How to undelete files on Windows with Undela

Updated on: 2012-05-27 || Source:
Emptied the recycle bin by mistake and lost something you need to get back? This Windows utility might be able to help you.

Chances are that you've deleted a file by accident. Sometimes you're lucky enough to still have it lingering around in your recycle bin, other times you panic after realizing you emptied it three days ago.

Undela is a Windows application that seeks to give you a second chance with your deleted files. Much like a similar app named Recuva, this app will attempt to analyze your free disk space for deleted data and display a result list of its findings. Once you find the file you're seeking in the list, you're just a few steps away from bringing it back to life. Here's how to get started:

Note: This recovery utility can only restore files that are in empty space on your hard drive or removable storage. This means you cannot have overwritten the space previously occupied by the deleted file with new things. This may be the case if you use a utility like CCleaner to overwrite empty space several times when using the cleaning function. If you're unsure about the status of the drive space, give Undela a try anyway.

Step 1: Download a copy of Undela for your Windows computer or laptop. The install process is super quick so you can get started right away.

Step 2: Open the app when the Installer is finished running and choose the drive you'd like to recover files on in the far left-hand pane.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Step 3: Click the Scan button at the top of the app to see a list of files that can be recovered on the far right.

Tip: If you only want to look for certain file types -- say PNG -- you can adjust this setting in Options area. Just go to File > Options and check off the file types you're seeking.

Step 4: Once you've found the file(s) you're looking for, mark the check box(es) to the left of the filename(s) and then click the Restore button.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Also worth mentioning is the file preview that Undela displays when doing its recovery magic. This is handy if you're not sure what the exact file name was of that picture you deleted on accident and don't want to recover everything just to find it. Just select the file name in the list and then press the Preview button (on the right-hand side of the toolbar) to take a look at it.

(Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET)

Step 5: Choose the place on your disk space you'd like to place the recovered file(s).

While serving as a handy tool to fix deletion mistakes, Undela can also help show you just how much information you thought was gone is still hanging around on your computer.

(Via AddictiveTips)

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