Ever been the new guy at a company and been given a huge project to work on? Your nerves are probably shot and your hands are probably shaking. You can’t afford to screw up but it’s more likely that this is when you will. Maybe you’re diligently working away on the Johnson file when you accidentally delete a file. No big deal, right? You can just recover it from the recycle bin. Except when you go in to recover it your shaky hands slip and you end up permanently deleting the entire file. Before you start panicking and wondering when you’ll get fired don’t lose hope! There are programs available to help you save your butt, and your job:
Few tech disasters can send your stomach into free fall quite like realising you’ve deleted something important from your laptop or phone, with no obvious way to bring it back. Luckily, if you find yourself scrambling to restore your deleted files, there’s still hope. Free tools and apps are widely available to help you recover your deleted data no matter what platform you’re using. Here’s what you need to know.
On most modern forms of storage, deleting a file doesn’t actually delete it — it usually just tells the operating system in charge that the space the file is using is free for other data. If you can get in quickly enough, it’s possible to bring your file back from its digital grave before something else has rushed in to take its place, so speed is of the essence.
Back up, back up, back up
If you want to stick with local file storage for your backing up needs, then OS X has Time Machine and Windows has File History, and of course there are a ton of third-party options to choose from as well. If you buy an external hard drive or networked drive, it will often come with a backup program included.
In the case of Dropbox’s apps, for example, load up the web interface, then click Deleted Files to see a list of recently erased files and folders. Click Restore next to any entry to bring it back. Deleted files are kept for 30 days or a whole year if you’ve signed up for Dropbox Pro and the Extended Version History add-on.
Windows and Mac
If your files are gone from the Recycle Bin or the Trash, then you need a dedicated third-party tool to search for and recover your erased files. Recuva is one of the best and most well-respected options for Windows, while DMDE and PhotoRec are both worth considering as alternatives for undeleting your data.
Alright, have you caught your breath now? You’ll notice that there are options for every kind of operating system, so even if you’re doing work on your Android tablet and manage to royally screw up you should be relatively safe if you followed the steps in the article.
With this secret weapon in your back pocket you should be well on your way to moving up that corporate ladder.