How to Recover Deleted Data from a USB Flash Drive on Mac

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Written By Michael Gilmer

Michael, a content curator at File Recovery Mac, excels at simplifying complex IT concepts into easily digestible chunks. Michael's expertise lies in IT, data recovery, and all things "techy."

The convenience of storing and transferring data on USB flash drives are countless. However, no digital storage media is completely immune to errors.

How to Recover Deleted Data from a USB Flash Drive on Mac

Anytime you copy or erase a file or photos on your USB drive, you run the risk of accidentally erasing something that was very important. If it happens to be an SD card or USB stick, there may be hope! Recovering deleted data from a USB flash drive on Mac is easy.

There are a few steps that can help you recover data from USB drives even if you have no external software or formatting.

Can Data Recovery Software Help me Recover Files from a Formatted USB Flash Drive?

Yes, data recovery software can help you recover files from a formatted USB flash drive. The software will scan the drive for deleted files and allow you to recover them. It can also scan the drive for corrupted files and allow you to recover those as well.

Steps to Recover Lost Files from Erased/Formatted USB Flash Drive on Mac

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never recovered deleted files before, data recovery of a USB drive on Mac is something anyone can do with the help of a capable USB recovery software! Here is the steps to recover lost data with Disk Drill on Mac :

1. Launch Disk Drill and select the Recover button next to the USB flash drive you want to recover.

usb data recovery disk drill

2. Wait until Disk Drill finishes analyzing the USB drive.

3. Look inside the recovery folders and locate the deleted files using the preview feature.

4. Select the location you want Disk Drill to recover your deleted files from and click Choose.

usb flash data recovery disk drill

5. Choose the files you want to recover and click the Recover button.

Common Reasons Why Files Disappear from Flash Drives

Accidental deletion or formatting : Can lead to the loss of important files from a flash drive. If you notice your mistake immediately, you may be able to retrieve your files from Trash. However, files that are no longer in Trash can be recovered only with the help of Mac USB drive data recovery software.

Moving between different operating systems : By moving a flash drive between different operating systems, you risk file system corruption because not all systems store data exactly the same. Usually, file system corruption can be fixed by running First Aid on the storage device, but it can also lead to data loss if left unrepaired.

Improper ejection : Eject your flash drive properly to avoid any data loss or corruption.

Software failure : Sometimes even the best software developers make mistakes that can cause files to disappear from flash drives.

Hardware damage : To keep your USB drive safe and sound, avoid using it if the connector is damaged. If it’s unavoidable, keep it away from dust and water and make sure it doesn’t come into contact with any other sharp objects.

How to Prevent Data Loss from USB Flash Drive?

USB flash drives are convenient for storing data, but they can also be easy to lose. Here are some tips for preventing data loss from USB flash drives:

1. Backup your data regularly.

2. Ejecting your USB drive properly ensures your data is properly written and prevents damage to the drive.

3. Keep your USB away from dust and moisture and always use the included cap to protect the USB connector.

4. Avoid connecting your USB flash drive to public computers to prevent spreading viruses into your USB drive.

5. Format your USB flash drive regularly.


Preventing important data loss can be tricky, sometimes the data that gets lost is hard to retrieve back. However, by keeping regular backups you can ensure that your data is safe. If for some reason you do experience data loss, don’t worry Disk Drill can help you restore all your lost data and files.

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