How to Unformat Hard Drive Free

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips Updated by Amy on June 3, 2024 | Approved by Christian Cawley

The hard drive is a staple of modern computing, allowing you to store all your files and data in one convenient location. Whether it's due to a virus, a File system failure, or simply pressing the wrong button, accidentally formatting your hard drive can be a nightmare. If you're in this predicament, don't worry! This article will show you how to unformat a hard drive for free and prevent such a disaster from happening again. Don't let a simple mistake ruin your day - take advantage of these ways and get your life back on track.

Quick Navigation
Part 1: Is It Possible to Undo Format the Hard Drive?
Part 2: 5 Ways to Unformat Hard Drive Free (Windows and Mac)
Part 5: How to Avoid Data Loss Caused by Accidental Hard Disk Formatting
Part 6: FAQs

Is It Possible to Undo Format the Hard Drive?

When you format a hard disk, the system only clears the boot sector information on the hard drive and marks the data storage space as empty. Therefore, the files are still on the hard drive, so unformat hard drive is possible. However, the success of data recovery depends on various factors, such as whether the new file is written to the space where the data is stored and how it is formatted. Therefore, it is best not to do anything on the disk before attempting recovery and to take action immediately to increase your chances of success.

5 Ways to Unformat Hard Drive Free

Have you ever accidentally formatted your hard drive and lost all your data? It can be a daunting experience, but fear not! You can free unformat a hard drive in Windows 10/11 and Mac with the right solutions.

Ways 1. Unformat Disk Free by Professional Software

Getting lost files from a hard drive after formatting can be tricky and time-consuming, but fortunately, professional free format recovery software is available to make the process easier. For this, you can use iBeesoft Free Data Recovery. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use it to help you unformat the hard drive for free.

Download for Windows Download for macOS
  1. Choose the correct version according to your system to install it.
  2. After running the free hard drive recovery program, select your formatted drive and click Scan.
  3. After the data extraction, you can view the recoverable items according to the location on the left side of the screen.
  4. Select the data you lost by formatting the hard drive and click Recover to save it.

With the help of the best tool, an unformat or unerase Windows 10, 11, and Mac disk without backup is just a few mouse clicks away. If you fail, you can also use the following methods to complete data retrieval faster.

Ways 2. Unformat Hard Drive Free using Command Prompt (CMD)

This method may not work, but you can try your luck. To get lost files from a formatted hard disk, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows and R keys simultaneously to open the dialogue window. Then, type in "cmd" and press enter.
  2. Type "chkdsk drive letter /f" in the open window and then hit Enter. Replace "drive letter" with the letter corresponding to your drive
  3. Type "attrib -h -r -s /s /d ." and hit Enter.
  4. Look through the list of files and identify the lost files you want to recover. Note down the file names.
  5. Type the command "copy filename.extension newlocation" and replace "filename.extension" with the actual name of the deleted file and "newlocation" with the location where you want to restore the file. Press Enter to execute the command.

Please note that Repeat Step 6 for each file you want to recover. It is only sometimes successful, especially if the files have been overwritten or the storage device has been damaged. If you backed up the hard drive before formatting, you can use the following ways to unformat the disk for free.

Ways 3. Free Unformat Hard Drive in Windows 10/11 by Previous Version

This method requires you to activate file history on your Windows PC and back up the formatted drive in advance.

  1. Find the drive you accidentally formatted in Explorer.
  2. Right-click and select "Restore Previous Versions."
  3. Select the most recent copy from the "Folder Versions" list and click "Restore" to resave your files.

Ways 4. Use System Restore to Undo Format Hard Disk Free

This method works great if you select the destination drive when creating your PC backup. However, it may restore other data to a previous version. Therefore, please back up other important files before starting.

  1. Open "Control Pane" and navigate to "System and Security" > "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)."
  2. Click "Select another backup to restore files from."
  3. Select a restore point in the newly opened window and follow the wizard to complete formatted hard drive recovery.

Ways 5. Unformat Disk Free From the Time Machine on Mac

This free method of unformatting a hard drive is suitable if you use Time Machine to back up erased files on Mac.

  1. Connect the external drive to the Mac where the backup files are stored
  2. Open Time Machine, select the target items, and click Restore to save them.

Although the above methods are very effective for unformat a hard drive free, they are only remedies after all. To avoid a similar situation happening again, you can always consider the following tips.

How to Avoid Data Loss Caused by Accidental Hard Disk Formatting

Almost everyone has accidentally deleted a file or two, but what if you accidentally format your entire hard drive? Losing all your data is enough to send anyone into a panic. However, you can take steps to prevent data loss caused by accidental hard disk formatting.

By taking these steps, you can avoid the headache and heartbreak of losing your essential data.



Accidentally formatting your hard drive can lead to frustration and anxiety. It's easy to feel like your files are gone forever. Fortunately, this article provides several ways to unformat a hard drive for free. I hope they can be your savior, and you can also follow our tips to avoid such a disaster from happening again.