Recovering deleted desktop folder in Windows 7?
August 12, 2018 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Realized this morning that sometime yesterday I appear to have deleted a folder that I need from the desktop of a Windows 7 machine. Is there any way to recover this? Also, is it possible to change folder settings to make them undeletable?
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I haven’t had to do this in years, so I can’t tell you exactly how, but there used to be a thing where you could go in and reverse all changes on your computer back to a certain point in the past, like yesterday, or a week ago, etc. Hopefully, someone else will come in with the details on how to do this.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:43 AM on August 12, 2018

It should be sitting in your recycle bin? Find it and right-click to "Restore" or "Undelete."

That's how it works on Windows 10 (I just tested to confirm) but I assume it's the same on 7.
posted by mark k at 8:44 AM on August 12, 2018

It should be sitting in your recycle bin?

Deleted from recycle bin, unfortunately.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:16 AM on August 12, 2018

If the files are important to you, stop using the computer right now.

Chances are the files are still on the disk but the more you use the computer, the greater the chance of them getting overwritten by something else.

There's various software and services that can try to recover the files but what you need to do right now is create an image of the disk to try to do the recovery off of. I don't have the bandwidth to link to how to do so right now but I'm sure someone will fill in the blanks shortly.
posted by Candleman at 10:34 AM on August 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Candleman has your answer. The data may be recoverable, but the more you use your computer, the less likely it will be possible to recover them, as the computer begins writing data to the areas of the disk with the deleted files on them.
posted by Aleyn at 7:37 PM on August 12, 2018

I'm still traveling in a low bandwidth area, so excuse the terseness. Here's a few links talking about how to recover deleted files. If these are important to you and you don't feel comfortable with the command line, pay a professional. There are some windows GUI programs that claim to recover deleted files. They may or may not work, I have not used them. A bunch I've seen reek of scam, so research anything you buy.

If you use dd to image the drive, be very careful not to make a typo, as reversing if and of in the options will result in you permanently destroying all your data.

If you search for file recovery, you'll find some more detailed guides and information. (this might be an "easy" option but I have no firsthand experience with it)
posted by Candleman at 8:03 PM on August 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you do hire a professional, while screening them, ask if they use a write blocker while imaging the drive. If the answer is no, they're not a professional and you should not hire them.
posted by Candleman at 8:21 PM on August 12, 2018

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