You've accidentally deleted an important video file – now, how do you recover it? In this article, we will consider what you should do if you lose or accidentally delete a video file and how never to lose a video file again!
In most cases, this can be solved without downloading any software. But when the file drive has suffered severe mechanical, chemical, or any other external damage, it could get trickier.
Now that we store our videos on physical media just like other types of digital data, our videos are exposed to all typical risks of data loss: hard drive malfunction, virus infection, accidental deletion, card mismanagement, data transfer errors, among other problems.
Recovering video from hard drives and memory cards is much easier than recovering from damaged videotape or DVD media. After all, video files are similar to other data on your computer, so you can use the same data recovery methods that are effective when recovering other files.
Start with the Basics: Check Your Recycle Bin
It may seem obvious, but many users skip this important initial step. It's no secret that when files are deleted from the hard drive of a computer/laptop, they automatically go to the Recycle Bin. So, you should check that one first - it may just be waiting for you there!
To restore a deleted file from the Bin, right-click on it and select "Restore." It will then be restored to the same location from which you deleted it.
Keep in mind, though, that if the file you are deleting is too large (more than the Recycle Bin allows), it will not get in it but will instead be deleted permanently. So, pay extra attention to the system notifications when deleting a file.
Recovery Utilities for Windows
The above method might work for a computer or laptop, provided that your video file was actually deleted and is in the Recycle Bin.
However, what can you do in the following situations if:
A video file was deleted from the computer past the Recycle Bin, or the Recycle Bin was cleaned after deleting the file;
A video clip was accidentally deleted in a photo/video camera;
A memory card was accidentally formatted in photo/video camera;
Memory card data is corrupted (for example, incorrectly removed or failed).
In such cases, you can recover your video file using special data recovery programs. One solution is Disk Drill.
Disk Drill Features
In case you've accidentally deleted a video file or cleaned your camera’s memory card, you can install and run Disk Drill. This handy program will scan your PC and display all hard drives and removable media connected to it. Some more features:
Preview of deleted text/image files without the need for recovery;
Convenient Apple-style design;
Removable and network drive support;
Hidden and encrypted files and folder recovery;
Disk Drill can be useful in the following cases: simple file deletion from the Recycle Bin, formatting and changing the partition file system type, data loss due to virus attacks, software and hardware failures, etc. You can also use the utility to recover files from deleted or "lost" partitions.
This file recovery tool features two main types of media scanning: Fast Scan and Deep Scan.
In case of simple file deletion and subsequent cleaning of the Recycle Bin, the fast mode is quite sufficient to recover your data. In more complex cases, for example, full drive formatting or overwriting deleted files with new data, it's best to use Deep Scan.
How to Use Disk Drill
Choose the storage device you need to recover video files from. Choose your scan type. Choose Quick Scan as it runs faster and saves the directory tree (folder and file structure).
Click Search for lost data.
Wait until the scan is complete.
The utility will display all video files that can be recovered in the preview window. Thus, you can check video clips ready to recover. Choose files you want to recover and click the "Recover" button.
If for some reason the program couldn't find your remote video clip, try Deep Scan to find remote video files by their signatures, i.e., file content. Keep in mind, that while this process is more efficient compared to Quick Scan, it’s also more time-consuming.
Similarly, you can recover a video clip that has been deleted from your PC or laptop's hard drive by cleaning the Recycle Bin or deleting a file past it. Only you will have to scan the remote hard drive.
The free version of Disk Drill will let you recover up to 500 MB of data. The paid version ($89) offers unlimited document recovery. There's also the Enterprise Version for company-wide data recovery. The price bites, but, eventually, it all depends on how badly you want your video files back.
How to Recover Videos on Android
Today, the majority of Android devices are already equipped with cameras that are able to take fairly high-quality photos and shoot video clips. The amounts of memory built into smartphones or plug-in memory cards have long gone beyond 16 GB. That’s a lot of files!
The easiest way to recover deleted photos/videos from the Android device in case your data was stored on the memory card is to do as follows:
Remove the memory card from your device and connect it to your computer or laptop using Card Reader. In some cases, you can use a smartphone or tablet connected by cable for that. But keep in mind that data recovery software may not always be able to see the memory card in this way.
Once it is displayed in “This PC,” start Disk Drill. Then follow the recovery steps as above.
Note that the situation can be quite different when you need to recover the deleted video from the internal memory of the Android device.
This is due to the fact that devices with Android versions up to 5, allowed you to connect them to your PC as a USB drive (or storage device). In this case, the data from the memory of the device could be recovered with Disk Drill. But after the fifth version, the devices are connected to the computer as media players via MTP by default. And you can’t change that.
How to Restore Internal Videos from Phones
Now, to restore photos or videos from the internal memory of your smartphone, you will need Root Access along with an enabled Developer Options, to enable debugging the device via USB. There are many Android file recovery programs that can help you with that.
If you can’t connect your smartphone to your computer, you can also recover your photos or videos with your smartphone. For this purpose, there are enough apps on the Google Play Store. But all of them also will require root access for proper operation. Some of them provide an opportunity to restore these devices without root access, however, the recovery quality will be much lower.
Save Videos to Cloud Content Solutions like Box
The best way to make sure you don’t lose video files is by setting up an automatic or manual synchronization of photos and videos from your smartphone or tablet to the cloud.
Consider using solutions like Google Photos or Box. In fact, Box takes cloud storage to new heights as it also allows team collaboration.
Good luck recovering your deleted or lost videos on PC!
About the author: Vlad Darukin is an online entrepreneur who has a passion for helping people create and market online businesses for free. You can learn more from him by visiting Thedesignblitz.com or North X East.