What Happens When You Delete A File? & How To Recover Deleted Files?

We all may require deleting some specific files in our personal computers at some point or the other. Deleting the irrelevant or non-essential data always helps because it releases unnecessary occupied memory. However, the process of deleting files, as simple as it may seem, has a logic and concept behind it, which we often tend to neglect or we simply do not know.

Deleting Files in Computer System

Whenever you delete a file from your computer, the file goes to the recycle bin; and if you delete the file from the recycle bin, the file gets permanently removed from your computer; right? All of you must be thinking, ‘Of course this is true, and we always knew it’. But this is the most false perception or belief that we all know about deleting files. To make it quite apparent and lucid, let us just understand this concept in terms of hard disk and operating system.

Whenever you delete a file from a certain location in your computer system, the file is not removed from that location and is not sent to the recycle bin; instead it stills remains at the same location of the hard disk. Actually, the file name and its path is deleted and is sent to the recycle bin in an invisible folder. In the recycled folder, the deleted file gets a new name with a new path and gets stored in the file INFO2, which is an invisible indexed file. Therefore, the moment you restore the file from the recycle bin, the file gets back its original name and path, and thus it is restored to its original location.

Deleting Files from the Recycle Bin

The same concept of deletion applies to the recycle bin. When you delete files from the recycle bin or empty the recycle bin, the file is still located on the hard disk but in this case, the file path is lost. So, you cannot restore the file in this case.

Consider a file in your system equivalent to a book page. If you delete a single page from the index of the book, the page is not removed from the book, rather the page number or its entry is removed from the table of contents of the index of the book. Consider the similar scenario with the file system. You are just deleting a file’s entry (the file name and its path) and but not the file itself from the location.

However, the file does get permanently removed when you add a new file on the hard disk and overwrite the deleted file. Therefore, in such a case, you end up deleting the file permanently from your computer system.

Adding a new file in the same location as the deleted file removes the file permanently from the hard disk.

So now that you are aware of the fact that deleting files does not permanently remove them until they are overwritten by the new files; you must be tackling questions such as Can we recover the files then? How can we do it? The answer is YES; you can recover these files by using many recovery softwares that are available online. However, there is a precaution that you need to take before beginning to use these softwares.

Your system creates temporary files for everything that you use on it. For example, when you use an application, temporary files related to that application are created in the hard disk of the system. So, in case you use any application, a temporary file pertaining to that application may get stored in the same location as the deleted file and the deleted file can get replaced by it; which deletes the file permanently from your system and thus you may never be able to restore the same. So make sure to stop every operation in your personal computers while using these recovery softwares.

Temporary files are created even while shutting down the computer system.

How To Recover Deleted Files

There are many file recovery software available online, which you can use to recover files. Secure Data Recovery strongly recommends you consult a professional before attempting to run an online restoration software. When you try to recover data yourself, you are risking losing even more data or permanently losing the data you are trying to receive. The best way to ensure your files will be recovered is to have a team of professionals perform the data recovery service for you.

If you must use online file recovery software, a few of the good ones are Recuva, Puran Utilities, and Glary Undelete. Let’s discuss each of these one by one:



Recuva is one of the file recovery software, which allows you to recover data that you might have accidentally deleted or lost. This software runs on Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, or 2000 (including both 32 and 64 bit). You can recover your important data from your personal computer, recycle bin, digital camera card, and MP3 player. There are different plans available to get this software such as the professional and business edition plans.

Puran Utilities

Puran Utilities is a set of numerous software utilities that enable you to keep your computer’s performance up to date and effective. You require Windows 8, 7, 2008, Vista, 2003, or Xp to run these utilities in your computer system. A few of the utilities are disk cleaner, disk check, data recovery, file recovery, wipe disk, and system information. You can download Puran Utilities for free and also check for its updates from time to time to keep your computer system clean and error-free.

Glary Undelete

Glary Undelete is free file recovery software for Windows OS users. However if you are using Windows 8, then currently Glary Undelete is not compatible with the latest Windows operating system; i.e. Windows 8. The user interface of the software is quite simple, which makes it ideally suitable for a general user to use. Other than not being compatible with Windows 8, Glary Undelete it one of the best free file recovery software.

Likewise, there are other many recovery softwares online that allow you to recover your important data.

How To Delete Files Permanently

Suppose, you want to delete a file permanently from your computer system, in such a case, you need to use many file deletion softwares available online. Let’s see these file deletion softwares one by one.


File Shredder

File shredder is fast and reliable file deletion software, which shreds files completely from your computer. After deleting the unwanted files with this software, you cannot retrieve the files back into the system. The reason being that file shredder rewrites the files with some random binary data before deleting the files. Therefore, there is no option of recovering the files once they are deleted by using file shredder. You can download file shredder over the Internet for free.


CCleaner is a fast running file shredding software, which lets you delete unwanted data from the locations that you cannot trace easily. This software also deletes your online activities and cleans browsers such as Opera, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Additionally, the software comes with registry cleaner, which runs fast in the system and does not make the system hang at all. You can download CCleaner over the Internet for free.

You can download and use many software utilities like these, which are available over the Internet. These utilities help you to make your computer system error-free, clean, fast, and more performance oriented.

We hope you use the utilities mentioned in this post and get benefited from these too. In the coming posts, we are going to review each of these file recovery and file deletion softwares in detail. So, keep tuning in to get updated.

About the author

Zainil Dedhia

Zainil Dedhia is commerce graduate & is pursuing his further studies in commerce. He loves to write about free software's & social media.


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