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How to Restore Deleted Files: 3 Safe DIY Methods

Before proceeding directly to the restoration of erased data, it is important to figure out how the deletion itself happens.

Whenever you trash digital files or even remove them permanently via Shift+Delete combination, it doesn’t immediately erase them from your computer. Instead, the system hides the data by removing its file directory and marks the space as free for use. This means that the information is held on your hard disk (or USB drive, smartphone, media card, etc) until that space gets occupied with new files.

At this point, you are able to quickly get the erased data back by rebuilding the file directory. However, the information can become unrestorable. Every action (downloading, moving, or changing files) on the drive you’re trying to retrieve deleted data from can get them overwritten. 

Thus, remember to immediately stop using your computer, or other external memory storage devices. Especially if you’re using a hard disk, memory card, or USB drive with limited free space, you can increase the chance of a successful recovery just by not using the device until after restoration.

How to Restore Deleted Data

Depending on the way your files were deleted, there are several ways that might help you restore it. These are the top three methods recommended by data recovery experts:

Professional Data Recovery Software

In case you’d like to get the exact copy of the erased files, consider using third-party data recovery programs. SalvageData Recovery Tool is an easy-in-use data recovery software that was developed for you to find, retrieve, and restore lost or corrupted data from the comfort of your home.

In addition, SalvageData Recovery Tool offers three advanced features, namely:

  • Data Recovery: Restore deleted files, corrupted data, and missing partitions.
  • Image and Clone: View lost files, create a clone, and perform full data recovery.
  • Drive Wipe: Organize and delete partitions, manage data capability, and perform a full disk cleanup.

All in all, it utilizes advanced algorithms of thoroughly scanning each storage partition of a physical hard disk, so that all you have to do is to seek and restore your lost files. The full version of the tool is free and available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux devices.

Recover from the Previous Version

In case the Recycle Bin is emptied, you can try to recover an older version of the erased or lost file by using Windows’s built-in feature.

In Windows 10/8.1/8

Step 1. Open the folder that used to contain the erased file, then click the “History” button.

Step 2. Check the files contained in the most recent backup of that folder.

Step 3. Click the “Previous” button to find and select the file you need to retrieve, and click the “Restore” button to get it back.

In Windows 7

Step 1. Click the “Start” button, choose the “Computer” tab, navigate to the folder that used to contain the lost file or folder.

Step 2. Right-click the folder, then select “Restore previous versions”.

Step 3. From the list of available previous versions of the deleted files or folders, choose the one you want, then click “Restore” to recover the erased files.

Restore from Recycle Bin

Finally, if you simply deleted files by moving them to the Recycle Bin and haven’t emptied it yet, you can easily get them back.

Step 1.
Open the Recycle Bin, select and right-click the needed files, and choose “Restore”.

Step 2. Once your files are recovered and replaced in their original location, you can copy them to other drives as you like.

Hardware Failure and Other Cases

Recovering mistakenly deleted files is fundamentally different from that of data loss cases occurring due to hardware failure, physical damage to the storage device, or system errors. 

Remember: if your data has been erased or corrupted as a result of any of the mentioned reasons, attempts to retrieve the lost information yourself may lead to
all the data being rendered unrecoverable

In view of this, be sure to assess the value of the lost information first before trying DIY data recovery methods, or software you’ve found on the internet. Don’t put crucial data at risk, whether you need to recover important work-related documents, or precious photo archives, etc.

At SalvageData recovery lab, we use professional certified ISO cleanroom and proprietary software to make sure your files are retrieved successfully, which is proven by our 96% success rate of solved data loss cases. With over 10 years of expertise in the field, we’re not afraid to take up the most complicated cases that other recovery labs might claim to be unrestorable. So, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more details, or visit one of our offices for a free consultation!