How to Recover Formatted USB drive?

Are you one of those who have lost valuable data after you have formatted your USB Flash Drive? Then you have landed at the right place. In this article, we have explained a surest way to recover data from any formatted USB drive. But, if you are looking for a quick and safe way to recover data then we recommend you make use of the USB Recovery tool by Remo.

Written by John Harris, Updated on July 17, 2023

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When a storage device, including a USB flash drive, is formatted, the old file system is removed and replaced with a new one, erasing any existing data. Your priceless data and other vital information stored on the USB flash drive are permanently lost when you format, also known as erase, it.

Now let us understand some of the File Systems which you can your USB might have formatted with.

  • FAT: A widely supported but outdated file system with other FAT variants are: FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32.
  • exFAT: It is a modern file system alternative to FAT which can offer file size limit of 128 pebibyte.
  • NTFS: It is a default file step for Windows and supports Linux as well.

What Happens When You Format the USB?

Formatting is an external storage device that will help you install the compatible file system for USB. Usually formatting is of two types i.e., Quick Format and Full Format. A typical format does erase the data, sometimes by writing zeros across every drive sector.

Here are some of the scenarios to understand what happens to the data when you format the USB with Quick format or Full format.

What happens with data? Quick Format Full Format Data gets overwritten after formatting USB
Data gets erased Data does not get erased Data gets erased Data gets overwritten
Data can be recovered easily Yes No No

Can a Formatted USB Drive Be Recovered?

Before we answer that question, let’s quickly understand what formatting does to your drive. Formatting the USB drive always results in the discarding of the old file system. When your old file system gets discarded then the operating system can’t access the files which were earlier saved in the drive.

To answer the above question yes, it is possible to recover a formatted USB flash drive. As long as you have not saved any new data on the formatted drive. However, in case your drive gets overwritten by any new data. It becomes really difficult at times impossible to get back your deleted files.

Effective Method To Recover lost Files From Flash Drive After Format

Here is proven method that is tested to recover formatted data from any USB drive.

Method 1: How to Recover Missing Files from Flash Drive after Format?

Remo Recover is a powerful data recovery tool that can easily restore any USB drive's inadvertently deleted or formatted information. The program is equipped with powerful scanning algorithms that can quickly scan the drive to recover more than 500+ file types. The tool is compatible with all the major brands of USB drives including Kingston, Transcend, HP, Dell, Sony, Samsung, and many more.

Step 1: Download and install Remo Recover software on your Windows or Mac and connect the formatted USB drive to your system to restore data from it.

Step 2: Select the formatted USB drive to recover files from it and click on Scan.

click on cant find drive option

Step 3: After the scanning process completes, the software will display all the recovered files from the formatted USB drive in a Dynamic Recovery View. Now, you can double-click on recovered photos or videos from the formatted USB drive to preview them using the Preview feature.

use advanced filter option to sort files

Step 4: Select the files that you want to recover from a formatted USB drive and click the Save option to restore them at any location of your choice.

click on the files you want to recover and hit save

In addition to recovering formatted data from USB drive, Remo can also help you recover deleted files and folders from USB flash drive.

When Should you Format Your USB Flash Drive?

At times, in many situations formatting a USB drive becomes not just an option but also a necessity. Situations such as:

  • When your flash drive has gotten attacked by viruses or other malware.
  • When you are planning to sell or hand over your Pendrive to someone else.
  • When you start receiving pop up messages like “You need to format the disk drive before you can use it” or “Access is denied”
  • When your USB drive has gotten corrupt.

Follow this article, if your USB Drive has gotten corrupt and you are furiously searching for ways to recover files from corrupt USB.

Sometimes even if you try formatting the USB drive it becomes difficult to format the USB drive. Here are few reasons for ‘Can’t format USB on Windows 10/11'

  • Make sure the is USB Drive is not Write-Protected
  • Scan your Computer & USB for Virus
  • If the USB drive is damaged.
  • If your file system on USB is not recognized.
  • File system is not compatible with Windows.
  • Bad sectors on the USB.

Irrespective of the reasons, why you have formatted your USB flash drive, it completely erases the data that was saved on it. If you have not taken a backup of your important files prior to formatting your flash drive. Then, you might lose your data permanently.

There’s no need for you to worry, here's a complete guide on how to recover formatted data from a thumb drive.

Tips to Avoid data loss or deletion from USB flash drive Formatting

  • The best way to avoid data loss from USB drive after formatting is to take a backup of all your important files.
  • It is always suggested to connect your USB flash drive only to safe computers that are virus-free. This will avoid the malfunction of your USB drive, which might lead to formatting.
  • Be cautious while deleting some unwanted folders or files from your pen drive to ensure no accidental formatting or deletion of important files is proceeding.
  • Avoid improper ejection of your flash drive to safeguard it from forceful USB formatting errors.
  • You can easily fix USB flash drive errors manually without losing data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Follow the steps below to check the file system of your flash drive.

  • Step 1: Plug the USB drive into a USB port.
  • Step 2: Open Windows Explorer or File Explorer.
  • Step 3: Right-click the selected USB drive and choose Properties.
  • Step 4: View the USB format next to the File system.

The safest yet most reliable way to recover data before formatting the drive is by making use of Remo Recover. Which can effortlessly recover inaccessible files from any healthy or corrupt USB flash drive or any storage device. We highly recommend you extract files prior to formatting a USB flash drive, thereby significantly reducing the chances of losing data.

As explained earlier in the article. Formatting does not erase the data from the thumb drive or the flash drive. However, it makes the stored files inaccessible to the user by erasing the entries.

The easiest way to recover formatted files from a USB flash drive is by using command prompt (CMD). If you have a backup of the files that were saved in the Pendrive. Then you can also restore a backup and use it.

This error appears on the drive when you try to connect the damaged file system or unrecognisable file system.

To recover data from a USB flash drive that needs formatting we recommend you to make use of the USB Recovery tool by Remo.

1. Download and install Remo Recover and connect the USB flash drive to the Windows computer.

2. Now select the drive from where you want to recover data and click on the Scan option. In case you are unable to find the drive then you can click on the Can't find the drive option.

3. Now the tool will initiate the Quick Scan followed by Deep Scan. Once the files are recovered it will be displayed in Tree Structure.

4. You can navigate to the Lost Partition and select the files which you want to restore and click on the Recover option.

There are chances that your USB drive’s file system might be corrupted or damaged, or your file system is not recognised.

To properly format your Pen drive you need to connect your USB drive to the Windows computer and go to the Disk Management.

  • Type disk part and hit Enter.
  • Type in list disk and hit Enter.
  • Select disk x (replace x with the disk number) and hit Enter.
  • Now type list and hit Enter and then type volume and hit Enter.
  • Select volume x (replace x with your volume number) format fs=ntfs quick and finally type Exit.

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