How do I recover my lost file in Windows?
Losing files from your PC or laptop can be a stressful time, but luckily there are quite a few methods you can try in order to get them back.
Tip 1 - Check Your Recycle Bin Folder
Sometimes you can be deleting your files but not actually removing them from your device - In this case, it is wise to check your recycle bin and restore the file from there, this mistake is very common as people believe that deleting your files removes them, but it is the action of permanently deleting them that
will wipe them off your PC or laptop completely.
Tip 2 - Restore Previous Versions
If you know the folder location that the previously deleted file was held in, right-click on this and select "Restore Previous Versions", this can sometimes be a good tool if you tend to use restore points or backups. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be ineffective.
If you remember the date you may have accidentally deleted the file/s, choose the date closest to that date and restore that version, this can help you to restore lost files in a particular file location.
Tip 3 - Use A Third Party Recovery Tool
If neither of those steps worked, it is probably best to use a third-party tool, such as Stellar Recovery or Recuva. These programs search all of the drives embedded onto your PC to find any lost files, or files that have been lost through device crashes, version updates or anything else you can think of.
If you know the folder where the file was before it was lost, you will be able to search for specific files in these programs. If and when your files have been found, it is best to restore them to a different drive, this doesn't have to be a hard-drive, you can use something like a USB stick if there is enough space. The reason for this is to maximise the chances of a full recovery, as sometimes the files can turn out to be partially, or even fully corrupted.
Top Tips For File Recovery:
Always utilise the backup and file history tools built into your Windows device.
Install a third-party recovery software e.g. Recuva or Stella Recovery, these are usually free and can scan your entire device's hard drive.
Act early - The longer you take to try and recover, the higher chance you have of losing your files due to them being overwritten by new files.
If you accidentally delete files, check your recycle bin and don't save or download any new files moving forward, to minimise the chances of your lost files being overwritten.