Now that we're living in a mostly digital world, it's a lot easier than it used to be to accidentally delete that precious family photo or important bank statement. One slip of the finger, and whole folders of files can disappear into the digital ether.
If you're hit by such a mishap, don't panic. If you keep calm and act fast, you might be able to get your files back. In fact, you can explore a few different methods on your quest to restore your data. From tools built into your operating system to third-party apps you can download for free, here's how to rescue those files.
Keep a backup
Nowadays, you really have no excuse for not backing up everything that's on your computer and phone. The available backup and cloud storage apps are so comprehensive and easy to use that you barely have to do anything to update the spare copies of your data. What's more, backups are your best protection against any accidental file deletion, not to mention other potential problems like ransomware.
Of course, if you don't already have a backup system in place, it won't be much help if you've arrived here in a panic. But you can at least make sure you set something up to protect your future files. On your computer, look at the options built into Windows (OneDrive) and macOS (iCloud), as well as independent apps such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
All of these services sync your files between computers and the cloud. So when a file disappears from one place, you can restore it from another. For example, in the Dropbox web interface, just click the Deleted files link and then restore whichever file or folder you want back. For even more protection against data loss, consider a service like Crashplan or Backblaze.