Damiano Gualandri Blog
February 7, 2022

How to recover files on Windows: the secret forgotten method

Posted on February 7, 2022  •  2 minutes  • 363 words
Table of contents

Summertime sadness

Losing files, especially if important, is always an unpleasant sensation, that anybody should avoid in their entire life.

It feels you dumb, because you could have done a backup, frustrated because of “why me?”, occasionally mad with all the machines in the world and really sad about the loss of your files.

Most especially, if this happens in critical situation, like you’re going on holiday and you’re transferring your files between two of yours hard drive because “hey, what a wonderful idea to free some space from the hard drive the night before leaving! What could ever go wrong?”, it could entirely ruin your relaxing vacation.

If anything can go wrong, it will — Murphy’s Law1

What can we do?

Well, there are not many solutions; you could:

What the shadow copies are… G-Gengar?

shadow copies are like Pokémon Gengar

Under a full moon, this Pokémon likes to mimic the shadows of people and laugh at their fright. — Pokémon Red & Blue

What does this mean?

If you’re lucky enough to have this service enabled on your machine2, Windows keeps a snapshot (copy) of all your data files and folders, to let you recover them in a second moment, in case of data loss or something’s gone wrong.

How to recover data

shadow explorer screenshot - it doesn’t have any copy though

Download Shadow Explorer and unzip the archive in a folder.

Run the executable file.

A list of snapshot will be listed, select the snapshot you want and… boom, your files are back on track, ready to be used!

Lesson learnt

Always have a backup, but in case you don’t, it is always useful to know these awesome tricks!

  1. First Murphy’s Law  ↩︎

  2. needs more research: is it enabled by default? ↩︎

Follow me

I mostly don't use any social media.