|Our Windows version||Windows 11|
|How long we tested||3 weeks|
|Number of tested tools||16|
Data loss can occur on any operating system but not all data recovery programs support multiple platforms. Make sure the app you choose is fully compatible with the OS you run or, at least, has a version for that platform particularly. Certain programs even allow the recovery of storage media formatted for a different operating system entirely.
There’s no telling when data loss can strike and you may end up having to recover files from any kind of storage medium, such as SD cards, SSDs, hard drives, RAID setups, and more. It’s important that your chosen data recovery software is fully compatible with the ones you use.
A lot of data recovery solutions out there offer a free trial that only gets you as far as previewing recoverable files. Once you attempt to retrieve them, you’ll get hit with a message asking you to purchase the full version. Check if the software has a free version that allows actual recovery.
Install the software on a Windows or Mac computer
Launch the app and direct it to the disk you will use for recovery
The Recover button starts the scanning process to discover deleted files
Select the files you want to restore and click Recover a second time
Install quality antivirus/antimalware software. Viruses and malware can wreak havoc on your computer and storage media and could lead to some serious loss of data. To prevent that, it’s always a good idea to install quality antivirus and antimalware software to counteract any malicious programs trying to infiltrate your machine.
Keep food and drink away from your work computer. This one goes without saying, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who keep food and drinks dangerously close to their laptop or computer. No matter how careful you are, uncontrollable circumstances may occur that could cause a spill onto your machine, potentially compromising your data.
Do not mess with unfamiliar files. Operating systems include lots of important files that may not seem familiar to you. These files could be vital to running the platform and tweaking or deleting them could lead to the OS becoming unstable and may cause you to incur data loss. That’s why it’s best to leave unfamiliar system files alone.
Data recovery software often saves recovered files in a specified directory which you can then access through Windows File Explorer. Disk Drill, for example, is one of the best data recovery programs around and includes a button at the end of the retrieval process that will open the folder where your recovered GZ files are located.
On Windows PCs,GZ files that weren’t permanently deleted using the Shift + Delete command can be found and restored from the Recycle Bin tool. For Macs, all deleted X files are sent to the Trash first, so you can get them back from there. Otherwise, you can use Windows File History if you enabled it before the deletion or the Mac Timeline feature.
For Windows, if you deleted the GZ file using the Delete key or right-click > Delete command, then you should be able to find it in the Recycle Bin. On Mac, deleted X files are moved to the Trash before being deleted permanently. If your file is not present in either of these tools, you’ll need to utilize a free data recovery program.