USB Drive Is Visible but the Content Is Not
I connected my USB drive to Windows 10. I could see my USB drive in File Explorer, but I could not see my files stored on this drive. Simply put, USB Drive is visible but the content is not! Why?
Have you ever encountered the same issue? Do you know how to solve the issue of the USB drive not showing files and folders?
It is common for a USB drive or other external hard drive files not showing up on PC. This could be caused by various factors such as accidental deletion, hidden files, wrong file system, virus invasion, etc.
If you encounter the “USB files not showing but space used” issue, don’t worry and check out this post to find out how to solve the USB data not showing on PC issue.
Here is a video tutorial about how to fix “USB Drive not showing up”:
Solved – USB Drive not Showing Files and Folders
Method 1. Unhide USB Drive Files
If the USB drive files are hidden, you can only see the USB drive, not the files and folders. Here, you have two options to unhide the files when the USB drive not showing files and folders.
Option 1. Show hidden files
Step 1: Connect your USB drive to your PC.
Step 2: Search for Control Panel using the Windows search box and click on the Control Panel icon.
Step 3: Click File Explorer Options.
Step 4: Go to the View tab, and check Show hidden files, folders, and drives. Then click OK to save changes.
How to delete duplicate files on a USB flash drive? What if important USB files are deleted by mistake? Read this post to find out the answers.
Option 2. Unhide files using CMD
Step 1. Type CMD in the Windows Search box and right-click Command Prompt to select Run as administrator.
Step 2. Select Yes in the pop-up window.
Step 3. Type this command line: attrib -h -r -s /s /d “drive letter”:\*.* in the Command Prompt window (Remember to replace “drive letter” with your actual drive letter). Then press Enter.
Step 4. Type Exit and press Enter.
If you still cannot see your files on the USB drive after trying the above solutions, your files could very possibly be lost. So, the problem now is how to recover lost files from the USB drive. Keep reading to find the answers.
Method 2. Recover USB Drive Files With Data Recovery Software
As we know, some unknown virus can not only infect your files but also makes them hidden.
See this from ccm.net:
"Folders in my pen drive are hidden because of virus attack. I cannot unhide the folders because the hidden tick is grayed out in the Properties of the folder. How can I see USB hidden files due to virus infection?"
If you are annoyed by the “USB files not showing but space used” issue, you come to the right place! Here, we recommend using MiniTool Power Data Recovery to fix the USB drive not showing files and folders with ease.
The best file recovery software, MiniTool Power Data Recovery, offers wizard-like interfaces as well as simple operations to help you recover hidden files from the USB drive after a virus invasion without any difficulty.
This all-in-one data recovery software not only works with USB drives, external hard drives, SD cards, or other storage devices. It also supports various operating systems including Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and so on.
You can download MiniTool Power Data Recovery to have a try.
Here is a step-by-step guide to recovering lost data from a USB drive.
Step 1: Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery to get its main interface.
Before scanning your USB drive, you can specify needed file systems and file types by clicking the Scan Settings icon in the left panel.
Under the Logical Drives section, select the target USB drive and click the Scan button to scan it. You can also go to the Devices tab and choose the USB device to scan.
Step 2: Preview the found files, and select all files you want. Then click the Save button to choose a suitable place to store them (Never store selected files to the same USB drive, otherwise the original data could be overwritten).
Tip: Here, you can use the Filter feature to filter the files by file type, file size, file category, and date modified. You can find the required files more quickly and correctly with the feature of Filter.
To recover unlimited data, you need to choose the personal license or the business license. If you can’t determine which license type is the best for you, you can look for answers on this page: Compare License Type.
If the files and folders were accidentally deleted, or they are deleted as a result of a virus/malware, the matter of “USB drive not showing files and folders” also occurs.
In this case, you can try using MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover files deleted by virus attack.
Do the files copied to a USB drive disappear? Read this post to see how to recover disappeared data and fix the USB drive.
Method 3. Format the USB Drive With the Wrong File System
In many cases, file system corruption can also cause this “USB files not showing but space used” issue to happen.
A file system is the data structure that an operating system uses to keep track of files on a disk or partition, that is, the way the files are organized on the disk.
If the file system is damaged or shows as RAW, you cannot access its files and will receive many errors. For example, if your USB hard drive shows as RAW, you will receive the following two errors:
- “You need to format the disk before you can use it” or “The disk is not formatted” (appears in Windows XP).
- “The volume does not contain a recognized file system”.
Note: DO NOT FORMAT YOUR USB DRIVE IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, the lost data could be overwritten and there is no way to recover overwritten files. Here, you can watch the following video to know how to solve this issue.
Sometimes if the external hard drive cannot be recognized by Windows, it will not be able to show the files and folders on that USB drive. To be more specific, if your USB drive is formatted with the ext2/3/4 file system, you cannot see it in File Explorer and cannot access its data.
So, how to fix the issue of the USB drive not showing files in Windows 10 when Windows cannot recognize the USB drive? Users who successfully solved this issue doing the following things well.
First, recover lost data from the USB drive. Second, format the USB drive.
Want to know more details? Keep reading!
Step 1. Recover lost data from the USB drive
- Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
- Scan the USB drive to scan.
- Save all needed files in a safe place separate from the original path.
Step 2. Format the USB drive to NTFS/FAT32.
Step 1. Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free, and install it on your computer according to the prompts.
Step 2. Launch it.
Step 3. Select the USB drive and then click Format Partition from the left action panel.
Step 4. Specify the partition label and file system, and then click the OK button.
Step 5. Click the Apply button to perform all changes.
Can data be recovered after a low-level format? How to recover files after low-level format? This article shows you the answers.
Method 4. Change a New USB Drive
Unfortunately, if you get the USB drive not showing files in Windows 10 issue, your USB drive might be damaged. If the firmware is still functional, the USB drive will be displayed on your computer along with the storage space condition. You can try to copy the entire USB drive and paste it into another partition to view the files in the USB drive.
Press Windows + E key combinations to open File Explorer.
Find and right-click the USB drive and select Copy. Then paste it into another partition.
Now you can see the files on the USB drive showing up in the new partition.
Tip: Regardless of whether this method is useful or not, you should stop using this USB drive and choose a new USB drive.
Useful Suggestions on How to Avoid USB Drive Data Loss
USB flash drive is the most preferred media for the storage and sharing of data because of their speed, capacity, and portability. However, you should take good care of your USB drive to avoid losing your valuable data. Here are some useful tips to prevent data loss in USB Drives.
- Back up critical files to another drive. There is no more useful precaution than backups to prevent data loss and avoid expensive recovery.
- Always disconnect your USB drive safely. Make sure to use the “Safe Remove” or “Eject” option each time you eject a USB drive from the system.
- Avoid using the same USB device in multiple systems as it may get corrupted.
- If data on a USB drive is lost, immediately stop storing new data on that drive as its storage space may be overwritten and thereby reducing the chances of data retrieval.
- Keep your USB device in a safe place. It is very easy to carry a USB device with you wherever you go. However, you should put it in a safe place like inside a pocket in a bag.
Now you can learn why Windows Defender does not scan USB flash drives for viruses automatically and how to make Windows Defender scan USB automatically.
Now, you should be able to fix the issue of the USB drive not showing files and folders. If your issue was successfully solved through the solutions mentioned here, you can share them with us in the comment area below.
If you have any good solutions, you are welcome to type your solutions in the comment section, too. Of course, if you have any questions about recovering lost data from a USB drive with MiniTool Power Data Recovery, please feel free to contact us via [email protected]. Thanks!