How to recover deleted files and data

Oh no! It’s your worst nightmare come to life – that proposal you’ve been working on for the past three hours has somehow magically disappeared from your computer and the boss is demanding a printout for a client meeting in ten minutes. You’ve got to get it back but it’s nowhere to be seen – not on your desktop, not in the recycle bin – it’s as if it never existed!

Before you go and lock yourself in the stationery cupboard take a deep breath – your boss doesn’t even have to know you nearly ruined a big pitch if you can get the file back! There are lots of ways to recover files even if they’ve gone from the recycle bin, but you have to be methodical to have the best chance of success.

Don’t Click Things!

The first thing to do is to stop clicking around and leave your computer alone as much as possible. At the moment your file isn’t gone, it’s just hiding, but your computer is more than willing to write over it. The less disk space you use from now on, the more chance there is that your file will remain intact until you can get to it.

Find A Recovery Programme

There are lots of free file recovery programmes out there but here are some of the best:

Undelete Plus
This programme recovers files that have been deleted from the recycle bin, permanently deleted using Shift+Delete and also deleted from within a Command Prompt.

Recuva recovers files that have been deleted from the recycle bin, and also those lost by crashes and viruses. It’s incredibly lightweight and easy to use.

This is a very effective piece of software and we’ve found it to be the most effective of the three. What’s even better, it doesn’t need to be installed on your computer – you can keep it on your USB stick and whip it out when disaster strikes.

Run A Scan

Whichever file recovery programme you choose, you’ll have to use it to run a scan of the misbehaving drive. This is normally quite straightforward – the programme will present you with a big list of file names – most of which might not make any sense! Don’t worry – just look through the list for the file that you lost, right-click it and save it somewhere safe! If you can’t find your file, try another recovery programme just in case.

Learn Your Lesson

This time it was a proposal, but next time it might be the company’s client list or something even more critical. If your info is valuable you should be investing in a proper backup service now. From automatic backup of your hard drive to full backup of your company’s servers, putting a pre-emptive solution in place means that should the worst happen, you’ll be covered.

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal