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How to recover deleted files with Recuva

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When we look for a free program to recover deleted files from our hard drive by accident , the most recommended application by users is Recuva . This made inescapable the need to write a tutorial on how to recover deleted files with Recuva on Windows .


For those who are a bit clueless, the Recuva application has a free version that is fully functional. This program has been developed by Piriform, the same company that has developed the famous CCleaner cleaner .

First of all you have to download Recuva from its official website and selecting the free version, unless we are interested in the paid version.

When we proceed to the installation of Recuva we must be careful, since the installer will try to install additional products, so read the information on the screen carefully during installation .

How to recover deleted files with Recuva.

The first time we run Recuva, it will show us a wizard, which will guide us step by step during the file recovery process. I usually cancel this wizard and use the program directly from its main interface because it offers more options.


First of all we will take a tour of the "Options" section , where we can change the language to Spanish. But the interesting option is in the «Actions» tab, where we can activate or deactivate the Deep Scan .


Once the options have been adjusted according to our needs, we only have to press the "Scan" button and wait.

What is the Deep Scan of Recuva or deep scan?

Recuva by default searches for deleted files in the master file table (MFT) , as it is a quick and easy process. But it may be the case that a deleted file is not in this table and it is in this situation when we must resort to Deep Scan or deep scan .

This type of deleted file scanning is much slower, since it searches the data on the entire hard drive. Also, this method only retrieves the data from the file, it is not able to retrieve the file name. Files recovered by this method will be displayed in Recuva as a number in square brackets followed by the corresponding file extension (for example [00014].jpg ).

Interpreting the results of the Recuva scan and recovering the files.

Once the issue of what Deep Scan is all about, we can continue talking about the results that Recuva offers us. The deleted files that you found appear on the screen and we see that they have a red, green or yellow circle next to the file name.

This circle shows the status of the file and the probability of recovering it successfully. The green color indicates an excellent state, the yellow color indicates a very bad state and the red color indicates an unrecoverable file status. But in this section I have to say that Recuva fails a lot, since it always shows files with a green icon and that when recovering all its bytes are zero, so this indication is not very reliable .

To recover a file or several, we right click on the file list and a context menu will appear with all the recovery options.


During the process of recovering a file, Recuva recommends that we store it in a different unit than the source unit of the file , since this increases the probability of recovering it (if we have another unit available, we can use a pendrive for example) .

And here ends this basic tutorial on how to recover deleted files with Recuva . I hope it has been helpful and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment.

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