How to Retrieve a Deleted File From a Flash Drive

by Lita McLeary

A flash drive allows you to save various types of files from simple documents to videos. However, you may accidentally delete files that you still need. To retrieve your deleted flash drive files, you need a file recovery software specially designed for flash drives or other external storage devices. This enables you to retrieve various files from your flash drive that may have been corrupted, formatted, damaged, accidentally deleted or infected by a virus.


Open your web browser. Download a USB drive/flash drive data recovery software by navigating to the download page of the site. A separate window will open asking you where to save your file. Select "Save to Disk" and wait until the computer is done downloading the file.


Navigate to the location of the installer file of the data recovery software. Double click on the file to launch the installer and wait for the process to complete.


Plug your flash drive into a USB port in your computer and wait until your system detects a new device. If the computer fails to recognize your flash drive, you may not have plugged it in properly. Unplug the device first and try connecting it a second time and make sure your computer recognizes the new device.


Launch your USB drive data recovery software. Double click on the application's icon on your desktop. The application will then ask you where you would like to search deleted files. Select the "Removable disk drive" or USB drive from the menu of the recovery software.


Click the "Scan" button (or something similar) for the program to begin scanning the drive for any deleted file that you may retrieve. Because a flash drive is smaller compared to other drives in your computer, scanning won't take too long. Wait until the program gives you a list of the recent files that you have deleted from your flash drive.


Look at the list of the retrievable files. If you happen to find the deleted file you need to retrieve, select it and then click "Restore." Repeat this process for any file that you need to restore. Retrieved files are transferred to their original location.


  • check Examples of flash drive recovery software include "Z-A-Recovery" and "Smart Undelete Software."

About the Author

Lita McLeary started writing professionally for the "Philippine Inquirer" in 1989, a daily national newspaper. She has written for private online clients for over seven years. At present, she writes full-time for various websites. McLeary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from the University of the Philippines.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera flash drive image by jimcox40 from