Have you ever felt desperate when you suddenly lost files after cut and paste for unexpected reasons? If you have no idea how to get those files back, you may use the best free data recovery software to effectively recover files after cut and paste.

Lost Files in Cut, Copy and Paste Transfer

How do you transfer data from your PC to removable devices like USB flash drives, memory cards, etc., or vice versa? According to a survey, many users are turning to copy, cut, and paste features to transfer data.

However, some users are reporting that their data is getting lost while transferring files through the use of cut as well as paste commands, and they don’t know how to recover files lost after cut and paste.

Right here, let’s see a true example from answers.microsoft.com:

Hi! If anyone could help. I'd be grateful, I'm hopeless with computers:

I was moving my music library from an external hard drive to my new PC and thought I'd hit skip when asked to confirm a file overwrite. I must have hit cancel because the transfer stopped and I have now no idea how to find and recover the files. They are not in the original folder or the target folder. It appears that they're on my hard drive somewhere as there is about 50G there that wasn't before in properties, but I cannot find them in a folder, or by searching the computer. Any ideas?


As a matter of fact, before recovering deleted files, we need to know why the data was lost after copy, cut, and paste, which can help us to get the missing data back and prevent it from happening again.

In general, the following reasons can result in a loss of files due to unsuccessful cut-and-paste file transfer.

1. Unexpected Shutdown: Power failure is one of the most common problems that interrupt file moving processes. If your system shuts down suddenly due to some reason when you are transferring files from one drive to another one using the cut-paste option, then you lose all files.

How to Recover Files After Unexpected Shutdown
How to Recover Files After Unexpected Shutdown

Do you know how to recover files after unexpected shutdown? This post will tell you how to recover files lost or missing after an unexpected computer restart.

Read More

2. Improper Removal of Storage Drives: As we know, USB flash drives are frequently used to transfer data from one system to another. However, you will lose files by forcefully rejecting them when cut-and-paste processes are in progress.

3. Other reasons: Of course, there are some other possible reasons including improper system termination, hardware failure, etc.

In a word, no matter what the cause is, the first thing we should do is to recover files lost after cut and paste as soon as possible.

How to Recover Files Lost After Cut and Paste

Way 1: Recover Files Lost After Cut and Paste From File Explorer History

There is a feature called History in File Explorer, which can help you recover lost files. However, this feature is not enabled by default. If you didn’t turn this feature on beforehand, please move on to the next ways. The steps to recover cut files are as follows:

Step 1: Press Windows + E keyboard shortcuts to open File Explorer.

Step 2: Under the Home tab, click on History.

click the History button to recover lost files

Step 3: Select the files you want to recover and click the green restore button at the bottom.

click the button to restore all needed files

Fix We Found Errors in Your File History Settings & Recover Data
Fix We Found Errors in Your File History Settings & Recover Data

Now you can learn how to fix “We found errors in your File History settings” in Windows 11/10, and know how to recover your files without File History.

Read More

Way 2: Recover Files Lost After Cut and Paste Using CMD

The second way is to recover files lost after cut and paste using CMD. Here are the major steps to do that.

Step 1: Type Command Prompt in the Windows search box and right-click Command Prompt to choose Run as administrator.

Step 2: Select Yes when the prompt window appears.

Step 3: Input chkdsk (drive letter): /f (For example, chkdsk G: /f where G: suffers from data loss) and press Enter.

input the correct command

Step 4: Input the command attrib -h -r -s /s /d (drive letter)\*.* and press Enter (Please remember to replace the drive letter with the actual letter like F:).

Step 5: Wait for the process to complete and check whether the lost files are recovered.

If this way fails to work, it is recommended to try the following solution.

Way 3: Recover Files Lost After Cut and Paste Using Data Recovery Software

In general, users who successfully recovered cut files from their hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and other devices always turn to a piece of professional data recovery software.

Now, however, you might be wondering:

“How do I find an excellent data recovery tool to recover removed files?”

Right here, if you don’t have any idea, you can try using MiniTool Power Data Recovery. This data recovery service offers many excellent features and a wizard-like interface. More importantly, it can recover lost data without affecting the original data because it is a read-only tool.

Download this tool and have a try.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Next, let’s see how to restore lost data with this professional and all-in-one data recovery software (Take Windows 10 for example).

Steps to recover files lost after cut and paste:

Step 1: Download MiniTool Power Data Recovery and then install it on your computer.


Tip: Never install it on the drive containing lost data, for doing this may cause irretrievable data loss.

Under the Logical Drives tab, select the target drive and click Scan. You can also click the Devices tab, select the whole device and click Scan.

show the main interface of MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Step 2: Select all needed files and choose a safe place to store them. It is recommended to store selected data on another drive. Otherwise, the lost data could be overwritten.

select and save all needed files


Tip: After scanning, if you find lots of files in this window, you can use the Filter feature to quickly find needed files.

For a more intuitive guide, you can check out the tutorial video below:

“With MiniTool Power Data Recovery, I successfully recovered files lost in cut and paste without affecting the original data with ease.”Click to Tweet

Knowing the tricks of data recovery after cut-and-paste failure, let’s learn how to transfer data effectively to avoid the risk of data loss.

Windows Pictures Folder Is Missing | How to Restore It
Windows Pictures Folder Is Missing | How to Restore It

This article talks about how to find and restore the Pictures folder in Windows 11/10 when the Windows Pictures folder is missing.

Read More

Overview of Cut, Copy and Paste Files

How to Cut, Copy, and Paste Files

It is believed that most users know how to copy, cut and paste files or folders. However, if you don’t know, don’t feel panic since you can find the details here:

To cut: Select the target text or image and press Ctrl + X.

To copy: Select the target text or image and press Ctrl + C.

To paste: Select the target storage path and press Ctrl + V.

Now, you know how to cut, copy and paste files. But do you know the difference between copying and cutting?

Cutting Files VS Copying Files

As we know, whichever you choose, you can directly transfer your files from one place to another.

However, if you choose Cut and Paste, the files will be removed from the original place, and stored in another place; if you choose Copy and Paste, you will have 2 copies of files with the same name, size, and content in two different locations.

In a word, if you want to reduce the risk of data loss, you had better choose Copy and Paste.

The copy, cut, and paste feature indeed can help to transfer files, but it is not a wise choice for transferring a large number of files or even all Windows data. Therefore, what should we do if we want to move or copy all data saved on the hard drive? Can we effectively copy large files without affecting the original data?

How to Copy Large Files Quickly

MiniTool Partition Wizard, a green, professional and simple partitioning tool developed by MiniTool Software Ltd., is recommended here. Not only can this tool copy a single partition containing massive important data, but it can also back up all Windows data as well as OS without affecting the original data.

Here, we provide a copy disk for example to help you learn more details about this tool.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

1) In the main window of this professional partitioning freeware, select the disk which needs copying and choose “Copy Disk” from the left pane to continue.

click the button to copy the disk

2) Select the disk that will save the copy of the source disk as the target disk and then click the “Next” button.


Tip: The target disk should be large enough to hold all the content on the source disk. You also need to back up all important data on this target disk in advance, otherwise, the original data will be overwritten.

3) Choose a copying method to decide the layout of the target disk and then click “Next“.

4) Click “Finish” to go back to the main interface.

5) Click “Apply” and tap “Yes” to perform all changes.

Click to Tweet

Thus, all work has been done. In a word, if you want to copy large files, copy all Windows data, or copy OS without data loss. You can try using MiniTool Partition Wizard because of its high security, excellent performance, and simple operation.

Related post: Clone OS from HDD to SSD with 2 Powerful SSD Cloning Software

Top Recommendation: 3 Valuable Tips for Data Protection

Here, at the end of this post, we want to share 3 prevention skills for you to perfectly carry out data recovery after cut and paste failure.

  1. Immediately stop using your PC if there is any file or data loss.
  2. You had better equip your computer with a UPS device to prevent data loss due to sudden power failure while transferring files from one storage drive to another.
  3. It is recommended to make use of the “Copy and Paste” method instead of “Cut and Paste” to avoid accidental data loss.

Bottom Line

After seeing the above introduction, I guess you may have gained a basic understanding of how to recover data lost in cut and paste. By using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can recover data from different types of data storage devices. For example, you can use this software to make external hard drive data recovery, SSD data recovery, SD card data recovery, Seagate data recovery, Samsung data recovery, and more.

Like this post? Share it to help more users.

Should you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the below comment area or directly send them to [email protected]. Thanks a lot.

  • linkedin
  • reddit