Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drives| 4 Simple Ways


Is your file missing from an external hard drive? Or you accidentally deleted files from the drive? Well, if you are worried for your important files deleted or missing from external hard disk, here are the best possible solutions that help you recover deleted files from external hard drive without any complications.

Retrieve deleted data from external hard drive

External hard drives have always been reliable device to store data especially in large amounts. These portable devices let you carry your abundant data everywhere. However, there are few circumstances that cause data loss and put all your important data/files at risk.

How data is lost from the external hard drive?

Here are the major reasons that cause data loss from external hard disk drives.

  • Improper handling of external drive can cause physical damage to the drive and leads to data loss. Data lost due to physical damage cannot be recovered.
  • Logical errors due to the trouble in software data files makes your data inaccessible. Logical errors could be fixed and data can be recovered from inaccessible drives.
  • Other reasons such as virus, malicious programs, interruptions during data transfer, accidental deletion of files can lead to the data loss from the external drives.

Can You Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive?

Yes, it is possible to recover deleted data from external hard drive if you have not overwritten the existing data in the drive. This means when files are deleted from the drive, the data still exists on the drive unless some new data is written over it. Therefore, it is always recommended to not to use your drive until u perform data recovery from the drive.

Where do deleted files from external hard drive go? 

Please note that external hard disks don’t have Recycle Bin by default unlike internal hard disk in computers, external hard drives also have their own recycle bin folder to store deleted data but it is not accessible. If you are wondering is Recycle Bin Recovery Possible for external drives? Follow the steps to access Recycle Bin folder on external drives.

When you connect your external drive to your computer, the Recycle Bin shown on your computer combines both Bin folders of internal and external hard drive.

  1. To access Recycle Bin folder of external hard drive, Right-Click on your Recycle Bin folder.
  2. Go to Properties, next the location of your drive (drive letter).
  3. Select the files or folders that are deleted from the external hard drive.
  4. Right-Click on the selected items and click on Restore option.

Well, now you can see you have recovered deleted files from external drives. What if your Recycle Bin empty? Or you Shift + Deleted files from the drive? In such situations, no manual methods would help you retrieve your deleted files.

One feasible solution is to recover data is using SFWare Hard drive recovery tool.

SFWare hard drive recovery tool with its remarkable search algorithm recovers deleted or lost data from the external drives. The fast scanning feature of the tool reaches each sector of the drive to locate deleted or lost data files. The tool helps recovering all types of data including photos, videos, RAW images and almost 300+ file types. The software supports both Windows and Mac computers including the latest Mac Big Sur, Catalina and many more.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

How to Recover Deleted files from External Hard Drive?

You can recover deleted files using 3 easy ways. One of the best recommended method is to use a professional external hard drive data recovery software since the other two methods don’t assure complete recovery of the files. Firstly, you may try recovering deleted data using two of approaches.

1 Recover data lost/deleted due to logical errors using CMD

Command prompt primarily helps fixing logical errors such as corruption on the drive. Whereas the ATTRIB in command prompt fixes virus infected external drives. Therefore, if your files are not accessible due to errors, this method fixes the error and helps you access the data.

To recover data using CMD, connect your external hard drive to your PC.

  1. Open Windows search box and type cmd. Right-click Command Prompt to select Run as administrator.
  2. Type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D G:*.* and press Enter. (Replace G with your external hard drive)

Command -H Stands for- removing the hidden attributes, -R command changes the file attributes to read/write , -S turns off the System attributes, /S set attributes on subdirectories.

Wait until the process completes. After the completion of the process, a new folder under the extension .chk exists on your computer. Rename the file to your original file type and try accessing data from it.

However, the probability of the deleted files recovery using this method is less as this method helps repairing the disks and helps to get access back to your inaccessible data. Nevertheless, If you fail to perform this method in a right way, you may end up harming your data.

2 Retrieve deleted data using File History

Windows File history backs up the versions of your data if you have enabled it to keep a backup. Similarly, if external hard drive has been enabled on Windows File History, it backs up the data present on it. Therefore, makes easier to recover lost or deleted files from the external hard drive.

Note: If you have not enabled your external drive on the Windows File History, it’s merely impossible to recover your data using this method.

  1. Select the external drive from which the data is lost. Right-click and select Properties.
  2. Click on the Previous Versions Now, select the previous version where all your deleted or lost files are placed. Hit the Restore button.

As mentioned earlier, both the free methods come with certain limitations that don’t guarantee complete recovery of deleted files. If none of the above methods are helpful for you, here is the safest and professional suggested method to recover files from the external drive.

Method 3: Windows File Checker (SFC)

If data is lost due to system crashes or virus/malware, here is an in-built Windows tool that can resolve the problem and helps restore the data from external drive as well. Follow the steps carefully and recover your data in seconds of time.

Steps to restore files using Windows System File Checker (SFC):

1. Run Command prompt in administrator mode. To do so, Press Windows key + S, right click on Command Prompt, and select the Run as Administrator option.
2. Now, type the command sfc /scannow press Enter to do a full system scan and SFC start the repair process.

Do not close the Command Prompt window until the command scans all your files. during the process, it replaces the corrupted files with a cached copy in a compressed folder.

If the process is successful, it displays ‘Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations’ appear the screen.

As mentioned earlier, manual methods come with certain limitations that don’t guarantee complete recovery of deleted files. If none of the above methods are helpful for you, here is the safest and professional suggested method to recover files from the external drive.

3 Trusted Method to Recover Deleted Files from External Drives – SFWare

Download and install the SFWare External Hard drive recovery tool on your computer. Connect your external drive to your PC.

  1. From the main screen, select Recover Drive/ Partition. Next, Select Drive/ Partition Recovery.
    Recover deleted data external hard drives
  2. Click on the drive from which you need to recover deleted files.Select the drive to recover deleted files
  3. Scanning process begins. After the completion of scanning, all the recoverable files are listed in Data Type or File Type View.View recoverable files from drive in Data View or File Type View
  4. Preview the files selected files for recover. If you are satisfied with the results Save them on your computer.

With the help of the above-mentioned methods, you can easily recover files that are corrupt, deleted, lost from external hard drive without any worry.

If manual methods did not work for you, do not worry! You can always get your data back using a most trusted and safe SFWare Data recovery software.

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