Where does a deleted file goes? how to recover it?

Where does Deleted files Goes? : Intelligent Computing
What really happens when you delete a file permanently? Where the deleted file really goes? How can you recover it and when you can’t? Know the basic of deletion of the files, indexing! How does your file saved on computer drive. This post is completely dedicated for this information.

Hi everyone, welcome back to intelligent computing, in this post I am going to tell you few basic things that makes you clear about the entire question I have put on the first few lines of the post. How files and folders are saved on hard drive. 

What really happens when you delete files from your computer? When can you recover your deleted files and when you cannot get it back? How deletion work and lots more questions are answered here.

Let’s Start with Hard drive

Hard drive is stack of disk made up of magnetic material called platters. Each platter has concentric tracks and each are divided into sectors. Each sector has cells containing smallest storage unit called bit. Smallest units, i.e. bits can either stay magnetize or stay demagnetize.

We can consider of the state as 1’s and another as 0. This is how we save our data on hard drive.

What are computer files and folders?

Computer files or digital files are nothing but information stored logically. Physically we can say it is nothing but sequence of zeros and ones on the hard drive or say sequence of magnetized or demagnetized bit.


How does files are stored in Computer Hard drive: Intelligent computing


It has one starting address where we can refer that the files is stored and access.

Folders are small files which contains the list of address of the files in it. Folders are like small indexes which contain the list of information about the files stored inside it.

When we delete or say remove the list inside the folder list, it will say files is not present or doesn’t exist.

How files are viewed and access

When you see a file on computer, remember you are seeing the name of the file not content, this means you are seeing the file name which is going to refer you to the address where the files stored and refer you to the first bit of the file.

How does files are stored and accessed in Computer: Intelligent Computing


When you actually open the file, you are viewing the content in it that means you are reading the exact bit entries in the file.

On the outer side of the disk, there are list of folders and files, that is list of small files which will refer to each file entry on the drive.

What happens when you delete a file?

Suppose you are about to find something in a book, you firstly look at the index, you don’t find it in index, and you won’t read or open the books. No matter the thing you are looking for it present inside or not.
How files are stored even after deleted the files in computer: Intelligent Computing


Similarly, when you can see the file name on your computer it means it refers you to the location and computer has information that from location abc to location icr there exist a file and I won’t allow new files to be stored there.



When you delete a file, ever notice how quickly it happens. It only removes the entry from the index. Yes computer removes the entry of those files from the list where it accesses the file. That means now computer don’t have any information about the address where the file is stored. It will think that space is free and we can now save new files on this space.

What I want to tell you is, hard drive still has that files but computer don’t have any idea of its existence so you are not able to find the file once you deleted. But now you know files are there.

How can you recover files when you have deleted

Files have deleted, but actually only entries are omitted from the list, there are software which can look for the files in location of your drive and get you the list of information about the files. After that you can create your new index and get access to files.



When you are not able to recover the files

Files are sequence of 0s and 1s. Once the file have deleted you can recover it until new sequence is not written on the place of deleted file location. That means, once you have deleted files, you can recover it until, computer have written new files on it.

Once your older file location is written with new files sequence, it’s impossible to find the file. May be you can find the part of the files which is not affected but you can’t get the whole file as it was.
You can always recover deleted file, get to know it here.

Bottom Line

A deleted file resides there only until new files are being written on the space allocated to older files which being deleted. You can always recover files as usual if not overwritten and what recovery software does is build index after scanning the hard drive.


I hoped you like the Information and share this for your friends and make them expert as well. Have nice time to you all.
Dheeraj thedijje

Dheeraj thedijje

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