How Do I Get My Lost or Deleted File? Help!

Microsoft has added a lot of fail-safes to Windows so that we don’t lose files. The best known is the Recycle Bin of course. That is where all of the files that we delete usually end up when we delete them. They sit in the Recycle Bin until we empty it. That way if we have accidentally deleted an important file or directory we can still go get it back.

That’s all well in good on paper and if you live in a perfect world. Obviously we don’t live in a perfect world or I wouldn’t be here writing this and you wouldn’t be out trying to figure out how to get lost or deleted files back. Luckily others don’t live in a perfect world either like those that wrote the program Recuva that’s hopefully going to save your day.

First Things First: Have You Tried Windows Restore Previous Versions

First things first and that is trying the steps that come before Recuva. Windows also has a feature called “Restore previous versions”. To use the Restore previous versions ability in Windows follow these steps:

Restore Previous Versions

  • Open Windows File Explorer
  • Highlight the Drive the Files Were On By Clicking On It
  • Right Click On The Drive
  • Click On Restore previous versions In Context Menu
  • Click On The Version Your Files Should Be On
  • Click Open
  • Locate Your Files and Highlight Them
  • Click the Restore Button at Bottom

This is just a quick list of actions to restore any available previous version of your deleted directory or files. If the files you are looking for are available for restoring then the world is right again and you can go back to your regularly schedule program. If they aren’t then we are going to have to move forward to the next step in the world of lost file recovery.

There Are No Previous Version Available So What Now

So there are no previous versions available so what do you do now? Fortunately programs like Recuva give you the chance to get back files even after you have formatted a hard drive or Re-Installed Windows over them. There are no guarantees that you will be able to get the files back of course but at least there is a little sparkle of hope knowing that not all is lost just quite yet.

(Pleases Note: As you use the hard drive the lost files are on the chances of file retrieval decrease. The sooner you attempt to find and restore lost files the better your chances of success)

If you haven’t done it already you need to download Recuva. Once you have downloaded the Recuva program run through the installation wizard.

Install Recuva

Once the installation process has completed run Recuva and walk through the wizard in order to have Recuva attempt to locate all available lost files.

Recuva WizardStep 1: Run Recuva

When you press next you will be asked what it is that you are looking for. Keep in mind that this can be a very long process. Narrowing down the what and where can save a lot of time.

File TypeWhat Type of Files to Search For

Once you have chose the file type that you need to find, whether it is a picture, music, or just any file. Click on the next tab.

Search WhereWhere Is The Lost File

The next step is to tell Recuva where to look for the lost file. Any information to decrease the amount of time is a good thing. Depending on the size of your hard drive and the number of files there are/were the search process can take several hours. Remember you can always search again if the information you provide doesn’t come back with a result you need.

Getting ReadyEnable the Deep Scan Feature?

Recuva has a “Deep Scan” feature. This will  really add the time on for how long it takes to complete the scan. The chances for recovery improve with this feature so you may want to seriously taking the time.

Once Recuva has finished looking for the available files your job begins. Everything that has been found will be listed.

Files FoundFiles Found by Recuva Scan

The listed files may not be quite what you expected. They are not necessarily listed out like you see in Windows File Explorer. As much information as possible is listed within the results. This includes a chances of retrieval indicator. Green means that the chances of successfully restoring the file is good and red of course means “uh oh…not likely but…”. Mark the files that you want to attempt to restore and follow the remaining steps in the file recovery wizard.

Preventing a Need for Future File Recovery

Hopefully all of the files that you were attempting to get back have been successfully restored by Recuva.   While tools like Recuva or definitely a Godsend not having  the need to use them in the first place is even better. Using External Hard Drives, Online Backup and Disk Imaging is a great way to make sure that programs like Recuva are never needed. Feel free to click the “Live Chat” button or open a free support ticket to find out more details about these methods of backing up your files.

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Brad is a true PC Helper. Having worked on computers since 1988 he's not only experienced at what he does but puts the computer owner above all else. Owning a computer should be a fun and a safe experience. That is the whole mission of the PC Helper program, taking care of you and your computer.

Author: pchelper

Brad is a true PC Helper. Having worked on computers since 1988 he's not only experienced at what he does but puts the computer owner above all else. Owning a computer should be a fun and a safe experience. That is the whole mission of the PC Helper program, taking care of you and your computer.

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