The headache for PC users is the loss of files: photos, documents and other data. We will not touch on the theory: this practical guide explains the basic principles of file recovery. We hope you can put them into practice.
Let’s consider three main scenarios on how to recover deleted files on a computer:
Programs used during recovery:
Is it always possible to recover deleted files on a computer?
Not always, but in many cases this is entirely possible. Let’s explain.
After deletion, the files remain on the hard drive. In the file table they are assigned a label. “0”. This means that this space is not occupied and can be used to record other information.
Thus, the file is hidden from your eyes, it is only deleted conditionally and can be restored until it is overwritten by other data. (By the way, you can restore files even after overwriting, but there is a risk that they are partially damaged and cannot be returned).
How to assess the chances of recovery after deletion?
The likelihood of file recovery depends on many factors. A checklist looks something like this:
- How to delete. through the Recycle Bin, bypassing it (Shift Del), through the format command
- The time elapsed since the deletion. the further, the higher the risk of overwriting files
- Type of deleted files. some files (images, videos) can be partially restored, others cannot be returned if even one byte of data is lost
- The type of storage device is a hard disk, a RAID array, and more.
- File system type. NTFS / FAT / exFAT, etc.
With a successful combination of circumstances, files can be restored in whole or in part. It is impossible to determine the probability in numbers, but it’s worth a try.
How to recover files from the Recycle Bin
Usually, after deletion (via the Del key), files are sent to the Trash. Trash is a temporary storage, the data is there for 30 days, after which it is automatically deleted. If during this time you change your mind (for example, remember that there are necessary files among the deleted ones), check the contents of the Recycle Bin and restore the files. How to do it:
- Open the Trash through the icon on the desktop or through Explorer
- Select files to restore and use the Restore item in the context menu
- Files will be restored to their original location.
How to recover files if the Recycle Bin is already empty
Even when you empty the Recycle Bin, the files are not permanently deleted. However, you will need additional utilities and time to successfully recover deleted files. Recovery programs work according to one principle: they scan the file system, look for sectors on the computer with the mark “file deleted”.
Note. By installing the program, you will inevitably make changes to the file table, reducing the chances of recovery (depending on the amount of computer information recorded on the hard drive). We recommend installing the resuscitation program on a USB flash drive, another computer, or a disk partition that was not used to store deleted files.
File recovery after formatting
We pass to more “difficult" cases. In particular, after formatting, not only individual files, but the entire partition of the hard disk is subject to change. The result is permanently deleted files.
Is there a chance to recover data on a PC in such a situation?
- After quick formatting. yes
- After full formatting, the chances are minimal
Of the working options, we recommend the Auslogics File Recovery program and this instruction:
What programs will help recover files on your hard drive?
In fact, there are dozens of recovery programs. We do not recommend taking the first one: there is a risk that you will not only not recover your files after deletion, but also spend money for useless functions. We will list the three programs that have been tested and are respected among other users.
Video: Recover Deleted Files From Windows 10 Computer
1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard: advanced file recovery after deletion (in difficult cases)
- Convenience. Data Recovery Wizard is perfectly integrated with the file system and Windows OS. Thanks to the built-in recovery wizard, it’s convenient to work with it.
- Protected Basket. Unlike the standard Recycle Bin, it is possible to store deleted files in it, to recover even after cleaning.
- The solution to complex cases. Recovery of files deleted without the Recycle Bin (via ShiftDelete) after formatting or on HDD partitions with a “raw file system”.
2. Recuva. universal file recovery solution
Recuva is a free and actively developing program for the Windows platform. Restoring files to a computer with its help is very simple, plus it does not require money for basic functions or removing limits. By the way, on Softdroid’s pages we already talked about how to recover a deleted file in Recuva. Read our detailed guide.
We note three main features of this program.
- Simplicity. For the most novice users, Recuva offers to use the wizard to recover deleted files. Here you can specify certain types of files (for example, only photos), choose a place to search, set other parameters for finding deleted information.
- Deep scan. By activating the option, you increase the chances of recovering the deleted file, even if during normal scanning with the help of other recovery utilities nothing could be found.
- Visibility. All found files are marked. Color indicates the probability of recovery: high, medium, low. A quick preview is available for the images found.
3. DiskDrill. recover deleted files on PC and Mac OS X
DiskDrill is a young product in the market for computer recovery software, but good tech support and the community speak of the maturity of the program.
Functionality DiskDrill is suitable for recovering most files stored on a PC: images, music, videos, documents, archives. There is a version of the program not only for Windows, but also for Mac OS. Regardless of the OS, you can recover 100 MB of found files for free (and this is a generous limit).
- Select the type of data to be restored. You can select only those file types that appear in the search results. Attribute filtering and flexible search among recovered files are also available.
- Pause / continue scanning at any time. It is convenient if you have a large capacity HDD / SSD.
- Protection from overwriting. By locking partitions while DiskDrill is running, you will protect your hard drive from overwriting deleted files.
Recovering files on a computer through Hetman Partition Recovery
Hetman Partition Recovery works with existing and deleted files the same way. Therefore, you can view ALL files on your computer through Explorer. HPR works not only with a hard drive, but also a flash drive, CD / DVD and so on.
It is enough to connect the device to the computer, run the program. and go. At the first stage, the utility scans the computer disk for traces of deleted files. Then, if there are results, offers to immediately begin to restore them. Partition Recovery has a preview, so before restoring and saving to a computer, you can examine the files. how much they meet expectations (which is especially true for various multimedia information, for example, photos).
Among other things, Hetman Partition Recovery performs in-depth computer analysis of files located on disk. Scan results are saved in a separate folder. It can be not only whole files, but also partially preserved ones. which is important if valuable information is deleted. If you formatted the hard drive, Partition Recovery is quite suitable for these purposes (which, in fact, is the name of this toolkit).
In an unknown way, the photos from the computer were deleted. I suspect that some kind of virus could have done this. I tried to recover the deleted file using Wise Data Recovery. All files that were found are able to "LOST". As I understand it, they can not be restored? Did the virus gobble them up? Or is it possible to somehow cure these files and still recover?
Answer. See if Wise Data Recovery has a deep scan mode. Probably not. Install other resuscitators. For example, in Recuva there is the possibility of in-depth verification, which increases the chances of recovering deleted files. You can also use PhotoRec to restore photos to your computer. Both recovery utilities are free.