How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files in Windows.
This happens all the time. You decide to wipe your hard drive, and after three days you can’t find an important file. It’s not in the correct folder or trash, and you don’t have a hard drive backup. You accidentally deleted a file. Now what?
Take a deep breath, open your jaws and relax your shoulders. Whether it’s Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook email or any other file, with our help you can recover accidentally deleted files in Windows.
Increase Your Odds of Recovering Deleted Files
When a file is deleted, it does not disappear. The data remains there until another file overwrites it. There are several things to do once you find that a file has been accidentally deleted to increase the chances of it being restored.
Do not create, copy, move, delete, or edit files. Close all programs, including all programs running on the taskbar. To exit programs in the taskbar, right-click and select Exit, Exit, or Close, if available. Even if you are not actively using the program, it still reads and writes data. Use a different disk to restore the file to. A flash drive will do. Attempting to restore a file to the same drive from which it was deleted reduces the chances of successful recovery.
Is the File Really Deleted?
Ask any IT professional and they will have at least one case where a person thought that a file was deleted, but it was accidentally placed in a different folder. We have articles on how to search File Explorer and find anything in Outlook like a pro.
Use Built-In Microsoft Tools to Recover Deleted Files
Windows and Office already have several tools and methods to help you recover deleted files. Check out the article below that applies to your situation. How to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10 A Complete Guide to Recovering a Corrupted or Corrupted Word FileHow to Recover a Word DocumentHow to Use Excel Auto-Repair and Auto-Backup Features Does Microsoft Windows File Recovery Work? We tested it. Recover Lost Windows Files with Shadow Explorer
If these articles do not cover your situation, there are several other methods for recovering files in Windows and Office.
Recover a Deleted File by Restoring Microsoft OneDrive
If you’re not using OneDrive or any cloud storage, set it up now. Several free cloud storage facilities are available.
If the file was deleted in the last 30 days for personal OneDrive accounts, or in the last 93 days for work or school accounts, restore it from the OneDrive Recycle Bin. For work or school accounts, you might need someone from your IT department to restore OneDrive.
If the OneDrive Recycle Bin has been emptied, you might be able to restore your entire OneDrive to a point in time when the file existed and could be restored. Keep in mind, this restores the entire OneDrive. This way, all your files will be restored to that previous point in time. Any changes or files saved after this point will be lost.
Sign in to OneDrive in a web browser and; select the gear icon and select Options.
On the new page: select Restore OneDrive, select Verify Your Identity.
A new window will open showing the verification method you set up when you set up OneDrive. In this example, this is the backup email address. The recovered email address will be hidden by asterisks. Select an email option.
Then OneDrive will ask you to; Enter your complete recovery email and select Send Code. If it’s a valid backup email, a code will be sent to it.
Check your email for a confirmation code and: Enter it in the new window Enter the code Select Confirm
If the code is correct, the Restore OneDrive page will load. & Nbsp; Select the dropdown list Select a dateChoose how far to go back when restoring OneDrive.
The “Restore OneDrive” page will reload with a more precise definition. Select one of the following options: move the slider to the previous day depending on the activity level on that day; select a specific change event. If the 4th specific event was selected, then events 1, 2 and 3 are included in the recovery.
Then select “Restore” to start the process.
To confirm â€œ do you want to restore OneDrive … “, select” Restore “.
OneDrive will start restoring to the selected point. Recovery time depends on the size of OneDrive. After the restore is complete, select Return to OneDrive to view the accidentally deleted file or folder.
Best Deleted File Recovery Apps
If none of the above methods worked for you, there are several apps that will help. Most data recovery apps have a free option that limits the total size of recoverable files, but this will probably be enough for most people. We’ll share with you some of our favorite file recovery apps and show you how well they worked for us on Windows.
To test them, we deleted a bunch of files including the Word, Excel and Notepad file using Shift + Del. Then we tried to recover them using file recovery apps. Our results may not be proof of how this will work for you. Apps may perform better or worse. There are many factors that can affect their performance. First create a disk image
The applications we are looking at dive deep into the hard drive and its file system. When you find the deleted file you want, you can easily overwrite it. Then it really went away. Use one of the best free hard drive cloning apps to create an image or clone of your hard drive first. Also check out our guide to backup, system images, and recovery for Windows 10.
Ideally, you should already have one or more of these applications installed or saved to a USB drive before you need to restore files. When installing new programs, the remaining data in the deleted file may be overwritten.
You are probably familiar with CCleaner, Recuva‘s sibling. Like CCleaner, Recuva has free and paid versions. It’s also the simplest file recovery application we’ve tested. There is also a portable Recuva option that can be run from a USB stick, so Recuva doesn’t need to be installed on your computer.
The free version is suitable for most situations. It supports recovery of most types of files and most storage media such as memory cards, USB sticks and external drives. The professional version also supports file recovery from virtual hard disks and comes with automatic updates and support. Pretty good for about $ 20. If you feel like Recuva isn’t thorough enough, take a look at Disk Drill.
Recuva has identified deleted test files and thousands of others. Notice the red dot next to the Test Notepad File.txt file. This is Recuva telling us that it is unlikely to restore it. Recuva was able to repair the Word and Excel test files, but not the Notepad file.
Even the free version of Disk Drill displays deleted files on your hard drive incredibly carefully. Disk Drill previews files before recovering them and works with any type of storage media such as hard drives, solid state drives (SSD), USB drives and SD cards.
Disk Drill can also recover files of almost any type. Plus, it is available for Windows and Mac. The free version has limitations, of course. The main limitation is 500 MB for file recovery. The full version costs about $ 90 for a lifetime license. Disk Drill Test
Using the fast scan option on a 1TB drive, Disk Drill finished in seconds and was thorough. It completely recovered deleted documents in one go and also recovered them with intact directory structure. & Nbsp;
Keep in mind that Disk Drill may lock the drive you are recovering from so that it becomes read-only. This is to protect all other deleted files in case you want to recover more. DiskDrill will make the disk writable again at the end of the session.
It’s not just for Windows. TestDisk has versions for Linux, macOS, and legacy Microsoft systems like Windows 98, 95, and even MS-DOS. TestDisk is free and comes bundled with PhotoRec; photo recovery application. Both TestDisk and PhotoRec are portable applications, so they can be run from a USB stick. It is highly respected in the information technology world, as evidenced by its inclusion in almost all LiveCDs, including Hiren’s BootCD, Parted Magic, and Ultimate Boot CD.
The downside for the average person is that TestDisk is used on the command line. There is some learning curve and more damage can be accidentally done if a mistake is made. If you prefer something with a graphical user interface, TestDisk also recommends DiskDrill. TestDisk Test
Although TestDisk runs from the command line, it is easier to use than we thought. Their site has good documentation on how to recover files using TestDisk. TestDisk seemed to list all the files ever deleted from the disk, and we had to flip through them for a long time to find the test files. It was scary how deep the scan was. The names of files deleted in 2011 were shown.
Once the test files were found, TestDisk recovered them completely and quickly, preserving their directory structure. It’s a powerful tool, but not for those in a hurry.
Have You Recovered Your Files?
Now that you’ve restored your files, consider preventing deleting or renaming files to avoid that stress. Let us know if this article or any of our articles helped recover an accidentally deleted file. We would also like to know what are your favorite data recovery apps.
How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files in Windows
How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files in Windows