Data loss is extremely common, and you could lose your files due to a plethora of reasons. While data recovery is more than possible, the retrieved files may not have their initial names and this can cause you trouble when sorting through them. But, there are some data recovery programs and methods that perform data recovery with original file names. We’ll take a look at these in the guide below.
How to Recover Deleted Files with Original File Name
In the sections that follow, we’ll look at three ways to recover deleted files by file name and with the original folder structure intact. Before proceeding, it’s best to be aware of some tips that’ll increase your chances of successful data recovery:
- 📁 Don’t write new files to the drive or partition affected by data loss. Ideally, download the data recovery program on an external drive and connect it to your PC when performing data recovery. Even the normal functioning of Windows can write new data to your storage drive.
- 🕰️ Perform data recovery as soon as possible. The first data recovery scan is usually the most successful. Thus, it’s always recommended you use only the best data recovery programs to perform the scan.
- 🛠️ If data was lost due to physical damage, you’re better off contacting professional data recovery services, as you can unknowingly damage the drive even further.
Method #1: Recover Permanently Deleted Files with Data Recovery Tool
The easiest way to recover deleted files by file name is to use a third-party data recovery program. However, not all data recovery programs are adept at retrieving the correct file names along with the file itself.
Thus, we recommend you use Disk Drill to perform data recovery. Disk Drill accurately retrieves any deleted files, along with the proper file names, so it’s easy for you to choose and recover the files you actually want. It also has an advanced filter feature that lets you sort recoverable files by name, size, type, and recovery chances. Windows users even get a free trial of up to 500 MB of free data recovery.
For a more expansive look at the program’s features, be sure to check out our in-depth Disk Drill review.
Instructions on how to perform data recovery with original file names, using Disk Drill:
- Download and install Disk Drill.
- Open Disk Drill, select the drive you want to recover data from, and click Search for lost data.
- Once Disk Drill has finished scanning, click on Review found items. You can also view the search results in real-time.
- Select the files you want to recover. Disk Drill will accurately list the file names, and you can also double-click a file to preview it. After confirming, click on Recover. If you’re unable to locate the files with the original file names, check the Reconstructed and the Reconstructed labeled sections on this same screen and preview the file to determine it’s the one you want recovered.
- In the next window, choose a recovery destination for the files. Click OK.
- Disk Drill will recover the selected files.
Method #2: Retrieve Deleted Files & Folders from Backup
Windows 10 and 11 have an in-built backup feature called Windows File History that can help restore your files with the correct file names and folder structure intact. However, the feature should have been enabled before the data loss occurred.
Here is a guide on how to recover your data and restore original file names, using Windows File History:
- Connect the storage drive that you assigned to Windows File History.
- Now, type “file history” in Windows Search (Windows Key + S). Click on the File History Control Panel setting from the search results.
- Here, click on the Restore personal files option.
- Cycle through the backups using the navigation buttons at the bottom. Confirm the files you want to recover by checking the file names, select them and click the green Restore button.
- File History will restore the selected files to the original directory.
Method #3: Restore Original Folder Structure from Deleted/Damaged Partition
If data loss occurred because of a damaged or corrupt partition on your storage drive, TestDisk is a recovery tool that can effectively restore the partition to its original state for free. While the program is excellent at doing its job, it doesn’t have a GUI, like Disk Drill.
Take a look at our TestDisk review for more information about the software and how it fares against other data recovery programs.
Instructions on how to restore original file names and recover your data using TestDisk:
- Download TestDisk and extract the ZIP file.
- Run the testdisk_win.exe file from the extracted folder.
- Select whether you want to create a log file or not. Use the arrow keys to navigate and press Enter to select.
- Now, choose the storage drive by using the Up and Down arrow keys. Once highlighted, select Proceed and press Enter.
- TestDisk will present you with a partition table selection screen. It’s best to leave the default option highlighted (TestDisk automatically detects this) and press Enter.
- Highlight the Analyse option and press Enter.
- After this, select the Quick Search option and press Enter.
- On the next screen, press P to view recoverable files. After confirming your files are there, press Q to go back.
- Use the left and right arrow keys to cycle through the disk letters and ensure there is a P at the beginning and press Enter. See the image below for reference.
- Select the Write option and press Enter. Press Y on the confirmation prompt.
- TestDisk will restore your damaged or deleted partition.
Data loss is a scenario that’s best avoided. While you can restore your files with original file names, following a few rules of thumb will ensure you don’t have to go through any trouble at all. Always keep multiple backups of your data–on your computer, external storage drive, and the cloud. Also, have the backup feature enabled on your PC, so you can easily and quickly recover your files in case of a mishap.
Manuviraj Godara's interest in technology began as soon as he got his first computer. From Googling how to run incompatible games on his PC to writing about computers for a living, the world of technology has never ceased to amaze him. When he's not obsessing over the latest innovations in the tech world, he likes to spend time listening to his favorite music records.
Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team.