Losing important files from your computer can be distressing. Fortunately, there are proven methods to recover permanently deleted files from your PC. In this article, we will be looking at eight proven ways to recover permanently deleted files from your PC.
Whether you accidentally deleted files or they were erased due to a system malfunction, these methods will help you retrieve your valuable information.
1. Check the Recycle Bin
Let’s start with the simplest method: checking the recycle bin. When you delete a file, it often goes to the recycle bin first. You just have to double-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop, locate the file you want to recover, right-click on it, and choose “Restore.” The file will be returned to its original location.
2. Use File History (Windows)
If you are a Windows user and have turned on File History, you have an excellent chance of recovering deleted files. File History creates automatic backups of your files on an external drive or network location.
To retrieve a deleted file, open the folder where it was originally saved, right-click, and choose “Restore previous versions.” Look for the desired file in the list of available versions, select it, and click “Restore.”
3. Use Time Machine (Mac)
For Mac users, Time Machine is a powerful tool for recovering deleted files. Time Machine automatically backs up your files to an external drive, allowing you to restore previous versions of your data. Simply open the folder where the deleted file was located, enter Time Machine, and navigate through the timeline to find the desired file. Once located, click “Restore” to recover it.
4. Employ Data Recovery Software
If the above methods don’t yield the desired results, don’t worry. Data recovery software can be a lifesaver. Numerous user-friendly applications, like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and Recuva, are available online. Download and install one of these programs, follow the instructions provided, and let the software scan your computer for recoverable files. Once the scan is complete, you can preview and restore the files you need.
5. Contact a Professional Data Recovery Service
In cases where your files are extremely valuable or the recovery process seems challenging, it may be best to seek professional help. Data recovery services specialize in retrieving lost data from various storage devices.
They have the expertise and advanced tools to recover even the most challenging cases of permanent file deletion. Research reputable data recovery service providers and consult with them to understand the possibilities and costs involved.
6. Restore From a Previous System Backup
Regularly creating system backups is an effective way to protect your data. If you have a recent backup, you can restore your entire system to its previous state, including the deleted files. Access your backup utility (such as Windows Backup and Restore or Time Machine on Mac) and follow the instructions to restore your system to a previous backup.
Be aware that this method may remove any changes or updates made since the backup was created.
7. Look for Temporary File Copies
When you work on files, your computer often creates temporary copies. These copies can be found in various locations, such as the Temporary Files folder or the system’s temporary storage. Access these locations by typing “%temp%” or “%TMP%” in the File Explorer search bar (for Windows) or by using the “Go to Folder” option (Command+Shift+G) in Finder (for Mac).
Look for files with the same or similar names to the ones you are trying to recover and copy them to a safe location.
8. Check Cloud Storage and Email Attachments
If you frequently use cloud storage services or send files as email attachments, there’s a chance your deleted files may still exist there. Log in to your cloud storage accounts (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive) and check the recycle bin or trash folder. Deleted files are often retained for a certain period before being permanently deleted. If you find the files you need, restore them to your local PC.
Also, check your email attachments for any copies of the deleted files. Many email providers store attachments separately, even after they have been deleted from the email itself. Access your email account, locate the relevant emails, and download the attachments to recover your files.
How to Recover Deleted Files from a Recycle Bin in Windows 10
To recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin on Windows 10:
- Open the Recycle Bin by right-clicking its icon.
- Select Open from the menu to view deleted files.
- Check the box to the left of the filename you want to restore.
- Right-click on a selected file and choose ‘Restore’ to recover the file to its original location on Windows 10.
Recover Permanently Deleted Files from an Older Backup
Follow the process below to recover permanently deleted files from an older backup:
- Open the Start menu.
- Type "backup" and hit Enter on your keyboard.
- Select the
"Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)"option under “Looking for an older backup?”
- Click on the
"Select another backup to restore files from"option and choose your backup.
"Next"and follow the instructions to complete the recovery process.
Lost important files can be difficult to retrieve, but with these eight proven methods, you have a good chance of recovering permanently deleted files from your PC. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of successfully restoring your valuable data.