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How to Recover Deleted Files and Prevent It From Happening Again

man attempting to recover deleted files from computer

We’ve all been there. After working on a document for days, weeks, or even months, it suddenly vanishes. Whether you accidentally deleted it, a virus hid your file, or a natural disaster hit your business, you feel frustrated and angry that all your hard work has gone down the drain. Or has it?

You think there must be a way to recover deleted files. If you’ve signed up for EZComputer Solutions data backup services, it’s as easy as giving our expert technicians a call and getting your file restored in minutes. However, what if you didn’t have the foresight to prevent data loss? You may still have some options to recover the file, though none are 100% guaranteed to retrieve the complete file.

Try the steps listed in this article, but before this data loss scenario happens again, be sure to contact our team of professionals and protect your data with reliable cloud-based backups.

1. Did You Check the Recycle Bin?

The first and simplest way to recover your files is to check the Recycle Bin on your PC or the Trash on a Mac. Simply double-click on the Recycle Bin on your desktop and look through the files located there. You’ll likely see various files and file formats, like PDF, DOCX, JPG, and more. In cases of accidental deletion, your deleted Word documents may be simply sitting there, making recovery easy.

Did you find your document? Great! Simply right-click on it and click “Restore.” If you have a Mac, you can right-click on it and click “Put Back.” It will return to its original location. You can also drag the file to your desktop or another folder on your computer.

If you still can’t find your document, try the next step.

2. Is Windows Backup Enabled?

If you’re running Windows 7 or earlier, you may have Windows Backup enabled. If you do, you might be able to find your missing file. You’ll first want to find the USB flash drive, SD card, or other external storage device you used backup your PC and connect it to your computer, then:

  1. Click the Start Button.
  2. Navigate to the Control Panel.
  3. Find “System and Maintenance.” Click on it.
  4. Click on “Backup and Restore.”
  5. Select “Restore My Files.”
  6. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

In Windows 10, this program is called “File History” and works similarly. Again, connect the backup drive to your computer, then:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type “Restore Files.”
  2. Select “Restore Your Files with File History.”
  3. Look for the file you need and use the arrows to see all its versions.
  4. When you find the version you want to save, right-click “Restore.”
  5. Select “Restore to.”
  6. Choose a new location.

If you’re depending on tapes or external drives for your backup, you are putting your business at risk. These devices have a 100% failure rate and are often corrupt and unable to restore your data. You only find out when it’s too late. That’s why you need to use EZComputer’s cloud-based backups for reliable data protection that is tested and saved daily.

3. Did You Try to Restore Previous Versions?

If the previous two steps didn’t work to recover deleted files, your next option is to try restoring prior versions. This tool is especially helpful in recovering unsaved Word documents and other files. There are a few ways to recover unsaved documents or deleted files, but here is a simple way:

  1. Click the Start Button.
  2. Click on My Computer.
  3. Find the folder where you saved the file.
  4. Right-click on the folder and select “Restore Previous Versions.”
  5. If a previous version is available, you’ll see it in a list of files and folders.
  6. Click the one you want to save and click “Restore.”

4. Was the File Emailed or Uploaded to the Cloud?

If you tried the previous steps and still haven’t been able to locate and recover your files, think back to what you may have done with the file. For example, maybe you collaborated with a colleague and emailed them a copy of the file for their input. In that case, search the sent folder of your email program. You may be able to find the document or at least a previous version of it there.

Another example would be if you uploaded the document to the cloud, like iCloud, SharePoint, or DropBox. In that case, you may be able to log into those programs and find the document you need there.

One other possibility is simply opening the folder where you think you saved it. Did you keep it under a different file name? Perhaps the file was never deleted in the first place. You can also search your computer for what you think you named the file and see if it pops up in a different folder than where you think you saved it.

5. What About Data Recovery Software?

frustrated person sitting in front of a computer

You may think that data recovery software is a satisfactory solution to recover deleted files. However, we strongly advise against it. These programs often come in free versions filled with malware, ready to infect your computer and make matters worse.

Paid versions aren’t the answer either, as they may still contain malware and can’t guarantee 100% recovery of your file. It will likely be missing chunks and won’t be able to restore all the “found files.”

The truth is that you can’t rely on file recovery software. File recovery tools can put you at risk for a major data breach that could cost you your business. It’s simply not worth the risk.

How to Prevent Losing Deleted Files in the First Place

So, what do you do if you deleted or lost a file that you need to get back and none of these steps worked? Calling an IT company near you, like EZComputer Solutions, should be your first step. Our experts may be able to find the lost file in your temporary files or use other software that can safely locate the file. However, this step or the ones listed above are not guaranteed to get 100% of your file back in the same condition you last saw it.

The only want to ensure that you can recover deleted files, no matter if it was due to human error, cybercrime, or a disaster, is to back up your work computers and network with EZComputer’s backup and recovery solutions. Our cloud services provide advanced encryption, so your data is always safe from hackers who may try to steal your information. With automatic backups that are regularly tested and secured safely in the cloud, your data is safe up to the most recent day.

A data backup graphic portraying various aspects of the service, like cloud backups and restoration

The next time you lose a file, you can smile knowing that you can recover it quickly and easily. Save yourself the IT headaches and despair that come with permanently losing a file you worked hard to create. Instead, you’ll be able to get back to work fast, as if it never even happened.

Ready to Recover Deleted Files Quickly and Easily?

We know that losing an important file, like payroll, client data, or sales information, can be detrimental to your business. That’s why EZComputer offers data backup and recovery services so that you never have to deal with this problem again. You can recover deleted files quickly, easily, and safely without wasting hours of your time trying to get the document back or recreate it from scratch.

Get in touch with your team today if you’re ready for the reliability, peace of mind, and data loss prevention that comes with our cloud backup and recovery services! We’ve been helping small businesses like yours in the Lancaster, Harrisburg, and York areas of Pennsylvania for over 15 years. We’re ready to help you eliminate your IT headaches and grow your business to the next level. Get started today!