Disaster has struck. You were checking the photos on your digital camera, organising some important files on your USB stick, or working on that important project to be handed in next week, and all of a sudden something went wrong and you lost your crucial files.

It can happen to anyone – and it does, regularly. Whether through human error, accidental damage or pure bad luck, important files can often get lost, and the resulting feeling is one of pure horror. Fortunately, these files can often be recovered. So how should you go about doing so?

Despite Your Best Intentions, Leave It Alone

Many people have lost important files only to go and make the situation ten times worse by continuing to use their digital cameras, smartphones, hard drives or computers. The first thing that you should do is turn it off and leave it well alone. The more you use it, the more likely to are to write over those crucial files, making recovery much more difficult.

Is It Broken?

If you know that your hard drive or other disk is in good working order, you could be in luck. This is because files that have simply been deleted are often recoverable using specialist software that you can find online. If you think you are in this situation, simply find some software that is compatible and follow the instructions.

You may want to ask the developer for advice if you are confused about any part of it, but otherwise the recovery process is usually quite quick and simple. If your disk is broken, however, you will probably require the help of a specialist.

Find A File Recovery Specialist

If your disk is broken, damaged or corrupted, or you are simply not keen to use the recovery software yourself, you may need to send your disk to a specialist. Experts in the recovery of files and data have different processes, but they will all incorporate specialist techniques to find the files that you have lost and return them to you.

Find a file recovery company with a lot of experience, and make sure you trust the company that you use. You may want to read a few testimonials from previous customers to get reassurance. You will also want to find a company that provides a recovery service for your specific disk and brand, so make sure you look for this when making your decision.

Get Into The Habit Of Backing Up Files

It is not always possible to back up your files before they become lost. For example, accidentally deleting photos from your digital camera is a very common scenario. However, try to get into the habit of backing up all of your digital files on a regular basis either on a separate disk or in the cloud. It is not foolproof, and you may still need to hire the services of an expert, but it is certainly well worth doing.

Form Your Own Recovery Disaster Plan

You never know when disaster could strike, so it is a good idea to have a recovery disaster plan in place for when the worst happens. As well as backing up your files regularly, research specialist recovery experts so that you can contact a professional as soon as you realise your files are missing. That way, when something does go wrong, you will not have to panic and can instead get the professional assistance you need without wasting any time.