Nothing can be more upsetting than losing or having essential photos, videos, documents and other files corrupted on your computer. However, understanding how to restore and possibly repair these files can be a lifesaver. Let’s dive into this process to make sure you know the steps to take.
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First, be sure to back up your devices
In order to restore all your files on your entire device, we highly recommend that you always back up your devices.
To learn more about my picks for reliable hard drives and online services to back up your important files, visit Cyberguy.com/BackUpDevices.
Note that before restoring from a previous backup, which can be considered a more involved process, first try retrieving any deleted files by following the steps below.
How can I restore a deleted file on my computer?
Whether you’re a PC or a Mac user, there are numerous ways to restore a file that has accidentally been deleted. This could be as simple as going through your Recycle Bin, restoring from a backup noted above or having to resort to data recovery software. Here are a few steps you can take to get a file back.
Check your Recycle Bin
Both Macs and PCs come with Recycle Bins or trash bins where files that have been freshly deleted get stored. If you delete a file, it will typically live in this bin for around 30 days before being permanently erased from your device, so you should always check here for a lost file.
Here’s how to restore a file from your trash on a Mac:
- On your Mac Home Screen, click the trash icon in the bottom right corner (this will be on your Home Screen by default)
- Select the file you’ve lost and move it to another location on your device (i.e. your Desktop, Downloads, etc.).
Here’s how to restore a file from your trash on a PC:
- On your PC Home Screen, select the trash icon
If this icon is not on your Home Screen, select Start
Go to Personalization
Click Desktop icon settings
Check off the box for Recycle Bin and select OK.
- If this icon is not on your Home Screen, select Start
- Click Settings
- Go to Personalization
- Click Themes
- Click Desktop icon settings
- Check off the box for Recycle Bin and select OK.
- When you find the file you want to restore, right-click on it and click Restore. Or you can simply drag it out of the trash can back to your desktop.
How to restore deleted files on an iPhone
If you deleted photos or videos on your iPhone and want to restore them, you can transfer them back from the Recycle Bin as long as it’s within 30 days of having deleted the file.
Here’s how to restore deleted photos and videos on an iPhone:
- Open your Photos app
- Tap Albums at the bottom
- Scroll down and click the row Recently Deleted
- Use Face ID or enter your passcode to see the folder
- Tap the photo or video you want to recover
- Select Recover in the bottom right corner
- Tap Recover Photo or Recover Video to confirm.
Here’s how to restore deleted files on an iPhone:
- Open your Files app
- Go to the Browse tab
- Click the Recently Deleted row
- Hold down the file you want to recover
- Tap Recover.
MORE: BEST WAYS TO SAVE AND RESTORE DOCUMENTS
How to restore files on an Android
Here’s how to restore deleted photos and videos on an Android:
- Open your Google Photos app
- Tap the Library tab
- Tap Trash
- Hold down the photo or video you want to recover
- Tap Restore.
Here’s how to restore deleted files on an Android:
Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer
- Open the My Files folder on your Android
- Click the Trash can
- Click the file you want to restore
- Click the Restore All icon in the bottom of the page.
How to restore data from corrupted files or a crashed system: Use Data Recovery Software
While it is wise to back up files across multiple devices, having data recovery software provides an added safeguard. This tool can be invaluable for recovering files that might be corrupted, lost in a system crash or never backed up to begin with. There are some great options out there for Macs and PCs alike, and many of them have free versions that you can use as well.
See my top picks for data recovery software at CyberGuy.com/DataRecovery.
Kurt’s key takeaways
The trauma of losing or having crucial computer files become corrupted is a situation no one wants to face. The good news is that methods exist to restore these files on Macs, PCs, iPhones and Androids. In situations where the problem is more severe, data recovery software offers a reliable solution.
Have you ever accidentally deleted a file? What did you do to get it back? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact
For more of my security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.
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