Most computer users have experienced a data loss scenario at one time or another. It can be very unnerving to attempt to locate some important documents only to discover that they are missing. Your first action, if you believe the items were recently deleted, should be to search in the Recycle Bin. Perhaps you can just restore your files from there in a few seconds.
If you have emptied the Recycle Bin or the files you seek are not there, you can still undelete files that were previously removed from the system. Due to the way that Windows handles file deletion, you can recover deleted files even if they are no longer recycled. Until the storage space that a file occupied is overwritten, there is a very good chance that you can rescue your valuable information. This article will show you the best ways to retrieve deleted files.
Table of Contents
- How to Restore Deleted Files Using Disk Drill
- How To Recover Deleted Files Without Software
- Disk Drill Recovery Software vs Native Windows Recovery Methods
- Is There Any Way to Protect Important Files From Accidental Deletion?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Before going through the steps required to have Disk Drill unerase your lost files, let’s look a little more closely at how they are deleted in the first place. Windows simply makes a file logically inaccessible to the operating system and applications when it deleted files or folders. The file still physically exists on the hard disk drive and data recovery software can be employed to restore files that your system can no longer access.
To restore deleted files using Disk Drill data recovery software, follow these steps:
- Download and install Disk Drill for Windows. Don’t use the disk that contained the files you wish to recover.
- Launch the application.
- Select the disk or partition from the list provided by the tool.
- Click the Search for lost data button to start the scanning algorithms that are used to find deleted files.
- Browse the file list that Disk Drill displays to preview the files which can be recovered by the app.
- Select the files to be recovered as well as a new storage location where they will be saved. Do not use the original location to avoid possible file corruption.
- Click the Recover button to recover the deleted data.
That’s all you need to do to recover lost files with this excellent utility. Disk Drill’s advanced Quick and Deep scanning procedures can undo file deletions and recover data that you thought was permanently deleted.
There are some methods of retrieving data that may have been deleted by mistake which do not require the use of a software tool. Depending on when and how the files were deleted, if you have Windows PC, you might be able to recover your files in one of the following ways.
You may be able to extract recently deleted files from your system’s Recycle Bin. It’s always worth a look before going on to more elaborate repair efforts.
Follow these simple steps to manually restore files from the Recycle Bin:
- Open the Recycle bin by double-clicking or right-clicking and selecting Open.
- Choose the file or folder you want to recover.
- Right-click on the files and select Restore.
You might be able to restore a previous version of your file. To try this method, follow these steps:
- Open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the file or folder which contained the files that you wish to recover.
- Right-click and select Restore previous versions from the menu.
- Select the version you wish to recover from the list provided by Windows.
- Click the Restore button to recover your photo.
Another way to undo a file deletion is by using Windows System Restore. Unfortunately, this method will not help you recover a personal document or images that you have created. It is used exclusively to restore your operating system to a previous state. If you are missing system files or experiencing OS problems, you can try to roll back to a previous place in time with System Restore.
To recover system files via System Restore you need to:
- Open Control Panel.
- Click on System and Security.
- In the System and Security window click on System.
- Click on System Protection link.
- Click the System Restore button.
- Select the restore point you want to use.
- Click Next and follow the prompts to start the restore.
Basic Windows Tools
Recover files from an emptied Recycle Bin.
Yes. Disk Drill can restore files and folders after the Recycle Bin has been emptied.
You cannot recover files from an empty Recycle Bin with native Windows tools. You may be able to recover a previous version of the file.
Recover data from a formatted drive or partition.
Yes. Disk Drill can recover files from a formatted drive or partition.
No. Native Windows tools do not allow recovery from a formatted hard drive. System restore may be able to recover some system files from a previous system state.
Recover erased files from external storage.
Yes. Connecting the device to your computer enables Disk Drill to recover its data.
No. Files deleted from external storage often do not make it to the Recycle Bin and will not be recoverable with basic Windows tools.
Recover recently deleted data.
Yes. If they are still found in the Recycle Bin, they are easily recoverable.
There are a number of ways you can help protect your important data from accidental deletion. Here are two of them.
- Backup your computer – This is the best method you can use to protect your data. Making regular backups of your important files and data enable you to recover from data deletion by reverting to a previously backed-up version of the item.
- Label removable storage devices – Preventing accidental deletion can be a problem if you use a large number of flash drives or other removable storage. You may not readily recollect which files are on a particular drive and mistakenly format one so you can use it for another purpose. Meaningful labels can help avoid this issue.
You may be able to recover some or all of your deleted files through methods readily available to all Windows users. This is not always the case though, and data recovery software offers more flexibility in the types of files that can be recovered. Disk Drill provides a comprehensive data recovery tool and can be used to recover up to 500MB of data on a Windows machine for free. Give it a try and see how easy it is to recover from the inevitable data loss situation you are bound to face one of these days.