Recover deleted files

15 May How to Recover Deleted Files From Your Computer

When you’ve got a slow laptop or a slow computer, it’s a natural urge to delete a few items in an attempt to clear some space. However, in any cyber spring clean, we’ve all been guilty of being too eager with the delete button. If you’ve accidentally removed some important files, it’s often no hassle to find them again – simply go into your Recycle Bin and recover them from there. But what happens if you’ve already emptied your Recycle Bin? Don’t panic. If you’ve lost something invaluable, there may be a few methods to recover your deleted files.

Do you have online backups or syncing facilities?

There are many cloud-based backup systems out there. If you have a Dropbox account or a Google Drive account, it’s very possible that your file has already been synced to a cloud-based storage facility. If this is the case, you could potentially have multiple versions of your lost file just waiting to be restored. Also try and remember if you previously emailed the file to anyone – because in this case you’ll find the file attached in your email’s Sent Items. It may not be the latest version of your file, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Do you use Windows?

If you can’t find an online copy of your file, it’s not the end of the road just yet. For Windows users (for Windows 8 higher), there’s a tool called File History that you can access from your computer’s Control Panel. If it’s been enabled, past versions of your files will have been regularly copied and backed-up. This may be on an external drive or it may be somewhere on your network. All it would then take would be a simple search to find the right file, and then click ‘restore my files’.

If File History hasn’t been enabled, there may be a few other options available to you (see below). However, take the time right now to set up this programme, to prevent yourself from losing any more valuable files. If you’ve got an older version of Windows, there’s a different system restore function, but it operates in much the same way.

Do you use Mac?

Mac users have a very similar tool to File History, called Time Machine. It can effectively ‘wind the clock back’ on your device – for example, if you dislike a certain software update – or it can keep copies of your important files safely stored away. However, like File History, this is a programme that needs to have already been enabled to work. If you failed to do this in the past, do so now.

Are there any other recovery tools?

Bad news to computer users with solid-state drives: if the above methods of recovery haven’t worked for you, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to retrieve your files. There’s more of a chance for computer users with a regular magnetic platter hard drive though. With drives like these, the files aren’t truly lost until it’s been physically overwritten with new data. You’ll need to download additional software to retrieve these files, so do an online search for ‘file recovery magnetic platter hard drive’. As ever when downloading programmes, read the reviews and be secure online. You don’t want to have to add ‘virus removal’ to your list of things to do!

It’s always incredibly disheartening when you lose your digital files. To prevent such headaches in the future, you’ll want to consider backing-up your work as part of your daily routine. This can be done remotely, with a USB stick or a portable drive, on it can be done online with cloud-based storage facilities. Your Microsoft account may already be linked to Microsoft OneDrive, for example, and just needs a few clicks to activate it. As the old saying goes, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, and just a few clicks once a day will prevent you from tearing out your hair later down the line.

If you’ve lost your data and you don’t know what to do, contact us here at BreezeTech. We can’t perform miracles, but we can offer friendly and professional advice, and hopefully your files aren’t gone forever.

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