So you’ve emptied your recycle bin and then realized that you’ve deleted a file that you still need. If you act fast enough, you may be able to recover the files before the computer overwrites them with something else. In the following article, I would like to show you some tools that can help you recover your files after you have emptied your recycle bin.
One of my favorite quick recovery tools is called Restoration. It’s a stand-alone Windows based file recovery program that allows you to restore deleted files even after they have been emptied from the recycle bin. Restoration requires no install and because of this, you can put it on your flash drive and take it with you wherever you go. Here is how to use it.
Step 1: Download Restoration onto a drive other than the one that you want to recover files from.
Step 2: Run Restoration. If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8 then you may have to right-click Restoration and choose “Run as Administrator”. Next, choose the drive you wish to scan. If you know the file name or at least part of it, type it into the “All or part of the file” box. If you don’t then just leave it blank. You can check the box “Include used clusters by other files” but if this applies to the file you are trying to recover then it will probably be corrupt. You can now click “Search Deleted Files”.
Step 3: When it is finished scanning you, can search through the file list to find the file that you would like to restore. Once you find it, highlight it and click “Restore by Copying”.
Step 4: You will now be asked where to save the file. If you try to save it to the same drive you are scanning you will be asked if you would like to select a different drive so you don’t overwrite the original data. Once you have finished restoring the file you should be able to open it.
If Restoration can’t do the job then the next tool I recommend using is Recuva. Just like Resoration, Recuva is a free utility that let’s you undelete files after you have emptied your recycle bin. It has different scanning methods than Restoration including a “deep scan” feature to use when the standard scans aren’t working. Here is how to use it.
Step 1: Download Recuva onto a drive other than the one that you want to recover files from.
Step 2: Run Recuva. You will be presented with a wizard to ask you what type of file you want to recover. If you aren’t sure then just choose “All Files”.
Step 3: Next you will be asked where the files are located. If these files were deleted from the recycle bin then choose “In the Recycle Bin”.
Step 4: You are now ready to start your scan. This is also where you can choose to Enable Deep Scan if Recuva is having trouble finding the file.
Step 5: Once the scan has finished, you can now choose the file you wish to recover. Select the file and click the “Recover” button. Choose a location that is not on the drive you are trying to recover from, otherwise, you may overwrite your file.
Hopefully, after using these file recovery utilities, you now have your files back.
When you delete a file, Windows flags that space as usable free space again. Therefore, there is always the possibility that Windows has already overwritten the deleted file with something else. If this is the case then Restoration or Recuva will not be able to recover your file or your recovered file will be corrupt. So the faster you act from the time you delete a file, the greater your chances are of recovering it will be.
If you are using a Mac, then I recommend using the MiniTool Mac Data Recovery utility. It will restore files for free up to 1GB. If they are larger than that then you must pay for the full version.
For more in-depth information on file recovery methods, check out How to Recover Data from a Crashed Hard Drive.
Please share your experience with Restoration, Recuva, or any other file recovery programs that have helped you retrieve deleted files.