You accidentally press the delete button on an important file and suddenly your heart sinks as you realize that you had just spent all week working on it. While it is very easy to panic in these situations, there is actually a pretty good chance that you can still recover the file. Continue reading the steps below to find out how to recover deleted files.
First you need to understand how files get deleted
Many people make the mistake of thinking that erased data gets completely removed from a computer hard drive. However, whenever a file is deleted, all that happens is that the operating system marks the space that the file once occupied as free space so that new data can overwrite it.
It may not have been permanently deleted. Check your recycle bin.
If you delete a file accidentally, then you can first start searching for it by checking your Recycle Bin. If you locate the file you need, drag it to an appropriate folder to recover it. If that does not work then go to your Start Menu, go to the Control Panel and click on System. From there, you need to do a System Restore to an earlier date as this may help to bring back the file you need.
However, if the file is not in the recycle bin then it may have been shift+deleted (permanently deleted). In this case you will need the help of a recovery software.
So what are your chances of recovering a permanently detailed file
The second you delete an important document, you need to stop using your computer alltogether. The reason for this is that every time you make changes on a computer either to save or edit a file, the computer writes information to your hard drive which could overwrite the space for the file you are trying to recover. If this happens then your chances of recovering the deleted file are greatly reduced.
Using software to recover needed files
It may seem like all hope of recovering your deleted file is lost. Fortunately you can make use of third party softwares. For Windows users, some programs that you can use include Undelete Plus, Restoration and Recuva. There are other programs available but these are perhaps the most user-friendly and offer various options to make recovering deleted files much easier.
These tools essentially scan your hard drive for lost files. Once you find the deleted file that you need, simply save it somewhere you know you can find it again. If this still does not work, then try again with a different program.
Preventing this from happening again by backing up frequently
Now that you have successfully recovered the file, you need to ensure that this problem does not happen again. Make sure to use an external hard drive and back up your data at least once a week. You may even want to consider investing in a cloud storage service which keeps your data online (and can be accessed from anywhere) although you may need to pay for these services.
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