Retrieve Missing Files / Folders from WD External HDD

Western Digital is one of the most popular hard drive makers in the world, but it is not the perfect storage solution, problems like folders or files missing from WD external hard drives are very common sight.

In this article, you will find solutions that can help you find the missing files from WD external hard drive using built-in Windows tools, and worst case you can use data recovery software to recover the lost or missing files.

Written by Lucy John on February 28, 2024

If you haven’t deleted the files and folders on your hard drive, you can restore your WD hard drive by modifying the settings on your computer. Here are some common ways to get the files back.

IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your data safety, we advise you to recover the data before fixing your WD hard drive.

How to Recover Missing Files From WD external hard drive?

1. Unhide the Files and Folders

If you notice that the space on your WD hard drive is taken up but files are still not visible, they could be hidden. You can manually unhide them. Here's how it's done:

  1. Open Windows File Explorer, and click on the View tab.
  2. open the view tab

  3. Click on Options and choose Change folder and Search options.
  4. Open the View Tab select Show hidden files, folders, and drivers, and click on OK
  5. show the hidden files

Now try accessing the files from your WD external hard drive.

2. Attrib Command

Try changing the file attributes of your external hard drive using attrib command in the Command prompt to unhide the WD hard drive files and folders.

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
  2. Type: attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:*.* (Replace E with your drive’s letter) and press Enter.
  3. type the attrib command

Wait for the scan to complete and see if the missing files are visible.

3. Fix External Hard Drive Errors

WD hard drives with bad sectors and corrupt file systems will cause file disappearance. Try running the check disk (chkdsk) command to repair disk errors and recover missing files from the hard drive.

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
  2. Type: chkdsk E: /f /r /x (Replace E with your drive’s letter) and press Enter.
  3. type the chkdsk command

Once the scan is completed try accessing the WD hard drive data.

If none of the above solutions worked out for you then you will need an additional tool to recover the disappeared files from the WD HDD, the next section will introduce an efficient tool to get back the lost files from your external hard drive.

WD External Hard Drive Recovery using Yodot Hard Drive Recovery

Use Yodot Hard Drive Recovery software. The steps shown to implement this software look very simple but the way it performs will make you surprise.The tool is capable of recovering missing files from your WD hard drive even if the drive is corrupted or has bad sectors.

Steps to recover disappeared files and folders from WD external hard drive:


We hope the solutions listed in this article helped recover the missing files and folders from your WD external hard disk.

Additionally, to avoid issues like this in the future take periodical backups and run antivirus scans to avoid files missing issues on your WD hard drive. If the files continue to disappear then consider reformatting the drive.

Helpful Suggestions:

  • Make sure that you correctly eject WD external hard drive after finishing your work.
  • Update firmware and drive to prevent issues related to files on hard drives.

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