How to Recover Data from Flash Drive on Mac: Full Guide 2020

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So you have just plugged your USB drive or pen drive into your Mac computer but find that there are no files on it at all, almost as if it has been wiped clean, and you begin to panic. This kind of thing is actually quite common but luckily, you can restore these files using third-party software. In this article, we will take a look at how you can recover deleted or lost data from your USB flash drive on Mac and why data becomes lost on flash drives.

Why Does Data Get Lost On Mac USB Flash Drive?

  • Corruption Via Sharing: because USB devices are plugged into many different computers and devices, they have a very high chance of becoming corrupted due to frequent data transfers.

  • File System Corruption: if your USB files have too much damage done to them, that damage can corrupt your RAW file, which is the file that lets you access the USB drive.

  • A Nasty Virus: if you use an unsafe computer and get a malware script or virus placed onto your USB drive, this can result in corruption of the files. The virus will slowly infect each file and delete them.

  • Unplugging Without Ejecting: when you just yank the USB drive out of your Mac without using the eject button, this can cause formatting issues which can result in data loss.

How to Recover Files from USB Flash Drive on Mac?

Simply download AnyRecover, a recovery software for Mac that can recover all kinds of files. It comes with a free trial, 100% security, and has one of the highest recovery rates out of all recovery software available online.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Key Features
  • Recovers pictures, videos, documents, e-mails, audio files, and even archives.

  • Recover lost data from any medium, including USB flash drives, computers(Windows/Mac), hard drives, etc.

  • Restores your files without overwriting any other files on your computer, keeping all files safe during the entire process.

  • Supports all versions of Mac computer, recover data in just few minutes easily.

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Steps to Recover Files from a USB flash drive with AnyRecover

Step 1. Open up AnyRecover and select "External Device Recovery" mode from the home interface.

anyrecover home mac

Step 2. Connect your USB flash drive to your mac computer so that the recovery process can commence. Click on USB Flash Drive and hit the Next button.

connect to mac

Step 3. Then you can either check "all file types" or individually select the type of file you want to recover. Hit the Scan button.

external device recovery select file type mac

Step 4. Wait for AnyRecover to get back to you with your lost files. Once it is done scanning, it will list the files out to you based on type. Select which ones you want to recover. Hit the Recover button once you've selected all your files.

external device recovery scan complete mac


  • Use the "All-Round Recovery" Mode if the external device recovery mode fails. In doing so, you can use deep scan to searching for the lost files.

  • Move the recovered files to your computer; somewhere safe but definitely not the USB flash drive you just got them from.

Tips For Recovering Deleted Files from a Flash Drive

  • Always remember that your files are never actually deleted but get marked for reuse, meaning that they will become overwritten by other files in the computer. All files are available to be retrieved prior to be overwritten on.

  • Safely remove your USB drive from your computer every time to avoid any damage to it.

  • A soon as you realize that your files are gone from your USB flash drive, stop using it immediately! You want to make sure that you don't overwrite the files through continued use.

  • Always use recovery software that can pull a large library of files types, as this gives you the most potential for recovery success.

If you find that you have deleted files on your flash drive, you can use a third-party recovery software like AnyRecover to get them back. AnyRecover comes highly recommended as it has one of the highest recovery ratings available, it can recover 1,000 of file types, and it comes with a free trial. Plus, it doesn't matter how those files were lost, because this tool can get them back regardless.

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By  Simon Marcus , to External Device Recovery

Posted on Feb 18, 2019  ( Updated: Dec 16, 2019 )

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