As a computer user, one of the worst tragedy you could face is losing a very important file. Unfortunately, you may not be able to stop this from happening even if you’re the careful type of user. Sometimes, we delete files thinking we no longer need them since they’ve already served their purpose. Other times, losing files could be as a result of a crashed hard disk

Fortunately, there are several ways through which you might be able to recover a deleted file. It should be emphasized that there’s no 100% guarantee you would be able to recover a deleted file, but one of the following methods listed in this article should work for you hopefully.

Check the Recycle Bin/Trash First

This is a no-brainer and it should be the first thing to do if you’re trying to recover a deleted file. Depending on the settings of your Recyble Bin (Windows) or Trash (macOS), there’s a chance the deleted file is waiting in the trash to be restored.

If you’ve already checked the option to empty your Recycle Bin or Trash after 30 and it’s past 30 days since you deleted the file, you probably won’t find the file there. Also, if the deleted file is too large, it probably won’t be there however, this should be the first step.

Do You Have Any Local backup?

If you’re trying to recover a deleted file on macOS and you enabled Time Machine, you might want to plug in your external hard drive and check if the file made it in the last backup you did. Although a lot of users fail to take backup seriously until something terrible happens, this is still worth mentioning.

I have a 1TB local hard drive I plug in occasionally to my machine for backup purpose. Even if I lose a file, chances are that it’s sitting on that external hard drive.

If you’re on Windows, you have File History and Backup & restore to turn to. But then, these options are useless if you didn’t enable them in the first place.

Got Your Backup in the Cloud?

If you use macOS, there’s a chance your deleted file was uploaded to iCloud drive before you got rid of it locally. You might want to check iCloud drive to know if it’s there. For Windows users, you might be in luck if you’ve enabled OneDrive.

Unfortunately, this method too is only applicable if you’ve previously enabled cloud sync. If you didn’t do it in the first place, the only option you have left is using a file recovery tool.

Consider Using a File Recovery Tool

If all the methods listed above didn’t work for you, this should. Even if you’ve emptied your recycle bin and you don’t have a backup locally or in the cloud, using a file recovery tool should get your deleted files back Often leading brands of data recovery software offer a free trial so you can assess the effectiveness of the recovery before committing to purchasing it.

There are several tools for this purpose. One of those we’ve tested on this blog is Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery which works great. There are also several alternatives like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, iSkysoft Data Recovery and more.

Make Sure it Never Happens Again!

Well, this isn’t particularly a way to recover deleted files, but a way to prevent it and ensure it never happens again. There are several ways to backup files. If you have a hard drive, use it to backup your important files on a regular basis.

And if you don’t like carrying a hard drive around, you can back up to the Cloud. Your Google account comes with 15GB of free space on Google Drive, you Microsoft account comes with 5GB free storage on OneDrive and your Apple account comes with 5GB of free storage on iCloud Drive. Put these to some good use.


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