How to Recover Deleted Files from the External Hard Drive For Free

Summary: This blog highlights what you should do and not to do things when realize that the file has been deleted. Also it explains how Stellar free data recovery software can help you to safely recover your deleted files when you have lost them from external drive.

How to Recover Deleted Files from the External Hard Drive For Free

External hard drives are generally used for data backup and storing large files. People may also store their important personal or business data and documents in an external hard drive instead of a regular internal storage drive for security and privacy reasons. External storage is also used in case when the internal storage starts to run out of space.

However, a problem arises when you accidentally delete file(s) or format the external hard drive, which is quite common.

Also, external hard drives are vulnerable to corruption as they are often connected to different systems. And if a system is infected, it affects the external hard drive and damages the file system—making the drive inaccessible or RAW.

Most importantly, a common practice that leads to drive errors and corruption is unplugging the external hard drive without safe removal.

CAUTION: Never click ‘Format’ on system prompt. When you connect a RAW or corrupt external hard drive, the system prompts you to format the drive and if you click ‘Format’, the data will be gone permanently.

In all such cases, you can use free data recovery software to recover data from external hard drives—in case if the data backup is not available.

The DIY software recovers data from all types of hard drives formatted as NTFS, exFAT, or FAT32. Besides external hard drives, you can also use the software to recover lost and deleted data from internal hard drive, SSD, thumb drive, eMMC storage, and SD card, etc.

The tool is specially designed to recover all popular video, photo, document, audio, and application file formats. This free external hard drive data recovery software can recover 300+ file formats from any Windows supported storage media.

Steps to Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive

  • In the ‘Select What to Recover’, select the file types you wish to recover or click ‘All Data’ to recover all file types. Click ‘Next’.

  • Select the external hard drive volume listed under ‘Connected Drives’ from where data is accidentally or deliberately deleted

The software also recognizes a RAW hard drive volume and lists it under ‘Connected Drive

  • Turn on ‘Deep Scan’ switch from the bottom left and click the ‘Scan’ button

Deep scan is an advanced scan-mode that recovers the files based on file-signatures. Hence, it facilitates maximum data recovery possible from a Windows PC, Laptop, or supported storage media. The scan also facilitates RAW recovery.

During the Scan, you can see ‘Time Elapsed’ and ‘Time Left’. Also, you can turn ON/OFF the file preview anytime.

  • After the completion of the scan process, you’ll see the files/folder listed in the left ‘Tree View’ pane. You can click ‘File Type’ to quickly sort recovered files based on their file types
  • Expand the tree or folders to find the required files. Click on any file to see its preview

  • Then select the required files and click ‘Recover’.
  • Click ‘Browse’ and choose a save location on a different drive
  • Finally, click ‘Start Saving’ to save the selected recovered files at your desired location

NOTE: The free edition of Stellar Data Recovery software lets you save up to 1GB data. If you wish to save more, get the activation key from Stellar® to activate the software.


The free version of Stellar Data Recovery software is equipped with many powerful features that can handle a variety of common data loss situations. Besides deleted file recovery from external hard drives, the software can also recover data from a formatted, corrupt, and missing partition of an internal/external hard drive and other storage media.

The DIY software features an easy-to-use interface which makes it easy for anyone to recover deleted files from external hard drives, pen drives, SSDs, and SDs cards, etc.

For more help on data recovery, reach us via comment section down below or get in touch with our data recovery experts via email, chat, or direct call.

  1. Patricia J. Craddock May 17, 2019
    • Aruna Attri May 20, 2019

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