Storing all of your information on a single computer can be risky. If you have ever accidentally deleted an important file on your PC, then you know how horrible it feels. That sudden confusion when you can’t find your file turns into horror as you realized that you permanently deleted it.
But is your file actually lost forever? In most cases, there are ways to recover your file – even if you can’t find it in your computer’s recycling bin. Today, we’re going to teach you how to quickly and easily recover a deleted file in Windows 7.
The most important thing to know about recovering a deleted file is that you should not add any additional data onto your hard drive until you’ve recovered your missing file. When you clear data from the recycling bin, that data is still on your hard drive. The only difference is that your computer now has permission to overwrite that data. So, if you add more information after you’ve deleted your important file, you decrease your chances of recovering it successfully.
This means you should not install any additional programs, save any pictures, movies, or videos, and even avoid going to data-heavy sites like YouTube. Instead, work on a separate computer (if you have one).
Now that you understand that rule, it’s time to look at specific file recovery software.
File recovery programs
To avoid saving new data to your hard drive, be sure to download these programs onto another computer and then save them to a portable flash drive. That way, you’re not adding any additional data onto your original PC.
The best free file recovery program is a tool called Recuva Portable. It can easily be stored on a flash drive and is both fast and easy to use. It has surprisingly effective data recovery technology and gives users the ability to preview image formats, among other things.
If that doesn’t work, there are several different file recovery programs that are priced for around $40. These all perform basically the same task and are fairly easy to use. Take a look at programs like Software Shelf’s File-Rescue Plus, for example, or look at similar software online.
Remember, when you’re recovering a deleted file, nothing is certain. The data may end up being corrupted and you may experience other errors. If you’re able to recover your entire file, unharmed, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
Hindsight is 20/20. Next time you’re working with an important file, be sure to create a backup of that data on a separate hard drive, or, even better, use an online service like Dropbox to host your file remotely. Ultimately, the more places you store your file, the less likely it will be lost forever after you delete it.