How to recover and restore deleted or damaged files

If you've accidentally deleted a file or you have an office full of corrupted hard disks, there's no need to panic. It may still be possible to recover your lost data using a freeware utility as Jim Martin finds out.

If you've deleted some files by accident or on purpose there are ways to get them back. In this tutorial, we'll explain step-by-step how the process works and when it's likely to work.

If you're using Windows, the files may still be in the Recycle Bin, in which case you can quickly and easily restore them. However, if you're in the habit of pressing Shift-Delete to avoid filling up the Recycle Bin, it's altogether harder to recover them.

Deleting files on a memory card, USB flash drive or other external disk isn't protected by the Recycle Bin, but as long as you act quickly, it's usually possible to recover deleted files. It's crucial that you stop using the drive in question immediately, and don't allow any data to be written to it.

If the situation is more serious and your disk is physically damaged, or not readable, you may need to enlist the help of a professional data recovery service, such as Kroll Ontrack.

This guide only applies to the following situations:

1. Deleted files

2. Damaged files (corrupted due to a power cut, for example)

3. Accidental disk formatting

4. Disks infected with viruses

Featured Resources

Choosing a collaboration platform

Eight questions every IT leader should ask

Download now

Performance benchmark: PostgreSQL/ MongoDB

Helping developers choose a database

Download now

Customer service vs. customer experience

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Download now

Taking a proactive approach to cyber security

A complete guide to penetration testing

Download now

Recommended

Best data recovery tools 2021: Restore your lost files
data recovery

Best data recovery tools 2021: Restore your lost files

18 Mar 2021
Best data recovery tools 2020: Restore your lost files
data recovery

Best data recovery tools 2020: Restore your lost files

7 Dec 2020

Most Popular

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021
REvil threatens to release Apple’s hardware schematics
ransomware

REvil threatens to release Apple’s hardware schematics

21 Apr 2021