Accidentally formatted a hard drive in Windows 10 and lost your important files? Want to undo quick format? In this post on MiniTool, we will show you how to unformat a hard drive to recover lost files.

Data loss due to accidentally formatting is very common. Here is a true example:

Is it possible to undo quick format? We did one without backing up the files I needed from my hard drive. Can this be undone? Please help!


Have you ever encountered the same situation mentioned above? Is it possible to undo quick format to restore missing formatted data? How to effectively recover a quick formatted hard drive?

Right here, we are going to tell you all the answers.

Is It Possible to Undo Quick Format

A quick format will erase the address tables instead of the data, and Windows will make the data invisible and prepare the space as available for new data. Therefore, if you accidentally perform a quick format and lose important files, there are still chances to recover deleted or lost data as long as the original data have not been overwritten by new data.


Warning: Once you quick format your hard drive by mistake, you should immediately stop writing new data to it. Otherwise, the original data could be overwritten and become unrecoverable.

Keep reading to know how to unformat a hard drive – recover data from the quick formatted hard drive.

How to Undo Quick Format to Recover Files Windows 10/11

When it comes to quick format recovery, the easiest way is to restore lost data from backup files. However, according to the Internet, most users encountering this issue did not have a backup file.

So, choosing a piece of free quick format recovery software is the best choice to recover a quick formatted hard drive.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery, safe, professional, and free data recovery software, is strongly recommended here to undo quick format in Windows 11/10/8/7.

This read-only data recovery service can help to perform a quick format recovery without bringing any damage to the original data. It can recover files from formatted SD cards, USB drives, SSDs, external hard drives, etc.

So, click the button below to download and install this free quick format recovery software to have a try.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Next, let’s see the detailed steps of quick format recovery.

Step 1. Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery to get its main interface. If you want to recover files from a formatted external hard drive, you need to connect the formatted drive to your computer.

Step 2. Select the formatted partition (SSD, external hard drive, etc.) from the drive list and then click the Scan button. Then MiniTool Power Data Recovery will start to scan the partition you have selected.

scan the formatted hard drive

To get the best scan and recovery result, you are suggested to wait patiently until the scan process completes.

After scanning, you will see all found files are shown. To find the wanted files faster, you are allowed to filter them by file size, file type, file category, and modification date. For example, you can set the program to show pictures and documents only.

filter found files

To make sure whether the found files are the wanted ones, you can make use of the Preview feature. You can preview multiple types of files, including images, Word documents, Excel files, emails, and more.

preview found files

Step 3. After that, you can check all the needed files and save them to a safe location. It is recommended to store the recovered files to another drive instead of the original drive to avoid data overwriting.

save all needed files


Tip: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free can recover up to 1 GB of files. To restore unlimited data, you can use its full edition like MiniTool Power Data Recovery Personal Ultimate. In addition, this edition contains a free lifetime upgrade service and WinPE Bootable Builder for data recovery when the PC won't boot.

“I successfully recovered my quick formatted hard drive without affecting the original data by using MiniTool Power Data Recovery. Try it to undo quick format.”Click to Tweet

After learning how to undo quick format, let’s talk about some basic information about the quick format.

Overview of Quick Format

1. Quick Format VS. Full Format

In general, when you format a hard drive or partition, you have two options: quick format and full format. Do you know what is the difference between them?

Quick Format

As the name suggests, the quick format process is faster than a full format. To speed up the disk formatting process, the drive is not checked for bad sectors during quick formatting. And a quick format will only delete the journaling part of the file system, and then lay a new file system on it (such as NTFS, ext3, and ext4, as well as HFS+).

So, anyone looking at the hard drive or storage device would not see any data. Fortunately, these files are still there and you can recover them as long as using free quick format recovery software like MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

Full Format

A full format is almost the exact opposite of a quick format. Full format runs an additional step that is checking the hard drive for any bad sectors.

Accessing each sector on the disk takes much more time than doing quick format, which only writes the blocks that contain the file system structure.

Besides, a full format completely wipes your hard drive. After a full format, there is little chance to recover missing data even if you use data recovery software or ask a professional person.

See Also: What Does Formatting a Hard Drive Do? Here Are the Answers.

2. Why You Need to Perform a Quick Format

You may need to format your disk for different purposes. Here are the most common situations.

To access the hard drive: Sometimes, you are unable to access a drive and receive an error message saying “You need to format the drive before you can use it”. So, you need to format the drive to restore it to its original state.

To free up the space of the drive: When the hard disk is full of unnecessary files and data fragments, to free up disk space on the drive for new data, you can choose to format the drive.

To change the file system: Sometimes you may need to change a drive’s file system for data security or other reasons. Formatting is one of the ways to convert the file system.

3. How to Quick Format a Hard Drive

After seeing what is quick format (as well as full format) and why you need to perform a quick format, here we want to show you how to quick format a drive.

You can format a hard drive in File Explorer or use a third-party partition manager.

In File Explorer:

Press Windows + E key combinations to open File Explorer, then move on to the This PC section.

Right-click the drive you want to format, and then select Format from the context menu.

Next, set up the file system, allocation unit size, and volume label. Remember to check the checkbox next to Quick Format and then tap Start.

After clicking Start, you will receive a warning saying formatting will erase all data on this disk. At this time, you just need to click the OK button to continue.

[Solved] FAT32 Format Option Is Not Available in Windows
[Solved] FAT32 Format Option Is Not Available in Windows

This post tells you why Windows doesn't offer the FAT32 format option and shows you how to solve it. Then, you can format the drive to FAT32 smoothly.

Read More

Using MiniTool Partition Wizard:

When you cannot format your hard drive in File Explorer, you can try MiniTool Partition Wizard. It is a reliable disk management tool that not only can help to format a partition but also resize the volume, change the file system, and so on.

Now download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard to format your drive.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 2. Select the partition you want to format. In the left panel, scroll down to click Format Partition.

click Format Partition

Step 3. In the pop-up window, specify the partition label, file system, and cluster size. Then click OK.

Step 4. Now click the Apply button located in the lower left corner to apply the pending operation.

As you can see, the disk formatting process can be easily and quickly operated by using MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Necessary Tips for Quick Format Recovery

1. Stop using the disk after formatting it by mistake.

Once you quick format your hard drive by mistake, you should immediately stop writing new data to it. Otherwise, the original data could be overwritten and there is no way to recover them.

2. Back up your data before quick format.

Sometimes you need to format your drive. However, formatting will delete all the data on your hard drive. Therefore, you had better back up the hard drive before formatting it.

And, here we suggest you use MiniTool ShadowMaker, which can help to easily back up files, the Windows OSs, partitions, or entire disks.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

3. Use professional data recovery software.

When you accidentally formatted your drive without a backup file. You need to choose a reliable and read-only data restore solution like MiniTool Power Data Recovery to get lost data back.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe


After seeing the introduction above, you should know how to undo a formatted hard drive and how to format or wipe a partition by using MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Should you have any questions about undo quick format, please leave your comments in the comment area or directly send an email to [email protected]. Much appreciated!

Undo Quick Format FAQ

What if I mistakenly format my hard drive?

After formatting a drive by mistake, you need to stop using it immediately. Then choose professional data restore tool to retrieve the missing data from it.

Is it possible to recover files after formatting a drive?

Yes. As long as the data is not overwritten by new data, you have a chance to restore them.

How do I undo a file format?
  1. Download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on your PC.
  2. Launch this data recovery software.
  3. Select the partition that should contain lost data and click the Scan button.
  4. Check all needed files and save them to an appropriate location.

What is the quick format?

You can see an option called Quick Format when you try to format a drive in File Explorer. The quick format will only delete files from the partition and rebuild the file system, volume label, and cluster size, and then lay a new file system on it. It will not scan the disk for bad sectors.

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