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How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files on Your Windows PC, Thumb Drive, or SD Card

00_lead_image_undeletemy_files_pro

If you have accidentally deleted files from your Windows computer or from an external USB drive, memory card, or other external storage device, there’s an easy way to recover those files using a free program.

UndeleteMyFiles Pro is a freeware program that allows you to recover deleted files quickly and easily and restore them to a specified location. You can also use the program to search for deleted media files and restore them.

Double-click the .exe file to install UndeleteMyFiles Pro. If the Open File – Security Warning dialog box displays, click Run to continue with the installation.

01_security_warning_dialog

If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.

NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.

Follow the instructions on the remaining setup wizard screens to complete the installation.

02_uac_dialog_undeletemyfiles_install

To recover a deleted file, click the File Rescue icon on the main UndeleteMyFiles Pro screen.

03_clicking_file_rescue

On the File Rescue screen, select the drive letter for the drive that contained the deleted file and click Scan.

04_clicking_scan_for_usb_drive

A list of files that were deleted from the selected drive displays. Select the check box(es) next to the file(s) you want to recover and click Recover.

05_clicking_recover_for_file

On the Browse For Folder dialog box, select a folder in which you want to save the recovered file(s) and click OK.

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If you select a folder on the same drive on which the deleted file was located, a warning displays. It’s recommended that you save the recovered file to a different hard drive than the original one.

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A dialog box displays to find out whether you want to preserve the original structure for the recovered file(s). To recover only the file(s), click Yes. To recover the file(s) with the original directory structure, click Yes.

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When the recovery process is completed, a dialog box displays statistics about the process. Click OK.

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The recovered file(s) are saved to the specified folder.

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You can also search for specific deleted files by clicking the Deleted File Search icon.

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On the search screen, click Search.

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On the Locations tab of the Search options dialog box, select the hard drives you would like to search or click Add Location to search in a specific folder on your hard drive.

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To find only specific types of files, click the Files tab. Select the Find certain file types radio button. Select the desired option to only find the following types or to exclude any of the following types and enter the file types in the File wildcard edit box.

To search for file types with specific case (upper, lower, etc.), select the Case sensitive check box and enter the file types in the File wildcard edit box with the desired case.

To only find or exclude specific Windows file types, select the Search for specific registered Windows file types check box and select a file type from the Individual types tab or a group of file types from the Common Groups tab.

14_specifying_file_type

To specify a specific size of the file to recover, click the Size tab and select the Only find items with certain sizes radio button. Select an option from the first drop-down list on the left to qualify the size you specify. Enter the size in the edit box, and select an option from the drop-down list on the right to indicate whether the specified size is in bytes (B), kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), or gigabytes (GB).

You can specify a second size search parameter by selecting And or Or and then defining a second size.

15_specifying_size

To search for a file by specific attributes, click the Attributes tab and select the Only find the items with the following attributes radio button. Select whether you want to find ANY or ALL of the following attributes, and then select the check boxes for the desired attributes.

Click Search when you have finished specifying your search parameters.

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The search is performed and a summary of the results displays in a dialog box. Click OK.

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The recovered files are listed on the Search screen. Select the check boxes next to the file(s) you want to recover on the right side of the screen and click Recover.

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The Browse For Folder dialog box displays. Select a directory into which you want to save the recovered file(s) and click OK.

20_selecting_folder_for_recovered_file

Again, a dialog box displays to find out whether you want to preserve the original structure for the recovered file(s). To recover only the file(s), click Yes. To recover the file(s) with the original directory structure, click Yes.

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When the recovery process is completed, a dialog box displays statistics about the process. Click OK.

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In addition to recovering files, you can also use UndeleteMyFiles Pro to securely and permanently delete files without any chance of recovery, to recover email in a few different email programs, such as MS Outlook Express and MS Outlook, and to create an emergency disk image.

Download UndeleteMyFiles Pro from http://www.seriousbit.com/undeletemyfiles/.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 02/22/13

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