for Slack back in 2017 and now works as a freelance software developer. Apart from that, he also loves to write and educate people about software development and how to use them.