How to recover data from a hard drive

Knowing how to recover data from a hard drive is a skill you’ll hopefully never have to use. But if you accidentally delete some critical files, or suddenly discover the drive they’re on isn’t working correctly, you’ll be glad you know how.

In this step-by-step guide we’ll show you a few reliable ways to try and recover those deleted files from your hard drive, on both Windows and Mac PCs. You have a much better chance of being able to recover missing files on a hard disk drive (HDD) than on a solid-state drive (SSD), since physical HDDs don’t automatically overwrite data as soon as you delete it.