|Our Windows version||Windows 10|
|How long we tested||3 weeks|
|Number of tested tools||15|
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.
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 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.
Download and install the app to your Windows or Mac computer
Fire up the app and select the disk where the lost files were located
Select the Recover button in order to start scanning the disk for recoverable files
Select the files you want to restore and click Recover a second time
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 routine maintenance on your computer/laptop. Neglecting your computer or laptop can lead to dust build-up, ventilation issues, and other hardware pitfalls. In turn, this could cause your device to abruptly fail, resulting in data loss. So make sure to always perform regular maintenance on your machine to ensure that it stays in tip-top shape.
Avoid suspicious emails and files. Suspicious emails are rife with phishing emails and other forms of malicious files. Accessing the contents of these emails could severely compromise the security of your computer. This could lead to hackers accessing your machine, putting your important files in jeopardy. So if you see a suspicious email, simply delete it.
On Windows PCs,M 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 M 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.
Backups are the easiest way to recover M 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.