It’s happened to all of us. You go to open a file, whether it’s a Word document or a photo, and it’s not there. Or perhaps it is there, but it isn’t the latest version that you spent hours working on. It feels like a disaster; everything is lost, and you’re going to have to start again. Or are you? Although nothing is guaranteed, you can still make attempts to get your files back. There are a few methods you can try yourself. And if all else fails you can go to a professional data recovery service. If you can’t find the files you’re looking for, try these tips to locate them or bring them back to life.
It might seem like an obvious thing to do, but first you should make sure you definitely can’t find your files. Before you start panicking, look in your recycle bin, where they will have gone if you accidentally deleted them. You can also perform a search through all the files on your computer if you know the file names. For example, you can use Windows Explorer to search by name. It could be that the files weren’t saved where you thought they were. Another option is to check the places where your software might save backup versions of files. For example, if you were working on a document in Word or OpenOffice, find out where these programs will save to when you have a document open.
Check Your Backup Locations
If you have one or more locations to backup your data, check them too. For example, you might have software that automatically saves all your files to an external hard drive or a cloud storage service. If you can’t find them where you thought they should be, they might be saved in your backup locations.
Use File Recovery Software
Another option is to use software that will search for and restore files. If you know the name of one or more files, you can input it into the program. There are lots of options, both free and paid, for the software you choose. Some of them are more sophisticated than others so that you can recover different types of files. You can perform quick scans or more in-depth ones to try and get your files back.
Send Your Device for Data Recovery
If nothing else works, leave it up to the professionals. You can send your device to someone like DatLabs who can help you find and retrieve your missing files. They can assist with USB sticks, NAS systems, and desktop, laptop, and external hard drives. Services like these can do their best to find the files you’re looking for. Some will collect your device from you and deliver it once they’re finished, so you don’t need to visit them.
You won’t always be able to rescue missing files. However, there is a chance you can get back what you can’t find. Don’t give up until you’ve tried every solution there is to try.