|Our Windows version||Windows 11|
|How long we tested||1 week|
|Number of tested tools||16|
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.
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.
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.
Download and install the program to the Mac or Windows platform
Launch the program and choose the disk or partition that contained the deleted data
Select the Recover button in order to start scanning the disk for recoverable files
Preview the recoverable files and hit Recover again after selcting those to be restored
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.
Back up files regularly. While backing up files can sometimes be time-consuming and a hassle, it’s a vital part of keeping important files safe from unforeseen data loss. After all, you can never tell when you might accidentally delete a file or encounter device failure. One missed backup session could set you back hours, days, or even months of work.
For CS files that were accidentally deleted using the Delete key or right-click > Delete command, they should be available for restoration from the Windows Recycle Bin tool. Other forms of data loss may be recovered using the File History feature, provided it was enabled beforehand. Otherwise, you’ll need a quality data recovery program.
For Windows, if you deleted the CS 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.
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 CS files are located.