How to Recover Deleted Files From External Hard Drive?

🕔 5 minutes read
Gravatar for Admin
Written By
Updated On

Recovering deleted files from an external hard drive may seem like pulling a rabbit out of your coat, but it’s not magic. This article will guide you on restoring deleted files from an external hard drive—wait for it—both with and without software.

Recover Deleted Files External Hard Drive

What we understand from permanent deletion is that you’ve searched everywhere for the “deleted” file you would have tried undoing the deletion, looked through file history and now you wear a long face. Hang in there we said deletion in double-quotes.

For the best recovery results, all you need to do is to stop using the drive after deletion to avoid overwriting, If you had continued using the drive then the chances are near zero but you can always try.

You can restore deleted files from external hard drives even if it was shift deletion with a reliable hard drive recovery tool such as SFware data recovery software. It can also work for different hard drives including but not limited to Xbox 1 or PS4 hard drive

How To Recover External Hard Drive Deleted Files

SFWare is a minimalist tool that efficiently recovers deleted data from an external drive. As mentioned earlier, it’s not magic, though it may seem like it.

Consider this tool as your magic wand to pull the rabbit out. It’s safe and free to try. Go ahead and try the tool.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

Step 1: Download and Install the SFWare recovery tool.

Step 2: Launch the software, select the external hard drive from which the files were deleted, and click on Start Scan.

select the external hard drive and click on Scan
Step 3: Locate the files in the Deleted Files folders (use Filter and Search box to make the process easier)

check for the recovered data in the respective folders
Step 4: Double-click to preview the recovered files.

preview the recovered files from the external hard drive
Step 5: Once the recovery is completed, You can select the files and click Save to store them at your preferred locations.

save the recovered data

Make sure you save the recovered data in a new location to avoid losing them again.

The part you were waiting for is what we are going to discuss next, How to recover deleted files from an external hard drive without software let us tell you the limitations of doing this before jumping into this:

Limitations Of Trying To Recover Deleted Files on External Hard Drive Without Software

This is a must-know as you are trying to risk your data on the line.

  • Risk of further data loss: If you do not know what you are trying to do in the name of manual recovery and trying any command prompt commands then it can overwrite the deleted data, making it very difficult to recover.
  • Limited options: There are not many ways to recover deleted files from an external hard drive either from a backup or change the file attribute.
  • Time-consuming: You will have to sit through the hours together process to recover every single file type, especially if it is a large file and if you are a novice user without any technical expertise.

Recover Deleted Files From External Hard Drive Without Software

Almost all external hard drives have a recycle bin in them, You will need to unhide to find the deleted data on it and recover your deleted files. By default it is hidden, you will need to manually unhide it.

To Unhide the external hard drive’s recycle bin: In File Explorer select the external hard drive click on the View tab click on options in the folder options window uncheck Hide protected operating system files, and click on OK.

Once you made the above changes you can see the recycle bin folder on the external hard drive.

Open recycle bin and check for the deleted data


You can surf the folders in the recycle bin to locate your deleted data right-click on it and restore the data.

The limitation of this solution is that you cannot find the shift-deleted files in the recycle bin.

BONUS: If your external hard drive has an auto backup feature and you have set it up previously then, congratulate yourself. You can recover the data from auto-backup as well.

If you notice evident damages on your external hard drive which is stopping you from accessing data then DIY solutions will not be sufficient to recover the deleted data from external hard drives. You need to…

Recover Deleted Files Using Data Recovery Services

Choose data recovery services with a good reputation in the industry. Additionally, here are some other aspects you should check before handing your external hard drive to any recovery services:

  • The cost of recovery
  • Estimated time of recovery
  • Review terms and conditions
  • Success Rate
  • Confidentiality of your data

By now you would feel “I’m so done with this.” if you haven’t got any data back. Hang in there We’ll help with some tips you can follow to safeguard your external hard drive data from data loss.

Tips to Protect External Hard Drive Data From Deletion

  • Backups: Make sure you backup data regularly to avoid data loss by accidental deletion or other issues. You can use features like File History(Windows) and Time Machine(Mac) to automate the backup process.
  • Enable write protection: Ensure that the necessary data is write-protected to prevent deletion and modification of the external hard drive data.
  • Check before deleting: Avoid rushing when you are deleting multiple files and folders because accidental deletion is one major cause of data loss in external hard drives.
  • Protect against Viruses: Scan your external hard drives with an updated antivirus tool to shield against viruses and malware.


We hope this article helped you recover deleted files from the external hard drives and provided detailed insights about deleted file recovery on the external hard drive.

You can choose any solutions listed in this article in your choice of order to recover the deleted files. if you are looking for a dependable and effective solution try SFware and let us know your experience.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *