If you have accidentally deleted a file or a folder from your windows computer or laptop and it has not been long since then, there is a fair chance of getting the files back. What happens is that files are not deleted, they are just hidden. There is a systematic approach to solving this problem, and you should stick to the system. Whether it is the hard drive of your system or an external drive such as a flash drive or a media card or even a smartphone, a file is not deleted completely from the system; it is just overwritten by something else.
However, to search for the file you should first look for it in the Recycle Bin. If you have not emptied the Recycle Bin then you may well get the file or folder there. If you don’t get the document in the Recycle Bin then try the previous version of the file. Previous version of a file or a folder is a copy of the same that Windows automatically saves in the drive. If that too does not serve your purpose then get down to recovering the original file.
1. Stop Using The Drive To Protect The File
The first step in getting back the deleted file is to stop it from getting overwritten by something else is to stop using the concerned drive completely. This will make sure that the hidden file that you think has been deleted will not be overwritten by some other programme. So don’t work on the drive and don’t download/install anything on that drive. This will make sure that the file remains intact and can be recovered later.
2. Download A Free Data Recovery Tool To Recover The Document
There are many data recovery tools available over the internet for free. Download any compatible tool to search for the deleted document. However, downloading this is a little tricky. The best thing is to download it in a drive other than the drive of the lost file or folder. You can even download in a external hard drive or flash drive. One thing that you can make sure is that the tool that you select does not come with an installable component. This will make sure that there is least interference with the hidden file.
3. Extract The Data Recovery Tool
These tools generally come in ZIP format. So you need to extract the components. If you have downloaded the tool to an external drive you should try to extract it in the same drive. This is the best bet to see that there is no interference with the lost document. However, if the tool comes with an installable component then you have to install it as directed.
4. Scan For The File Using The Data Recovery Tool
All these data recovery tools have a scan feature. You need to scan the drive for the lost file. So the next step you take is to scan the drive where the file seems to be located. The process may be different in different tools, but the task is the same. Once you press the scan button it will scan the drive for all the hidden files and folders.
5. Go Through The List Of Recoverable Files
After the scan is complete, the tool will show a list of recoverable files. Locate your document in the list and click on Restore. Your lost treasure is back to its rightful place.