Recover Deleted Files: Easy Solutions
Accidental data deletion is one of the most common, and at the same time one of the most frustrating, scenarios that hundreds of users around the world come across. In this article, we will look at a few best methods that should help you recover deleted files on your own.
Solution 1: Recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin
Yes, this one is obvious as heck. But while basic interaction with PCs is something completely mundane and intuitive for experienced users, handling a simple task like retrieving deleted file from Recycle Bin may be less evident for people who are hardly familiar with the specifics of different machines or operating systems (bringing greetings to my granny 👋). In an effort to make the tips as clear and relevant as possible for all user groups, we would always begin the instructions with the easiest operations.
Now, first, try to recover deleted files by following these simple steps:
In Windows 10:
Step 1: Once on the desktop, open the Recycle Bin.
Step 2: Find and select the folders or files you need to get back.
Step 3: Double-click the chosen items, then click Restore to recover deleted files.
This option will restore deleted files to their original location. Alternatively, you can Cut-Paste the desired data to save it to the preferred location.
Step 1: Go to the desktop and click on the Trash icon.
Step 2: Find and select the data you need to get back.
Step 3: Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the desired items, then choose Put Back from the dropdown menu to recover deleted files.
The Put Back feature will bring the files back to their original location Alternatively, you can Cut-Paste the desired data to save it to the preferred location.
NB: Unfortunately, the above method won’t help you recover deleted files in case you have already emptied the Recycle Bin, or if the data was erased via the Shift + Delete key combination meant to permanently wipe data from the system… well, almost permanently.
Solution 2: Recover deleted files via recovery utilities
Windows doesn’t shred the file immediately after it has been erased using Shift + Delete or removed from Recycle Bin; instead, the system marks the storage area it occupies as available for writing data, which basically means that the file will remain in the bowels of your computer for some time.
In order to restore deleted files, you can take a gamble and resort to the plethora of third-party recovery software options that can be found on the Internet. However, while the vast majority of these programs use inferior file search and extraction techniques, chances are you will end up with overwritten data, i.e., impossible to retrieve even in a professional data recovery lab environment. On top of that, many of the free products come bundled with hidden malware (there’s a reason why these utilities remain free, right?), which makes them not only useless in terms of recovering deleted files, but also potentially dangerous for the rest of the data stored on your PC.
We recommend that you only recover deleted files using this method if the information you want to regain access to is not critical; otherwise, it is best to seek professional help.
Solution 3: Recover deleted files using File History
If the file you need is not in the Recycle Bin, and you don’t feel like taking the potential risks that third-party software might involve, you can attempt to recover an older version of a lost or deleted file by using the built-in Backup and Restore Windows feature.
In Windows 11/10/8.1/8:
Step 1: Open Control Panel and browse to File History (or simply type “file history” in the Search box for quick navigation).
Step 2: Click on Recover personal files option on the left to view data as per the backup time.
If there are several backup versions available, you can easily switch between them by clicking the left and right arrows at the bottom of the window to choose the one you’d like to recover deleted files from. You can also use the search box to quickly browse for specific files.
Step 3: Select the desired items you need to get back.
Step 4: Hit the green button to recover deleted files to the original location, or right-click on it and specify the desired destination by choosing Restore to.
NB: Be sure to use an external drive or media to retain the extracted files to prevent the data from becoming overwritten.
Also, you might encounter a naming conflict when retrieving deleted file; if this happens, just choose a suitable option — “Replace the File in the Destination Folder”, “Skip This File”, or “Compare Info for Both Files” — in the dialogue window, depending on your needs.
In Windows 7:
Step 1: Click on the Start and select the Computer tab. Navigate to the folder that used to comprise the file that you need to bring back.
Step 2: Right-click the folder and choose the Restore previous versions option from the context menu.
Step 3: In the window that opens, you’ll see a list of available backup versions with different dates and times. Just select the desired option, then hit Restore to recover deleted files.
Solution 4: Digging through the mailbox
It may happen that among all the missing files and folders you need only one particular piece of information, like an important working presentation, a precious photo archive, or any other valuable data that has been accidentally erased. This is where the messenger chat history and cloud storage services may come to the rescue!
Try to remember if you have emailed the file to anyone, like a friend or coworker? Or, perhaps, you have shared it before through your favorite cloud-based storage service like DropBox, iCloud, or Google Drive? If so, you might be able to get a copy of the file you need from there. Again, even if you lose the most recent changes — it’s better than nothing.
Solution 5: Professional data recovery lab
It is important to understand that between accidental file deletion and data corruption caused by physical damage to the disk, hardware failure, or severe logical errors occurring in the file system, there are fundamentally different scenarios for data loss. If you inadvertently wiped an important folder, report, document, or any other data — and that nuisance was noticed on time — the odds you can successfully recover deleted files on your own are fairly high.
At the same time, if data gets lost, corrupted or degraded due to a mechanical component failure (in HDDs), as a result of power surge (for SSDs), physical damage or multiple system errors, it’s a sure sign that the drive is on the verge of collapse. If you continue to perform operations and run utilities on the failed device in an attempt to recover deleted files, you are most likely to end up with a complete loss of data.
Salvagedata offers an extensive and entirely free examination of your drive, regardless of the make, type of the storage technology, complexity of the case or the amount of data to be reclaimed. If the recovery tools proved useless (or you chose to refrain from this option in favor of protecting your vital data), the latest backup doesn’t contain the desired files, and you still don’t know how to recover deleted files safely and in full — turning to a credible data recovery company would be your best bet. With over twenty years of experience under their belt, our highly trained engineers can quickly and accurately pinpoint the problem causing data loss and recover deleted files in no time.
Delivering professional data recovery services throughout the United States to both private users/business owners and government agencies, at SalvageData we utilize certified ISO Cleanrooms and adhere to the most demanding data security standards, which allows us to guarantee maximum confidentiality as we recover deleted files.