How to recover deleted files in any version of Windows

Have you accidentally deleted a photo or document and now you need it? Do not worry, here we tell you how to recover deleted files in any version of Windows.

It can happen to anyone. You have weeks with a document on the Windows Desktop and just when you need it, there is no way to find it. You suspect that maybe you have deleted the file by accident and the recycling bin has already been emptied. And what are you doing now? At the moment do not lose your calm. We tell you how to recover deleted files in any version of Windows .

This situation will have happened to most users of a computer, and if it has not happened, it will happen. The difference is in being prepared to recover the files that you have deleted by mistake or, failing that, to have the necessary tools to recover the files deleted in Windows .

We are going to face the recovery of the deleted files from two different points of view: from the point of view of prevention, configuring the Windows History tool ; and from the point of view of pure and hard recovery. A whole file rescue operation in which you throw yourself into the adventure without a network.

As you can imagine, the first of the options is the easiest to apply and there are many more options to recover the deleted file in just a couple of clicks , while the recovery of the deleted file in the second assumption depends on factors such as that you have made of the equipment since the file was deleted or, simply, of chance. Even so, you have many options to recover the deleted files by accident .

Recover your deleted files in Windows with Recuva

How to recover deleted files with Recuva in any version of Windows

There are many deleted file recovery tools that work really well, but only Recuva is free and unlimited use, unlike other free applications to recover deleted files that only allow you to restore a certain volume of files.

The first step will be to download the application from its website . You will find Recuva in two versions: one that will be installed on your computer, and another “portable” one that does not need installation to work. Both are equally valid and functional, so you can use any of them.

In our case, due to being less invasive in the system, we decided to use the portable version so, after downloading it on the computer and unzipping the file that was downloaded, you only need to double-click on one of the executables that you will find in the inside of the folder. Recuva.exe for 32-bit systems and Recuva64.exe if you use a 64-bit system.

Configure the recovery of deleted files

When Recuva starts, it asks you to indicate what type of file you are trying to recover. The reason for this initial filtering is to reduce the search volume and discard all deleted files that do not fit what you need.

If you are not sure or the files that you have accidentally deleted are of several types , simply check the All Files box . Next, click Next .

The objective of the second filter is to look for the deleted file in a specific location, which narrows the search considerably. In this box you must indicate where the file was when you last saw it: on an external drive (such as an SD card, or a flash drive), in the My Documents folder or, most likely, in the Recycle Bin.

If you are not clear about what to put, simply select the I’m not sure box to indicate that you are not sure where you were and Recuva will do the rest of the work. Click Next to continue with the configuration of the recovery of the deleted files .

In the last step, it will indicate if you want to activate the Deep Scan function that performs a deep scan of the disk. This option manages to recover more deleted files , but at the cost of spending much more time in the search.

Our recommendation is that you do not check this box on the first try. Better try to recover the deleted files with the standard analysis, and if it does not work, then activate the Deep Scan function and let it take its time. Start the disk analysis by clicking Start .

When you accidentally delete a file on your computer , it is not permanently deleted from the system, but simply changes its status and Windows marks the space it occupies as available. If the system needs to save new files, you can overwrite the space occupied by the previous file that will be unrecoverable.

How to recover deleted files with PhotoRec

For this reason, it is important that, as soon as you realize that you have deleted a file that you need, stop using the computer to try to preserve it and not write anything on it .

Once the analysis of the discs is complete, Recuva will show the deleted files that you have found. Recuva shows you the results there are some that appear with a red circle, others in orange and others in green. Those in green are the deleted files that have not yet been overwritten with other data, so they can still be recovered, while those in orange have already been partially or totally overwritten, so they are already unrecoverable.

Search the file list for the name of the file that you deleted by accident and check the box that appears on your left and click on the Recover button in the lower right corner. It is very likely that, after deleting it, the file name has been lost and that the file you are looking for no longer has the same name. To make sure it’s the one you’re looking for, check other data such as the last modification date or size.

If your file does not appear in this list, it is time to go back to the previous step and check the Deep Scan box so that Recuva does a thorough analysis and recover that deleted file .

Now, you just have to indicate in which location you want to recover the file that you deleted. Indicate it in the box that appears, and click OK . With this your file will have returned safe and sound through the darkest side of data loss.

Be cautious activates Windows 10 File History

The history files Windows is one of those incredibly useful functions that go unnoticed for most users and that, however, make life easier for many of them.

This function consists of an incremental backup of certain files, thanks to which you can recover previous versions of folders or documents. That is, if you have mistakenly deleted a document in Windows , you can go back in time and recover your file in the simplest way and you can even keep the previous version of a document and an updated version at the same time.

The only requirement to be able to recover them is to activate this function previously. For this you will need to have installed a secondary storage unit (a second disk installed in your computer, a pendrive of sufficient capacity, an external USB disk, etc) and activate the system so that it automatically makes periodic backups.

Activate it by pressing the Windows key and typing in the search bar Restore files with File History . Most likely, before you finish writing the first word, the entry to the configuration you are looking for has already appeared.

Access that function, connect the unit that will be used to store the backup, select it and click Activate . That’s all you need to get it started.

Once the first backup has been made, you can start recovering files that have been deleted by accident .

For example, if you want to restore a file that you have accidentally deleted from the Windows Desktop , just go to the Desktop folder , right-click on it and choose the Restore previous versions option .

Next, the Properties box is shown where you can see the different versions of that folder. To see in more detail which files you are going to restore, click on the arrow on the Open button and choose Open in the file history .

This starts the Windows File History window that is slightly different from the Windows Explorer.

At the bottom of the File History window there are two side arrows with which you can “travel” forward or backward in time. In the upper part you indicate to what date correspond the files that you are looking at that moment. So, if you place yourself just before the moment you deleted the file, it will appear in the Windows File History.

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