How to recover lost files

If you are in the unfortunate position where you have lost a file then you have probably spent some time frantically trying to find it, searching hopefully through all of the files on your computer. Losing a file is one of the most frustrating things that can happen and there are many different reasons this can occur. Often it can be a user error – sometimes it is because you forget to save it, you accidentally save over something, you have saved it but can’t find where it is saved. Or sometimes you can blame it all on technology; the system crashed, the power failed, the wheel of death appeared and you have no idea where your document will be if it did auto-save at some point.

Whether you can recover a document, will usually come down to whether you had an auto-save or back up option set up. If you do have these options, then you should be able to find a previous version of your documents. If you’re working in a Microsoft document for Windows then you can see if you can get the back up copy by doing the following:


  • Go to the Start menu (bottom left)
  • Select Control Panel
  • Select System and Maintenance
  • Select Backup and Restore
  • Click on Restore my files

This should open up a restore wizard that will step you through the process to restore your file.

If you accidentally deleted a file or folder then you may also be able to restore it. Again, this process is for Windows users.

  • Open the Start menu
  • Find the folder that your document or folder was previously in but it was deleted
  • Right-click on the folder it was in and it should give a drop down menu
  • Select Restore previous version

If none of this is working then you can also try specialized services from data recovery companies who can advise you on the best solution, for example, data recovery software windows. If you have lost your file and cannot find at no matter what you do then recovery software could be the last option.

If you’re not using Windows and you’re on Mac, there is also a number of ways you can restore your files. Visit this Macworld article to get the full details for how to do this. Whichever system you are using, losing a file is a horrible feeling and most people will have experienced that sinking feeling after they have worked for ages on a document and lost it. Even worse, if you accidentally delete a shared folder and other users are no longer able to access their work. This is one of the worst folder deletion situations that you will ever find yourself in but if you use the steps shown above you will hopefully be able to rectify the situation. You may even be lucky enough to get it rectified before anyone notices the problem! Losing a file or folder is nearly always recoverable, so before you have a full on melt down, try the suggested solutions above.



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