How to restore your deleted files

Last updated on September 28th, 2013

Accidents and faults happens in our lives. Almost most of us we have been in situations where accidentally we press the “Delete” button on our keyboard, or we permanently delete files and folders that we imagine useless.  The most important operation to avoid this happen, is to always have a backup of our important files in another location (e.g. in external hard disk) but if you reading this post, probably this is not apply to your situation. First of all, don’t panic because every deleted file still remains on a invisible area inside two places on your computer: recycle bin & hard Disk.

A. Recycle Bin: Every file you delete goes to your recycle bin (except if you permanently delete it (Shift+DEL) or empty your recycle bin.

In this situation the things made easy:

1. Double click on Recycle Bin icon on your desktop to open recycle bin.

2. Right click on the deleted file and select Restore.



B. Hard Disk: If you  permanently delete a file or folder (Shift+Del) or you permanently empty your Recycle Bin the deleted file or folder stays in a hidden space on your hard disk drive. In this case your system doesn’t use this space to write other files on it until he needs that (more) space.

In this situation the things starts to be more difficult, but thanks to some excellent free recovery programs you can easily recover and get your deleted files back to life.


A. NEVER INSTALL any programs (plus recovery programs) at the same location that contains your deleted files.

B. Immediately STOP USING your media that contains your deleted files.

C. CLOSE UNNEEDED applications before running the recovery program.

D. NEVER save the recovered/deleted files in the same location where they deleted.


Method 1: Use this method if you want to find deleted files in another media than your media cuurently your operating system installed (e.g. 2nd Hard Disk Drive, USB stick, memory card, etc.)*

Notice*: If you want to restore files from your current hard disk drive proceed to Method 2.

STEP 1. Download and Install RECUVA

Recuva: is a freeware Windows utility to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer, your memory card or your USB stick.

1. Download and Install Recuva from here.


2. Ask “Yes” at UAC security warning window.


3. Press “Next” at Recuva welcome window.

install recuva

4. Choose “Install” at “Install Options” window.

recuva setup 01

5. Click “Finish"” to run Recuva

recuva setup 02

6. Continue to learn how to working with Recuva.

Method 2: Use this method if you want to find deleted files in your hard disk where the operating system installed to. (Your 1st Hard Disk Drive)

Step 1. Download Hiren’s BootCD

1. From another computer download “Hiren’s BootCD .

( Hiren’s BootCD Download page:

Scroll page down and click on “” )


2. Right click on “” file and extract it.


Step 2: Burn Hirens BootCD into an optical disk.

3. From inside “Hirens.BootCD.15.2” folder, find the “Hiren's.BootCD.15.2.ISO” disc Image file and burn it to a CD.


Step 3: Boot the computer which the deleted files are, with Hirens.BootCD.

1. Take the CD out from your recorder and insert it on the problematic ‘s computer CDROM drive.*

Notice*: First make sure that CDROM Drive is selected as first boot device from inside your BIOS.

2. Restart your computer.

3. When the "Hiren’s BootCD” menu appears on your screen, use your keyboard arrows keys to move into the “Mini Windows Xp” option and then press "ENTER"


Step 4. Recover your files

1. When "Mini Windows XP" is loaded, double click to open “HBCD menu” icon from desktop.


2. From “Hiren’s Boot CD” main menu choose: Programs > Recovery > Recuva.

Notice*: Hiren’s Boot CD, contains also some other free excellent recovery programs to recover your deleted files like “Restoration”, “PhotoRec” (for Deleted photos), “TestDisk” (for Deleted partitions), etc.



Working with Recuva

1. Run Recuva and at wizard screen press “Next

recuva setup 03

2. At “File type” options, choose the type of file/s you want to recover (document, photos, video, etc.) if you know it otherwise choose “All Files” to find and recover all file types and press “Next”.

recuva setup 04

3. I “File Location” options, choose (if you know) the location where was the file before you delete it, otherwise choose “I’m not sure” and press “Next”.


4. At the next screen press “Start” and let the program scan for deleted files.*

Notice*: If the the program doesn’t find your files then select the “Enable Deep Scan” option at this point and try again.

Recuva Wizard

5. When the scan process completed you should view all the files that found during the recovery process:

The delete files marked with a color dot prior their name, which means their condition.

a. Green dot file: means that the file is in a good condition to undelete it.

b. Orange dot file: means that the file is probably corrupted or and it is not in a good condition to undelete it.

c. Red dot file: means that the file is corrupted and cannot be undelete.

Recuva results

6. Press the “Switch to advanced mode” button to make your process of find your files more easier:

Recuva Advanced Mode:

7. In advanced mode window you can:

a. Search for your deleted file(s) by typing their name(s) if you know it.

b. Short all the founded deleted files by their File Name, Source Path, Size, Date modified and recover Status.

restore deleted files

Tip: If you know the destination of your file(s) before you deleted them then you can change the view mode by pressing the “Options” button at the upper right side of Recuva window:

Recuva Options

and at “General” tab set the “View Mode” to “Tree view.

Recuva tree view

8. Recover your files:

a. Check the file(s) that you want to recover and press the “Recover” button on the lower right side of Recuva window.


b. Select the destination to store the recovered files and press “OK”.

Attention: DO NOT STORE the recovered files on the same media (destination) from where they deleted.

restore deleted files with recuva

After the recovered process is completed you should find your recovered files at the destination you choose to save them.

Tip: If you can’t find your deleted files with the default settings of Recuva Wizard choose to enable the “Deep Scan” option and scan for your deleted files again.

Recuva Deep Scan



Hope this article helps you to restore your deleted files!

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