What Happens To A File Once You Hit Delete

October 6, 2018

Ashley on Train Tracks

If you chose not to tinker around with your Windows operating system, then the file automatically goes in the Recycle Bin. If you ever decide you still need the file, you can simply search through the trash (a funny concept Microsoft makes us go through) and you'll find your deleted file intact and easily recoverable. However, if you disable the Recycle Bin, things will go slightly different.

Most of us consider deleting a file permanent. After all, you can not see it in the directory structure so it's definitely not there. Unfortunately (or well, fortunately, depending on how you look at the situation) when it comes to computers, seeing is not necessarily a promise for believing. A file does not get permanently destroyed and eradicated from your memory by simply deleting it from the directory structure. Instead, it is kept safe in a free memory area, stored in case you change your mind and need your file back. What gets deleted is the link pointing towards the file, so if you would compare a file to a book page, deleting the file does not tear the page out of the book, but rather deletes the page's index from the table of contents, represented by the file system here.

Still, your hard disk space is not infinite, so ever the space your deleted files gets crammed into will fill up and no more "closet" space will be available. What the operating system does in such a case is overwrite the old deleted files with newer deleted files, so there's a certain time limit in which you could recover your lost data. For example, if you deleted a file from your hard drive a year ago, the chances are slim that you'll find it intact in the "closet" area. Instead, if you deleted it yesterday there's no chance it got overwritten.

Of course, data recovery techniques have been constantly improving and specialists can now recover the data even after it has been overwritten! Some companies boast the fact that they can recreate files that have been deleted and illegally overwritten in the lost memory sector by up to 10 times. However, after 10 overwrites, there's a good chance that the data that is recovered is not entirely intact and some parts may be missing.

Just like there are programs that help you recover deleted data, there are other ones that help you permanently delete it! Sometimes you'll want to permanently destroy some data stored on your PC and your closest resemblance to a paper shredder is such a data deletion tool. As data recovery technology is on a constant rise, there's a chance bits and pieces of your "permanently deleted" data can still be found, so it's best not to count entirely on that if you really, really do not want someone to find out what you stored on your hard disk.


  • Anand Rathor October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Aapp ka naam

  • Sunny Bhanushali October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Sir kiya aapna mobile mi note 4 ded ho gaya hai to pic mil sakte hai

  • Aurangzeb khan October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Bhai photos delete nhi hote mi y1 m

  • Birla JM October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I have saved a record but I deleted it I want it again please tell

  • sameer shaikh October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Dear sir
    my mobile is mi note 4 so how to recover all data after factory reset please give me suggestions

  • Sushma Singhal October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Mere Redmi note 4 m yeh option nahi aa rha updater ka nd recovery mode ka

  • sai krishna October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    when I downloaded a image and deleted it then downloaded another image then it is showing previous image when I open it it's showing original image pls….. solve it Brook 🙏🙏👿

  • Prince Sai October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    What is that app name

  • Tapash kumar sahoo October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Not recovery to receive photo

  • Jeelanibasha Jeelanibasha October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Pls bro helpme my mobile mi4A all videos delete sense iso sad in week pls recover gtrecovarylo lo scan avatledu ala

  • neeraj monu October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    my mobile is mi4a when I'm deleting my taken photo from recents it's deleting original photo also why this is happening ??
    can u please give me a solution for this 🙏

  • Allu Dodahatti October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    How to use 'use as' option of Google photos in mi note 4?

  • Jitendra Singh Rathore October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    how to delete misc. files in redmi 2??? please comment

  • Aastha Mathur October 6, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Pls tell me how to retrieve deleted photos from redmi note 4g.
    1000s of photos gt deleted itself by clearing cache from phone.
    Please help

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