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Where Do Permanently Deleted Files Go In Computers?
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Where Do Permanently Deleted Files Go In Computers?

When you delete files from your computer they normally go to the recycle bin. From the recycle bin, you can then ‘permanently delete’ the file. However, the files haven’t really been deleted from the hard drive.

The files are now stored in the depths of your hard drive but the system has marked the space the files occupy as ready to overwrite. The system marks these files as inaccessible. While you can’t see these files from File Explorer, they can still be recovered using your OS recovery features or by using special software.

For instance, here is a guide to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

Open the folder where the file was located before you send it to the recycle bin.

Right click and on the pop up menu click on ‘History’.

Click ‘Previous’.

Select the file you want to recover and left-click to ‘Restore’.

However, for this to work you have to act immediately. Otherwise the system will overwrite the deleted file with new data.
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If you accidentally and permanently delete a file, you can recover it using reliable data recovery software and retrieve the file straight from the hard drive. Although this only retrieves the most recent version of the deleted file.

The reason why computers are programmed this way is it's easier to remove the copy of the file instead of having it overwritten in the hard drive. And this is why most people can still get their deleted data retrieved.

Why you should always check your hard drives

You would want to ensure that confidential data remains secure, even if it’s deleted.

But apparently, permanently deleting all your files and other important data even in the Recycle Bin is not enough. It is not technically "deleted." Although the operating system can't find it anymore, a copy of it is still accessible through your hard drive. Depending on your hardware, the data stored on your hard drive can either remain intact or in smaller pieces if a user tries to retrieve them after some time.
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