How to Recover Deleted Files from USB Flash Drive on Mac for Free
Regardless of our system, USB drives are an essential part of our daily routines. We use them to carry all kinds of data; some even use them as permanent storage solutions on smaller devices. Suppose you need a USB drive to work every day. You must be wondering how to restore files from flash drive on Mac free if they get deleted or lost. Here, we will share some methods to recover USB flash drive with/without software.
- Quick Navigation
- Part 1. What to Do When You Accidentally Delete a File on a USB Flash drive?
- Part 2. Restore Deleted Files from USB Drive on Mac without Software
- Part 3. Free Recover Deleted Files from USB Drive on Mac with Software
- Part 4. Other Freeware to Retrieve Data from Flash Drive on Mac
- Part 5. Under What Circumstances We Cannot Free USB Drive Recovery on Mac
- Part 6. Tips to Avoid Further Data Loss on Flash Drive
- Part 7. How to Repair the Corrupted USB Flash Drive on Mac
Part 1. What to Do When You Accidentally Delete a File on a USB Flash drive?
Ensure that you give your USB drive maximum chances of recovery on Mac and do not lose any data. Some of the rules you must follow to avoid data loss permanently.
- ✏️ Do not use the USB drive for any further data reading and writing. It will ensure that other files do not overwrite the physical memory space.
- 🛠️ Avoid mishandling the USB drive after you lose your data, as damage of any kind can make it quite difficult for you to recover deleted files from USB drive on Mac free.
- ⛔ Do not perform defragmentation on the USB drive, leading to permanent data loss.
- 🔒 If you are using recovery software, do not install it on the USB drive from which you need to extract deleted data.
- 😀 Keep yourself prepared for some data loss, and do not overestimate your ability to USB flash drive recovery on Mac free.
Each of these Don'ts and Dos will play a critical role in ensuring that you do not lose your data and can resume most or even all of it later.
Part 2. Restore Deleted Files from USB Drive on Mac without Software
Before you can move on to third-party solutions, looking at the options provided on your Mac by default for data recovery is a good idea. You can look at two places if you want to recover deleted files from a USB drive on Mac for free. You can check them, but both require applicable conditions. let's get to know them.
1. Using Time Machine Backup
Apple provides Mac users with the option to make a backup of their computer using a dedicated backup tool called Time Machine. This app comes preinstalled on all Macs and if you have taken steps to create a Time Machine backup of your files then you can easily find them from there.
- Connect the drive that contains your Backup to Mac.
- Launch the "Time Machine" app.
- Use the arrows and timeline to check the backup files.
- Please select the file and then select the "Restore" option to copy them successfully to your Mac.
Tips: this method will only work if you made a backup before losing your flash drive files.
2. Get Data Back from iCloud
Not everyone wants to use their Mac's storage to create backups, and if you are one of those people, then you might have an iCloud backup in place. If you do, it is a great place to look for your lost files. Having an online backup is convenient, and you can access it anywhere, which is why so many Mac owners use iCloud in the first place. If you have a backup of your remove file on iCloud and you want to retrieve files from USB drive on Mac free through iCloud, then here are the steps that you need to take:
- Open the iCloud on your browser and log in to your account.
- Click on the "Account Settings" option to open iCloud Settings.
- In the screen that appears, find the Advanced section, and under that section, click on the "Restore Files" option.
- The system will now search for all the files you can recover from your iCloud backup.
- Select the need files you and click on the "Restore" Files button to download them to your Mac.
If you want to get everything in your iCloud storage, you can take the faster route and click on the Select All option to restore all files.
Part 3. Free Recover Deleted Files from USB Drive on Mac with Software
One of the easiest ways you can use to recover files from a USB drive on a Mac for free is a data recovery software tool. While there are plenty of options that you can choose from, iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is a great option.
Another great feature of iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is that it supports hundreds of file formats, so even less commonly used files can be identified and recovered. The app also allows you to recover 500MB files free of charge, and with its preview option, you can decide which files you need to recover and which ones you need to ignore. It also will help you recover data from formatted disks, USB drives, SD cards, and more for free.
To Recover Files Deleted from USB Drive on Mac for Free using Software:
- Download iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac, then install and run it.
- Connect your USB drive to your Mac.
- On the main screen, click on the large "Start" button in the middle to begin the recovery process. You can also select specific types to save time.
- On the next screen, you will see all the drives listed, including the USB drive you want to recover data. Select it, and then click on the "Scan" button on the top left of the screen to begin scanning.
- The next screen will show all the recoverable files, and you can use the preview feature to decide which files you want to find.
- Select the files you need and then click the "Recover" button on top of the window to save the files to your Mac.
If you are trying to recover permanently deleted files from USB drive on Mac free, but the software is not showing your files, then you can also click on the Deep Scan button on the top left to look for more obscure file formats. It may take longer to scan, but you should be able to see all your recoverable data.
Part 4. Other Freeware to Retrieve Data from Flash Drive on Mac
While iBeesoft is undoubtedly your best option, there are other tools you can also try. We will be sharing three more options you can consider to extend your search further.
- Test Disk for Mac
- Free, even source code.
- Work on Windows, macOS, and Linux
- Command-line interface can be tricky to handle
- Slow data scanning process.
- File preview is not supported.
- Exif Untrasher for Mac
- Completely free without any limitations.
- Proven record of recovering files in most situations.
- Except for images, other file types are not supported.
- Not available for Macs with M1 and T2 chips.
- File preview is not supported.
- Free Mac Any Data Recovery
- Provides two powerful scan modes
- The full version is expensive.
- Analyzing drives is slow.
- RAID arrays are not supported
Not many options can compete with Test Disk for Mac when recovering deleted files from a USB drive on Mac free with zero payments attached. It allows you to get back files from various devices and file systems. Of course, being an open-source freeware means it also contains some issues and limitations, but it is still usable for you.
It is a tool to rescue deleted files from memory cards, memory sticks, USB drives, etc. It can also help you to retrieve files from formatted disks on Mac.
This free Mac data recovery software supports all storage devices and a wide range of data loss scenarios. So the chances of recovering your data in case of accidental deletion are pretty high.
If you are still unsure which app is best for you, you can also check this comparison next.
- Recovery success rate
- Repair of damaged files
- Preview before recovery
- Supported file types
- GUI Interface
- iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac
- Test Disk for Mac
- Almost all
- Exif Untrasher for Mac
- Only pictures
- Free Mac Any Data Recovery
- Almost all
By comparison, we should be able to intuitively know that iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is the best. It can undelete and unformat flash drive in macOS quickly and efficiently.
Part 5. Under What Circumstances We Cannot Free USB Drive Recovery on Mac
While data recovery software can help you retrieve deleted files from a USB drive on Mac for free in many seemingly impossible situations, they still have limitations. There are some scenarios where you cannot do anything to get your data back, and some of them are as follows:
- 💽 The USB drive is physically damaged. If your driver's chip gets damaged somehow, it will not be possible to recover anything from it because the circuitry inside it will be broken.
- 🔄 You have overwritten the USB drive files too many times. If you continue to use your USB and add new data, there is a big chance that the original files you wanted to restore are wholly gone.
- 🔋 If an electrical surge shortens the circuitry on your USB drive, you will not be able to recover data from that either. The device will either malfunction or most likely be wholly dead and unusable.
- 😈 A strong enough virus attack can also make the data on your USB drive unrecoverable. This is highly dependent on the type of attack, but in most cases, where the user does not have the requisite skills, the USB would be deemed lost.
Part 6. Tips to Avoid Further Data Loss on USB Drive
With electronics, you should always hope for the best and plan for the worst. It is especially true for USB drives as they can malfunction anytime without warning. To ensure you don't lose any files, you need to follow these simple tips to prepare yourself for any situation.
- 📤 Always make a backup of the files on your USB drive. While you can use a physical local storage option for this, a better option would be to get cloud backup. It will ensure maximum security and make your data accessible anywhere you want.
- ⏏️ Ensure the flash drive is "safely ejected" and do not forcefully unplug it while reading or writing data.
- ⛱️ Regularly scan the USB with an antivirus to reduce the risk of virus infection.
- 🔒 Avoid vibration when it works because the distance between the magnetic head and the magnetic disc is very close. If it is subjected to severe beating, the magnetic head will hit the magnetic disc, which may scratch the magnetic disc and lead to complete damage to the magnetic head, making it unusable.
- 🗃️ Please make a copy of your data and store it in a different location. For starters, this can be on another drive on your Mac but for best results, try making this copy on an external drive. Having some physical distance is also good in case you want to prevent data loss caused by a disaster or accident.
How to Repair the Corrupted USB Flash Drive on Mac
If you have a corrupted USB drive and you want to recover data from a USB drive on Mac free, then there are some methods that you can use. We are sharing them here to try if your USB drive ever gets corrupted.
1. USB Drive Not Recognized by Mac
There are many reasons why an external drive won't appear on your Mac. You can try the methods below to fix it.
- Replacing a USB port/cable
- Change the settings for displaying Flash Drive on the Mac desktop
- Change settings to recognize external hard drives in Finder
- First Aid Using Disk Utility
- Shouldn't expose the USB drive to extreme hot or cold temperatures or pressure.
- If it's a high-capacity USB drive, give it a power source
2. Cannot Copy and Edit USB Files
If you cannot change the contents of your USB drive or copy them elsewhere, it is most likely locked in a read-only state. You can quickly solve this problem using the following steps.
- Connect your USB drive and when its icon appears, right-click on it, then select Get Info from the dropdown list.
- Expand the Sharing & Permissions section and click on the lock icon to authenticate.
- Tick the checkbox next to the text that says "Ignore ownership on this volume" to complete the process.
If your drive is empty, you can also take the easier route and format it to remove the read-only restriction.
3. The Prompt Needs to Be Formatted
This situation can occur when your USB drive has a corrupted file system, a virus attack, or if it is suffering from improper device removal. Your Mac will prompt you in all these cases, saying that the USB drive needs to be formatted. If your drive is empty, you can directly solve the problem by formatting the drive in Disk Utility. However, if you have data on the drive that needs to be saved, you might consider using First Aid Options for Disk Utility.
There is plenty of evidence that USB drives are not the most reliable storage medium. However, they still serve a purpose that no other device can, so we need them for many different reasons. However, the situation can be improved by taking precautions, using the drives properly, and making regular backups of your data to prevent losses.
For anyone who may need to recover deleted files from USB drive on Mac free, the best option, is the iBeesoft Data Recovery tool. With its robust features and free recovery, you can get almost any data lost on your drives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, deleted files are still in the USB flash drive but invisible. They're marked as useless and will be overwritten by new data on the USB flash drive. There is an exception. If files are removed permanently from a USB drive with a professional file remover, like iBeesoft File Shredder, then the files are permanently deleted.
It is possible to recover deleted files from a USB drive if you do not overwrite anything on the USB drive or damage it physically.
Yes, it is possible to get it back. You either find a backup using built-in tools like Time Machine or iCloud or a third-party file recovery software like iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac.
If you perform a quick format, you can restore files from formatted a flash drive by iBeesoft Mac data recovery software. The files may be lost forever if it is a full format. But you can still try the following:
- Connecting the formatted flash drive to your Mac.
- Launch iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac
- Deselect the file types that do not need to be retrieved and click the "Start" button
- Select the USB drive and click the "Scan" button.
- Preview found files and select them
- Click the "Recover" button to save them again.
The reasons for the disappearance of files are hidden, deleted, etc. You can try pressing Command + Shift + . Keys to check. If it still doesn't work, they may have been accidentally deleted. This time, you can use iBeesoft data recovery software to recover deleted files from flash drive on Windows PC and Mac.
The slow transfer speed of the USB flash drive is mainly related to the interface, file system, sector status, etc. Here, there are different solutions for different symptoms. You can help by clicking here to see the complete guide to fix the speed up copying files on Mac.