USB Recovery Software for Mac macOS Big Sur Ready!

Disk Drill restores deleted data on your USB flash drive in a few clicks, including your lost photos, documents and other file types. Disk Drill is truly an all-in-one app for flash drive recovery on Mac. Disk Drill will automatically apply the optimal pen drive recovery algorithm to recover your Mac data.
USB flash drives are a great way to transfer and store information, but what happens when files stored on them are lost or deleted by mistake? When you need flash drive data recovery software for Mac, Disk Drill is your best choice. Disk Drill will scan your USB flash drive (also called a pen drive) and find files that have been deleted. It can also help recover lost partitions.

Read on for a quick overview of the steps needed to recover files from a flash drive on Mac OS X. For detailed tutorials, see How to Install Disk Drill and How to Recover Lost Files with Disk Drill Basic in our Knowledgebase...

You can always contact us if you have any additional questions about Disk Drill and its data recovery features.

How to Recover Deleted Files from a USB Flash Drive on Mac

If you need to recover deleted files from a USB flash drive, Disk Drill is your best bet. Here are the steps you need to follow to use this efficient data recovery solution.

1. Install Disk Drill USB Data Recovery Software for Mac

Download and install Disk Drill data recovery software for Mac. Avoid performing the download and installation on the device that has experienced the data loss. When recovering from an external device, you can safely use your main hard drive for the installation. Be prepared to provide administrator’s credentials when prompted by the installation procedure.
recover deleted files from usb mac

2. Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac

When the installation is complete, connect the USB device to your Mac. Launch Disk Drill and select the USB device from the application’s disk list. It is better to attach the device directly to the computer rather than using a USB hub.
usb data recovery mac

3. Scan the flash drive for lost data

Click the Recover button to initiate the scanning procedures that are at the heart of Disk Drill. The sophisticated scanning algorithms examine the USB drive for deleted files and folders. If the drive needs repair, the button will be replaced by a Rebuild button which can be used to recover portion headers and rebuild catalogs.
usb recovery mac

4. Preview the recoverable files

As scanning proceeds, the software will display a list of recoverable files. You can pause the scan at any point and restart at a later time to make it easier to find your lost data. You can preview the files that can be recovered before committing to restoring them with Disk Drill.
how to recover deleted files from usb flash drive on mac

5. Perform the recovery with the selected items

You are now ready to select the files that you want to recover from among the recoverable items found during scanning. Use filters to locate exactly the files you want to recover. Choose a safe location at which to store the recovered data that is not on the affected USB device and click Recover to finish the process.
mac usb recovery

Advantages of using Disk Drill USB Recovery Tool for Mac

Recovering data with Disk Drill offers users multiple benefits:

  • Mount scan results as a virtual disk to make it easier to move recovered data to the location of your choiceMount scan results as a virtual disk to make it easier to move recovered data to the location of your choice.
  • Use the free trial version to preview recoverable data before purchasing the full applicationUse the free trial version to preview recoverable data before purchasing the full application.
  • Free data protection tools, Guaranteed Recovery and Recovery Vault, keep your valuable data safeFree data protection tools, Guaranteed Recovery and Recovery Vault, keep your valuable data safe.
  • Recover files in any format from any type of disk-based storage deviceRecover files in any format from any type of disk-based storage device.
  • S.M.A.R.T. monitoring of your hard drive or solid-state drive will help maintain disk healthS.M.A.R.T. monitoring of your hard drive or solid-state drive will help maintain disk health.

Causes of Data Loss on a Pen Drive

Data loss on a USB thumb or pen drive can occur for a variety of reasons.
  • Human error

    Human error

    One of the major causes of data loss is human error. We all know how easy it is to accidentally delete an important file or folder.
  • USB Driver Failure or Error

    USB Driver Failure or Error

    A failure in the driver software that controls communication between your operating system and the device can lead to data loss.
  • Virus Infection

    Virus Infection

    An infection with a virus or other malware can logically damage your file system or randomly delete your files.
  • USB connection issues

    USB connection issues

    The physical connection between the computer and USB device can be faulty, resulting in incomplete file transfers or deleted data.
  • File system error

    File system error

    A logical file system error can put your device into a corrupted RAW state and make it impossible for your OS to access its device.
  • Abrupt Power Loss

    Abrupt Power Loss

    A sudden loss of power can cause data loss or incomplete file transfers. Make sure you have enough power to complete your intended operations.
  • Accidental formatting

    Accidental formatting

    Formatting a device by mistake can result in a large loss of data. It’s easy to do when you are swapping USB devices in and out of your computer.
  • Hardware damage

    Hardware damage

    Physical damage to the USB device can destroy some or all of the data on the device and may require the skills of a data recovery service to correct.

Recovery is Supported on Devices with any Type of USB Connector

You can use Disk Drill to recover data from USB devices that use any of the variety of connectors popular with manufacturers. These include USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0 as well as the Mini and Micro variants of the connectors.
  • USB 1.0–1.1
    USB 1.0–1.1
    A, Mini-A, B, Mini-B
  • USB 2.0
    USB 2.0
    A, Mini-A, B, Mini-B, Micro-B
  • USB 3.0–3.2
    USB 3.0–3.2
    A, B, Micro-B, USB-C

Disk Drill Supports Recovery From All Types of USB Devices

Recover your lost or deleted data from any kind of USB device. These are some of the types of USB equipment that can have lost data recovered with Disk Drill.
  • USB pen drives
    USB pen drives
    Patriot®, Kingston®, SanDisk®
  • USB flash drives
    USB flash drives
    Verbatim®, PNY®, Samsung®
  • USB external hard drives
    USB external hard drives
    Buffalo®, Western Digital®, Adata®
  • USB mobile devices
    USB mobile devices
    Samsung®, iPhone®, Huawei®
  • USB digital cameras
    USB digital cameras
    Nikon®, Canon®, Olympus®
  • Video and audio players
    Video and audio players
    Astell & Kern®, JBL®, FiiO®

Supported File Types of USB Device Recovery

This Mac USB recovery tool supports recovering over 400 different file types when you run a Deep Scan. You can recover photos, videos, documents, or any other type of data from your USB stick or other external devices.
  • Images
    BMP, TIFF, PSP, JPEG, JP2, GIF. Polaroid/Sigma: X3F. Pentax: PEF. Adobe: AI, APM, IDML, LRCAT, PSB, PSD, INDB, INDD, INDL, INX.
  • Audio
    MP3 (MPEG Audio Stream, Layer III), WMA (Windows Media audio files), AIFC, AIF, AIFF (Audio Interchange File)
  • Video
    AVI, FLV (Flash video), MPG (MPEG video), MP4 (MPEG-4 video), M4V (iTunes video), WMV (Windows Media Video)
  • Archives
    DMG (Mac OS X Disk Image), RAR (WinRAR Compressed Archive), ZIP (Extended Zip File), CAB (Windows Cabinet File), 7Z (7-Zip Compressed)
  • Documents
    XLSX (Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet), DOCX (Microsoft Word), PDF (Portable Document Format), PPTX (Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • Other Files
    Other Files
    DB (Paradox), OTF (OpenType Font), SQL (bundled SQL queries), ACCDB (Microsoft Database), MYO (MYOB Limited Windows File)

Why even recover when you can protect!

Use awesome possibilities offered by Disk Drill to ensure the safety of your files. Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery options let you save your files before something is even merely happening. You'll never need to run Mac file recovery from a flash drive again! Recovery Vault creates a special map for Disk Drill to locate lost files and Guaranteed Recovery creates invisible file copies when files are moved to Trash. Such files will be recovered right away when needed.

Tips to Prevent Data Loss on USB Drive

Here are some tips to prevent unexpected data loss on your USB devices. Following these recommendations can help eliminate the need to perform data recovery to restore lost files and folders.
  • Don’t reformat the device
    Don’t reformat the device
    Refrain from reformatting the device unless you are certain that you do not need any of the files or folder it contains.
  • Check power levels
    Check power levels
    Make sure your laptop has enough battery power to successfully finish any data transfers that involve USB devices.
  • Take care with connections
    Take care with connections
    You need to be careful when connecting or disconnecting USB devices to your computer to avoid damaging the connections.
  • Avoid physical damage
    Avoid physical damage
    Take precautions to prevent physical damage to your device by keeping it away from extreme heat or excessive moisture.
  • Prevent power surges
    Prevent power surges
    Use a reliable surge protector to guard against power surges that can damage both your USB device and your computer.
  • Backup your data regularly
    Backup your data regularly
    It’s always a good idea to make backups of your data. Make it a habit to backup all of your USB devices for added protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

To recover deleted files from a USB drive on Mac:

  1. Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac.
  2. Download and install Disk Drill for Mac.
  3. Launch Disk Drill USB recovery software for Mac.
  4. Select the flash drive and click the Recover button to start scanning.
  5. Preview the files that can be recovered and choose the ones you want.
  6. Click Recover to restore the files to a designated location on a Mac.

Possibly. To recover with software your system needs to access the USB drive. You can try attaching it to different ports or computers to attempt to gain access. If it turns out that you cannot get to the drive’s contents, you may need to use a backup to restore your files or send the drive to a data recovery service.

Without software, you have two options for recovering deleted files from a flash drive. They are:

  1. Recover from a backup that you have made of the data on the drive. This can be a local backup or one taken to a cloud provider.
  2. Restore using the recently deleted files feature of the device that saved the data to the drive.

Use this procedure to restore data from a corrupt USB drive with a Mac:

  1. Make a byte-level backup of the USB drive to avoid further corruption.
  2. Connect the byte-level backup to the computer.
  3. Launch Disk Drill and select the backup that was just created.
  4. Click the Recover button to scan the backup media.
  5. Preview the files that can be recovered and select a storage location.
  6. Click Recover again to perform the recovery.

Use your Mac’s Disk Utility to fix an unreadable flash drive with the following directions.

  1. Open Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Select the unreadable USB drive from the available devices.
  3. Run First Aid on the USB device.
  4. Click Run when prompted to verify that you want to perform the operation.

Yes, but it is not the general Trash Bin you usually use. The Mac operating system creates a hidden trash folder on each of your drives. The folder is named .Trashes and requires you to enable your Mac to view hidden folders. Gaining access to this folder on a flash drive will enable you to recover recently deleted files directly.

Files deleted from a USB device attached to your Mac will most likely wind up in the Trash Can. Acting quickly can allow you to perform a flash drive recovery on Mac for free by restoring them from the Trash.

You can create a bootable USB drive for Mac with Disk Drill by using the following procedure.

  1. Download, install, and launch Disk Drill for Mac.
  2. Connect an available USB drive to your computer.
  3. Select the Create boot drive option in the top right corner of the app’s window.
  4. Choose the disk that will be used to copy operating system files and the target drive that will become the bootable USB.
  5. Proceed with the operation and when it completes you will have a bootable USB device to use with your Mac.
You may have to modify your settings to display external disks. Open Finder and then Preferences and click on the General tab. Make sure the External disks option is checked. Once this is fixed, you should see your USB drive on your Mac.
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See what Disk Drill fans say user oggie168
I had a corrupted USB with 5.97 GB of data on it. I tried several other software recovery programs with no success. Then I downloaded Disk Drill, was pleased with nice interface, and even more surprised when I ran the scan. The scan was fast, and comprehensive, finding all the data on the corrupted USB, with one more easy step, the data was recovered to a folder on my hard drive. This software is a keeper, one of those essential programs you must have. I would highly recommend this product.
Gene Bentzen
I just bought Disk Drill Pro last night for a damaged USB drive and it has worked perfectly. Thank You!
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