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Are you desperately wondering if data can be recovered once lost?

Or have you just Googled “how to recover my lost data for free” worried about a service proposal you don’t have the budget for?

Well, you’re in the right place.

Because while other articles will only tell you about the main reasons for data loss (accidental deletion, file overwriting, power outages, or even hard drives sudden failure) and tips such as “regularly back up files” that aren’t too useful now that data seem to be loss…

We actually tell you how to do it, down below.

Let’s be clear… Even if you delete or damage files “permanently”, it means you only lose entries to them, so they have just disappeared from your device in plain view but can still be restored.  

The data of that file remains on the computer, even if it’s cleared from the Recycle Bin.

And of course, there is plenty of software (free and paid) to restore/recover lost data files on Windows and Mac, but we don’t want to promote any due to the consequences that this may carry on. 

On the other hand, what you’ll see today, are the most reliable solutions to this problem.


How to Restore Lost Data On Windows PC

The following step-by-step guide is for those who don’t have a backup. Because in the case that you DO have a backup, then omit these steps and restore the lost files directly from it.

Now, once you’ve made sure your files aren’t in the Recycle Bin, then you just have to:


1. Enable “System Restore” (disabled by default) by either:

  • a) Executing rstrui.exe on the command prompt as administrator (press the “Start” Windows-logoed key on the keyboard > Then click on the magnifying glass icon > write “cmd” and right-click to see the “Open as Administrator” option > type rstrui.exe and press Enter).

  • b) Accessing the Control Panel > Click on the “Recovery” icon > Click on  “Configure System Restore” > Select your system drive > Click on “Configure”, then “Turn on system protection” > Click “OK”, then “Apply.”


2. Once the “System Restore” is turned on… Press Windows + E > Open “File Explorer.”


3. Find the folder with the lost file/s > Right-click on it > Select “Restore previous versions.”

You can also use Window’s “File Recovery” native program available to those who have its May 2020 update or higher (like the Winter’s 2021 version) All you have to do is:


1. Download it by clicking on the link embedded above (unless you have Windows 11, then you’re ready to go).

Windows File Recovery

2. Open the “Start” menu and find the “Windows File Recovery” app from the “All Apps” tab. 

3. Run search in “Regular Mode” by typing the next command, replacing the <username> your real session username: winfr C: E: /regular /n users\<username>\documents\myresume.docx

4. Then type Y to continue and the Windows File Recovery app will scan your drive for the deleted file. If it locates it, it will automatically restore it, placing it in a folder called  Recovery_<date and time> on the destination drive > Type Y once is done to close.

5. If it fails to find your lost data files, you can try using the next commands… 

  • a) Specify location without filename: winfr C: E: /regular /n users\<username>\documents\.

  • b) Specify filename without location (search whole hard drive): winfr C: E: /regular /n myresume.docx


6. Another option is, running a search using the “Extensive mode”. By replacing the /regular switch with /extensive and following the exact same steps as in the previous, regular process. Example: winfr C: E: /extensive /n users\<username>\documents\myresume.docx


How to Restore Lost Data On Mac 

Now, how do you do a recovery process on your own but on a Mac?

If you’re found nothing on the Trash Bind, then don’t worry. There are still plenty of methods to follow.

  • a) Use the Time Machine (Apple’s native backup and recovery tool). Just launch the Time Machine app by pressing on the icon shown below. 

Mac Time Machine IconThen, open a “Finder” window in the location you remember last seeing the file and scroll back through TM until the file you’re looking for appears.

Once you find the file, select it and click on “Restore” to get it back.

  • b) Use the Mac Terminal. Access it by entering the cd .Trash command and typing mv (replace the last six x’s with the full filename and extension)
    > Press “Return” and then type “Quit” to exit the terminal. You should now find the recovered file in its original location.


Now, if you’ve scrolled down so far, there’s the possibility that you haven’t found your files yet. And you still need them… They’re very important to you.

If everything else fails, then your next best step is to call the professionals. Luckily for you, the MyITGuy experts also specialize in data recovery or disaster recovery solutions.

We have the necessary tools, knowledge, and expertise to restore your lost data from any device, no matter the situation. This could translate into a quick file hunt or a more extensive physical drive repair. An affordable cost of professional service is guaranteed.

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