How to recover deleted files…

There are a number of ways to recover deleted files from your computer. The recycle bin will often contain files up to a certain capacity, but don’t bother with a ‘system restore’ unless you have previously enabled System Protection. Failing this, there are plenty of data recovery applications that can help the user recover their files.

The first port of call is always the ‘recycle bin’. Windows stores files that have been deleted as a precautionary measure. The ‘recycle bin’ is easy to find in your list of applications and you will probably have an icon on your desktop by default. Simply select the files required, right click and choose ‘restore’. If you delete a number of files, the combined capacity might exceed the ‘recycle bins’ limits. However a ‘system restore’ does not care about personal data unless you have enabled System Protection, so it will not recover your files.

When you delete a file you are not erasing everything to do with it, but simply the index pointing to that data. There are plenty of third party applications that can identify the file and rebuild the index. Just search in Google and you will find lots of free tools. Although as you use your computer, the chances of recovering any deleted files reduces significantly. So if you have inadvertently deleted a file, attempt a recovery as soon as possible.

In Windows 7 the System Protection facility creates regular restore points every week and at pre-defined points. System Protection can keep copies of system settings and previous versions of files. From the System Protection tab you can right click on specific files before selecting and previewing to see if these are the files you are looking for. A word of warning though. Don’t use System Protection as a backup. A user cannot schedule restore points to happen whenever they want and often the restore function will not contain the deleted data you are looking for!