Accidentally deleting a file is a situation that we have faced at one time or the other. When files are deleted from the memory, only the pointers of the file are removed. Each file has a pointer that tells its location i.e. Where the data begins and where it ends. When you delete the file, Windows only removes the pointer and considers the sector containing the data as free space.
The data still exists on the hard drive as only the pointer is removed and you can recover it, provided that it has not been overwritten. This is when data recovery software comes into the picture as it is efficient in relocating these hidden files. Besides, if the file has been overwritten, then the chances of recovering deleted files are bleak, and the data recovery software might only retrieve a part of the data.
Windows has some inbuilt features which are quite helpful to restore deleted files. Using the Windows utilities, you can recover deleted files from pen drive as well you can also fix write protected error from the Pen Drive however, they have some definite constraints as well.
Speaking of manual steps, let’s have a look at each one of them:
Method 1: Restore files from Recycle Bin
You can restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin. As long as you haven’t emptied it, you’re good to go. Here’s how you can restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin:
- Open the Recycle Bin
- Locate the deleted file and right click and select ‘Restore’
Limitation: If the data is deleted using SHIFT + DELETE command, then you can’t restore data from the Recycle Bin.
Method 2: Restore files from Previous versions
Windows automatically creates copies of your files and folders and saves them as restore point. Previous versions are the copies of such files. Whether your data was damaged, corrupt, or unintentionally deleted, you can use previous versions to recover it.
Follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Locate the folder where the data was stored.
- Right-click the folder, and select Restore previous versions.
Limitation: You can’t open or copy previous versions of files that were created by Windows Backup, but can restore them.
To restore a previous version of a file which was included in a library, locate the file in the location where it’s saved, rather than in the library.
Method 3: Recover files from Windows file history
Windows File History saves copies of your files and allows you to restore previous versions of files so that you can retrieve them if they are lost damaged or lost. After you have enabled Windows File history feature, connect an external storage device and Windows will automatically backup your files to it.
You need to enable the File History feature to backup your files.
To enable File History:
- Connect the external hard drive to the system.
- Navigate to Update & Security and select Backup.
- Under Back up using File History option, click Add a drive to add the external hard drive and backup your files.
Limitation: File History is not enabled by default, you have to enable it manually. You cannot restore your files if its not enabled.
Method 4: Data Recovery Software
Whether you have accidentally deleted your files or formatted your hard drive, a reliable data recovery software is capable of recovering deleted files. The advantage of a data recovery software is that it thoroughly scans your hard drive to locate the deleted files or files which are hidden from the operating system.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Home is a powerful software to recover all your lost or deleted data. It enables you to recover data from internal and external storage devices. You can recover photos, videos, audios, spreadsheets, emails, presentations and other archive files efficiently. Also, you can search a particular file by name or type in the logical drive. It enables you to recover data from corrupt hard drive and makes it easier to sort the files.
The Bottom Line
When the files are hidden from the Operating system or are deleted on any other storage media devices, then Windows utilities might work but to a considerable extent. The prerequisite is that you need to have a backup of your files to restore them. Also, if the files have been permanently deleted, then the probability of successfully recovering it is low.
A reliable data recovery efficiently recovers lost or deleted data irrespective of the complexity and the intensity of the issue. Whether your hard drive is corrupt or partitions are inaccessible or don’t have a backup, data recovery eliminates all such issues.