Fix: “This folder is empty” on a USB drive on Windows 10 & 11

Learn what to do when you see “This folder is empty” when opening a USB flash drive or external hard drive on Windows 10 or 11.


1. Click on the Windows start menu button Windows icon.

2. Type cmd. You can also type cmd directly in the Windows search bar.

3. Right-click on Command Prompt when it appears in the search results.

4. Click on Run as administrator

Open Command Prompt ad administrator

5. Enter the following command:

attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*

Note: Replace the letter f with the drive letter of your USB device.

Fix This folder is empty problem in Windows

To find out the drive letter of a USB device; open File Explorer (Windows Explorer), click on This PC, under Devices and drives, you will see the drive letter (e.g., (E:), (F:), etc.) next to the name of the USB device.

USB drive letter

6. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.

7. Close the “Command Prompt” window.

8. Check if your USB device is displaying files.