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Can't see files on USB flash drive, need to recover!

I recently had to take some notes on another MacBook and to move it onto my own MacBook I used a USB flash drive. I inserted it into my own MacBook but nothing happened. I make sure to double-check that a disk has been unmounted before unplugging it every time - and it wasn't showing up in finder nor did it show up on the desktop, so I unplugged it. When I plugged it in again it showed up, but was empty - or at least it seemed. The files were still there (I could tell by the amount of space left on the drive) but nothing was to be seen. I've noticed whenever I plug in a larger drive that spotlight has to index it - perhaps it was doing that when I unplugged it.

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Amanda Wong

Answered on Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Try these methods when you can't see files on the USB drive on your Mac: unhide files on Mac, repair the USB drive, reformat the USB flash drive, etc. If you need to recover disappearing files from the USB flash drive, iBoysoft Data Recovery, the professional data recovery software may help.

It seems that the connection between the USB drive and your Mac is poor given that the USB drive may don't show up in Finder and Desktop at the beginning. Check the USB port, USB cable, USB adapter and hub, and anything involved in the connection when you can't see files on the USB drive on Mac.

Then, try to unhide files on Mac. You can use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-Period(.), and Terminal commands defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE and killall Finder. In case, these files still won't show up, the USB drive could be corrupted.

The next step is to repair corrupted USB flash drive on Mac. Disk Utility, the macOS built-in tool enables you to run First Aid to check and repair disks on Mac. After the process completes, check whether those files on your USB drive are visible.

If the USB drive is damaged seriously, First Aid won't repair it. The last resort you can try is to recover data from it and reformat the drive to make the USB drive usable again. Download and try iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover data from the USB drive, then reformat the USB flash drive in Disk Utility.

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