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How to Recover Lost Data

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How to Recover Lost Data

Maybe you thought you’d never need that file again or maybe it was accidentally deleted; either way, there is a possibility that you can get it back. There are a few different options for recovering a deleted file, and a few scenarios where you’ll likely need professional help from a computer tech support service like Quikteks. Let’s start with the basics and go from there…

Check the Windows Recycle Bin or Macintosh Trash

First things first, let’s check the Recycle Bin, or Trash if you’re using a Mac. Your operating system stores deleted files in these receptacles temporarily, allowing you the opportunity to undelete a file before permanently emptying the trash. Simply search the Recycle Bin or Trash for your file. If found, right click it and choose Restore (or Put Back for Macintosh).

Check Cloud Storage (if Enabled)

If you use a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or OneDrive, there’s a good chance your deleted file might be recoverable online — even if you deleted it and emptied the Recycle Bin locally. For example, Dropbox has a Deleted Files folder where your deleted files are held for 30 days before being permanently removed from Dropbox’s servers. Windows OneDrive has a similar feature, called Recycle Bin, which also retains deleted files for up to 30 days. In either case, you’ll need to log in to the cloud storage site in order to find, view, or restore any lost files.

Restore from Backup (You Do Have a Backup System, Right?)

If you can’t find your lost file locally or in your cloud storage provider’s Recycle Bin, the next option is to restore the file from your backup. Most backup systems allow you to restore individual files, and the process is usually fast and easy. Of course, this option is only helpful if you have an actual backup and that backup is current.

Does Your Operating System Have A Previous Version or File History Feature Enabled?

Some versions of Windows come with limited backup tools. For instance, in Windows 7, the Previous Versions tool could come in handy. Windows 8 and 10 include File History, which is a backup tool, but this feature needs to be enabled and a portable hard disk attached.

Consider Using Data Recovery Software

Software is available for recovering deleted files from your magnetic hard disk, even if you’ve already emptied the Recycle Bin. These programs work because deleted files aren’t necessarily overwritten the instant they’ve been deleted. When you delete a file from the Recycle Bin, that file no longer appears in the graphical user interface of your system. It is essentially gone from view, but it’s still residing on your hard disk until another file overwrites it. Thus, file recovery software may be able to find and recover it.

However, this option is intended for use with magnetic hard disks. If you have a modern solid state hard disk, there’s a good chance that it is set up to delete files immediately.

Call in the Pros

Using consumer-grade data recovery software brings its own risks. For example, when you install the data recovery software, the installation itself could overwrite the files you were hoping to recover. We can boot and scan your computer from a USB stick, allowing us to scan for recoverable files without installing third party software.

It’s also advisable to call for professional help if files are disappearing for unknown reasons. For example, you could be dealing with a looming hardware failure or malware. Quikteks can get to the bottom of the problem, potentially recover your lost data, and set you up with reliable computer security and backup tools.