I accidentally deleted my files, how do I get them back

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Imagine that you are working on a project at work or you have media that you really enjoy on your PC at home. One day you decide to give your PC a clean and start deleting files all over the place. When you sit down to work again you realise that you’ve accidentally deleted a very important file and panic sets in. What do you do?

Today we are going to show you how easy it is to recover files and media from your hard drive. In most cases, your deleted files are recoverable even if you’ve emptied them from the Recycle Bin. Chances are, your data is still somewhere on your PC. You just have to find it.
Before we begin though you will need to understand that while most data is recoverable this may not always be the case.

To understand why, you need to understand how data storage works. Inside of a computer is a hard drive where all data is stored. When a file is deleted that information is not wiped out, but rather tagged with a delete order which lets other applications on your PC know that information can be overwritten. That is why a recovery should be performed as soon as possible to avoid the original data being overwritten completely.


Recovering data from your recycle bin

There are three ways to go about recovering data. The first is pretty simple. Assuming you haven’t emptied your recycle bin since you deleted your file you can simply restore the data from there.

  1. Open your recycle bin. You can find the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop or go to the windows search bar and type in Recycle Bin.
  2. Find the file you want to restore. If you know the name of the file you can type it into the search bar at the top right hand corner of your window.
  3. Right click the file and select Restore.

Ta-da. Your file is back where it belongs and you can continue working on it.


Windows Backups and Shadow Copies


Restore files from a backup

If you are a responsible PC user and you have a backup of your system, you can recover files using your backup state.
To do this you will need to make sure that the drive your backup is saved on is available. If you backed up your system to a portable hard drive then make sure it is plugged in to your computer.

  1. Click the Start button and select the Control Panel, select System and Maintenance, and then click Backup and Restore.
  2. Click Restore my files, and then follow the steps in the wizard.


Restore files from a previous version

Restoring from a previous version or a shadow copy means that you are restoring a copy of the data made by windows at some point in time. This works well for the most part but if Windows hasn’t saved the very latest version yet you may end up with a file that is one or more versions behind the one you deleted.

  1. Click the Start button and select Computer.
  2. Navigate to the folder that contained your data, right-click it and select Restore Previous Versions. If the folder was at the top level of a drive, for example C:\, right-click the drive, and then click Restore previous versions.
  3. You’ll see a list of available previous versions of the file or folder. Before restoring a previous version of a file or folder, select the previous version, and then click Open to view it to make sure it’s the version you want.
  4. Double-click a previous version of the folder that contains the file or folder you want to restore.

The file or folder replaces the current version on your computer, and the replacement can’t be undone.


Download a Data Recover Tool

When all else fails its time to call in some help. Luckily there are many free data recovery apps out there that can help you get your files back. Just be careful of what you download as some software can come with unwanted extras. Tools like Recuva, DiskDigger and iSkysoft Data Recovery are good solutions.


We hope that this helped you recover those all important work files, however, if you are still having problems the friendly DigiWorks support team is more than happy to help you. Head over to our support page for more help.

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