We all do it every now and then. What is it that we do? Accidentally deleting files that we still need.It may be personal files that have sentimental value, like photos and videos, or work-related files, like presentations and documents, which we need for a presentation in an hour’s time. What happens in some instances is that we press the “DELETE” key without realizing it, a scenario which brings up the deletion confirmation box and we simply click “OK” without even giving a second look as to what we are deleting. In other instances, we may have deliberately deleted files that we thought we no longer needed, only to realize later on that they are still important. Then there are times when files seem to mysteriously disappear. I have had that happen to me many times and I was completely dumbfounded as to where they could have gone. I don’t ever remember deleting them and checking the Recycle Bin yielded no clues as to their whereabouts. So, the obvious question at this point would be: “how can I recover my deleted files?’

This article will pinpoint several ways in which deleted files can be recovered. The methods used range from being free and easy to maybe costing you a few dollars and being a bit more technical. In either case, achieving the recovery of your deleted files is the ultimate result of using the methods stated below.

1. Check Your Recycle Bin


The truth be told, around 98% of the time that files are found to have been deleted they end up in the operating system’s recycle bin. That, of course, is good news because it means that the files can be easily recovered, at no cost to you.Go to your computer’s desktop and double-click on “Recycle Bin.” Provided that you did not empty the bin, all your deleted files should be there. You may have to do a bit of searching to find the files you want to recover, but listing them by name makes the task that much easier. Once you have located the files you want to recover, highlight all of them by holding down the “Ctrl” key and left-clicking each of them one by one. Then release the “Ctrl” key and right click on any of the highlighted files and select the “Recover” option. Your files will be restored to their original location on your PC.

2. Recover Data from Backups

 Another easy way of recovering deleted files, especially if the recycle bin has already been cleared, is by drawing for backups that you made of your files. More and more persons are coming to the realization that having backups of their files saves a lot of time and money. In fact, a 2015 survey by Kroll On track showed that 71% of the respondents backed up their data either daily or weekly. Backups can exists onsite, like on an external hard drive or local server, or offsite, like in the cloud on Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive, or on a personal remote server. All you need to do is access the backup device that you have and copy the deleted files back to your computer. It’s that simple! If you do not have backups of your files in another location, then this step obviously does not apply to you. Just make sure that you learn from this incident and create backups next time round.


3. Use Data Recovery Software

Data recovery software come in very handy when your files are absolutely nowhere to be found on your computer, not even in the recycle bin. In the case of the recycle bin, once it has been cleaned, your files are gone from physical view, making it impossible to restore files from it.According to Computer Fixperts, there is a wide range of data recovery software available online from which you can choose to recover your files. They include prominent ones Pandora File Recovery, Recuva, and Undelete360. These software have their own specialties that differentiate them to an extent, but they all serve the same purpose of helping you to recover your deleted files.

Some of the software are freeware while others are shareware. Most shareware data recovery software offer a free trial so that you can test them before making a purchase. Freeware software can be just as powerful as shareware software, but you would have to try more than one to see which one performs the best for you. I personally try at least two freeware data recovery software when I need to recover files seeing that I have realized that there is a little difference in what each is able to recover. In any case, I am generally able to recover the files I need. Even if you end up spending a few dollars on the software, recovering your files is the important thing after all. 

4. Hire a Data Recovery Service Provider

Many people incorrectly associate data recovery service providers with crashed/failed hard drive data recovery only. Far from that, they have the ability to recover deleted files from your fully working hard drive. Remember that the principle is the same:


  • With a failed hard drive, they have to make it operable, using whatever means they deem necessary, so that they can retrieve your files.
  • With a working hard drive, accessing the hard drive is a lot easier since they do not have to go through the process of making the drive operable before attempting to recover files.

You must bear in mind that data recovery services may end up costing you a few hundred dollars, or thousands of dollars in extreme cases. The longer it takes to find your files is the more it will cost you. After all, time is money! So be prepared to fork out some cash to pay them when they are finished. Data recovery companies that you can check out include Drive Savers, Salvage Data Recovery Inc., and ACS Data Recovery. The prices they charge vary, so make sure to check them all out before deciding on the one you want to hire for the job. As with anything in life, there are no guarantees that you will be able to get back all the files that you want, so keep that in mind when you decide to use a data recovery service.

Final Thoughts

Recovering deleted files can be easier than you think. From simply checking the recycle bin on your computer to using data recovery software, you have the ability to recover your files within minutes. The more costly avenue of hiring a data recovery company to do it for you should be the last resort due to the fact that it can be a very expensive venture. Whichever way you decide to recover your deleted files will be based on how badly you need them back. I would advise you to weigh the pros and cons before deciding which route you will take.