|Our Windows version||Windows 11|
|How long we tested||4 weeks|
|Number of tested tools||12|
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.
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.
There’s a good chance that when you attempt to recover files from a particular storage medium, there will be a whole lot of recoverable files to sift through on the results page. That’s why it helps if the program is equipped with a preview feature that allows you to get a glimpse of a file before recovering it.
Download and install the application on a Mac or Windows machine
Launch the software and select a disk on which to recover lost files
The Recover button starts the scanning process to discover deleted files
Preview the files that can be restored and click Recover to retrieve the data
Create an image at the first sign of storage failure. If you notice that your storage device is starting to fail, you should immediately create a backup image of the medium so that you can attempt data recovery later. That way, you can preserve whatever information is currently on the drive before it incurs further data loss.
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.
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.
For DOCX 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.
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 DOCX files are located.
On Windows PCs,DOCX 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.