Recovering Lost Computer Files

in StemSociallast year

Operating the computer by using it to perform specific tasks can be challenging a few times, especially when you bump into mistakes that seem irreversible. A typical example of these common challenging moments plays in a situation whereby a computer operator deletes a file accidentally. This can be quite frustrating, as one would believe that it is difficult or nearly impossible to recover files or any other form of data that has been deleted from the computer. Interestingly, this can fuel the frustration, even more, having considered that the deleted file is of high importance and value to the operator.

By SAF-1975 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

As luck would have it, however, deleted files can be successfully and effortlessly recovered. As one who is oblivious to how this operation can be carried out, recovering deleted files may appear to be a cumbersome task. But, in reality, it is not. Deleted files can be recovered on your computer within a few minutes. There are feasible ways to retrieve deleted items such as files and documents on your computer.

This article has comprehensively provided four basic actions that can be taken to carry out this operation:

Search Your Trash Bin.

Now, in often cases, when a file is being deleted, it automatically moves to the recycle bin. It remains there, waiting to be retrieved or permanently deleted by the user. To retrieve a deleted file in your trash bin, simply double click on the trash bin icon, so as to gain access to all the files you have deleted on your computer so far.

Having entered the trash bin, the next thing is to search for the file you intend to retrieve. Once the file pops up, simply drag it to your desktop. By doing this, your file has been recovered. On the other hand, you can just right-click on the file and select 'restore' from the drop-down menu. Easy peasy, right?

Use File History Back up.

On rare occasions, one's deleted files may not be found in the trash bin. Nevertheless, this is not a situation that should cause panic. There are a few more ways to retrieve deleted files other than searching your trash bin, one of which is relying on file history.

The file history backup is a vital feature on a computer that helps users to regain deleted files or files that have probably been misplaced carelessly. Interestingly, this method of recovering deleted files is often advised by most computer experts. It also helps with identifying files that appear to be missing on the computer system.

To make use of this feature, go to your search box located on the taskbar and type "Restore Files". Having done that, simply choose the option, "Restore Your Files With File History". The next thing you are to do after this is simply to look for the file you need by searching for it. Once the file pops up, click on "Restore" to recover the file and return it to its original location before it was deleted.

You can choose to save it to a different location by pressing and holding (or right-clicking), after which you would be prompted to choose a new location for your newly recovered file. It is important, however, you understand that this method of retrieving files is rarely used, and it is operational based on the version of windows your computer is running on. If you are running on Windows 10 and above, then you can possibly use this method.

File Recovery Program.

If your file is not located in the trash bin, and you are also unable to utilize the File History Backup method, then you should probably consider using a file recovery program. There are numerous file recovery programs available for you as a computer operator. You can choose to use a free one or a commercial one.
A file recovery program typically helps with hard drive reformatting, accidental deletions, failed boot-ups, partition loss, and a lot more. You should not be looking for missing data once you have been able to install an efficient file recovery program.

Some file recovery programs can only be used by Mac users. If you are a Windows user, ensure you acquire the one that is supported by both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Leverage on cloud-based services.

Apart from the aforementioned methods to retrieve files, there is also a very important factor you should consider. Perhaps you might have saved that deleted file on any cloud-based service when it was newly created. Or, you might have emailed the file to someone long before it was accidentally deleted. If you have previously emailed your deleted file to anyone or saved it on any cloud-based service, then you should have no difficulty in retrieving what you think is lost.


source: flickr

You can effortlessly regain the file(s) you have accidentally deleted by searching the 'sent' history in your email. As long as you have once sent that particular file that is found missing, you would find it there in your email. Moreover, if you have once saved your file on any cloud-based service you'd be able to quickly recover it.


As a computer operator, you should understand that when a file is being deleted, it doesn't mean that file has been permanently erased from the computer system. Deleted files automatically move to the trash bin, where they can be successfully retrieved.

I hope this helps someone. Thank you all for reading



What is your experience about using the computer forensic tools to recover the deleted data from the hardware? Is it worth the cost? Is there any difference in forensic tools and those you mentioned in post?

The file history backup. Wow. This may come in handy someday, considering how often I do something inadvertent on the computer.

Great, useful article!

Bookmarked for future use. Thanks for sharing this knowledge

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Hello @ummar your post helps to organize a search, step by step, of any file that we might think was lost. Thank you.

You are most welcome. Glad it could be of help