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Everybody is at least once in their lifetime troubled by losing relevant data on a hard drive. It happens with most of us that after deleting an important file; we realize the gravity of the situation. Since our devices contain important files like projects, thesis, personal data, business documents and presentations that we can’t afford to lose. But we are glad to inform you that there are several ways to recover deleted files, even after emptying the recycle bin. Therefore, you can either seek help from windows built-in tool, data recovery applications or even professional help to retrieve your data. With the help of this article, let’s try to learn some useful ways to manage this task.

Frequently asked questions related to this situation:

Can you recover deleted files?

Yes, it is 100% possible to recover deleted files. For that, you need to be aware of some helpful tips that might help you successfully recover the deleted data. The first thing to do when data loss takes place is to stop using your computer. Yes, you read it correctly, don’t panic and start trying out anything and everything you know. Just stop whatever you were doing on the computer or other external memory storage devices. 

The logic behind this- when you delete a file (right-click + delete), the system hides the file by removing the said file directory and creating more space for use. So, you can quickly retrieve the file by rebuilding the said directory. But if you keep on using your computer, you’re likely to overwrite on previously deleted files. With that, you lose your successful data recovery plan. Things can be much tricky if your hard drive, memory card or USB is running short on space. 

Where do deleted files go? 

There are two scenarios to understand this situation: 

You deleted a file or folder by clicking on the delete key or directly dropping the files into the recycle bin. Well, the wonderful news is such files have a higher chance of recovery. But there are situations in which files can bypass the recycle bin altogether. For instance, when you choose to delete a file permanently or files that are too large for the recycle bin don’t end up there. The basic advice remains the same- stop using your computer and initiate the recovery process ASAP. 

Four proven ways to retrieve deleted files:

  • Method1: file recovery from the recycle bin.

When you simply delete the files by moving them to the recycle bin, you can easily retrieve them back by choosing the restoration option. Ultimately, this will recover the deleted files back to their original location. After that, you can place them in whichever drive you want. 

  • Method2: file recovery from the previous version.

If things go astray and you have even emptied the recycle bin, then you can recover the files by restoring the device to an older version. You can do this by simply using the free backup option and restore feature built into Windows. When you opt for `Restore previous versions’, there will be a list of available previous versions with the now deleted file at different times and dates. Choose to restore the version you want to recover your files from. 

  • Method3: file recovery with file recovery software:

If you want to get the deleted file back without having to do many efforts, then this is the easiest, albeit a bit riskier solution. You can use a file recovery tool. Such applications can help you restore the exact copy of deleted files. It means these applications are meant for all kinds of complicated data loss like format recover, data recovery after a virus attack or system crash, etc. This method involves writing to the drive, that’s why it seems risky. While you install file recovery software, there are chances of overwriting the deleted file with the program’s data. Therefore, you need to be careful enough when working with recovery software. Although, it can retrieve files from PCs, external hard drives, memory cards, etc. 

  • Method4: file recovery by seeking professional help.

If the file deleted by you is significantly important and you don’t have any backups, you can choose a professional data recovery service without wasting any time. But before seeking the expert help, it is advised to shut down your computer if you haven’t done that already. The reason being, the longer the device runs, the lesser are your chances of data recovery because of possible data overwriting. Professional services are available for everything, from deleted overwritten files to a dying hard drive. Although, these services at times can be a bit pricey as compared to the other solutions given above. If the data you lost is extremely important to you and you can’t recover or replace it, then this is an option available to you, if you’re willing to pay the price.


We can conclude that it is not as if we lose the data forever, but retrieving them isn’t a piece of cake too. So, it better to use solid-state drives and follow backup procedures to save your precious data. But, you never know, retrieving a deleted file can act as a useful skill. Therefore, you can use the multiple recovery methods given in this article to get rid of data loss. 

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