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How to Restore a Deleted File

When you delete a file on your computer, it is not necessarily destroyed. Restore deleted data with these tips.


  • Step 1: Check the Recycle Bin On a PC, open the Recycle Bin. Search for and double-click on the deleted file, and click the Restore button to restore the file to its previous file location on a PC.
  • TIP: Do as little computing as possible until you find the file you're looking for. Every time you save new information, your chances of restoring a deleted file drops.
  • Step 2: Download and install free software Download and install a free software product to restore your file if you have already emptied the Recycle Bin.
  • Step 3: Open the program Open the folder for your hard drive and then start the restoration program.
  • Step 4: Search for the file Click the Search button and select the drive from which the file was deleted.
  • Step 5: Restore the file Locate the file and click the Restore button or right-click the file name and select Save As to resave it in a new folder.
  • TIP: Back up data frequently on an external hard drive to protect against lost data.
  • Step 6: Restore files on a Mac On a Mac, restore a deleted file on a Mac by opening the Trash Bin, selecting the deleted file, and dragging it to another folder.
  • Step 7: Use Mac's Time Machine Use Apple's Time Machine program, which comes with the OS X Leopard operating system, to recover Mac files deleted from the trash bin.
  • Step 8: Search and recover Connect your backup drive, open the folder that held the deleted file, and launch Time Machine. Select the file and click Restore in the lower right corner to salvage your lost file.
  • FACT: The 1995 period film Restoration won the Oscars for Art Direction and Costume Design.

You Will Need

  • A PC or Mac computer
  • Internet access
  • Restoration software
  • An external hard drive (optional)

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