Cannot open files on USB flash drive: how to access them

Cannot open files on USB flash drive: how to access them

Are you having trouble accessing the documents you store on a USB flash drive? Well, it can happen due to several reasons. However, there are certain ways to fix it. This article will walk you through how to recover your files on a USB drive that has hidden them.

Why can I not open files on a USB flash drive?

The most common reasons why you cannot access files on a USB flash drive are:

  • Outdated drivers. You should update your drivers once in a while to not lose the ability to use your USB flash stick.
  • New USB flash drive. When you use your USB for the very first time, it can be locked, so you'll have to unlock it to start fully using it. Often it can be done via a simple lock–unlock toggle.
  • Not compatible with your OS. If you have formatted your USB stick on another computer, it might have changed its file format, which can be incompatible with your computer.

How to access files on a USB flash drive that won't open?

  • Open a new text document in your flash drive, and enter the following code into the text document:
@echo off 
attrib -s -h -r /s /d 
  • Go to File > Save as, and save the document as unhide.bat.
  • Close and delete the text document that you've just created. Double-click the unhide.bat batch file. A black command screen will pop up and close on its own.

You should now be able to access your files on the pen drive.

How to fix a corrupt USB flash drive to recover files?

If you still cannot access them, it may be because your USB drive has been corrupted or infected with a virus. To repair any damage done, you can try to run chkdsk.

  • To do so, press the Windows Key + X. Next, in the Power Users menu, select the Command Prompt option. Click Yes in the window that pops up.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r /x (replacing E with your drive letter), then press the Enter key.
Looking for more USB-related tips? Check our forum!
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