How to Recover Deleted Files on Windows

Did you know that Disney’s Toy 2 Story movie file was accidentally deleted from the official computers and workstations? However, one employee was able to recover the file from her personal computer.

Have you accidentally deleted files from your computer? If so, you are probably wondering how to get them back. Keep reading to learn how you can recover these files.

Check the Recycle Bin

The first place you should go is to your Windows’ Recycle Bin and check for any files. Windows will not delete files if you select a file and press the Delete key (right-click and choose Delete). 

Windows relocates these files to the Recycle Bin. Therefore, you can typically find this icon on your desktop. 

If you find your file, right-click on the file and select restore. If you can’t find the Recycle bin icon, go to the Start menu and go to the search function. Look for ‘Show or Hide’ and then you can see the shortcut settings and check the box by the Recycle Bin.

You can’t always rely on the Recycle Bin because it does have a size limit and will eventually remove older files once it hits that size limit.

Go to the Previous Version

If the file is not in the Recycle Bin, there are other ways to recover it. Windows has a Backup and Restore tool. Your file may be in your Backup area.

Go to Control Panel and search for ‘Backup and Restore.’ It’s in the System and Maintenance area. 

There are two areas—one for Backup and one for Restore. Click on ‘Restore My Files’  if you see that command.

If you don’t see that option, click on ‘Select Another Backup To Restore Files From’ and follow the prompts.

If the files are lost, you may need to look into recovery software. 

File Recovery Modes

There are three recovery modes in Windows File Recovery to recover information.

The default mode uses the Master File Table (MFT) to find files. This file holds the size, time, date, name, and all other details of each file. 

Segment mode doesn’t require the MFT file segments. This is an option if you have more corruption on your computer.

Signature mode only requires the data to be present. Then, it searches for specific file types. 

If you are unsure of the mode to use, you should start with the default mode.

Data Recovery Software for Deleted Files

If you don’t have any luck, there are some data recovery software options. Sometimes you only need a free tool like Recuva or Piriform. Still, other times you may need some more powerful scanning versions or assistance from a third party like data recovery by Data Doctors.

Here are a few free options to check:

  • TestDisk
  • Recuva
  • Minitool Partition Wizard
  • CGSecurity PhotoRec
  • Paragon Rescue Kit
  • Kroll Ontrack EasyRecovery

When you delete a file, it doesn’t disappear completely right away. You will probably need professional assistance if your computer has hard drive issues or was corrupted. 

Looking for More Help?

Deleted files can be scary—all that hard work you put in or the precious memory you lost. But, there are ways to find deleted information.

Remember, it’s always important to back your computer up regularly. In addition, you should store important documents on an external drive or a cloud database for additional backup.

If you want some more advice about computers, keep checking out our Software section.


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