Most operating systems have a recycle bin that acts as a fail safe. It gathers all the deleted files and keeps them there until you decide what to do next. You can restore some of the files in the recycle bin (trash) or you can empty the Recycle Bin. Now, here comes the funny part. Once you decide to empty the Recycle Bin (trash), those files are deleted for good and you will not be able to recover them easily. Sure, you might say that no one makes the mistake of sending a file to trash and later emptying the Recycle Bin without verifying what’s inside. In real life, people are in a hurry and they usually discover that they’ve deleted crucial data by doing this very mistake: Delete -> Empty recycle bin.
Do not create new contend on the disk
So, what can you do in this situation? You will find many tutorials and small apps on the Internet that will try (some of them even succeed) to get your files back. But before talking about that, I want to let you know that there’s a catch. If you understand how computer storage works, you will learn that the best way to act once you have deleted a file is not to create any more content on that particular hard drive. When a file is deleted with the “Empty Recycle Bin” function, the operating system is not really removing the content, but rather its reference / header. So, although the information is there, its space on the disk is mark as “usable”. Because its reference (header) is missing, the operating system will no longer show you the file and is waiting for you to create new data that will be stored in that particular space. That’s why it is important not to create new content.
How to Recover files deleted with Empty Recycle Bin function
As I said, you will find plenty of apps that will do the job for you. Some of them are plain simple, some require a minimum level of computer skills and some are pretty difficult to operate with. Now, since this is a subjective approach to the topic, I will try to filter all the noise and give you the solution that worked for me best in most cases: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard 12. After trying few alternative apps, I settled for this recycle bin recovery solution for these reasons:
- The interface is simple and intuitive
- The free version allows you to recover up to 2GB of data
- I managed to recover the highest percentage of deleted content with this app
- There is an organizer that allows you to filter the discovered files and recover just the files you need
- The preview function that allows you to preview the content of each file.
- There is a “Save session” function that saves a lot of time, especially if you have not completed the recovery process and you need to continue the next day.
- This particular recovery software works great for recovering content from memory cards and corrupted memory cards
The steps you need to take in order to recover deleted Recycle Bin files
- Open EaseUS Data Recover
- Select the partition where the operating system is installed (usually that’s C:)
- Click the Scan button
- Wait for the scanning process to complete
- Click the Filter button and choose Recycle Bin results
- Select the files you want to recover and press the Recover button
- Select a location on the disc and click OK button.
- Enjoy your recovered files
How to avoid deleting important files on your computer?
As you may know, it’s better to prevent than to treat a problem, but people learn this the hard way. The best way to keep your important files away from Recycle Bin is to organize and backup. In other words, you should keep your desktop clean and move files in folders. Try to backup folders that include important files as often as you can. You can use various free cloud solutions like DropBox, Google Drive or even Box.net. You never know when that backed up data may save your life!