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How to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive Free on Windows 11 or 10

kokou adzo



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After formatting your hard drive and realizing you forgot to back up your files? Wondering how to recover formatted hard drive for free on Windows 11? Losing important data can be a frustrating experience, but there’s hope.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of formatted hard drive recovery and provide you with three solutions to recover data from a formatted hard drive without spending a dime. Let’s get started now!

Part 1: Is It Possible to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive?

Undoubtedly, the answer is yes. In most cases, you can easily recover data from a formatted hard drive, even without a back up.

There are two main types of hard drive formatting: quick format and full format. When you perform a quick format, the operating system or the formatting tool doesn’t actually erase the data. Instead, it simply marks the space in the storage medium as available for storing new data. Although this process seems more thorough, it still doesn’t necessarily mean that formatted hard drive recovery is impossible.

Additionally, it is also crucial to consider the type of hard disk drive you are using. HDDs store data magnetically on spinning disks, while SSDs use flash memory, resulting in differences in their recovery processes.

Before diving into the recovery process, it’s essential to stop using your formatted hard drive immediately. Continued usage could overwrite the old data stored on the drive, reducing the chances of successful recovery.

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Part 2: The Ultimate Way to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive for Free on Windows 11

The best way to recover data from formatted hard drive is through the help of an all-in-one tool like the 4DDiG Data Recovery. This powerful software is renowned for its high success rate and user-friendliness, designed to recover deleted or formatted files from various storage devices, including Windows, Mac, USB drives, SD cards, external hard drives, and more.

  • Supports a variety of data loss scenarios, such as formatting, accidental deletion, system crashes, hardware failures, and more.
  • Supports over 2000 data types, including videos, photos, audio, text, etc.
  • Recover lost data in 3 simple steps. You don’t have to be a tech guru.
  • Both paid and free versions available.

Given below is a step-by-step guide on how to recover files from formatted hard drive with Tenorshare 4DDiG:

Step 1: First of all, launch 4DDiG Data Recovery on your Windows or Mac, Then, select the formatted hard drive from the list on the main interface. Click the “Scan” button to proceed.

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Step 2: Tenorshare 4DDiG will immediately start scanning the disk for any recoverable files. Once you locate the lost files, you can pause or stop the scanning process at any time.

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Step 3: After the scanning is complete, preview your files to ensure their integrity. Finally, select the files you wish to recover and simply click the “Recover” button to save them.

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Part 3: Alternative Ways to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive for Free on Windows 11

If you prefer to recover files from a formatted hard drive without using third-party software, this section is tailored to you.

3.1 Use File History to Recover Formatted Hard Drive

For Windows users, you can take advantage of built-in features like File History to recover data from a formatted hard drive. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Connect the drive where you had enabled File History to your PC.

Step 2: Open “Settings” by pressing the Windows + I keys together. Click on “Update & Security” and then select “Backup” from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Now, you should see an option that says “More options.” Click on it.

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Step 4: Under the “Related settings” heading, click on “Restore files from a current backup.”

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Step 5: Navigate to the location where your files were stored before the format. Once you locate the files you want to recover, you can select them and click the “Restore” button.

3.2 Recover Formatted Hard Drive from Cloud Storage

In today’s digital age, cloud storage has become a popular solution for data management and protection. If you haven’t used File History to back up your hard drive, then cloud storage can be a reliable alternative for formatted hard drive recovery. In this post, we will take OneDrive, the most commonly used cloud storage service among Windows users, as an example. To recover files from formatted hard drive for free on Windows 11, follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to the OneDrive website and log in with your Microsoft account.

Step 2: Navigate to “My Files” and see if the files you need are available there. Once you have found the desired files, select them, right-click, and choose “Download.”

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Step 3: If the files are not found in the “My Files” section, check the Recycle Bin on OneDrive.

Step 4: If you have the OneDrive desktop application installed, check the synchronized folders on your PC. The files you deleted may be there.

Part 4: What If All Else Fails to Recover Data from Formatted Hard Drive?

If none of the above methods can recover files from your formatted hard drive, consider seeking assistance from professionals before giving up entirely.

There are professional data recovery services that specialize in retrieving data from various storage media. These services often have specialized tools and expertise to handle challenging cases, including formatted hard drive recovery.

However, you may need to pay a significant fee and be prepared to wait for half a month or even longer for them to complete the work.

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How to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive for Free on Windows 11 FAQs

Q1: Does Windows 11 have a file recovery tool?

Sure, Windows 11 had a file recovery tool called “File History,” which allows users to back up files to an external drive and restore previous versions of files after data loss occurs. To check if File History is available and enabled on your Windows 11 system:

Step 1: Perform a right-click on the Start button and select “Settings”. Then, go to “System.”

Step 2: Click on “Storage” in the left sidebar.

Step 3: Scroll down to the “More storage settings” section.

Step 4: Under “Back up files,” check if File History is enabled.

Once it’s turned on, you are able to recover data from a formatted hard drive, SD card or USB drive.

Q2: Is there a free file recovery for Windows 11?

There are many free windows 11 file recovery software available in the market. Some reliable options include:

  1. 4DDiG Data Recovery
  2. TestDisk
  3. PhotoRec
  4. Recuva
  5. WinfrGUI Free
  6. Windows File Recovery
  7. R-studio
  8. Wise Data Recovery
  9. Puran Files Recovery
  10. Ontrack EasyRecovery

Q3: How can I recover files from a formatted hard drive for free?

Once you realize that your hard drive has been formatted and you need to recover files, immediately check for backups. If none are available, download and install reliable data recovery software such as Tenorshare 4DDiG. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose your formatted disk within the software.

Step 2: Wait for the software to complete the scanning process.

Step 3: Select the desired files and click the “Recover” button.

Final Words about Formatted Hard Drive Recovery

Although there are ways to possible to recover formatted hard drive files for free on Windows 11, the significance of regular backups should never be underestimated. We strongly recommend that you back up important files to another hard drive or cloud storage on a weekly or monthly basis. If you don’t have a backup file for formatted hard drive recovery, give Tenorshare 4DDiG a try. Its success rate will definitely impress you.

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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