How to Recover Deleted Files From a Server

by Tricia Goss

You purchased a server and had it installed at your workplace or home office. You decided that it was a good way to share and protect important documents, spreadsheets and other files. Then it happened. Someone (let's not point any fingers!) accidentally deleted a very important file, and you had no backup copy. You checked the Recycle Bin, but it is not there. Do not panic. There may still be a way to get the file back.


Go to the location on your network where the file was originally saved. If you are not sure, you will have to perform steps two and three on several server folders until you find the location.


Right-click that folder and choose "Properties." The "Properties" dialog box will open.


Go to the "Previous Versions" tab. Double click the most recent version of the folder that you know contained the missing file. You will see a list of files that were in the folder at that time, so you can make sure the file was there. If the "Previous Versions" tab is not present, your server does not have "Shadow Copies" enabled, and you will need to contact your IT administrator.


Right-click the missing file in the previous version of the folder and choose "Copy."


Navigate to the current version of the folder and paste the file there. Double click to make sure it opens properly before closing out of the "Properties" dialog box.


  • check Remember that you are copying and pasting a previous version of the file, so any recent changes made might not be present. However, some form of the file is usually better than no file at all.

About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Tricia Goss