> USB Drive not Showing Files and Folders

Solved - USB Drive not Showing Files and Folders

Don't worry if your USB drive dosesn't show files and folders in your PC. You can try to unhide file or recover lost files from USB drive via MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

USB Drive Is Visible but 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 content is not! Why? Have you ever encountered the same issue? Do you know how to solve the issue: USB drive not showing files and folders?

Generally, USB files not showing but space used is one of the main reasons for data loss disaster. This problem might be caused by various factors such as mistaken deletion, hidden files, wrong file system, and virus invasion, etc.

Now, try the solutions below to solve this issue – USB data not showing in PC.

Solved - USB Drive not Showing Files and Folders

Part 1: USB drive files are hidden

If your USB drive files are hidden, you can only see the USB drive. Here, you have 2 options to unhide files when USB drive not showing files and folders.

① Show hidden files

  • Connect your USB drive to PC.
  • Right-click Start button and then choose Control Panel.
  • Click Appearance and Personalization.
  • Under File Explorer Options, click Show hidden files and folders.

    file explorer options

  • Check Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).

    show hidden files

  • Click OK button.

Alternatively, you can use CMD to unhide files.

② Unhide files by using CMD while USB not showing files and folders

Press Windows + X to open the Power Users menu.
Click Command Prompt (Admin).
Type diskpart, and press Enter.
Type following command:
attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*


(g is the drive letter of your USB drive, so please replace the drive letter with the corresponding drive letter of yours, and press Enter.)

Type Exit and press Enter.

If you still cannot see your files in USB drive after trying the above 2 solutions, your files could indeed have been lost, in which case you can read our very useful post on "If This Can't Help You With Free USB Data Recovery, Nothing Will" which contains a selection of useful tips to help you recover files, or you can try the following solution.

Part 2: Virus/Malware attack your USB drive

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 folder 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 USB drive not showing data but space used problem, you come the right place! Here, we recommend using MiniTool Power Data Recovery to fix USB drive not showing files and folders with ease.

As a green, read-only and professional data recovery software, MiniTool Power Data Recovery offers wizard-like interfaces as well as simple operations to help you recover hidden files from USB drive after virus invasion without any difficulty. And, this all-in-one data recovery software not only works with USB drive, external hard drive, SD card or other storage devices but also supports various operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and so on.

Download the free edition to have a try!

A step-by-step guide to recovering lost data from USB drive.


Step 1: Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery. This professional data recovery software offers 5 data recovery modules to deal with different data loss scenarios. Here, to fix USB drive is visible but content is not, you are recommended to choose Damaged Partition Recovery.

damaged partition recovery

Step 2: Select the USB drive, and then click Full Scan button to scan the whole device, and analyze every byte on the USB drive. Before scanning the device, you can specify needed file systems and file types by clicking the Settings feature.

full scan

Step 3: Preview pictures or .txt files, select all files you want, click Save button, choose a suitable place to store files, and click OK button. Never store selected files to the USB drive, or the original data could be overwritten.



Tip: Here, you can click the Filter feature and then fill in the file suffix by using "Advanced Filter" to find the needing ones quickly. The features of this function allow you to filter not only by the file suffix, but also the size and creation or modification date. Thus, you can find your needed files more quickly and correctly.

advaned filter

After all operations are done, you have recovered lost data from USB drive without damaging the original data.

However, many users will receive this error while saving data according to a survey.


This is because the Free Edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery can only recover 1GB data for free. Here, if you want to recover more data, you need to choose the personal license or business license. If you can't determine which license type is the best for you, look for answers from this post: Compare License Type. Here, in my opinion, MiniTool Power Data Recovery Personal Ultimate is a good option. It not only offers MiniTool Bootable Media Builder for data recovery cases of any system crash or booting issues, but also provides lifetime upgrade service. More important, you can use one copy of the software on 3 computers.

Part 3:USB drive files are deleted

Your files and folders were accidentally deleted. Or they are deleted as a result of a virus/malware. Therefore, you can see your USB drive but cannot see its files.

In this case, you can try using MiniTool Power Data Recovery to fix the USB drive not showing data in PC because it offers two excellent data recovery modules to help recover deleted files from USB drive.

  • Undelete Recovery is designed to recover mistakenly deleted files. This post "How Can I Recover Shift Deleted Files with Ease" contains the detailed information to help you recover your deleted files.
  • Damaged Partition Recovery can help to recover deleted and lost files with ease. Generally, as long as the USB drive partition exists, you can use this module to recover deleted/lost data.

Part 4:USB drive has wrong file system or damaged file system

In many cases, the USB drive not showing files and folders issue is caused by file system corruption.

In computing, a file system is the method and 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 but will receive many errors. For example, if your USB hard drive shows as RAW, you will receive the following 2 errors:

  • You need to format the disk before you can use it OR The disk is not formatted (appear in Windows XP).
  • The volume does not contain a recognized file system.

this volume does not contain a recognized system

Note: DO NOT FORMAT YOUR USB DRIVE IMMEDIATELY. It is recommended to recover all data from this drive in advance, and then format it.

Now, how to fix USB Drive is visible but content is not? Of course, you can try using MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover data from USB drive with damaged file system because it's Damaged Partition Recovery feature is designed to recover data from damaged, formatted, RAW partition.

Here, you might be wondering:
"How to recover files from USB drive with RAW file system?"

Watch the Following Video to Know How to Effectively Fix RAW Drive

Sometimes, if the file system of USB drive is not recognized by Windows, the USB drive will not show files and folders in Windows. To be specific, if your USB drive is formatted with the ext2/3/4 file system, you cannot see it in File Explorer and then cannot access its data.

recommend Top Recommendation: Solved - External Hard Drive Not Recognized

Users who successfully solved this issue do 2 things well.

First, they get lost files back from this USB drive with MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
Note: MiniTool Power Data Recovery offers free edition, personal license, and business license to cater to the needs of different users. You can use the free edition to scan lost files and save 1gb files, or you can directly use the advanced license like Personal Standard to recover unlimited data.

  • Select Damaged Partition Recovery in the main interface of MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
  • Full scan the USB drive with the ext2/3/4 file system.

    scan ext234 file system drive

  • Save all needed files in a safe place.

Second, they format the USB drive to NTFS/FAT32.

  • Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free, and install it on computer according to prompts.

  • Launch it.
  • Select the USB drive and then click Format Partition feature from the left action panel.
  • Specify partition label, file system, and then click OK button.


  • Click Apply button to perform all changes.

Part 5:USB drive might be damaged

Unfortunately, your USB drive might be damaged happens relatively often. Once the drive is damaged, it is usually inaccessible. If the USB drive is damaged but the firmware is still okay, it will display on your computer and even show you the storage space used and the space that is free. You can copy files into this drive and see them when you open your drive. However, the files and folders are no longer available when you unplug your drive and plug it back again. This is because the drive will save your files and folders as long as there is an electric current/voltage through the USB. But, it will not hold the copied data when the USB electric current/voltage is lost. Now, it begins to act like a RAM instead of a ROM. In this case, you need a new USB drive.

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Useful Suggestions on How to Avoid USB Drive Data Loss

USB flash drive is the most preferred media for storage and sharing of data because of its speed, capacity and portability. However, you should take good care of your USB drive to avoid losing your valuable data.

  • Make sure to backup critical files to another drive. There is nothing that can replace backup to prevent data loss and avoid expensive recovery.
  • Always disconnect your USB drive safely. Make sure that each time you eject USB drive from your system using the "Safely Remove" or "Eject" option.
  • Avoid using the same USB device in multiple systems as there is possibility of its corruption.
  • If your USB drive data are lost, immediately stop storing new data on that drive as its storage space may be overwritten and thereby lessen 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.

Bottom Line

Now, it is your turn to fix your issue - USB drive not showing files and folders. If you effectively solved the "USB drive is visible but content is not" issue through the solutions mentioned here, you can share with your friends. If you have any good solutions, welcome to type your solutions in the comment section. Of course, if you have any questions about recovering lost data from USB drive with MiniTool Power Data Recovery, please feel free to contact us via [email protected] Thanks!