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Summary :

Digital data is an indispensable part of our life. Our computers contain some of our most important files - thesis, study materials, personal data, business documents and many things - that we can never afford to lose.

However, data loss can always happen unexpectedly. This article will show you how to recover lost data using MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

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Accidental data loss is a very common disaster that can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to retrieve deleted files on PC.

retrieve deleted files on PC

Here, I will walk you through the specific steps to undelete files quickly. After that, I’ll also introduce the causes and processes of accidental data loss.

Please be advised that this tutorial is very beginner friendly and easy to understand.

How to Retrieve Deleted Files on PC

Recover Deleted Files Windows

Firstly, you should go to check Windows Recycle Bin to see whether it includes your needed files.

Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin:

  1. Right click on the Recycle Bin icon on desktop.
  2. Choose Open from the context menu (you can also double click on the Recycle Bin icon to open it directly).
  3. Check and select the files you need.
  4. Right click on the files in Recycle Bin.
  5. Choose Restore from the context menu to recover selected files (you can also drag the files directly out of Recycle Bin).

recover deleted files from recycle bin

Click to know more about Recycle Bin recovery.

Can’t find the files in Windows Recycle Bin? Don’t worry, you still have chances to restore deleted files.

To recover deleted files free, you need a good assistant like MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

Free Download

How can I get my deleted files back? Please watch. (The steps to recover deleted files in Windows 10 or recover deleted files in Windows 7 are basically the same.)

How to undelete files with Power Data Recovery:


  1. After downloading MiniTool Power Data Recovery from a reliable website, you should install it to a drive that does not contain any files that need to be recovered.
  2. Start running the MiniTool Power Data Recovery. In the left panel of the main window, you can see four modules that MiniTool provides you to recover data.

Steps to recover deleted files after emptying Recycle Bin:

  1. Click on This PC.
  2. Select the partition that contains the deleted files.
  3. Click on Scan and wait for the scan to complete.
  4. Look through the scan result and check the files you need.
  5. Click on the Save button and set a storage location.
  6. Click OK to confirm your selection and wait till the end of the recovery.
  7. Select OK from the pop-up notice window.

select the partition contains deleted files

When all those operations are done, you can put an end to recovering permanently deleted files.

Note: MiiniTool Power Data Recovery can also help you recover files from Windows Server systems.

Recover Deleted Files Mac

If you’re a Mac user and need to recover deleted files on Mac, please download MiniTool Mac Data Recovery instead.

Then, please install MiniTool Mac Data Recovery properly and launch it to start recovery. In the main interface, you can find that MiniTool have provided you with 4 recovery modules.

  1. Click on the Undelete Recovery module.
  2. Select the drive in which your deleted Mac files are stored.
  3. Click on the Scan button and wait for the scan to complete.
  4. Browse all the items found by the software and pick out the files you want to recover.
  5. Click on the Save button and choose a safe place to store them.
  6. Click on the OK button and wait.
  7. Choose Yes in the pop-up window to finish deleted files recovery on Mac.

choose Undelete Recovery module

More details on how to recover deleted files Mac.

Recover Deleted Files in Other Cases

Apart from PC internal hard drives, there are also many storage devices used widely by many people:

  • External hard drive
  • Flash drive
  • Memory card
  • Android device

There are still many people hoping to know how to get back deleted files from those devices.

How to Recover Files Deleted from Different Storage Devices

Recover deleted files from external hard drive.

The only difference between an external hard drive and an in internal hard drive is the way the disk is placed.

Hence, to recover deleted data from an external disk, you only need to take one more step: connect the external hard drive to your computer and make sure it shows up. (What if external hard drive doesn’t appear?)

Recover deleted files from flash drive.

You need to know one thing: after you deleted a file from your flash drive, it won’t be sent to the Recycle Bin.

That is to say: the file is deleted permanently from the flash drive.

Hence, you should follow these steps to recover files deleted from a flash drive.

  1. Connect your flash drive to the computer.
  2. Make sure the flash drive appears after connection. (How to fix when flash drive can’t be recognized).
  3. Open MiniTool Power Data Recovery/Mac Data Recovery and use it to retrieve deleted files from the flash drive.

Where Do Deleted Files Go – Problem Solved.

Recover deleted files from memory card.

SD card is a kind of memory card used by a lot of people; some of them are seeking ways to recover lost files from SD card.

In fact, there is only one more step for you to retrieve deleted files from an SD card compared to recovering deleted files from a flash drive.

  1. Take out the SD card properly from the device it is used on and insert it into a card reader.
  2. Connect the card reader to the computer.
  3. Check whether the SD card shows up on the computer.
  4. Use MiniTool Power Data Recovery/Mac Data Recovery to scan the card and recover deleted data from it.

Please read this page to find more details on recovering deleted files from SD card:

How To Recover Deleted Files From SD Card With Easy Steps

The content involved in this essay can help you restore deleted files from SD card without any obstacles.

Read More

Recover deleted files Android.

It’s also unavoidable to delete Android files by mistake. At this time, you have 2 choices to recover deleted files on Android.

  • Choice 1: take out the memory card from your Android device -> connect the card to your computer -> use the data recovery software mentioned above to detect and recover files.
  • Choice 2: download and install MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android -> connect your Android device to the computer -> run the software to finish Android device deleted files recovery.

MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android

How to Recover Deleted Files after Virus Attack

After telling you how to get back files deleted permanently, I’d like to show you how to recover files deleted by virus attack.

Steps are:

  1. Click on This PC.
  2. Select the damaged drive that the virus has attacked.
  3. Click on the Scan button and wait for the scanning to complete.
  4. Browse the found files and pick out the ones deleted by virus.
  5. Click on the Save button and choose a storage place for the recovered files.
  6. Tap OK button to confirm and wait.
  7. Close the software when a notification appears, saying that the deleted files are recovered.

wait for scan and check files you need

Please note the following:

  1. Sometimes MiniTool might find more than one possible partition. To find the files you want to recover, please look through them one by one.
  2. If the computer is unable to boot up after the virus attack, please use the bootable edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
Note: In addition to virus attack, your PC may not boot after BIOS update. You should start data recovery and boot failure repair at once.

How to Recover Files from a Partition That Is Deleted

In the case when the paritition you want to recover files from is missing or deleted, you will need to scan the whole disk in order to find the lost files.

I will use the Hard Disk Drive mode in the MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

How to recover deleted files from hard drive (deleted partition)?

  1. Select Hard Disk Drive.
  2. Select the disk which contains the deleted partition.
  3. Click on the Scan button and wait.
  4. Browse the found files during or after the scan.
  5. Select the files you need and click on the Save button.
  6. Press OK to confirm.
  7. Click on the OK button in the prompt window to end file recovery.

select a disk to scan

Above is how you can rescue your deleted files on PC quickly by using MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

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Top Data Loss Issues and Causes

In fact, file and data losses are common disasters that can happen to many people due to a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most encountered data loss scenarios.

File Loss Phenomena

1. The most common cause of file loss is accidental deletion.

Case 1:

I was working in my laptop and accidentally deleted a whole folder containing from 20 to 25 Word-files. I also emptied the recycle bin then, so no chances to find it there. I don't even remember the location of the folder when it was deleted, maybe the desktop, or maybe another folder inside my Documents. I have read on the Internet that a recovery can be tried both using Microsoft tools, and via an external software to previously download. Suggestions on both directions are very well appreciated. This folder was quite important, so many thanks in advance to anyone who can help me on this. I would like to add that I accidentally deleted the folders 3 days ago (Feb 11), and that only yesterday night (Feb 13) I realized that that folder had been deleted.– asked by DenisBaldoni on Microsoft’s Community

In this case, the user had accidentally deleted a folder containing 20~25 Word files and then emptied the Recycle Bin. Now, he wanted to know how to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin but he can’t even remember the original locations of the lost files.

Note: Try this professional folder recovery software to recover deleted folder yourself.

Case 2:

Help! I just accidentally clicked "yes" when prompted to permanently delete a couple of files from my USB flash drive. Please tell me there is a way to restore or recover these files! I just tried to restore a previous version, but I only ended up with a shortcut to the original version that I just deleted. Thank you in advance for any solutions.– asked by Gypsywilde27 on Microsoft’s Community

Similarly, the user in this case also deleted useful files by accident. The only difference is that he had deleted data from his USB flash drive, so the files won’t go into Recycle Bin; instead, they would have been permanently deleted.

Note: Please start to recover deleted files from USB without any delay.

2. Another popular cause of file loss is partition damage.


This HDD was connected to my PC but it only has some video files that I can't lose. Seagate. 2TB. Now, when I connect it inside of my PC like extra HDD or using usb adapter, appear a message telling me I need to format it. Please, somebody know how can I to save all my files in that hard drive?– asked by carmilanes at Tom’s Hardware Forum

In this scenario, the system asked the user to format the HDD connected to computer. After formatting the HDD, he could no longer access any files inside.

Note: Yes, you can recover files from formatted hard drive easily by using a professional tool.

3. The last type of file loss is caused by losing partition.


Hi, I have the same problem. When i plug in the drive, it says that its successfully installed however it does not appear in "my computer". Also when i go into system tools it says that disk 1 is unknown, not initialized, unallocated. Can you please help me, I don’t want to lose my data, it contains all my pics. Please help.– asked by jenny123 at Windows Seven Forums

Here, by looking at the description – disk 1 is unknown, not initialized, unallocated, it could be confirmed that this users’ partition(s) on disk 1 has been lost, including all the contents inside.

Causes for File Loss Problems

There are six main reasons that files could be lost:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Partition damage
  • Partition loss
  • Unexpected OS crash
  • Sudden file loss
  • Unknown reasons

Among them, partition damage/partition loss includes two basic types:

  • Users have formatted the drive by mistake.
  • The drive is damaged suddenly due to unknown reasons.

What Happens When a File Is Deleted or Lost

Actually, even if you empty the Recycle Bin in Windows to delete files permanently, the files will not disappear; you just lose entries to them. And the situation is the same when a drive was reformatted or the boot sector was damaged.

The same process happens when a drive was reformatted or the boot sector was damaged.

So, what’s going on when you delete a file on a Windows PC?

In Windows, if you delete a file by using the conventional approach, the file content itself will not be really cleared.

For example, if you delete a file in Windows Explorer, Windows will put the file into Recycle Bin. Even if you Empty Recycle Bin (or have disabled the Recycle Bin function before deletion in order to omit the confirmation box), the actual data file will not actually be erased by OS (operating system).

As a result, you’re allowed to recover deleted file and folder with the help of third-party tools by bypassing the operating system and operating disk directly.

recover deleted file and folder

What happens when a file is lost?

Similarly, when a file is lost suddenly, the real content still exits; it is only the file entry that has been lost or damaged. By making use of the correct recovery tool, you can still recover your lost file.

Warning: If you accidentally deleted or lost an important file, you should stop using the computer immediately. Do not add new data or even install recovery tool into that drive since it may damage the real content and result in a failed recovery job.

Skills to Reduce Possibility of File Loss

Skill 1: use Cut and Paste function with caution.

It is common for people to encounter the situation where the content is lost during a file moving process using cut and paste - cut data is lost and can no longer be pasted.

Cut and Paste function

In this situation, the lost data will not appear in Recycle Bin. So, data backup or data recovery tools will be the only choice. Thus, please adopt Copy and Paste, instead of Cut and Paste.

Skill 2: do not perform disk defragmentation directly.

Disk defragmentation is frequently used to organize a messy disk so as to improve overall performance.However, it could sometimes be a dangerous action.

disk defragmentation

Why disk defragmentation is dangerous?

This is because problems are likely to occur during disk defragmentation and it is relatively hard to recover data lost this way. Thus, the best thing to do is to copy or backup partition/data to another drive before disk defragmentation, and transfer the files back after the process.

Skill 3: backup data on a regular basis.

Backup is the best preventive measure for sudden data loss. Always having the latest backups ensures the least damage in the situation of data loss. (MiniTool ShadowMaker is a good choice.)

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It’s easy for files/folders to be deleted from any PC. Therefore, it is definitely a useful skill to know how to finish retrieving deleted files on PC.

In this post, useful recovery methods are provided to help all users get out of the terrible data loss situations. By using the recovery tool recommended here, even inexperienced users are able to get back what they need in an easy and safe way.

One important thing to notice is – you must stop writing new data/using the PC after file deletion in order to avoid data overwriting.

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