How can I recover data or files after accidental deletion?

    Authored By


    Data Recovery Steps After Accidental Deletion

    How can someone can recover their data or files after accidental deletion?

    To help you best recover your data after accidental deletion, we asked CTOs and data recovery specialists this question for their best tips. From hiring a data recovery service to trying system restore as a last-ditch recovery, there are several ways recommended to have your data or files recovered after accidentally deleting them.

    Here are eight data recovery tips after accidental deletion:

    • Hire a Data Recovery Service
    • Get Yourself a Recovery Tool
    • Find and Restore Deleted Files from the Files History Menu
    • Retrieve File Copies from the Cloud or Emails Sent
    • Act Quickly Using Data Recovery Tools to Avoid Overwriting
    • Restore from the Recycle Bin
    • DiskDigger
    • Try System Restore as a Last-Ditch Recovery

    Hire a Data Recovery Service

    Data recovery services provide professional recovery for high value data retrieval. This is typically for business customers due to the expensive costs. Data recovery services send experts to investigate problems and possible security threats to recover lost files. Depending on the situation, this process can take days or weeks, but is money and time well spent to retrieve important data.

    Alex Wang, Ember Fund

    Get Yourself a Recovery Tool

    Assuming that you have tried to recover your files or data by checking your recycle bin or trash on your computer and it is not there, this probably means that you don't have the appropriate backup system in place, which will help you with this situation. You will need to get yourself a recovery tool.

    The best recovery tool that I would suggest is one called Recuva.

    This tool is beneficial because it will analyze what data or files you have potentially lost and tell you which ones are recoverable and which are not via a traffic-light system that breaks down the complexity of recovery for you. There are also deeper scan options available on this feature that may help you make an executive decision on what to do next.

    Wendy Makinson, Joloda Hydraroll

    Find and Restore Deleted Files from the Files History Menu

    Getting back those accidentally deleted files is much easier than you think.

    First, you need to go to the search bar on your desktop and search for "Restore Files."
    Once you have found that, you select that option, and a "Files History" tab will appear.
    Next, you will go through that history and find the deleted data you need to retrieve. Finally, highlight all the files needed, click the "Restore" button and then save it to the original space it was in initially.

    Tracey Beveridge, Personnel Checks

    Retrieve File Copies from the Cloud or Emails Sent

    Don’t panic if you’re suffering from data or file loss, as this tip could be a solution. Try to recall if you had emailed the file or uploaded it to the cloud (Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox). If you did, check to see if a copy still exists (chances are they still do). Remember, the file you find may not be as up-to-date as the one you lost, but you will have data to work with instead of taking a complete loss. Apply this solution to see if you have a shot at recovering your missing data.

    Lydia  Boychuk
    Lydia BoychukVP of Marketing, More Labs

    Act Quickly Using Data Recovery Tools to Avoid Overwriting

    Let's talk about what options we have if there are no backups and the recycle bin has been emptied. The best bet is to use data recovery software that like Disk Drill or Stellar that can bring back permanently deleted files, but make sure to act fast. When a file is deleted, your computer doesn't actually 'erase' the data as much as label the space it used to be in as 'free space' to be used by something else. The longer you wait, the more likely that data will be overwritten, meaning you may not be able to recover 100% of it.

    Adam Bem
    Adam BemCo-Founder & COO, Victoria VR

    Restore from the Recycle Bin

    When you delete a file or data, it goes to the bin or trash of the system. You can open the Recycle Bin of your system and search for the files you deleted accidentally. You can search by the file name if there are too many files in the trash. They are usually present based on the dates when the files were deleted. You just have to select the file, right-click and choose the restore option. It will ask you to confirm and after that, you can find the file in its original system's folder from where it was deleted.

    Victoria Culbertson, NYC House Cleaners

    Use DiskDigger

    I accidentally deleted some important files the other day, and I was really worried we'd lost them forever. Luckily, there are ways to recover deleted files, even if you don't have a backup. My assistant used DiskDigger, which is a free data recovery program. It can undelete files from hard drives, memory cards, and more. There are also paid options available if you need something more robust. Either way, it's possible to get your data back after an accidental deletion. So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, don't panic! There are ways to recover your lost files.

    Marc J. Shuman
    Marc J. ShumanFounder, Shuman Legal

    Try System Restore as a Last-Ditch Recovery

    You might have probably known of checking auto save file locations, file recovery options, and so on. You could also try a last-ditch recovery method using System Restore.

    System Restore is where your computer saves a copy of itself at a set point in time. If the file you lost hasn't been edited in the last few days or so, you may be able to restore the whole computer back to when the file still existed.

    To access system restore, just press "Command+R" on a Mac or search "System Restore on a PC."

    Before restoring your computer to a previous date, make sure to make a copy of any other new files you've created since the restore point - as they'll be lost in the process. It's a bit extreme, but it's saved me before for an important work file that was mysteriously lost!

    Craig Anderson, Tech Detective

    Submit Your Answer

    Would you like to submit an alternative answer to the question, "How can I recover data or files after accidental deletion?" Submit your answer here.