How to Recover Hidden Files From USB Drive and Memory Card

File loss resulting from virus infected USB Flash Drive or SD Memory Card can be frustrating. If your pictures or videos or documents have been corrupted in any way by turning into shortcuts or hidden, that is, it is still in the memory storage, occupying space but not seen, this article will show you two simple ways on how to recover your hidden or lost files from the infected memory card or USB Flash Drive.

Recovering Lost or Hidden Files Using Command Prompt – Method 1 (Hard)

1.      Make sure you have a USB Guard installed on your PC. If you don’t have, click here to download the full version. Using USB Guard will automatically remove the malicious shortcut created by the virus.

2.      Plug the infected USB Flash Drive or Card Reader (if it is a MicroSD card, you will need a card reader).

3.      Open Windows/File Explorer and go to “My Computer” (“This PC” on Windows 10) and take note of the Drive letter that your USB/Card Reader is attached. Mine is “F” as shown below.

4.      Next, Click on “Start” then navigate to All Programs >> Accessories, then Right-Click on Command Prompt and select “Run As Administrator”. Alternatively, you can just click on Start and in the search box type "cmd", when Command Prompt comes up, Right Click and select “Run As Administrator”.

5.      When the Command Prompt comes up with the familiar black screen, you will notice the blinking cursor, just type the drive letter followed by a colon, eg “F:” and press enter.

6.      You notice that the drive letter now start a new line “F:\>”, type this after the prompt : attrib –s –h –r /s /d and press enter. It will start a new line.

7.      Go back to “My Computer” and open your USB Flash Drive and confirm all your hidden files and folders now visible.

8.      Make sure your PC system is free from virus and all kinds of malwares, Click Here to get the necessary tools to secure your PC against virus attacks.

Recovering Lost or Hidden Files Using XYPlorer – Method 2 (Easy)

1.      Click Here to download and install the full version of XYPlorer File Manager. Remember, do not update after installation. XYPlorer is an optimized File Explorer for Windows with lots of tools and double pane view feature.

2.      Run the installed XYPlorer and navigate to “My Computer” and open your drive.

3.      You will see all your files, both hidden and unhidden. With this method, you don’t just see your files but you can make it visible permanently so that you can also see it in another PC when you open your drive there.

4.      To make your files visible permanently, click and select all the hidden files (those that are greyed out). 

5.      Go down to the “Properties” pane and you will see many boxes there with all the attributes.

6.      Uncheck the box beside “System”, “Read Only” and “Hidden” and Click on the green “tick” sign to apply new attributes to all selected items and save the settings.

7.      Confirm that all the greyed out files and folders and now normal. You can now copy out the files or remove the USB Flash to be use in any other system.

8.      Understand that, if the other PC Windows is already infected, it will corrupt the file again.

You should always delete funny looking files or folders with unusual name but be sure that you are not removing a useful file.

Use the second method if your phone memory card was infected and you don’t want to format it. Once your recover the files and unhide them, you can put the memory card back to the phone and open all previously damaged applications and pictures.

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