Recover lost files on Windows with Recuva

If you have accidentally deleted files and they’re not in recycle bin and you didn’t turn on system restore so you can’t use previous version/shadow explorer to get the files back. Or you format a disk, and then realize that there are important documents in the disk which you want them back. You still have the chance to get those files back with Recuva.

Recuva is a free software (also has paid version) which recovers deleted files (document, music, photo, etc) on Windows.

Note: It is important that you do not write any data to the disk that will be recovered. Otherwise, there is a chance that you could overwrite the data you’re trying to recover.

Watch on YouTube

Step-by-step

  1. I will delete my files on the flash drive as example.
    Delete files on flash drive
  2. Download and run Recuva from https://www.piriform.com/recuva.
    On the welcome page, click Next.
    Run Recuva
  3. Select specific file type that will be recovered. If you don’t know or you want to recover multiple file formats, select All Files.
    Select file type to recover on Recuva
  4. On File location, specify where do you want to scan for the lost files. It will reduce
    scanning time if you narrow down to specific disk or folder. In this example, I select
    In a specific location and click Browse to select my USB drive.
    Select file location to scan on Recuva
  5. Click Start to begin normal scan.
    Start scan files
  6. When the scanning finishes, it shows files which you can select to recover. You can see file condition on colored-icon in front of each files and the state column.
    • Green icon means file is in excellent condition and recovery is likely success.
    • Yellow icon means a possible data loss on the file. You can recover the file, but it may be incomplete, or corrupted.
    • Red icon means the file is unrecoverable. And it shows reason in comment column, usually tell that the file is overwritten by some other file.

    Scanning result on Recuva

  7. To recover files, check a box in front of file that you want.
    Note: You can check the box at column header if you want to recover all files in this window.
    Select files to recover on Recuva
  8. Right-click on any file and select Recover Checked to recover all checked files.
    Recover checked files on Recuva
  9. Select which folder where you want to save the files and click OK.
    Note: I recommended to save files to other disk to prevent any chance that these files overwrite data that being recovered.
  10. Then, it shows recovery result.
    Recovery result on Recuva
  11. Here are the recovered files.
    Recovered files
  12. If you cannot find files with normal scanning, you can try with deep scan which will take time to scan, but it will find more files as well. Back to Recuva, click Switch to advanced mode.
    Switch on advanced mode on Recuva
  13. Next, click Options.
    Open Options on Recuva
  14. On Options,
    1. Select Actions tab.
    2. Check the option Deep Scan (increase scan time).
    3. If you want to recover folder structure, you can check Restore folder structure.
    4. Click OK.

    Configure options on Recuva

  15. Click Scan to begin.
    Start scan files on Recuva
  16. You notice that there are many more files found with deep scan.
    Scanning result on Recuva
  17. I will recover some files as example. The steps are the same as earlier.
    Recover files on Recuva
  18. It shows recovery result.
    Recovery result on Recuva
  19. Here are the recovered files.
    Recovered files

If you still cannot recover files, you could try other recovery software, or send the disk to a professional lab for recovery.

One Response

  1. Muhammad August 14, 2017

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.