What Happens To Your Deleted Files!!!

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  • Post last modified:June 13, 2021
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So you have deleted your favorite movie, and it went straight to the recycle bin off course!

So, why am I writing this post. Until you want to know what happens next…

That is, when you delete a file from your recycle bin too!

Everything you need to know about file deletion and recovery, just read this article.

Somethings to know first

When you copy a file to your storage device, it occupies some sectors, and the location of this file is stored in the Pointers of that particular drive. Now, what the heck is a Pointer?

Pointers are simply the part of your storage device which keeps the list of locations of every file present in your drive. Every time you access your files, your storage device asks the Pointer for the physical location on that drive to access it.

Now, when you delete a file, you may think that you have lose access to that file, certainly yes and no both. Well, to understand that let’s dig a little deeper.

The concept

To understand how things work, lets take a quick example.

See your storage device as a book, where there are chapters on it and on the first page is the location marked for every chapter. Simple!

Now, your first page is the Pointer, that we were discussing about, where the location of every chapter (i.e. files) are marked. Now, please understand, whenever you copy a file, you have to write with your pen on the pages, which obviously requires some time, despite of a mere second. Now, when you delete a file, your Operating System cleverly marks the pages as empty on that book rather than erasing the whole content on that page, which is good as there’s no point erasing every file as it takes almost the same time as it took to write there.

So, by above example, you got to know that the files you deleted remains there forever.

Now, here comes the role of a recovery software like Recuva

How recuva or any recovery software works?

These file recovery softwares scans your whole drive for all the files in your drive whose address is not present in the Pointers. Then, you are able to find them and recover your files. Wait! Does that mean, you can recover your favorite Pet video which you deleted 6 years ago?

Certainly not, as the system does not work like that! Well, if you had isolated your drive that time or somehow managed to leave that sector from any further disk writing, then most probably you can recover your Pet video.

Actually, the files are written in a sector like layers. Every now and then you copy a file, it may be written on an already written file, which makes the previous file unreadable. The bottom line is, you can recover any file in excellent quality if that file was not overwritten any further.

What’s The meaning of cut, copy & paste?

To start with, copy-paste simply means to make a copy in the destination path whereas in the case of Cut-Paste, things change a little bit, once copying of file is done, there’s a delete command in the source path. Only in the case, where the primary and final drive destination is same, there is no copying of file, only the pointers are changed. (By the way, there’s also an exception for some file systems like exFAT, where there is a copy-paste even for the same drive)

Delete vs erase

When you delete a file, and the file becomes unavailable from the drive, it is called delete, where there’s a chance you can recover them.

Whereas in spite of deleting the file, you decide to erase (or shred) that file by some third-party software like Eraser or WipeFile or by conducting a full format for the drive, then it is called erase or shred of files.

Recycle Bin Actual Location

Do you know the actual location of your recycle bin? Well, it’s present in each of your partitions with the name of “$RECYCLE.BIN”.

You may access them by unticking the “Hide Protected OS files” under folder options

You can also view the files by going to the Properties of the drive and clicking on Disk Cleanup, then View Files of the Recycle Bin of that particular drive.

Just Now i deleted my Pet video, what to do??

Well, this tip can come handy to you in many situations.

If you want to maximize every possible chance to recover a file, first of all don’t Panic!

Just isolate that drive if possible or at least don’t use it unnecessarily. Install any file recovery software like Recuva urgently and scan for the files. This is the best you can do at this stage, if needed try techniques like “Deep Scan” too.

What if i want to delete a file forever

Well there can be some case, if you need to do this. Say, you are selling your phone or any device which has a storage device. You do a low-level format thinking that now you are safe, that’s where you are wrong as the other person can access the files very easily and do whatever with them.

To save yourself, the least you can do is to perform a Full Format on your drive and then give it to another person. Be it a pen drive, if you have some private files, you should do it. Just, uncheck the Quick Format option.

But that thing takes much time than ever! Right, to save you from this you can install a third-party software like Eraser or WipeFile.

There are many options like passes or military methods where the sector is overwritten several times and with various techniques. Also, you can perform these techniques with individual files to save your time and you both!


Be it erasing or shredding your files, in today’s time, it becomes a necessity to save ourselves from becoming victim to these things.

Hope you understand the message and will do as required to save your Privacy offline too.

Anyways, if you have any doubts about anything related to file deletion, or want to point out any correction in this article, please feel free to contact us in the comments.

Thanks for reading this article and visiting GeekyIsHere.

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