We have all at some point accidentally deleted an important file from our computers. Whether you were just cleaning up your folders and pressed the wrong button or didn’t realize the importance of the photos at the time, there are a couple of ways to go about getting your photos back.
The first and simplest step is to simply check your Recycling Bin. Anything you delete – including photos, music, documents and even programs – will end up in your Recycling Bin. If your Recycling Bin is stuffed with deleted data, try organizing it by Date Deleted to help you find your photos.
If your photos aren’t in the Recycling Bin, you’ll have to move onto locating your photos on your hard drive. Whether you remember emptying your Recycling Bin or not, the hard drive may have remnants of what you have recently deleted and there’s a chance you can recover your data. The bad news is that there are no guarantees on what has been saved and it’ll take some digging. The good news is that even if you have reformatted your hard drive or done other system changes on your computer, there’s a chance your hard drive might still have your photos.
To better understand how to reclaim your photos, remember that a computer never actually deletes information. Instead, when you delete something, it marks the space that data is using as open for any new data coming in. When you’re trying to recover a deleted file, what you’re hoping is that your computer hasn’t assigned any new data to the area of the hard drive that your deleted photos.
Enough geekery. What is most important to note about how a hard drive works is that time is of the essence when recovering data. You’ll have the most luck if you start the recovery process as soon as possible after the accidental deletion.
To recover deleted data from a hard drive, you’ll first need to choose a recovery program. There are a variety of option available online for data recovery. Some cost money, some are free. No one recovery program is better than another. As long as it passes your deletion test, it will be able to find your photos if they haven’t been overwritten. Once you have chosen a program, create a folder or file and delete it. Delete it from the recycling bin as well and then test the program to see if it’s actually working.
Once you have verified that it is working, you can start looking for your photos. Your recovery program will guide you through the necessary steps and do all the internal work for you. All you have to do is cross your fingers and wait.