Data Recovery Tips for Windows

Tips for Recovering Data on Windows

Since the beginning of the 21st century, computers have come to play an integral part in the average person’s daily life. Whether it be a writer taking advantage of powerful word processors, photographers using Photoshop to bring their work to life like never before, or programmers working on promising and innovative software, computers have much to offer for people of all walks of life. While computers may play an integral role in modern society, they are also highly misunderstood by the masses, leading to many accidents which could have been avoidable; one of the most terrifying situations is deleting a file that took hours to put together, or forgetting to save a document prior to shutting down the PC. However, because of how operating systems (particularly Windows) are designed, there are systems in place to ensure that almost any lost data can be recovered, by following just a few steps:

Recovering a Deleted File

One of the most useful tools integrated into each Windows OS is known as “Windows Backup,” and it can work miracles for anyone who has lost or deleted an important file. By setting up Windows Backup, the computer will save previous versions of files on the hard drive, but will save them so they are not seen. When an important file is deleted or lost, simply going to the “Backup and Restore” option found on the Control Panel (which can be reached using the Start menu) will lead to an option which says, “Restore my files.” This will set the user up with a wizard, who can then take them through the steps of recovering a lost or deleted file.

The process can also be done by using the “Restore previous versions” method, which involves finding the folder which used to contain a file which was deleted, right-clicking on it, and using the “Restore previous versions” option seen there. Both this method and the method above will work in Windows XP through Windows 10, meaning they are viable in any modern Windows platform.

Recovering and Unsaved Word Document

Perhaps one of the biggest frustrations of working with computers is losing unsaved documents. Whether the power goes out during a working session, or the computer is shut off before the file was saved, most users of Windows and Microsoft Word have had lost documents due to them not being saved. Luckily, there are several methods to recover unsaved documents; one of the easiest methods of doing so is by using Word’s AutoRecover feature (this varies depending on which version of Word is being used, however these instructions will be for Word 2013). To use the AutoRecover feature, simply open Word, go to the “File” menu, click the “Open” option, and then select “Recent Documents.” At the end of the recent documents list, there will be an option which says “Recover Unsaved Documents.” Here, any recent Word documents should be found; double-click the necessary document to open it, and save it immediately to prevent this issue from happening again.

While many document can be recovered, many others cannot; waiting a period of time after losing an unsaved document will make it harder to recover, and using older versions of Word can disrupt the process as well. For those who have trouble remembering to save documents, consider Microsoft Office Online, a browser-based program which autosaves documents as they are being worked on, in order to prevent any tragic mistakes.

Losing or deleting and important document may seem scary at first, but there are a number of ways to recover lost data quickly and easily. Risk of losing documents can be lowered by properly organizing them by subject matter or file-type, as this can make them far easier to keep track of, rather than if they are spread out among many different folders. However, mistakes do happen and Windows is well-aware of just how easy it can be to delete important data, leaving us with useful tools that can be used to recover data that may have otherwise been lost.