How to Recover Permanently Deleted Items

By Diana Braun

Your computer crashes, you accidentally empty your recycle bin or you get a bad virus that deletes your important files. And then you wonder if these files can be recovered. Recuva is freeware that can restore and recover files you deliberately deleted from your computer and memory cards and those deleted by accident---by crashes or viruses.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows computer
  • Recuva freeware

Step 1

Download and install Recuva freeware. Once that is done, launch the program. A pop-up Recuva Wizard will appear. (If you don't see the Wizard, click "Options" and select "Show Wizard at start-up" button and then click "Run Wizard.")

Step 2

Click "Next" at the "Welcome to the Recuva Wizard."

Step 3

Select the type of files you want to recover from the "File Type" page and click "Next." If you don't know the file type, select "Other."

Step 4

Select where you would like to search from the "File Location" page and click "Next."

Step 5

Check the box next to "Enable Deep Scan" and click "Start." The scan of your computer will begin. Search results will be presented in the main window.

Step 6

Click "Recover" and select the location for the recovered files. Click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • Enabling the deep scan in Step 5 may take several hours to complete. This is the most thorough scan of deleted files on your computer.Files that are too badly corrupted or written over may not be recovered. It is best to install the Recuva software before accidental deletions occur. Installing the software after files have been deleted could possibly overwrite the deleted file.

References & Resources