Without a doubt, USB drives are incredibly convenient devices for data storage or transferring files between computers. But just like any other storage device, they’re not flawless. There’s always a tiny chance that something may go wrong, and you’ll lose a valuable file.
So what should you do if a file that you’ve uploaded to the USB drive mysteriously disappeared? How to recover data from a flash drive on Mac? Read on to find the answers.
Why Files Disappear From USB Drives
Knowing why files can disappear from flash drives may help you recover your lost files. So before we get to the main part, let’s go through the main reasons why data can get lost on a USB drive:
- 🔨The flash drive is damaged: If the USB fails to mount, your Mac doesn’t recognize it, or it produces weird sounds, there is a chance that the drive is damaged, and therefore, anything can happen to it, including the disappearance of files.
- 💿The USB got formatted by mistake: This action will erase all of the data from your drive. But if you stop using the drive right away, there will still be a chance for specialized software to recover data from a flash drive on Mac.
- 🖨️You ejected the drive while the files were still being copied to it: If you interrupted the process of copying files from your Mac to the USB drive, then, of course, you won’t be able to find them there.
- ⌨️The USB device is corrupted: There are a few actions that can lead to this, especially if you use the USB drive between computers with different operating systems (Windows and macOS, for instance).
- 🤷♂️You accidentally deleted the files: Just one wrong click of the mouse, and you can delete an important file. Fortunately, if you realize what you’ve don’t right away, you’ll be able to restore that file from Trash. Otherwise, the only way to do it is to use a data recovery application.
How to Recover Files From USB on Mac
You’ve realized that important files disappeared from a flash drive on Mac; what’s next?
The first thing that you should do is stop using the USB drive. Just keep it disconnected from your computer until you are ready to start the flash drive data recovery on Mac.
Now let’s start the USB data recovery on Mac. The most reliable and effective method of restoring USB on Mac is by using a data recovery tool.
Disk Drill is a great example of such an application since it’s simple to navigate and is pretty versatile (it can also help to restore deleted files from a USB drive on Windows). Moreover, it supports all types of USB devices and can recover almost any file (images, videos, documents, archives, and more).
Here’s how to recover a USB drive on Mac using Disk Drill:
How to Recover Recently Deleted Files From a USB Drive
When you delete a file from your USB drive, it doesn’t disappear for good right away — it gets moved into the Trash folder first. So if not much time has passed since you’ve manually deleted a file from your flash drive, the chances are it can still be found in Trash on your Mac and easily recovered.
Here’s how to recover files from a USB on Mac via Trash (if you’ve just recently deleted them):
How to Fix a Corrupted USB Drive
If data disappeared from your flash drive without your interference, it’s possible that the USB drive is corrupted. In such a case, before you start using it again, it is best to fix the issue.
There are two ways to fix a corrupted USB drive on your Mac: via Disk Utility or by formatting it.
Solution #1. Run First Aid
Disk Utility has a feature called First Aid that can fix errors of any storage device on Mac. So if your USB drive isn’t working properly, you should try to fix it with First Aid. If this doesn’t help, then the last option that you have left is to format the device.
Here’s how to fix a corrupted flash drive on your Mac via Disk Utility:
Solution #2. Format the USB Drive
You should also use Disk Utility to format your flash drive on Mac. Make sure that there are no files located on the device before formatting it since after the process is finished, all of the data will get erased from the USB drive.
Here’s how to format a USB flash drive on your Mac via Disk Utility:
Now you’ll get a fresh start with your flash drive. You can start uploading files to it and using the USB drive as desired.