How-To Geek

Restore Accidentally Deleted Files with Recuva

It can be the worst feeling in the world when you accidentally delete a very important file you have been working on for days.  Today we look at Recuva, a free tool that helps you restore accidentally deleted files.

Using Recuva

Recuva is developed by Piriform which is the same company that brings us two other trusted utilities CCleaner and Defraggler.  This is a free app but you will want to uncheck installing the Yahoo Toolbar if you don’t want it.

1nstall no yahoo

When you first start up Recuva it brings up an easy to follow wizard which guides you through the recovery process.  There is an option to disable this from starting up if you don’t care to use it.

2 start

Now choose the type of file your trying to recover.  If you’re not sure click on Other to show all files, this is handy for obscure file types as well.

3 choose file

Select the location of where the file was located.  You can choose removable media, certain directories, or search everywhere on the computer.

4 location

Wait while Recuva scans your system for deleted files.

6 scanning

When you get the results it will show the file(s) and the green or red dot next to them lets you know how likely they will be restored without any damage.  Here we show advanced mode where you can preview the different files found.

7 results

There are some good options you can set to change the way it scans for deleted files.  One feature is Deep Scan which does a more thorough search but takes more time depending on your system.

8 options

It will find deleted data even if it has been emptied from the Recycle Bin.  It is not going to work every time especially on files that have been securely deleted, corrupted, or overwritten.  A best practice is to use this as soon as you realize a file has been deleted.


Download Recuva

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 07/9/09

Comments (6)

  1. thadarklord

    last time I used recuva it gave me some error.. (can’t remember what it was)
    So I used testdisk. Gotta say it’s pretty straight forward for a command line app.
    So I ask for an article about testdisk. I’m sure it’s capable of way more than what I used it for

  2. Peter

    Recuva is a great application and very easy to use. It has worked well for me on several occassions.
    Of course you need to have it installed BEFORE you need it because installing a new app could overwrite the very data you are trying to recover

  3. Mary

    Several times I faced the situation when I needed to recover deleted files. When I used Recuva it also gave me errors. Two monthes ago I bought a href=””>Advanced File Recovery when I deleted very important files from my PC. And this tool helped me to rescue all the information. This program can also work with different media types.

  4. Liz

    O.M.G. — I hope I can find a site to help me with this problem…

    I was cleaning up my Music folder, and somehow, something came up that I thought was a confirmation for a New Folder that I was creating..well, it wasn’t, and I deleted the ENTIRE folder (not just one or two or a few files…the whole Music folder)

    I need to find a program in a hurry that can bring back my music files as there’s music on there I no longer have (cleaned up/cleaned out my cd collection and have given away quite a few of them; don’t want to have to start all over.) :(

    Of course, I pressed Ctrl Z immediately after it happened, but nothing…..

    Any help is appreciated

  5. Liz

    BTW, I also checked in the Recycle Bin, but the Music folder isn’t there either.

  6. herbert d. pratt

    I will need sone one to call me. to help me thouth geting my file thast I have lost.
    if you can call me at 304 323 8395 to get file that I have lost.

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