How Do I Recover Data from a Formatted USB Drive?

Updated on May 27th, 2021

Rohit Arora

Summary: Have you accidentally formatted your USB drive? In this blog, learn how you can recover formatted USB drive data. To quickly get back your files and folders, you may also use a USB Data Recovery Software, such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. Download the trial version below!

How Do I Recover Data from a Formatted USB Drive?

USB flash drives have been around for a while and are widely used to store and carry data. These drives facilitate easy transferring and accessing data among multiple systems. However, like any other storage device, USB drives are also prone to failure due to corruption, bad sectors, file system errors, disk errors, which urges you to format the drive. 

There could be several scenarios under which you may end up formatting your USB drive, such as

  1. Removing unnecessary data from the USB drive. So, rather than deleting the files one-by-one, you choose to format the drive in one go.
  2. Facing disk errors such as ‘USB Device Not Recognized’ or ‘Please insert a disk into removable disk’ and end up formatting the drive to fix the problem.
  3. Deliberately formatting the inaccessible or damaged USB drive to make them useable.
  4. Connecting a corrupt USB drive to the system, prompting you to ‘Format disk.’

Well, whatever the situation is, the point is that the drive is formatted, and you’re looking out for a way to get back your files.

Here, we have mentioned the most recommended DIY method to get back your data from a formatted USB drive.

Recover Data from a Formatted USB Drive

The most-effective method to recover formatted USB drive data is using reliable data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. This DIY USB drive recovery software helps you restore data from formatted, corrupted, or even logically damaged USB drives along with HDD, SSD, SD cards. It also supports recovery from BitLocker encrypted drives. To recover your files, folders, photos, and more, follow the given steps:

a. Connect the affected USB drive to the working PC.

b. Download, install, and run Stellar Data Recovery Professional on the same system.

c. The ‘Select What to Recover’ window will show on the screen. You can either select ‘Everything’ or a particular type of data from the screen to recover. (See Image 1)

Image 1: Select what to recover

d. Now, on the ‘Recover from’ window, choose the location/drive from which you want to retrieve data and click Scan. The scanning process will start. (See Image 2)

Image 2: Choose location/drive to scan.

e. On completion of the scanning process, you will be able to see the files under three panes, i.e., ‘Tree View,’ ‘File Type,’ and ‘Deleted List.’

f. Select the files you want to retrieve and click ‘Recover.’ (See Image 3)

Image 3: Select Recover to get back your files

g. Now, click ‘Browse’ to choose the desired location to store data.

Note: Always choose a different drive partition/location or an external storage media drive to store the retrieved files to prevent data overwriting.

h. Finally, click ‘Start-Saving’ to save the recovered data from the formatted USB drive. (See Image 4)

Image 4: Save the recovered data

You may also watch the video to learn how to recover formatted USB drive data using Stellar Data Recovery Professional.

Remember, data recovery from the formatted USB drive is possible if,

  • The USB drive is ‘Quick formatted’ and not formatted with manual intervention, i.e.,overwriting every bit of the data stored on the drive.
  • You have stopped using or adding more data to the USB drive immediately after formatting or losing data to prevent overwriting.

Continued usage of the drive can lead to data overwriting, meaning you will permanently lose your data beyond the scope of recovery.

Must-Follow Tips to Safely Use a USB Drive and Prevent Data Loss

  • Always have a backup of your data. If you usethe USB drive as a backup drive, practice havingyour USB drive’s backup.
  • Keep antivirus program updated on PC to prevent any malware attack
  • Don’t just absurdly remove the USB drive from your system. Go to the connected devices in the menu bar, find the drive, right-click on it and click ‘Eject’> OK.  Then remove the drive from the system.

Closing Thoughts:

Data loss is inevitable and sudden (without any warning).Whether you have accidentally or deliberately formatted the USB drive, you end up losing your data. To recover formatted USB drive data, you may rely on a powerful data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. This DIY software can help you restore data from a formatted, corrupted, or even a damaged USB drive. Also, do follow the preventive tips shared in this blog toavoid data loss in the future.

Also Read: How to Recover Files from a Corrupt or Unresponsive USB Flash Drive


About The Author

Oliver Powell

Oliver Powell is a Data Recovery Expert at Stellar®. He is a passionate technology blogger & content creator, He explores new applications and has deep understanding of data recovery. He has experience in Windows & Mac data recovery domain. 

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4 comments
    1. Hello David,

      We do understand the importance of your crucial data.
      Please use our Stellar partition recovery software with formatted drive option.

  1. I am using a Kingston SD card and have my farewell pics inside it. One day, I saw them missing from it. Then, I remembered stellar phoenix software and had downloaded it from the website. This tool is amazing. It helped me in recovering all my missing data from it.

  2. Accidental deletion is very common amongst the system users. But, what if they deletes their crucial data? Being a tech guy, I have seen various issues people asked me about the recovery of data which they had deleted accidentally. So for this, I always used to recommend Stellar product because I found it trustworthy and easy to use.

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