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How To Recover Lost Files On A Computer [EXPERT GUIDE]

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If you are reading this, it's possible you have lost a file or files (as the case may be) recently on your PC. This post will show you how to recover lost files on a computer.

There are many ways that you can lose a file on a computer, but we are going to check the three most common causes of file loss. Also, we will recommend three ways you can recover your lost files.

Common Causes Of File Loss

Common causes of file lost or lost files

1. Deleting files accidentally

This is the most common way people lose files on PC. Usually, it happens due to wrong command input. You might be trying to save or perform other functions but end up deleting important files. 

But when it comes to deleted files, they are not deleted. Instead, they are hidden from view to be overwritten by the PC later on. When it comes to the recovery of these types of files, the faster the recovery is initiated, the better its success.

2. Mechanical damages

In this case, file loss can come about as a result of damage to the hard drive, malfunctioning drive, unsuccessful repartitioning of the drive, or formatting of the drive.

3. Virus infection of files

This is another common phenomenon. Computer viruses can enter the files from infected internet online sources, or by connecting corrupted hardware to the computer.

How To Recover Lost Files On A Computer

If you are wondering – how do I recover a lost file on my computer? Here are 3 applicable methods to apply.

Method 1: Use IOLO Search and Rescue 

IOLO Search and recover Lost files from a PC

The number one and most effective way is by using IOLO Search and Recover. It helps to recover files deleted accidentally and files lost due to mechanical damages to the drives of computers.

Search and Recover is a data recovery software that can help you to recover lost files on a PC. Plus, it is applicable for USB flash drives, thumb drives, CDs, memory cards, DVDs, etc.

It helps to recover emails from sites like Outlook, Thunderbird, Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, and Eudora. The range of the drive it can recover files from include USB, USB 2.0 IDE, FireWire, SCSI, and others. 

The software has a feature that can also help in recovering files from malfunctioning, repartitioned, formatted, and damaged drives and devices.

You can download digital versions of this software after purchase or purchase physical CDs for installation and use. Follow the prompts to install and use.

Method 2: Recover lost files from Recycle Bin

When files are deleted from the system, they usually end up in the recycling bin. Recovering this type of file is generally very easy. 

Just follow the steps below.

  • Locate the recycle bin on your desktop.
  • Double click on the recycle bin icon to open it.
  • Look through the files in the recycle bin to locate the ones that need recovery.
  • Right-click on the file you want to recover and click on restore when it brings out options.
  • This will restore the file to its original location.
  • Repeat the process for each file if they are more than one to restore.
  • You can also drag the file out of the recycle bin and drop it in any location of choice on the computer

Method 3: Use Command prompt or CMD

This is applicable when a virus enters the computer. A virus can enter into the computer through a corrupted hard drive, the internet, etc. When the virus enters, they delete or hide files, and some of the viruses prompt the user to pay or do something to recover the files; they are called ransomware.

In this case, you can use the command prompt or CMD. Here’s how:

  • Open the start menu on your PC
  • Type CMD
  • Right-click on it and select run as administrator
  • A box will pop asking you if you want to allow the app to make changes to your device, click yes
  • Then input this command ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.*
  • Replace the X with the drive letter you are trying to restore and press enter

This command restores the files that the ransomware initially hid or deleted.

READ ALSO: 15 Confidential Command Prompt Tricks You Should Know


The processes discussed above help to recover files that had been accidentally deleted, files lost due to mechanical damages, and files lost as a result of computer virus infection. But as earlier stated, time is of the essence when it comes to file recovery. The faster you act, the greater your chances of recovering successfully. 


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Angela Daniel
Angela Daniel
Angela Daniel is a Content Writer and Editor at SecureBlitz, where she writes about various topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, and technology. She is passionate about staying up to date with the latest trends in the tech world and helping people understand and use the latest security solutions to protect themselves online. She is always excited to learn about new technologies and share her knowledge with others!


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