Before discussing how to recover an overwritten text file, overwrite and delete must be clearly defined. A deleted file is one that is not immediately removed from the disk but instead, the space is made available for new data to be written there.
However, an overwritten file is one that the operating system immediately updates with whatever changes you saved or whatever overwriting technique that was applied. The more times the file is overwritten, the harder it is to recover.
Thankfully, Microsoft Word has a built-in feature or backup utility called System Restore. Therefore, an overwritten text file can be recovered by utilizing this program. This is done by first accessing the “computer” tab from the Start Menu. When the “computer” dialog box opens, double-click on the drive to which the overwritten file was saved. The third step is to then:
- Locate the file; you may need to first open the folder to which it was saved.
- Right-click on the file
- Click on “Restore Previous Versions” from the menu list
- Select the desired version of the file from the files list.
However, the Trash Can is another place from which to recover overwritten text files on a Mac computer. For personal computers using the Recycle Bin, the process is pretty much the same for both operating systems. Accessing the Trash Can or Recycle Bin involves right-clicking on its icon, locating the file you need, and then dragging it to the desktop or whatever location you desire. Please note that for Mac computers, the last item sent to the Trash Can may be retrieved by pressing COMMAND-Z.
If all these methods fail to help you with your txt files recovery, then utilizing a third party recovery software is another viable option. There are many powerful and easy to use/user-friendly recovery software on the market. One such popular one is uFlysoft.
A recovery software first scans the drive to locate the file or files that were overwritten. Then all related files associated with the corresponding file format are displayed. It is highly likely that the original file name might be lost or changed somehow but at least the file itself will be recovered.
The most important thing to remember when a file has been overwritten, is to stop using that drive or even the computer. This will prevent further overwriting of data and make the recovery process easier.