Ever deleted something and wished you hadn't? Ever sifted through your PC's Recycle Bin in the hope that it was still there? (Even though you know you emptied it yesterday).

The thing is, there's a good chance that the file you want to get back is still there. When you delete a file on a PC it's often not completely erased until it's overwritten by some new data. Only the visible link to the original file is deleted, which means that you can recover the file if you have the right software.

The recovery position

What you need is recovery software like Recuva Free, which specialises in retrieving deleted files from your PC's hard disk, memory cards, or any device with connectable storage. Tell Recuva what type of file(s) you're looking for, and where to search, then set it to scan your system.

In a quick search, FAT, exFAT and NTFS file systems are supported. Any matching files that Recuva digs up are displayed in a list, with handy previews for any images. You can then click to restore any of the listed files quicker than it has taken you to read this sentence.

There's a more advanced mode, which offers you the ability to specify target text and search for files featuring that text. There's also a Deep Scan search, which takes more time but has the potential to recover more files than a basic search. Finally, there's an option to securely and permanently erase specified files so that even Recuva can't recover them. Everyone should have a recovery tool on their system. We all make mistakes...

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