|Our Windows version||Windows 10|
|How long we tested||3 weeks|
|Number of tested tools||19|
While there are a few genuinely free data recovery programs out there and some with a decent trial version, they’re often either overly complex, ineffective, or have recovery limits. So if you’re willing to invest, you should find a program that fits your price range. Also, consider whether you’d prefer a program with subscriptions or a one-time payment.
While a data recovery program’s retrieval capabilities are certainly its most important aspect, the extra features it brings to the table certainly add a lot of value. For example, some apps come with a drive backup feature while others allow the repair of compromised/damaged files, both of which can come in very handy.
Whether it’s pictures, documents, audio, or file types, it’s a good idea to select a recovery program that supports the retrieval of a wide range of file extensions. Once you’re done recovering your files this time around, you may need to use the program again in the future for a different file type.
With a Windows or Mac machine, download and install the software
Start the program and choose the disk or partition where the files were last seen
Choose Recover to begin scanning the selected disk for recoverable files
Preview the recoverable files and hit Recover again after selcting those to be restored
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.
Keep work and leisure separate. It’s always a good idea to have a separate computer/laptop for work and general use. If you keep installing and uninstalling programs on a machine, it will hasten the rate at which the operating system might break down. And when it finally does become unstable, you could lose some important data in the process.
Password protect your machine. If you live in a household with multiple people, then it’s a good idea to put a strong password on your computer or laptop. You never know when a child or another unauthorized person might try to make their way into your machine and fiddle with your files. Better safe than sorry.
On Windows PCs,VCF 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.
Deleted VCF files that cannot be found in the Windows Recycle Bin or Mac Trash can still be recovered using an effective data recovery program. Just make sure you stop using the drive they were in right away to avoid overwriting the deleted file. Alternatively, if you had File History enabled or created a System Restore point beforehand, you can use those methods.
Backups are the easiest way to recover VCF files that were saved over. Windows machines also have a built-in feature that allows you to retrieve older versions of X files, as long as you enabled the tool before the overwriting occurred. Mac has a similar feature called Time Machine. Alternatively, you can use Windows System Restore to return your PC to a previous point in time, but you’d need to have created a backup prior.