Every PC uses a hard drive to store and access data. However, there are times when you lose data on a hard drive due to various reasons. Luckily when you delete a file on your PC, the operating system doesn’t remove the file from the hard drive; it simply updates the file system. Although any new file can overwrite the free storage area, you can recover your files before this happens. In this article, we’ll explore five ways to perform hard drive recovery. On that note, let’s dive in.

Data Loss Scenarios

There are several data loss scenarios out there. Most of them are unavoidable and can also be unpredictable. Below are some of the reasons you can lose your data.


This is the most common data loss scenario on a hard drive. Sometimes, we unintentionally delete our files like emails, photos, messages, documents, videos, etc. Occasionally, we empty our recycle bin without looking at its content and, in the process, lose precious files. When this happens, you might be looking for ways to recover files from the hard drive.


Another data loss scenario that’s quite common is formatting. Sometimes, users format their PC while installing Windows or simply format their external hard drive or non-bootable volume. In such cases, you might lose its stored content which is essential to you.

Change in Hard Drive Structure

On your PC, the hard drive is presented as a virtual disc drive working as segments of the hard drive. The virtual disks are often divided, partitioned, or resized based on your needs. However, some of these functions could cause data loss. For example, an error in a merger could result in loss of data, or partitioning could cause some data to be deleted.

Software Issues

Another reason why data loss usually occurs is software issues. System software or applications sometimes become unresponsive and freeze when using them. Sometimes, it causes even the computer to freeze, and you have to force it to stop using a task manager. Forcing a stop can result in losing your current progress and crucial data.


Corruption is another plausible reason why users lose data. When your hard drive becomes corrupt, it could cause your PC not to boot due to damage to the boot configuration data. A corrupt hard drive cause limits access to the disk and might cause the loss of one or more drive partitions. There are many reasons why hard drive corruption occurs, including bad sectors, power outages, improper ejection of the external hard drive, and virus attacks.

When you experience data loss on your internal or external hard drive, you shouldn’t panic, there are five hard drive recovery methods, and we’ll be exploring them below.

5 Methods to Recover Files from Hard Drive

There are several methods you can utilize to recover files from hard drive. They’re quite effective and outlined below.

Method 1: Recycle Bin

One of the best ways to recover files from a hard drive is by visiting the recycle bin. The Recycle Bin stores the record of deleted files, although temporarily. Therefore, when you delete a file, you can immediately press Control + Z key combination to undo the deletion process. However, this only works if you just delete the file. If you deleted the file earlier, you must visit the Recycle Bin folder to find your deleted file.

When you find the file you’re looking for, simply right-click on it and then hit the ‘Restore’ option from the list provided to restore your file to its original location. Note that this only works if you haven’t emptied your recycle bin.

Method 2: Software’s Inbuilt Recovery Feature

If your hard drive is damaged, one of the inbuilt recovery features you can utilize for your files is Disk Management. It’s available on Mac and Windows and works when your data becomes inaccessible because of a crashed or corrupted hard drive. Below are the steps to follow for Windows and Mac.

On Windows:

  • Step 1: Start by pressing Windows + x and then choose ‘Disk Management’ from the list of options provided.
  • Step 2: Search your hard drive in the disk management panel next.

use disk management

  • Step 3: If you find it, you can format it to fix errors and access your data.

Note that this method can make you lose all your data if the hard drive is damaged.

On Mac

  • Step 1: Open Disk Utility on your Mac; you can find it through Spotlight or by pressing ‘Command + Space.’
  • Step 2: Locate the damaged disk and hit the ‘First Aid’ option.

use disk utility

  • Step 3: First Aid will begin to run, and once it’s complete, you can check to see if the issues were detective and fixed.

Method 3: File History Backup Drive

If you backed up your hard drive before losing the data, you could recover it using file history. However, you should note that this only works for your internal hard drive, not external hard drives. This feature is quite handy because it allows you to go back in time and restore previous file versions, even if the original file has been deleted. Below are the steps to use this feature for hard drive data recovery.

  • Step 1: You must first activate it by tying in File History in the Windows search bar and hitting the option ‘Restore Files Using File History.’

  • Step 2: This will redirect you to the control panel, where you can manually turn on File History.
  • Step 3: Now, navigate to the folder where your files were stored before it was deleted.
  • Step 4: Right-click the folder and select ‘Properties’ from the options provided.
  • Step 5: Open the ‘Previous Versions’ tab and choose the version you want to recover.

restore previous versions

  • Step 6: Next, hit the restore button.

Method 4: iCloud Storage

use icloud storage

Another option is to recover your files from cloud storage. If you previously synced the files on your PC to cloud storage like Google Drive, OneDrive, and others, you can easily access it once your file is deleted and restore it to your PC at any time.

Method 5: Use Data Recovery Software – Wondershare Recoverit

An effective alternative is using data recovery software. It can help you retrieve data from internal and external hard drives subjected to various data loss scenarios. One such data recovery software is Wondershare Recoverit. This hard disk recovery tool can help you recover lost files that you can’t recover through Recycle Bin, file history, or iCloud storage. No matter how you lose your data, it will help you find and recover it.

Key Features:

Wondershare Recoverit comes with many key features that you’re sure to love, and some of them include the following:

  • Disk Image Recovery: Wondershare Recoverit helps you recover all your digital photos through disk image recovery. It is quite effective and requires recovery from various drives.
  • Crashed Computer Recovery: Recoverit can recover files from a crashed computer to ensure you never lose data.
  • NAS Data Recovery: Recoverit also helps recover data from NAS devices without necessarily unplugging the disk from the NAS. It helps you regain your data from failed NAS storage devices like Synology, QNAP, and many more.
  • Linux Data Recovery: Wondershare Recoverit also makes it relatively easy to recover data from Linux. It helps you safely scan and recover your lost Linux OS and system files like EXT4, XFS, BFS, and BTRFS.
  • Enhanced Recovery: This tool also supports recovering large video files. Due to the large sizes, HD videos are always stored in different fragments in the storage devices, which causes the recovered videos are always in fragments as well. Unlike other recovery software, Recoverit can help you restore the complete video.

Tech Specs

How to Recover Files from Hard Drive with Wondershare Recoverit?

Below, we’ve outlined the steps to retrieve data from a hard disk using Wondershare Recoverit.

  • Step 1: Download and install Wondershare Recoverit from the official website.
  • Step 2: Next, launch the recovery software to display a list of the hard disk drives available on your PC. Choose the hard disk where you lost the files and hit the ‘Start’ button to proceed.

  • Step 3: Recoverit will start scanning the hard drive and display all the lost files detected. You can filter down results or stop scanning once you find the files you’re looking for.

  • Step 4: By double-clicking on the file, you can preview the recovered files to ensure it is what you’re looking for.

  • Step 5: Select the files you wish to restore and then hit the ‘Recover’ button to proceed. A new window will pop up, asking you to choose a save path. Select a new location and then hit the ‘Save’ button.

That’s all you need to do. Your files have been recovered, and you can access them again.


Losing data can be a hard pill to swallow. Luckily, this article’s five ways will help you quickly retrieve your lost data. When all else fails, use Wondershare Recoverit for your hard drive recovery. This software is compatible with Mac and Windows and will help you easily recover files from the hard drive.