How to Recover Files From Washed USB Flash Drive?

Accidentally drop your USB drive into water? Don't worry, we will tell you ways to deal with water damaged USB flash drive in this post that are tested.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 14, 2021 • Filed to: USB Recovery • Proven solutions

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My USB flash Drive got washed accidentally, and part of my data has lost, what can I do to recover them? Is this USB flash drive can still be in use? I hope someone can help me with this issue.

There are instances when you have too much on your head already, and a tiny USB may become insignificant. But what if you jump into a pool or pile up your clothes for washing while that tiny device is still in the pockets? Have you experienced this situation before?

Although USB flash drives are less vulnerable to external damage and scratches, water spillages and accidental drops (Fatal ones) can still damage them. Then, can you recover files from washed USB drive?

Now you may think that a water-damaged USB Flash Drive is a lost case, but actually it is possible to retrieve your information from it. Even after going through a roller coaster ride in your washer and dryer, your USB might still hold your information.

This article will focus on the water-damaged scenario. If you are lucky, you can even use it further. But first and foremost, you need to take immediate steps to stop your washed USB drive from getting further damaged. Here are some tested ways that teach you how to save and recover a washed flash drive.

Content Page:

Part 1: How to Deal with a Washed USB Flash Drive?

If you've accidentally washed your USB Flash Drive then these are a few things that you need to do immediately. But keep in mind that a water-damaged USB Flash Drive's lifespan will be decreased and there is no reverting that. However, does that mean they won't work at all?

No! You can still recover your information. Before diving into that, take these quick measures to save the flash drive:

Two Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Never connect the USB Drive to a PC immediately after you have retrieved it from the water source. It will cause you to lose data permanently or worse, ending up damaging your USB Port as well.
  • Never use heaters or warm dryers to remove the water as a high temperature can erase the data.

Step 1: Take your USB Drive and try not to shake it vigorously. This will only spread the water internally.

no shaking usb

Step 2: Take a dry tissue or a soft towel and wipe off the water carefully. You can keep the device wrapped in it for a minute or two.

dry tissue for wiping water

Step 3: Place the USB Drive on a flat surface and expose it to sunlight. This will help in the quick evaporation of water and the small components will not get corroded easily.

exposing to sun usb

Step 4: If your USB Flash Drive has a cap, remove it and expose it completely. Unless you know what you are doing, do not dismantle the USB. But if you know how to put it back, you can open it up completely expose the inner components.

dismantling usb drive

These are the immediate steps you need to take when your USB flash drive is washed. Now let's move on to the next key part: how to recover lost data caused by accidentally washing USB drive.

Part 2: How to Recover Lost Data from a Washed USB Flash Drive?

There are instances when the internal components are so badly damaged that the data is erased permanently. Or your device will no longer recognize a USB device when you connect it. In such cases, maybe you need to contact the professional services agencies because your USB flash drive is damaged so severely that it's less likely to recover it by yourself.

But if this is not the case with your USB Flash Drive, you can use data recovery software to get the job done. Here you can go ahead and opt for one of the methods given below.

1. Data Recovery Software

data recovery software

The data recovery software is useful to recover a washed flash drive if it can still be saved. But remember that not all of those water-affected USB drives can be saved using these applications/software. But in most cases, these can be a sigh of relief. One of the best options we have is Wondershare Recoverit.

This data recovery program has the highest recovery rate in the market and can help you to restore files under any stressful scenario - even when you have accidentally washed your USB drive. It is the trusted tool of more than 5 million people.

deleted data recovery

Recoverit Data Recovery - The Best USB Data Recovery Software

How to use Wondershare Recoverit?

Step 1: After you successfully download Recoverit from the button below, you need to launch it on your PC/Mac. You can do it by double clicking on the Wondershare Recoverit icon on the desktop.

Step 2: Connect your USB Flash Drive to your computer and make sure that is detectable. If not, the application cannot help you.

Step 3: Select your USB Flash Drive as the target location and then click on 'Start'.

download and install the recoverit

Step 4: The program will run an essential scan of your USB device. While this happens, you can pause/stop the process and recognize the target files.

select the target drive you desire and hit scan

Step 5: Once the scanning is done, select the files that you want to retrieve and click on 'Recover'. Now you can save them to any new location.

preview recovered photos

2. Manual Service Agent

manual service agent

Sometimes your USB drive is so badly damaged that your computer can no longer recognize it. Its external components seem like they are ready to fall off. Or even worse. If your water-damaged USB Drive is behaving like this, you might have to use the help of a Manual Service Agent.

A manual service agent helps you with the data recovery from your damaged USB Flash drive when you send it to him. They are trained professionals (Engineers) who understand the build and functions of your USB Drive. They will manually retrieve the information from the tiny device and revert back to you.

However, this is the method that you should consider as a last resort.

One thing - it is extremely costly and you have to find the right person to do the job for you. Otherwise, you might as well say goodbye to your data. Secondly, you are exposing your information to a stranger so you cannot be 100% sure that they won't pry into it.


Part 3: Bonus Tips in Case These Water Accidents Happen

silica gel for absorption

There are a few tricks that people rely on when they end up dropping their USB drive into water or washing it in a machine. Here are some of the most famous ones for you:

  • After you pat dry your USB Drive, you can pack it in a zip lock pouch along with some silica gel sachets. These will absorb the moisture from the device.
  • After wiping the external water off, bury the USB Flash Drive in uncooked rice and cover it with a lid or a plastic seal. Rice is a natural moisture absorber that works.
  • An air compressor can be used to push or pull the water out of the internal components. The vacuum mechanism can be very helpful.
  • You can use alcohol to wipe off the external parts as this will easily replace water and evaporates quickly. However, do not keep the drive soaked in it for long.
  • If the sunlight is too harsh and hot for your USB, place it in a covered container and then place it under direct sunlight. This is also a good way to avoid corrosion.

Conclusion:

Dealing with a water-damaged USB Flash Drive is definitely not an easy task. That is why you need to be very cautious with these tiny devices.

But if the accident happens anyway, you take immediate aid and then use the tips and tricks mentioned in this article to recover a washed flash drive without worrying. If your washed USB drive can still be recognized by your computer, then try Wondershare Recoverit to recover your possibly lost files, pictures, videos or audios.

And most importantly, take care and don't drop your USB drive into water again!

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