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How to recover deleted files from external hard drive?

Updated on 07 29, 2020 | Tutorials

External hard drives are portable storage devices that allow you to transfer a large amount of data to another device. With high capacity, these drives are capable of storing tons of files, photos, videos. However, even if you carefully use the external hard drive, it can still be prone to data loss. Then you need to perform external hard drive recovery. Here we provide several solutions to help you recover deleted files from external hard drive. With any luck, you can use one of them to successfully recover files.

recover deleted files from external hard drive

Causes of Data Loss from External Hard Drive

Data loss on external hard drive can occur for a variety of reasons. You’d better know the causes to solve the problem in a better way.

  • Accidentally deleting files from an external hard drive
  • Formatting the external hard drive
  • Infection with virus and malware
  • Physical damage to the external hard drive
  • Power failure or surge
  • Improper removal of external hard drives

Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive

When it comes to recover deleted files from external hard drive, there are three possible ways available. If you are not ready to install a new software, the first two method are worth a try. They don’t require any software but are not guaranteed to deliver good results. The third method is to use a data recovery software RecoveryMaster, which is easy to use so that beginners can use it to recover deleted files.

Recover Deleted Files Using the Command Prompt

Windows users can use the command prompt when permanently deleted files from external hard drives. To recover deleted files using CMD, you should follow these steps:

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer

Step 2. Press Win + R keys to launch the run program

Step 3. Type cmd and click on OK button

Step 4. Type “ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D H:*.*” command in the window and hit enter

Once completed the process, you can create a new folder on your external drive with all recovered files. If this methods don’t work, you can turn to restore previous version.

Restore Previous Version

File History is a built-in Windows feature that allows you to restore previous version of files. Before using this method, you should make sure that you have activated this feature. To restore a previous version of file, please follow these steps:

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer and navigate to the folder where you have lost files

Step 2. Right click on the folder and select Properties

Step 3. Open the Previous Versions tab

Step 4. Select the folder version

Step 5. Click the Restore button

Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive Using RecoveryMaster

You’d better use a third-party data recovery software since it can deliver excellent results. Data recovery software like RecoveryMaster enables you to recover deleted files from external hard drive even if you don’t have a backup. There is a free trail version available for use. It fully supports Windows 7/8/10.

To recover deleted files from external hard drive, you first need to download and install RecoveryMaster. Then follow these steps to perform recovery process.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer and launch RecoveryMaster

Step 2. Select the drive where you lost files and click Loss Scan to continue. The scanning process will take several minutes, depending on the size of storage device.


Step 3. Select and preview the files you want to recover. You can preview the selected files before recovery.

selected files

Step 4. Click Recover to get files back. Please save files to another secure location in case they are lost again.

save files

Reasons to Use RecoveryMaster

RecoveryMaster allows you to recover deleted or lost data from various storage devices like hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, SSD/HDD, laptop, camera, etc. It can recover document, videos, audios, emails and graphics in various formats. Its intuitive and user-friendly interface simplifies the recovery process.

Besides that, RecoveryMaster is a cost-effective alternative to contacting a specialized data recovery service. It accesses your data through READ ONLY and protects your data from secondary damage.

Tips to Protect Your Data

Based on the main causes of data loss described previously, you can take some measures to protect your data on external hard drive.

  • Take regular backup– The best course of action is to make regular backup of your data on the external hard drive or other storage device.
  • Use antivirus software– It’s very important to keep your external hard drive away from potential virus infection. Run a good antivirus software on your computer and avoid connecting your device to any strange machine.
  • Check your work– Take care before performing data deletion or formatting an external hard drive.
  • Use the external hard drive properly– Use the remove device option before unplugging the drive. Gently insert the device to your computer.


It’s a tough task to recover deleted files from external hard drive if you have not taken any backup. However, RecoveryMaster data recovery software makes it easier to get deleted files back from external hard drive in a few clicks. Download and try it now!



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