How To Recover Data From Formatted Hard Drive for Free

You've come to the right site. Here's how to recover data from a formatted hard disk for free.

recover files from formatted hard drive for free

If you format your hard drive but later discover that it contains some important files, the first thing you should learn is how to recover files from a formatted hard drive. If you do a quick Google search for data recovery, you will find a plethora of websites that will assist you in recovering your data.

Unfortunately, many of those websites are dubious and do not provide you with the information you require to recover a formatted hard drive. To assist you with your problem, we have created this guide that answers whether it is possible to recover data from a formatted hard drive and, if so, how you can do so on your machine. With advanced technologies and software, you can now retrieve files even from a formatted hard drive. The content on the drive usually just waits for new data to be overwritten on it. You can still recover your files from a formatted hard drive until and unless you write new data to it.

Part 1. What Transpires When Hard Drives Are Formatted?

Everything will get deleted when the drive is formatted. So it must not be conducted unless necessary. But there are several reasons why a disk should be formatted. You may be concerned about security, require hardware repurposing, or wish to install a new file system on your device. Whatever the reason, formatting a hard drive improves the performance of your device when done correctly.

Formatting a hard drive can improve computer performance by removing potentially harmful programs. Computer viruses and other malicious software are not always detectable, but they can roam the system's hard disk and important corrupt files. Spyware and viruses are detrimental to the overall performance of a computer. Though virus-scanning software and other utility programs can assist you in removing malicious projects, they are not always effective.

Stop using the disk immediately if you want to retrieve information from an accidently formatted drive. This prevents the server from accidentally overwriting any sectors containing data that you want to restore. Begin the restoration process as soon as possible to improve your chances of recovering all of your files.

Part 2. How to Recover Data From Formatted Hard Drive for Free?

Computer users occasionally have to do the fairly routine job formatting a drive or partition. Unfortunately, you risk significant data loss if you format the incorrect drive or partition. The good news is that if you apply the correct tools and adhere to a few simple rules, you can recover data from formatted hard drives.

Method 1: Recover Data From a Formatted Hard Drive With CMD

The tool known as cmd.exe, called the Command Prompt or CMD, is a command-line interpreter that may be found in every Windows operating system. You can communicate with the system using the command-line interface provided by this utility. With it, you may change drive properties, delete files and folders, manage disk and partition space, and fix disk issues, among other things.

Step 1: Connect your Hard disk/SD card/USB with the system. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Search."

connect your hard disk with the system

Step 2: Type: the command prompt and, right-click on Command Prompt, select "Run as administrator." Click "Yes" to run Command Prompt as administrator.

to run command prompt as administrator

Step 3: Type: chkdsk F: /f in Command Prompt and hit Enter. (Replace F: with the device's drive letter where you lost files or data.)

command prompt and hit enter

Step 4: Type: Y and hit Enter to continue.

enter to continue recovery

Step 5: Type: F and hit Enter again.

Type: F:\>attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* and hit Enter. (Replace F with the drive letter of the device where you lost files or data.)

hit enter again to continue recovery

It will help if you exercise extreme caution when using the CMD command line to recover data from a formatted hard drive, SD Card, or USB because errors can lead to more serious issues. If CMD fails to find your lost files, or if you don’t know how to use CMD, don’t worry; you can skip this method and instead use format hard drive recovery software to do it for you.

If the first method doesn’t work, you can use method 2 as an alternative.

Method 2: Recover Data From a Formatted Hard Drive With Wondershare Recoverit

Any lost or deleted files from a computer, HDD, SSD, USB drive, SD memory card, camera, and more can be recovered with Recoverit Data Recovery Free. It provides high success rates for more than 500 real-life data loss scenarios, including formatting, system crashes, malware attacks, etc.

Free Download

For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11

Free Download

For macOS X 10.10 or later

For Windows

Step 1: Launch the Recoverit Data Recovery program, and select the formatted hard disk to start.

start formatted hard disk

Step 2: The formatted hard drive recovery software will scan the disk or search for the lost data and files.

scan the disk or search for the lost data and files

Step 3: In the end, you can check all recovered files. Preview recovered photos, videos, music, and office files. Select your files and click "Recover" to save all recovered files.

save all recovered files

For MacOS

Before retrieving data on Mac, we need to let Recoverit run on your Mac. To launch the software, please follow the next simple steps.

Step 1: Double-click the “Recoverit” icon on the Mac Desktop.

Step 2: Not there? Please go to “Finder” > “Applications” > “Recoverit” and double-click the software.

Step 3: For those who set a password, please input the password and press “Enter” or “Return” to launch Recoverit.

launch recoverit on macOS

Part 3. 3 Ways To Format a Hard Drive Securely Without Losing Data

Concerned that the Data on a corrupt hard drive may be lost? Most individuals are good at maintaining backups of their important data on external hard drives. Learn how to reformat a hard drive and still retrieve your Data afterward. But what occurs if the drive gets damaged? It's a lesson in why you should always create a local copy and an offshore backup with a cloud service, but it's too late for that at this point. Fortunately, you can reformat an external hard drive without wiping anything off of it if you employ a few simple workarounds.

1. Format Hard Drive With Windows Explorer

Fortunately, depending on the state of your hard disk, there are techniques to format it without losing any data. We've included comprehensive, step-by-step instructions below for healthy and broken drives. Read on!

Step 1: Click on "My Computer."

Step 2: Select the drive you wish to format, "right-click" on it and choose "format" from the drop-down list of options.

Step 3: Once the "format" dialogue box opens, you can choose the capacity size, though keeping it at the defaut size is recommended. You can also set up a file system for the drive to be formatted. Click on "Start."

Step 4: As you click "start," a warning window will appear before you. If you are sure you wish to format the disc, you can click on "ok" and go ahead with the formatting.

2. Format Hard Drive With Windows Disk Management

Too many individuals believe that the terms "data recovery" and "format drive" are mutually exclusive, according to a fast search of the internet's numerous computer forums. They're not. Your hard drive can be completely erased without erasing any of your data. You must first format your drive to recover your data using data recovery software.

Step 1: Following are the two ways using which you can open Disk Management:

  • a) Run "diskmgmt. MSC" by clicking on the windows start icon.
  • b) Go on "My Computer." Right-click and choose "Manage" from the drop-down menu. Then choose Disk Management under "Storage."

Step 2: Now right-click on the target partition and select "format" from the drop-down list.

Step 3: Specify the volume label, file system, and allocation unit size in the format wizard. Click "Ok."

Step 4: Press "Ok" to confirm.

Step 5: As you click "start," a warning window will appear before you. If you are sure you wish to format the disc, you can click on "ok" and go ahead with the formatting.

3. Use Wondershare UBackit to Backup Data Before Formatting

The Microsoft Office suite provides program programs that are used daily by millions of users who enjoy a wide range of software that assists them in performing office automation tasks such as design, writing, database, and so on. Many users work with various documents that must be backed up because they can cause problems if they are accidentally lost or deleted. Here are several steps for using wondershare UBackit to back up data before formatting so that your files are safe and do not risk being deleted, even if you format your hard drive.

Step 1: Launch Wondershare UBackit.

place for all to backup

Step 2: Select Files/Folders from Hard Drive.

choose files to backup

Step 3: Choose Backup Destination.

choose backup destination

Step 4: Start The Backup Process.

The backup process will take from seconds to minutes, it will depend on the backup file volume.

find backup manager


It's a little more difficult to retrieve data from formatted hard drives than from any other disk. The rest of the procedure is simple once you've verified that you can restore your data. You now possess the knowledge and resources needed to retrieve your data, so do it!

Free Download

For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11

Free Download

For macOS X 10.10 or later