It can be very annoying when you accidentally delete an important file and suddenly realize that you need it back. Well, you’ll be happy to know that there are many ways to recover a deleted file. In this post, we’ll provide you a quick guide explaining how to get a deleted file back. Let’s have a look.
Ways to Recover a Deleted File
Check the Windows Recycle Bin
In Windows, you need to open the Recycle Bin and look for the file you’ve deleted. You can use the search box in the top-right corner of the window to search for the Recycle Bin. You can also right-click on the window, and navigate to Sort By > Date Deleted to view the most recently deleted files.
Please note that the programs like CCleaner will empty your Recycle Bin while running them, so running CCleaner or other similar programs in the background may prevent you from recovering files from the Recycle Bin.
In case the file is stored in a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, make sure to log into your account on the service’s website and check your trash. You may find that the file is still recoverable. This is the cloud storage version of the Recycle Bin.
If you are not sure whether the file has been deleted, you can use the search box in Windows Explorer or the File Explorer window to perform a search.
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Check Your Backups
If you have a backup, it’s the time to check the copy of the file you’ve deleted. And if you don’t have a backup, you really maintain the regular backups of your important documents. Fortunately, Windows includes a number of built-in backup tools you can use to make sure your files are properly backed up and to recover your computer. File History tool is the primary backup tool in Windows 8 and 10. It offers not just complete backups, but also a way to restore previous file versions.
Magnetic Hard Drives vs. Solid-state Drives
If you’ve haven’t managed to restore your file yet, the only way to get that deleted file back is using the file-recovery software. However, this technique may not be possible on some computers.
Traditional magnetic hard drives and solid-state drives work differently. When you delete a file on a magnetic hard drive, its data isn’t immediately erased from the disk. When a file is deleted from a solid-state drive, it is immediately erased with the TRIM command to free up space and make sure that it can be quickly written to the SSD in future. It means that you can’t restore the data deleted from solid-state drives. Some old solid-state drives and old operating systems like Windows Vista don’t support TRIM, but advanced solid-state drives and Windows 7 to 10 support TRIM.
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Safest Way to Recover a Deleted File
If you continue using the computer even if you’re just installing file-recovery software, it’s possible that a program on your system may be written to disk and the data may overwrite the data of the deleted files on your hard disk.
Once you turned off your computer, you should either restore the live CD from the file or the USB drive to start or completely remove the hard drive from the PC and place it on another PC as a secondary drive. The key is to avoid writing the drive completely. You can use the file-recovery software to scan the drive and hope that you’ll find the deleted file. On the other hand, if you’ve recently deleted the file and haven’t written much to the drive, you have a fairly good chance of recovering it.
Fastest Way to Recover a Deleted File
Just install a file-recovery tool such as Recuva from the manufacturers of popular CCleaner applications. You can use the application to scan your hard drive to delete files and restore the ones you want back.
This is quite risky as it involves writing to the drive. Once you’ve installed a tool like Recuva on a drive, it’s possible that you can overwrite the deleted file’s data with the Recuva program data. It’s also possible that other programs running in the background may write to disk and overwrite the data. All it takes is for a portion of the file to be overwritten and consequently, the file may become completely corrupt.
Professional Data Recovery
You can power off the computer immediately if it’s not already off. The longer the computer runs, the more data will be written to its hard drive and the less chance you’ll have to recover your data.
The professional data recovery services deal with everything from deleted and overwritten files to hard drives that need to be repaired. As these services can be quite costly so they’re not the ideal solutions. However, if you have very important data that you can’t recover or replace and you’re willing to pay up, this is an option available to you. Of course, these services can’t guarantee anything, they may be unable to recover your data.
Avoiding Deleted File Scares
One of the best ways to make sure you’ll never have to recover a deleted file is to perform regular backups. Even just enabling the File History or Windows Backup functionality in your Windows version will give you some peace of mind. It’s still possible for a file to be deleted but if you are performing regular backups, you won’t lose much data.
Deleted files are not necessarily gone forever but they are not always easy to recover. As solid-state drives are used in new systems, proper backup processes are becoming even more important.
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