[Solved]How to Recover Deleted Files from Hard Drive (Internal/External)

Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Ian McEwan


It’s painful to lose important files from your computer or portable drive. It could be accidental or it may even be caused by a system malfunction. In other cases, you may intentionally delete a file just to discover later that you need that given file. If you are looking for a way on how to recover deleted files from hard drive, no matter internal or external hard drive, then don’t look further. This article will provide you with comprehensive methods on how to do that.

recover deleted files from hard driveWhat Happens When You Delete a File on Your Hard Drive?

When you press the delete button on your computer, the files are moved to the recycle bin. If you click on the “Empty recycle bin” option the address to where these files are stored is deleted. Thus the operating system does not immediately delete the file but declares the address where such a file was stored free for reuse. This implies that the operating system can, in the future, reuse that space to store newly created files.

Once more files are created, the operating system looks for unused memory addresses within your hard drive and stores newly created files on these addresses. This is why it’s easier to recover a file which was deleted and the computer never used after that deletion process than recovering a file which was deleted and such computer used for several years before initiating the recovery process.


3 Methods on How to Recover Deleted Files from Internal or External Hard Drive

Before beginning this process, it’s advisable to ascertain that you actually deleted the file. You could have moved the files to another folder or even the file could be residing in the recycle bin. If the file is in the recycle bin, search for the recycle bin folder, right click on the file you want to restore and select “Restore”. You can also minimize the recycle bin and drag the file to the desktop.


If you are sure the file is not in the recycle bin, then use the methods highlighted below to recover the deleted file:


Method 1: Recover Deleted Files from Hard Drive with Aiseesoft Data Recovery

Aiseesoft Data Recovery is a PC file recovery software which is simple and cost-effective. It can help you recover all deleted/formatted/corrupted files from computer and other storage devices with NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT file system.

Follow the steps below to recover deleted files from hard drive using this tool.

    1. Download the right version of Aiseesoft Data Recovery and install it. It’s advisable to install it on another disk to avoid any possible replacement of the files you are trying to recover.
Win Download Mac Download Win Download Mac Download
  1. Once you download it, extract it from the zipped folder and run the program.
  2. Choose the hard drive you want to check for your deleted files and let the program check the drive for the deleted files.Data Recovery - Choose Location USB Drive to Scan
  3. Once the Aiseesoft Data Recovery tool has finished scanning the drive, select the file you want to recover and click the restore button.


Method 2: Use Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery To Recover Deleted Files from Hard Drive

Though this tool is not absolutely free, there is a one-month trial version which can help you recover your files. Follow these simple steps to recover deleted files using this tool:

Wondershare RecoveritWondershare Recoverit

  1. Download and install the Wondershare RecoveritWondershare RecoveritData Recovery Tool from the official website.
  2. Launch the program and select the disk from which you want to recover your files.
  3. Click the “Scan” button and wait for the program to go through the files within that disk. This process may take a few minutes or even hours depending on the size of files in your disk.
  4. Once the scan process is completed, check for your desired files from the scan results. Select the files and click the “Recover now” option to get your files back.


Method 3: System Restore (This Method works only if the file history was previously turned on)

For Windows 8 and 10

  1. Go to the folder which contained the deleted file
  2. Look for the history button from the top menu bar and click it. A pop-up window will be displayed.
  3. Select the “Previous” button to move to earlier files which were stored on that specific folder.
  4. Select the deleted file which you wish to restore then click “Restore”.

For Windows 7

  1. Move to the folder which previously had the deleted file.
  2. Right click on the folder and select the “Restore previous versions” option from the popup menu.
  3. Choose your desired backup version and select “Restore”.

Note that you need to select a backup version whose date comes earlier than the date you deleted the file.



It’s possible to recover your deleted files. If you had deleted your files and you were struggling on how you can recover your lost files, use the above 3 methods to get your files back. As a precaution, it’s important to start the file recovery process as fast as possible and not wait until the deleted files are replaced with newly created files.