If your pendrive or USB memory appears empty but has files, this could be due to multiple reasons. We have written the following guide to help you show the hidden files on your USB.
It may be that at some point your USB memory does not show the files it contains, this may be due to different reasons. Unsafe device ejection, configuration changes, or virus infection can be possible causes. Regardless of the reason, with some of these suggestions you could solve the problem and see the hidden files on the USB stick.
Show hidden files and folders on USB
To recover the hidden files on your USB stick, one of the following suggestions will help you to solve it:
- Show hidden files with File Explorer
- Unhide files from USB with Command Prompt
- Check on another PC and see if the files are visible
- Reinstall the pendrive drivers
- Check if the pendrive is damaged
- Run ChKDsk on the USB.
I – Show hidden files with File Explorer
Perhaps the items on the USB were accidentally hidden and Explorer is set to not show hidden files.
# 1. Open the pendrive or the File Explorer itself .
# 2. Go to the View tab and click the Options button .
# 3. In the Folder Options window , select the View tab .
# 4. Select the Show hidden files, folders and drives option and click OK.
II – Unhide files from USB with Command Prompt
Alternatively to the previous method you can use the Command Prompt (CMD) and the attrib command to unhide the files from the USB:
- Connect the USB drive to the computer properly.
- Open Command Prompt as administrator.
- Enter the command attrib -h -r -s / s / d D: \ *. * (Replace D: with the drive letter of the USB on your system) and press Enter.
After performing these steps, check if you can see the files on the USB stick.
III – Check on another PC and see if the files are visible
When you have a problem of this nature, the first thing you should do is determine if the problem is with your PC or with the USB. For this you will only need to connect the pendrive to another computer and verify if the data is visible.
If so, it means that there is no problem with your USB but with the computer. Uninstall and reinstall the USB drivers and check if the problem is resolved.
IV – Reinstall USB drivers
If the USB does not display the files, one possibility is that it is due to a problem with the device drivers.
- Open Device Manager and go to Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
- Expand the menu and find the current USB device that is creating the problem.
- Right click on it and select Uninstall device.
- You will see a pop-up window in which you must select the Uninstall option.
- Then disconnect the device, restart the computer and reconnect it.
- If it displays an installation message, follow it and install the driver again.
V – Check if the USB is damaged
Deliberately or repeatedly inserting and removing a USB device from a computer can damage its components. As such, it may stop responding.
If you suspect that the flash drive is damaged or has a malfunction, run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter and see if it fixes the problem.
VI – Run ChKDsk on USB
The ChKDsk command is used to scan disk drives (external or internal) for errors. If it finds a problem, the command tries to correct it. Read the instructions in this post to run ChKDsk on USB.