Accidental file deletion can happen to anyone and at any time in the most unexpected way. Take for instance this problem we came across on a technical forum:
“While trying to organise my PC’s storage better and get rid of old files, I ran Disk Cleanup. Though it did help my PC’s overall performance, I realised that a few of my old but famous photos also got deleted. I believe disk cleanup is pretty thorough in erasing data from hard drives. So are my photos lost forever or is there any way in which I may be able to recover photos after disk cleanup utility?”
This scenario highlights two aspects of the Disk Cleanup utility. One – it is an excellent way to clean your PC of unwanted old data. Two – it can often even delete files that are important to you. So the fundamental question is, should you use this utility or not? You’ll have the answer to this issue by the end of this article.
What is Disk Cleanup Utility?
Before we delve into details, let us begin with a sneak-peek into what Disk Cleanup is. The Disk Cleanup utility is an inbuilt Windows system service that was first launched with Windows 98 with the aim of relieving your computer of old, unused files. On running it, an extensive scan of a selected partition or the entire hard drive is carried out and records that have not been opened or used from a long time are deleted. This utility typically clears out temporary internet files, old compressed files, Recycle Bin items, installed applications that have not been used for quite some time, downloaded programs, Downloads folder and Windows temporary files.
As a result of running this utility, your PC’s performance might get a slight boost, and you might find some extra hard disk space at your disposal. This utility is hence often the preferred way to better organise PC data automatically when users don’t have the time to do so manually.
What are the risks associated with Disk Cleanup?
Though this utility has its perks, there is a dark side to it. You would have noted the folders from which it deletes old files mentioned above. So, any of your crucial files in these locations that you’ve not accessed during the past few months (typically great screenshots and personal photos) could end up getting deleted without warning. If you don’t have a backup of such files, you could land up into trouble owing to data loss.
If you’ve managed to read this article before running Disk Cleanup, you’re in luck. Grab your external hard drive or optical media and backup important photos and only then execute the utility. If however, you’ve landed up here looking for a solution to recover lost files after running disk cleanup utility, we empathise with you. That’s the reason we’re suggesting an excellent way to bounce back from such data loss in the next section.
How to Recover Lost or Deleted Photos after Running Disk Cleanup Utility?
This brilliant product recovers not only photos but also other multimedia files like videos and songs from all internal & external drives, memory cards, and digital cameras. Additionally, it is also capable of smartly restoring HD MOV files and save deleted photos with their original file names intact.
Here’s how you can use this tool to salvage your important pictures:
Download, install and launch Stellar Photo Recovery.
Select the drive or storage media to scan and recover from. Click Scan.
You can choose to customize the recovery process through Advanced Settings icon on top. You can select a specific file type, add new file type or edit Header to scan for exact results
A dialog box of ‘Scanning Completed Successfully!’ appears. In the left-pane of main window, all the found files and folders are listed. The bottom-right pane lists the files stored in the selected folder. Select a file and preview in the right pane.
If the required photos are not in the list, opt for Deep Scan at the bottom.
Select the desired files and choose Recover
In the dialog box, specify the location to save the media files and click Save
With the ability to scan drives more than 14TB in size, this software proves to be your safest bet to recover deleted photos.
No matter how your photos got deleted, Stellar Photo Recovery Software can help you reclaim them in no time and without hassle. That said, the best way to safeguard your data is to regularly back it up. If you do plan to use Disk Cleanup, Backup your files first; and do keep this software handy in case of disasters.
Oliver Powell is a Data Recovery Expert at Stellar®. He is a passionate technology blogger & content creator, He explores new applications and has deep understanding of data recovery. He has experience in Windows & Mac data recovery domain.