Important Lesson: How to Recover Deleted Files

by | Jun 30, 2014 | Business Continuity

It could save your bacon to learn how to recover deleted files

A file that has been deleted accidentally or on purpose isn’t gone forever.  It only seems that way because there’s nothing to retrieve it on the surface.  With the right equipment, you can retrieve a lost file.  Learn how to recover deleted files.

The most common way is to search the recycle bin.  When a file is deleted, the first place it goes to is the recycle bin.  The recycle bin is automatically listed as an icon on the desktop.  The trashcan-shaped icon stores all “deleted” files for permanent deletion.  Click on Restore file at the top of the dialog box or right click on the chosen document and click “restore.”  Pressing delete from the recycle bin makes the file disappear from the computer.

Is it the end of the world if the file was accidentally deleted in the recycle bin?  Far from it.  The next place to look is through storage media.  Flash USB drives, external hard drives, SIM cards and cloud storage are places where you backup a file in case of accidental deletion, accidental revisions or deleted on purpose and regret the choice later.  However, you will get the most recent file.  Any changes made since this copy will have to be corrected manually.

Let’s say you didn’t backup your file.  There is free software out there to retrieve your information called data recovery software.  Recuva, Wise Data Recovery and Glary Undelete are great examples.  All require that you stop using your computer immediately after deleting the file for the best chance of recovery.  Otherwise, the new information will override the old.  Double click on the free program.  Let the program scan for deleted files.  Search for the file by name, by location and other filters.  Retrieve the file.  It returns to you using another source different from where it was stored.  Recovering it to the same area may damage the recovered file.  Paid file recovery software does the same trick.  It costs more because it has more features, but the free ones are just as good.

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If all else fails contact a professional.  It’s going to cost money to retrieve your file but the cost will be worth it.  Professionals have their own tricks for recovering a file.  However, the best chance of retrieving a file is not working on the computer after the deletion.

Delete is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  Any lost file can be found again with these steps.  Contact us for more information.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.