In case you accidentally deleted a file and want to recover it, read this how-to post and learn how to get it back. Before you start, we want to stress one important thing: recovering a file removed from your phone, media card, hard drive, or other device is not a difficult task, and you have to try to do it. Of course, we can’t guarantee your files will be recovered. Everything depends on how long it has been deleted and how much data has been written after that. But there is a great chance you’ll recover a deleted file with the help of our guide. All you have to do is to follow the steps below. Good luck!
Read This Before You Get Started
We can’t know for sure how much time you’ll need to recover deleted files. Everything depends on how long ago you removed it and how much data was removed afterward. It might take from a couple of minutes to several hours. During this time, we recommend you stop using your computer. Deleted files are kept hidden on your computer and can disappear completely if the drive is overwritten. Therefore, the more data you write to the drive that contains a deleted file, the more difficult it will be to recover what you need. Among all tasks, installing apps, streaming or downloading music, videos, or other data are the heaviest processes. They don’t necessarily overwrite the drive, but rather double the chances that the deleted files you need will be erased.
How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software
Before you go deep into recovering process, check the Recycle Bin. There’s a glimmer of hope you moved it there but haven’t emptied the bin yet. Make a right click on it and recover the deleted file. Yes, that simple.
Restoring Data with Special Applications
Unfortunately, files you remove from media cards, external hard drives, or USB-based drives almost never get into the Recycle Bin. The same story goes for files you delete from the smartphone and large files that are usually removed skipping the Trash Bin.
If you emptied the trash bin, download and install a free file recovery program to carry on. One of such utilities is Recuva, but you can use any found on the Internet. No matter which program you prefer, download its portable version to a flash drive or any other drive. Don’t download it to the drive which contains your missing file. Extract the portable version of the app (such programs usually come in ZIP format). In case you’ve downloaded it to the flash drive, extract it right there. If for some reasons your hard drive is the only one you can use, extract it here. In this case, you’ll also have to install it as an ordinary application.
Launch the file recovery program and scan your computer for files that can be recovered. As we have specified, it may take several minutes or several hours, depending on the size of your drive.
The scanning process differs depending on a program, but in all cases, you need to select a drive you want to scan. Then, click or tap the ‘Scan’ button (its name may differ though). Once the scan is over, locate a file from the long list of to-be recovered files, choose it, and hit the Restore button (again, the button’s name differs, depending on the app you use).
Let’s Sum Up All Tips
We recommend you to sum up all points from above to make sure nothing is skipped.
The first place to look for deleted files is the Recycle Bin. If you’ve skipped this step because you’re sure it’s emptied, just get back and check again. You never know what is kept hidden there.
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times, recovering deleted data from devices like music players, smartphones, flash drives, or network drives is possible, but require additional steps.
The great news is that you don’t have to keep installed a data recovery utility before you remove the file. It’s enough to download and install it the moment you realize that something important was removed from your computer.
Though recovering data is not a difficult task, a non-working computer or a dead hard drive adds an extra layer of troubles on the way to file recovering. But don’t be upset if you face such problems. There are so many step-by-step tutorials you can use to recover data successfully from a dead hard drive. Just Google it.
Hope our guide has helped you to recover the data successfully and you feel a bit more tech-savvy after that. In case you have any questions, feel free to ask them. Also, if for some reasons you failed to recover deleted files, write step-by-step what you were trying to do.