We are all humans and we tend to make mistakes. But the severity of mistakes is determined by the damage it will/can make in short or long term basis. Such is the case with accidental deletion of data from computer or digital media devices.
There are occurrences when you are actually trying to delete a few not-so important files from your computer but accidently selects a few which are important and delete them. Once the deletion process gets over, you realize that you were not actually supposed to delete them.
In some cases you get them back but those who are not familiar with the exact process of file recovery thinks that it’s gone forever. The file can be your office document, presentation for the meeting, images of your loved ones, audio, video or anything.
Recoverability of a file depends on the way it’s been deleted or the actions performed on them once they are deleted.
Before actually getting into how you can recover those lost files from your computer, let’s discuss a few lines about how the data actually gets deleted from your memory storage and how your computer recovers them.
Whenever you try to store any type of data on any memory storage device, it gets stored in bytes (smallest unit of byte). To store the data, 2 memory spaces are created for it: one is where the actual data gets stored and second space stores information about the first part, also called as metadata.
The second part is significantly smaller in size as it only holds information like where the data is getting stored and what’s the location of it, how much space it’s occupying, thumbnails and other tiny details.
Just to explain: what you see on your computer screen as icons, it’s the second part (information about the actual data) and when you click on it, it accesses the first part and shows up your actual data.
When you are deleting any file temporarily, you delete the Meta data of the file. For you, it’s gone, but it’s actually stored on your computer but inaccessible to everyone. To get back those files again, you are just required to locate the position of stored data, which is not possible manually.
How to recover deleted data?
Accidental Deletion: If you accidentally delete a few files, you can quickly ‘UnDo’ them and restore files to their original location.
In windows it can done by pressing CTRL + Z button together whereas in Mac, you can press COMMAND + Z button together. Do keep in mind that it will only restore the last activity so do not indulge yourself into any other activity on your computer after you have deleted your files.
Restore them from Recycle Bin/Trash: Once you delete a file, it first goes into the trash folder (Unless you have deleted it permanently, Windows: Shift + Delete, Mac: Deleted from Trash too). You are only required to locate your file/s them and restore them back to your folder.
If you have permanently deleted the files by pressing Shift + Delete or you are not able to locate it in recycle bin/trash, you need to take assistance of external software to recover all your missing files. There are dozens of data recovery software available in the market but choosing the best one is a bit confusing and exhausting.
Choosing the right software can be done using any of the 3 steps given below:
The Hard way: A few people get to know about the best software by going the hard way i.e., paying and trying them one by one. You should never do that. As repetitive attempts by different software will only make the recovery process complicated for another and there will be a stage where it goes beyond recovery.
Going for trial versions: Most of the available software comes with a few day trial versions which has only a limited features like, you can only recover file of a few particular types or of a fixed size.
Going with the experts: If you have lost your photos accidentally, you are not the only one. There are hundreds and thousands of people who are going through the same or even worse.
The best way to go for it is to learn from experience of others instead of learning it by themselves. Read what others are discussing and what they are recommending. Follow the review of experts, and you can know about pros and cons of each and every product. Some of the well known products for data recovery include recuva (spelled as recover), remo and Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery.
Most of them have features common to each other. Though they all claim to recover any media files from your computer but recuva and remo gets limited to only a few percentages of total and Phoenix Photo Recovery makes it to ‘the user’s favorite’ category.
All the above mentioned steps come second to actually saving your data carefully. If you are handling your data carefully, you will never need any of the tool or you will never be required to get into any technical aspects of your computer to recover lost memories stored in the form of images, audios and videos or important document which can are considered highly important.
Better safe than sorry!!