How to Restore Data You Didn’t Mean to Delete

By May 31, 2019Best practices

Whoops! Didn’t mean to delete that, did you? We’ve all found ourselves having accidentally deleted something important. Below, we’ll review how – with any luck – you might be able to restore this data.


We’ll go over a few practices that you should follow if you ever find yourself suspecting that a crucial file may have been deleted.

Step One: Stop Creating More Data

When a file is deleted, it usually isn’t actually deleted immediately. Instead, it’s only hidden. However, as you create and download more files and data, these deleted files are the ones that are overwritten by these new files. Therefore, you will want to avoid installing any software, streaming media, or downloading anything. Your files might not be overwritten if you do, but they could be, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid the situation entirely.

Step Two: Check the Recycle Bin/Deleted Items

Unless you’ve deleted the contents of the Recycle Bin after deleting your file, there’s a decent chance that you’ll be able to find it there. This is simplified by the Search Recycle Bin option, as well as your ability take its contents and Sort by Date Deleted.

If your file was stored in a cloud storage service, you have the opportunity to check your cloud’s deleted files and potentially restore your file from there.

Step Three: Check That the File Wasn’t Just Misplaced

Chances may be slim, but you may have just misfiled whatever it is you’re trying to find. This is where the File Explorer’s Search function really shines. Before you do anything else, check to see that the file wasn’t just moved by searching for it… you may just luck out and find it.

Step Four: Turn to Your Backup Solution

Of course, if you’ve committed to maintaining a backup solution that subscribes to best practices, you should be able to restore your deleted file from there. While backup solutions are commonly associated with disaster-level data restoration needs, they are just as invaluable in less-cataclysmic situations – like when a file is deleted accidentally.

If your business is in need of a backup solution, reach out to the professionals at Emerge. Call 859-746-1030 to learn more.