Trying to free up some space on your smartphone's memory, did you accidentally delete some photos that you shouldn't have deleted? Have you just realized that you have accidentally deleted some work documents and are desperate because you do not know how to recover them? Don't despair, the last word is not yet said!
If the portion of its memory that hosted the files you deleted has not yet been overwritten, that is, it has not yet been occupied by other data, you still have some hope of recovering them. All you need to do is install a data recovery and scan the hard disk, microSD or portable device on which the files you deleted by mistake were stored: with a bit of luck, you will be able to recover your data and therefore reduce, at least partially, the damage caused by your carelessness.
Also know that if you use a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or iCloud Drive, you can try to recover deleted files using the backup functions included in the latter. However, we will deal with this in the final part of the tutorial, now let's focus on "traditional" data recovery software and see how to make the most of them on Windows, macOS and Linux. Cross my fingers so that you can recover all your files. Good luck!
If you need to recover deleted files from a hard drive, USB stick or SD card, I highly recommend that you contact PhotoRec. In case you have never heard of it, it is a free and open source software that allows you to recover many types of files - images, videos, documents etc. - in a handful of clicks. It is compatible with all major computer operating systems: Windows, macOS and Linux and does not require tedious installation procedures to be used. It comes paired with TestDisk, another free software that allows you to recover lost partitions and make disks that are no longer bootable: it's very effective, but you shouldn't need it right now. Having made this necessary premise, let's take action!
To download PhotoRec (and TestDisk) on your PC, connect to the program's website and click on the item corresponding to the operating system installed on your PC (choose "Windows" whether you're using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows). Once the download is complete, open thezip archive which contains PhotoRec and TestDisk, extract the contents to a folder of your choice and run the executable qphotorec_win.exe.
In the window that opens, expand the drop down menu located at the top and choose the drive related to the device from which you intend to recover data. Then click on the item corresponding to main partition of the drive and presses the button File Formats, to select the types of files you want to recover (the fewer file types you select, the less time the software takes to do its job).
Next, put the check mark next to the options Whole e FAT/NTFS/HFS+/ReiserFS, click the button KATEGORIEN and select the folder where PhotoRec should save the files it can recover. Finally, press the button Search and wait for the recovery of the deleted files to be completed, which will be automatically saved in the previously selected folder.
Please note: on macOS and Linux, PhotoRec comes without a graphical interface. If you want to find out how to use it from the terminal, follow the instructions on this web page.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (Windows / MacOS)
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is one of the best programs intended for data recovery. Available for both Windows that for MacOS, allows you to recover any type of file (photos, videos, music, documents, emails, compressed archives, etc.) from hard drives, SSDs, USB devices, memory cards, cameras, smartphones, tablets and other storage devices.
It has an extremely intuitive interface (fully translated into Italian) and works even in apparently desperate situations. It allows, for example, to recover data from formatted or damaged disks, deleted partitions and RAW partitions. Furthermore, it is able to function even after system crashes or malware infections.
There are several versions of this software manufactured by EaseUS: one free, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free, which allows you to recover up to 500MB of data (which becomes 2GB, if you share the program online) and a paid one, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional, which instead has prices starting from 66,69 euros but has no limitations on the amount of files that can be recovered. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional can be downloaded for free but, if you do not activate your copy of the program with the purchase of a license, it does not allow you to export files (it only displays the data that can be recovered).
To download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional to Windows, connected to the official EaseUS website and click on the button Free trial; if, on the other hand, you prefer to download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free, you have come to this page of the EaseUS site and click on the button Scarica free.
When the download is complete, regardless of the version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard downloaded, open the file .exe you got and answer Yes all'avviso che compare sullo schermo. Dopodiché assicurati che la casella relative alle EaseUS license (in basso a sinistra) sia spuntata e premi sul pulsating Install now, to start the download and therefore the installation of all the components necessary for the functioning of the program.
If you don't want to send anonymous statistiche d'use, click on the item Personalizza l'installazione (bottom right) and uncheck the appropriate box that appears at the bottom. At the end of the installation, then press the button Sign up now, to close the window and access the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard main screen.
At this point, you need to select theicona dell'unità from which you intend to retrieve the data (internal or external) and click on the button Scan, at the bottom right, to start the search for files to recover.
Once the scan is complete, use the side navigation bar to "browse" the locations where EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard has found data to recover. Therefore, check the fillet of your interest and press the button Recover, bottom right, to start exporting them in one folder of your choice.
If, before exporting a file, you want to see a preview, click on theicona dell'occhio located at the top right. If, on the other hand, you want to limit the search to a specific type of file (eg. Graphs, Documents, Video, Audio o Email), click on your voice Filter (above) and select one of the options available in the menu that is proposed to you.
How do you say? Use a Poppy and would like to know how to download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on the latter? No problem: visit the links I gave you earlier and click on the item related to Mac version of the program.
Once the download is complete, open the package .dmg ottenuto e trascina l'icona di EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in the folder Applications Mac, to install the software. That's all!
Another software from data recovery that I strongly encourage you to try is Recuva, which allows you to recover photos, videos, compressed archives, Office documents and other types of files from various storage media and devices: hard drives, USB sticks, SD cards, portable media players, etc. . It is completely free and is available in two versions: a standard and a portable one that can be copied to USB sticks and portable hard drives and does not require installation to be used. I recommend the portable one.
To download the portable version of Recuva on your PC, connect to the program's website and click on the button Download found under the heading Recuva – Portable. when the operation is complete, open the zip archive that contains Recuva (rcsetupxx.zip), extract the contents to any folder and run the executable recava64.exe if you use a 64-bit operating system or the executable recava.exe if you are using a 32-bit operating system.
In the window that opens, if the software interface is not translated into Italian, click on "x" which is located at the top right, then presses the button Options, select the voice Italiano (Italian) from the drop-down menu to choose the language and click on OK, per salvare ichangementi.
At this point, close Recuva and restart it. Then click on the button forward, choose the type of file to recover (images, music, videos, documents or all files) and click again on forward. Now select the drive in which to search for data (leave the check mark on I'm not sure, to search all drives) and click on forward e starts, to start scanning.
When the check is complete (it may take several minutes), put the check mark next to the name of the files you want to restore and click on the button Recover, to select the folder in which to save them. The data are marked with colored traffic lights: those in green are 100% recoverable, those in orange can be restored but are probably damaged while the files marked in red are almost completely unreadable.
Please note: if Recuva cannot find the files of your interest, try restarting the program and putting the check mark next to the item Enable deep scan in the last screen of the initial setup. In this way the software will analyze the drive in more depth (taking more time but increasing the possibility of finding files that did not appear in the standard scan).
Disk Drill (Mac/Windows)
Now I want to talk to you about Disk Drill, a software for recovering deleted files born on macOS and later also arrived on Windows. It is very reliable but personally I only recommend it to Mac users, those who use Windows would do well to first evaluate the other solutions proposed in this tutorial.
Disk Drill supports all types of files and is able to act on various media: hard drives, USB sticks, cameras, iPhones, iPads, Android terminals, SD cards, etc. Unfortunately it is not free, it costs 79 euros, but it is available in a trial version with no time limits that allows you to find out which files can be recovered and allows you to view a preview of them.
To download the trial of Disk Drill for Mac, connect to the program's website and click on the button Scarica free. Once the download is complete, open the package dmg which contains Disk Drill, copy its icon to the folder Applications and launch the software.
In the window that opens, click on the button Start and enter the MacOS admin password to start using Disk Drill. Then click on the button Recover located next to the drive name on which to search for deleted files and wait a few seconds for the scan to complete.
At the end of the operation, expand the folders with the files found by Disk Drill and, if you want, view a preview of them by clicking on theeye which is next to their names. The button Recover, through which you can save the files found by Disk Drill, works only in the paid version of the program.
Please note: Disk Drill includes a hard drive health monitoring feature that stays active in the macOS menu bar (top right). To deactivate it, click on the indicator with the disc temperature and select the item Configure SMART monitoring. from the menu that appears. Then uncheck the item Monitor disks for hardware problems (via SMART) And that's it.
EaseUS MobiSaver (Windows / MacOS)
Do you need to recover deleted files from a smartphone? In this case I advise you to use EaseUS MobiSaver, a data recovery software that allows you to recover photos, videos, contacts, messages and other data from smartphones of all major brands. It comes in two versions: one for iPhone which is compatible with Windows and macOS, and one for Android which, on the other hand, is only compatible with Windows. It is not completely free: the iPhone version costs € 55,79 and the Android version costs € 36,95, but you can download and use it for free without time limits. The only limit in the free version is that relating to the number of files that can be restored at the same time, i.e. one (this means that to restore 10 photos, for example, you must select the images individually and click the export button 10 times).
In my example I will use the version of EaseUS MobiSaver for iPhone, but the indications I am about to give you are more or less the same for the Android version (which requires root). Ready to get started? Well, then immediately connect to the program's website and click on the button first Free Download and then Download now, to download it to your PC.
When the download is complete, open the EaseUS MobiSaver installation package (ems_free.exe) and click on the button first Yes and then OK e forward. Then put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement and click in sequence on forward, forward, Install e end, to conclude the setup. Uncheck the option Join the EaseUS Customer Experience program if you don't want to send anonymous usage statistics to easeUS.
Su Poppy, to install EaseUS MobiSaver just open the package dmg containing it and drag the application icon into the folder Applications of macOS. That's all.
Once the installation is complete, launch EaseUS MobiSaverclick on your button Scan which is next to the name of your smartphone and wait for the device scan to complete. You may be asked to type in the iTunes backup password. Alternatively, you can click on the items Recover from iTunes Backup o Recover from iCloud backup, to recover files from iTunes or iCloud backups.
Once the search results appear, select the files you want to restore and click on the button Recover, to retrieve them. Easy, right?
If you use an Android smartphone or tablet and you have unlocked it via the root procedure, you can use an application to allow you to recover deleted files directly from the device, without using the PC. There are several you can turn to, but I personally recommend DiskDigger which is very simple to use and has proved very effective in my tests.
DiskDigger is able to operate both on the memory of the device and on the microSD and supports various types of files. It is available in two versions: a free one that allows you to recover only files in JPG, PNG ed MP4 (therefore only photos and videos) and a paid one that costs 3,37 euros and also allows you to recover music, applications, documents, compressed archives etc.
The operation of DiskDigger, as mentioned above, is very intuitive. After downloading the application on your smartphone or tablet, press the button Conceded, to grant it root permissions and refuse the transition to the Pro version (if you are using the free one) by "tapping" the button No, thanks. Then select the portion of memory to be scanned (it should be the one in bold), put the check mark next to the types of files you want to recover and press on OK, to start scanning.
At this point, wait for the list of files that can be restored to be shown, select the ones you want to recover and press the button Recover which is located at the top right. Finally, choose whether to export the files to a cloud storage service, whether to auto-send them via e-mail or whether to store them on the smartphone / tablet memory.
Cloud Storage Services
As mentioned in the opening of the post, if you have deleted a file from dropbox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive o OneDrive, you can recover it using the recovery functions included in these famous cloud storage services (which keep the deleted files for a few days before permanently deleting them). Here's how to proceed.
- dropbox - connect to your Dropbox account from the browser, select the icon basket from the left sidebar, locate a file to restore and click on the button Restore placed next to its icon. The item will be restored to the Dropbox folder.
- iCloud Drive - connect to the iCloud.com site and log in with your Apple ID. Then click on yours name che si trova in alto a destra e seleciona la voce ICloud settings from the menu that appears. On the page that opens, click on the item Restore files (bottom left), put the check mark next to the files to recover and click on the button Restore, to recover them, that is, to bring them back to their original location on iCloud Drive.
- Google Drive - connect to your Google Drive account from the browser and select the icon basket from the left sidebar. Then select the files to recover and click on theclock located at the top right to restore them.
- OneDrive - connect to your OneDrive account from the browser and select the icon basket from the left sidebar. Then put the check mark next to the files to restore and click on the button Restore (top left) to return them to their original location on OneDrive.
Other cloud storage services also include a restore function to recover deleted files. The procedure to follow is almost always the same (select the trash icon and select the items to recover).
Articolo realizzato in collaboration with EaseUS.