Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Windows 11 excels at detecting USB storage devices and granting access to their contents. Occasionally, when connecting a USB drive to your PC, Windows may not display certain files or folders.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Feeling clueless when important files and folders vanish from your flash drive is natural. Instead of quickly formatting or using file recovery tools, try these tips to resolve the issue.

1. Connect the Drive to a Different USB Port

One way to check if there is an issue with the USB port is by ejecting and reconnecting the USB drive. This can resolve minor glitches that may have prevented Windows from displaying files and folders on the drive.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Another thing you can do is try the USB drive on another computer to confirm if there is a problem with the drive itself.

If files and folders are missing from your USB drive but the storage space is still being used, they are likely hidden. To reveal them, configure File Explorer to show hidden items on Windows. Here’s how:

1. Press the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer and navigate to your drive.

2. Click the View menu, go to Show, and select Hidden items.

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Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

3. Search for Your Missing File or Folder

Locating a specific file or folder on a USB drive can be challenging if it contains a large number of files and folders. In such cases, the File Explorer may not display all the files and folders. To find the missing file or folder, you can use the search bar in the File Explorer. Simply press the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to open the File Explorer and navigate to your drive. Then, enter the name of the missing file or folder in the search bar to see if it appears.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

4. Run the Check Disk Utility

The CHKDSK (short for Check Disk) utility on Windows automatically detects and fixes storage drive issues. Running this tool can resolve drive issues and recover missing files and folders.

To run CHKDSK through File Explorer:

Step 1: Right-click the Start icon and select File Explorer from the Power User menu.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 2: Go to This PC using the left sidebar.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 3: Right-click on your USB drive and choose Properties.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 4: Switch to the Tools tab and click the Check button.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 5: Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 6: Click Scan drive to initiate the scan.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

If the Check Disk utility finds no issues, proceed with the following fixes.

Your Windows 11 PC has a Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve common issues with external devices, including USB drives. Access it through the Run dialog box using the following steps:

1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.

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2. Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and press Enter.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 2: In the Hardware and Devices window, click Advanced.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 3: Select the ‘Apply repairs automatically’ checkbox and hit Next.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Running the troubleshooter, check if your USB drive shows missing files and folders.

6. Update or Reinstall USB Drivers

Outdated or faulty USB drivers on your PC can interfere with Windows’ ability to display USB drive contents. Updating the problematic driver using Device Manager may solve the problem.

Step 1: Press the Windows + S keyboard shortcut to access the Search menu. Type “device manager” in the search box and press Enter.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 2: Double-click on ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ to expand it.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Step 3: Right-click on the USB drive and select Update driver.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

To update the driver, follow the on-screen prompts.

If your hard drive or pen drive doesn’t show data after updating the drivers, it’s likely that the drivers are corrupt. In this case, uninstall the problematic driver from Device Manager and restart your PC.

Top 6 Ways to Fix USB Drive Not Showing Files and Folders on Windows 11

Windows automatically reinstalls the drivers during boot. Your USB drive should then display all files and folders.

Retrieve the Irreplaceable

Removable USB devices such as flash drives and external hard drives facilitate data transfer between computers. However, when Windows fails to display the content of USB drives, it becomes challenging to access crucial files. Fortunately, you can use the suggested solutions to resolve this issue.

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