We’ve all experienced the frustration of accidentally deleting an important file and not realizing it until after emptying the recycle bin.  If you’re lucky, you haven’t yet experienced the even greater frustration of losing all files on a corrupted hard disk, partition, or removable storage drive.  And, while “backup, backup, backup” is drilled into our heads, it is understandable that this task sometimes gets sidelined by something more pressing, like running your small business.  But fortunately, when it comes to computers, deleted or corrupted doesn’t necessarily mean gone forever.

There are a number of software programs available that enable you to restore deleted files and files stored on a corrupted drive.  If you get into a complex situation, you can also hire experts to handle the restoration.  But, a good first step is to try a free file restoration application.  As long as the amount of data you need to restore is relatively small, it might just work the magic you need.  (You’ll need to pay upgrade fees to restore unlimited data with these tools.) The following are good options, the first for Windows, the second for MAC, and the third for iOS mobile devices.

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  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition is a Windows program that enables you to restore up to 2GB of files for free. As a wizard-based utility it walks you through the recovery process. You can use it to recover deleted files, do a complete disk recovery or a partition recovery.  It works on your hard drive, as well as USB drives and other removable media. You can narrow the search by file type, and can ignore bad sectors on the disk. It is supported under Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8. Download it from the trusted CNET site, and while you’re there read the editors’ 4 Star review and watch a video demo.
  • MiniTool Mac Data Recovery is a MAC program that enables you to restore up to 1GB of files for free.  It can retrieve deleted files, and can also restore files from drives that have been erased, tagged as reformatted, undergone partition change, or been corrupted. It can restore data from IDE, SATA, SCSI, USB hard drives, memory cards, and USB flash drives. It is supported under Mac OS X 10.5/10.6/10.5. Read the editors’ 3.5 star review, and download it from the trusted CNET site.
  • EaseUS MobiSaver Free is Windows software that enables you to restore files from iOS devices. It can restore directly from the phone, or it can extract the previous iTunes backup. Use it to restore deleted notes, text messages, call history, your calendar, photos and videos. Windows 8/7/Vista/XP are supported and the program can restore data from iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 4 and higher.  Read a detailed description on the manufacturer’s website, or download it from the trusted CNET site.

So the next time you accidentally drop your flash drive into your morning coffee, or you accidentally delete that killer PowerPoint presentation because you forgot to drink that morning coffee, don’t despair–try one of these free file recovery tools and let it restore your equilibrium as well as your data.

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Image Credits:
Delete the negative; accentuate the positive! Donna Karan by katerha, on Flickr

Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

My name is Lisa, and I'm the Vice President of Knowledge, responsible for the management of corporate, product, competitor, marketplace, legal, and regulatory knowledge, and creation and dissemination of knowledge tools using these assets to PaySimple prospects, customers, employees, and partners.

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