Accidental deletion by emptying the trash is a very common occurrence for computer users. This tutorial demonstrates the steps to recover deleted or lost files using the Data Rescue data recovery software. Once you have downloaded and installed Data Rescue, follow these steps to recover your deleted files:

Step 1:  Launch the Data Rescue application.

Step 2:  Select "Start New Scan".

Step 3:  Select the hard drive you wish to recover the files from and click "Next".

Step 4:  Select the "Deleted File Scan" task. Then select "Start".

Step 5:  The scanning begins. All scanning progress will be shown in the window. This is the actual live process where Data Rescue is looking to recover the deleted files in the free space of the hard drive.

Step 6:  Results after the scan.  After the deleted file scan has completed, a window with all the files that are recoverable will be displayed. Take the time to look through all the files and select the files you would like to do the actual recovery for. Select the boxes and the click next to recover.

Step 7:  Select a destination folder. This will be the location that the files are recovered to, and cannot be the same drive as the drive you have scanned.


  • Stop working on your computer immediately to lessen the chance of writing over the files you deleted.
  • If you don't already have Data Rescue 4 installed on your computer, make sure you change the download location to an external hard drive to lessen the chance of writing over the files in the downloading process.
  • Files that are recovered will have generic files names since in the deletion process the metadata that holds the file names are stripped off.
  • Files must be recovered to a drive other than the one you are scanning. This ensures you do not overwrite files you want to recover.
  • If you are trying to recover deleted files from your main internal hard drive, you will need to run the software using a BootWell USB device. A prepared BootWell can be purchased from Prosoft in addition to the software, or you can create your own: How to create your own BootWell

Things you will need to recover deleted files from home:

  • Data Rescue hard drive recovery software.
  • A secondary good hard drive to recover to.
  • A BootWell USB (only if you are recovering from an internal hard drive)