It’s easy to inadvertently delete a document, but the chances of getting it back are high if you act quickly. First, look in the Windows Recycle Bin. Your document is likely to be in this temporary folder unless you’re in the habit of pressing Shift-Delete, in which case it bypasses the Recycle Bin and gets ‘properly’ deleted. However, it doesn’t get erased from your hard drive: Windows merely ‘forgets’ where the file is and that disk space can then be overwritten.
It’s at this point you should try an file recovery utility. There are many free options, but a popular one is Recuva (tinyurl.com/ kw6g2u8), which comes in both installable and ‘portable’ versions. This is important as you don’t want to download or install a utility on the computer on which your deleted file resides as the new program might overwrite it.
Instead, install the portable version of Recuva onto a handy USB flash drive (using a different computer to download it) and then run it on the computer where your file has been deleted. As long as it hasn’t been overwritten you should be able to recover the document, although it may be missing its file name.