When you delete a file or folder from your hard disk, only the reference to the file data in the File Allocation Table is market as deleted and until more data is written over it, the content is not actually erased from the disk. From a security perspective, this can prove to be a problem if you don’t permanently delete the data using file shredders such as Super File Shredder and Eraser. However, this feature can be quite good to recover files that are accidentally deleted from the drive. You can use a file recovery application that checks the free space for deleted files and provides you with a list of files that can be restored, letting you restore the original file if new data hasn’t been written in its place yet. Undelete Navigator is another app that allows you to browse for and recover deleted files from your hard drive using this method. The key feature of the app is the ability to browse different partitions in a way similar to a normal file browser, and recover any of the files that you want.
The application is designed to be user friendly and allows new users to instantly start recovering files without having to go through any complicated interface or settings. At first, you are greeted with the Disk Drives view, allowing you to view and access all the connected drives.
Clicking a disk volume starts a quick scan to create a tree of all the deleted files and folders available for restoration. You can navigate through them and simply check the files that you want to restore.
Once checked, click the orange restore button at the top left. If you have the Restore paths option checked, the files will be restored in the specified location with their original path intact.
From the top, you can switch between details view and thumbnails/icons view, allowing you to instantly preview images (and possibly other common file types) before you restore them.
The application supports recovery of all types of files including images, music, documents, program files. Basically anything that has been deleted and not yet overwritten on the hard disk’s physical sectors can be restored.
If you find a lot of files in the folder tree shown by the app and don’t know the exact location of the file you want to recover, you can search for it by selecting the Find option from the top. It allows you to search for specific files if you know the complete file name, or perform wildcard searches useful for files of a particular file extension.
Undelete Navigator works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.