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How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files

Accidentally deleting important files can be a distressing experience. Whether it’s a crucial document, cherished photos, or vital work-related data, losing files can have serious consequences. However, the good news is that in many cases, deleted files can be recovered. In this post, we will explore various methods and tools you can use to recover accidentally deleted files. Acting quickly and utilizing the available options can significantly increase the chances of successful file recovery.

Losing files due to accidental deletion can happen to anyone. It may occur when you mistakenly delete files or empty the Recycle Bin or Trash without realizing the files within are still needed. The first step towards file recovery is understanding the importance of acting promptly. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of the deleted files being overwritten by new data, making recovery more challenging. Therefore, it’s crucial to take immediate action to increase the likelihood of successful file restoration.

Checking the Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (macOS) is a temporary storage location for deleted files. Before exploring other recovery methods, it’s important to check these folders. Here’s how you can do it on different operating systems:

  1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop.
  2. Browse through the list of deleted files.
  3. Right-click on the file you want to restore and select “Restore” to return it to its original location.


  1. Open the Trash by clicking on its icon in the Dock.
  2. Locate the deleted file you want to recover.
  3. Right-click on the file and select “Put Back” to restore it to its original location.


Having reliable backups is essential for preventing permanent file loss. Regularly backing up your files ensures that you have an additional copy in case of accidental deletion or other data loss scenarios. Here are some common methods for file backup:

  1. Cloud Backups: Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive offer cloud storage with automatic file syncing. Storing your files in the cloud provides an off-site backup solution that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
  2. External Hard Drives: Using external hard drives or USB flash drives is a popular method for creating backups. Connect the drive to your computer and copy important files onto it periodically.
  3. Network Attached Storage (NAS): NAS devices allow you to create a centralized storage system accessible to multiple devices on a local network. This solution is useful for businesses or households with multiple computers.

Restoring files from a backup depends on the specific backup method used. Typically, you would access the backup location, locate the desired files, and copy them back to their original or desired location.

Data Recovery Software

When other options fail, data recovery software can often save the day. These tools are designed to scan storage devices for deleted files and offer options for recovery. Here’s an overview of data recovery software and recommendations for popular and reliable options:

Introduction to Data Recovery Tools

Data recovery software uses advanced algorithms to scan storage devices and identify recoverable files based on their remnants. These tools can often retrieve files even after they have been deleted or the storage device has been formatted.

Recommended Data Recovery Software

  1. Recuva: Recuva is a user-friendly and effective data recovery tool for Windows. It supports various file formats and can recover files from hard drives, external drives, and memory cards.
  2. Disk Drill: Disk Drill is available for both Windows and macOS and offers a range of data recovery features. It can recover files from various storage devices and supports multiple file systems.
  3. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard: This software is compatible with both Windows and macOS. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can recover files from different storage media, including hard drives, SSDs, USB drives, and memory cards.

Steps to Use Data Recovery Software

  1. Download and install the chosen data recovery software.
  2. Launch the software and select the storage device where the files were deleted.
  3. Start the scan and wait for the software to analyze the device.
  4. Once the scan is complete, browse the recoverable files and select the ones you wish to restore.
  5. Choose a new location to save the recovered files to, preferably on a different storage device to avoid overwriting data.

Additional Tips

In addition to the methods mentioned above, here are some additional tips to consider when dealing with accidentally deleted files:

  1. Do’s and Don’ts: Do not save or install new files on the storage device from which you want to recover files. This minimizes the risk of overwriting the deleted data. Instead, perform the recovery process on a separate device if possible.
  2. Data Overwrite: Be aware that when files are deleted, only the references to the data are removed, not the data itself. Avoid using data recovery software on the same drive or partition from which files were deleted to prevent potential data overwriting.
  3. Regular Backups: Implement a regular backup routine to ensure your files are protected. Set up automated backups or establish a manual backup schedule to avoid losing important data.
  4. File Organization: Keeping your files organized can simplify the recovery process. Arrange files into logical folders and use clear file naming conventions. This makes it easier to locate and recover specific files when needed.

Accidentally deleting files is a common mistake that can lead to significant data loss. However, taking swift action and utilizing the available options for file recovery can often retrieve lost data successfully. Remember the importance of checking the Recycle Bin or Trash first, maintaining regular backups, and employing data recovery software when necessary. By following these steps and being cautious with file management, you can minimize the risk of permanent file loss and ensure the safety of your important data.