How to recover deleted files


Oh no! Accidentally deleting an important file can seem like the end of the world… but there’s hope.

A deleted file is not completely removed from the hard drive immediately, but it will be once the space it occupied gets overwritten by the computer. So if you want to get your deleted file back, first and foremost:

STOP other programs and processes that can write to disk!

This protects the file and increases the chances of a successful recovery. Next, go through the following steps to recover your data.


Check your Recycle Bin or Trash Can

Files that were simply deleted, not permanently deleted, end up here. Find it on the Desktop, and sort by date to find the most recently deleted files. Click ‘Restore this item’ or ‘Restore all items’ to recover deleted files.


Cloud services like Dropbox also have a Recycle Bin, so make sure to check there, too.


Recover deleted files from backups

Are you backing up your files? Unfortunately, most people don’t think to make backups until after they’ve lost their data. Recovering a deleted file from a backup is easy – if you’ve taken the time to set one up first. Here’s how to do it:

Open the Start Menu, click Control Panel, then System and Maintenance, then Backup and Restore. To create a backup, click Set up a backup. Choose a disc or external drive with enough space to save your backup.


If you have already set up backups, click Select a backup to restore files from to recover your files.


Recover deleted files from previous versions

If you haven’t manually made a backup, there is still a chance to recover your files. Windows has an automatic back-up process in place called ‘previous versions’.

Use the Start Menu or Explorer Menu to navigate to the folder where the permanently deleted files used to be. Right click and choose Restore previous versions.


You will get a list of restore points to choose from. Be careful when choosing a previous version -- restoring deleted files this way replaces the current version on your computer, and is not reversible.



Ask a professional for help

If you prefer to leave it to a professional to recover deleted files, AVG Go offers ‘Total Care’ coverage for only $9.99/month plus one-time set up costs. Our dedicated experts can recover deleted files remotely or walk you through the process over the phone. You’ll also get unlimited tech support for up to three devices.

For a free consultation, call 1-844-234-6038. Attempting to retrieve deleted files yourself can risk overwriting the files you want to recover. With AVG Go, you can talk to an expert before making a decision.

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Use free file recovery software

There are lots of free (and paid) tools available for deleted file recovery. Be warned – installing a deleted file recovery tool could potentially overwrite your deleted file.

File recovery programs can scan your hard disk – as well as removable media like memory cards and external drives -- for permanently deleted files. Our guide will use examples from Recuva, but most file recovery software works in a similar way.

Once downloaded and installed, you can choose what files to search for and where to search.




Your file recovery software should pull up a list of files you can search through. You simply tick the box and choose which folder or drive to restore deleted files to.

There are lots of options available to recover deleted files, from automatic Windows tools, to professional file recovery programs, to free recovery software.

If you’re not sure which is right for you, call AVG Go at 1-844-234-6038 for a free consultation.

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