What Should You Do to Recover Data from External Hard Drive Easily

An external hard drive is a storage device to store data and files temporarily. They are useful to transfer data from ipad to external hard drive, or between devices, expand internal storage or backup smart devices. When we store files on an external drive, the first rule is never have only one copy of anything.

Recover Data from External Hard Drive

However, a lot of people forget this rule, and when computer not recognizing external hard drive, all the data will be gone forever. Is there any way to get them back from a failed external hard drive? The answer almost depends on what you use and how to do it. In this tutorial, we are going to show you the best way to recover data from external hard drive.

Recommend: The best external hard drive recovery software

According to our testing, Apeaksoft Data Recovery is the best external hard drive recovery software. Its key features include:

  • 1. Easy to use. This USB hard drive data recovery tool is able to get back lost files from your external hard drive in one click, so even novices could grasp it in a few seconds.
  • 2. File recovery in various situations. No matter your files lost due to external hard drive fails, crashes, corrupts or attacked by virus, it could recover them easily.
  • 3. Support a variety of data types and formats. It works for all images, videos, audios, documents, emails and archive formats, like JPG, ICO, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD, TIFF, RAW, MP4, MP3, WAV, AVI, DOC, ZIP, etc.
  • 4. Lossless recovery. With the best external hard drive recovery application, you can restore lost files in original conditions, including format and quality.
  • 5. Preview for selectively recovery. After scanning, you can look at all lost files organized by categories and formats and decide to recover all of them or several specific ones.
  • 6. Quicker and lighter. This memory recovery tool is lightweight and could restore lost files quickly and safely. You do not need to worry about privacy leakage.
  • 7. High compatibility. It retrieves data from external hard drive like Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, etc.
  • 8. Moreover, Data Recovery is available to Windows 10/8.1/8/Vista/XP, and the file system NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT, etc.

In short, the best external hard drive recovery software almost equips all features you are looking for.

Part 1: How to recover data from external hard drive

In this part, we will show you how to recover files from hard drive. First of all, there are several quick tips you can try to get back your files:

1. Try the external hard drive on another device. For example, if Mac is not recognizing external hard drive, connect it to a Windows PC.

2. Use another USB cable. The connection between an external hard drive and a computer relies on the USB cable, which is easy to break.

3. Open the anti-virus program and check the external hard drive.

4. If computer not recognizing external hard drive still, the best hard drive recovery software could help you. And for beginners, the steps below are helpful.

External hard drive recovery

Part 2: How to recover data from external hard drive with Data Recovery

Here we use a Windows 10 PC as the example to show you how to recover data from external hard drive, such as photos.

Mac users can jump here to visit Mac data recovery.

Step 1. Scan entire external hard drive to look for data

Download the latest version of Data Recovery, and follow the onscreen instructions to install it on your PC.

Next, plug your external hard drive into your computer using a USB cord. (Fail to boot disk?)

Launch the best external hard drive recovery software when you found important files disappeared or the hard drive failed. There are two parts on the main interface, data types and locations. Firstly, navigate to the data type section, and tick the checkboxes in front of desired data types, like "Image". Then go to the location section and select the external hard drive under "Removable Devices" area. Data Recovery will work as soon as you click on the "Scan" button.

If you want to recover files from external hard drive not detected, you should reinstall the driver first.


Step 2. Preview files before external hard drive recovery

After quick scanning, you will be taken to the detail window. And the recoverable files will be arranged by formats. For example, click on the "Image" option on left hand bar; you will get several folders labeled JPG, ICO, PNG, GIF, etc. Open each folder and look for the files you want to recover. Moreover, the "Filter" feature at top ribbon could help you to find the desired files quickly by entering the key words related to the files.

If you cannot find the desired files after quick scanning, click on the "Deep Scan" button at upper right corner. It will take more time to scan the external hard drive deeply and find more recoverable data.


Step 3. Recover files from external hard drive in one click

To recover files, you can check the box in front of each desired file or select entire folder. Click on the "Recover" button to start recovering files from external hard drive to your computer. When it is complete, click the "Open Folder" button on Recovery Finished window to open the destination. Then you can browse, copy and paste, or edit your files as usual.

If you want to enhance the possibility of data recovery on external hard drive, you'd better use the best external hard drive recovery tool. And then you can feel free to format the drive and repair it.


You may also want to know: How to backup iPhone to external hard drive


In this tutorial, we have shared the best way to recover data from external hard drive. It is more convenient to take files here and there with an external hard drive. But it is not a reliable storage device. And many factors could cause computer not recognizing external hard drive. For example, the file system on the hard drive is corrupted, the external hard drive is infected by virus or malicious programs, or force reject when writing files on the external hard drive.

Anyway, there are several professional programs on market that is able to recover files from a failed, corrupted or damaged external hard drive. And we identified the best one, Apeaksoft Data Recovery. When you discovered that there is something wrong about your external hard drive, follow our guides and recover it within a few minutes.

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