Software & Apps Backup & Utilities Can I Undelete a File if I Don't Have a File Recovery Tool? What if I Haven't Been Proactive and I Haven't Installed One? by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on May 26, 2019 © Steven Puetzer / The Image Bank / Getty Images Backup & Utilities Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email No, not having a data recovery program already installed doesn't preclude you from being able to recover a file. If you've deleted a file you want back, go download a data recovery program, and run it. Having a file recovery program installed doesn't mean that it's watching for deleted files or storing backup versions of files for you to restore in the future. Instead, data recovery tools scan your hard drive or other storage device for previously deleted files which, surprising to many, aren't really gone, just hidden from the operating system. Assuming that physical space hasn't already been overwritten, you'll probably have no problem undeleting the file. See Will a File Recovery Program Undelete Anything I've Ever Deleted? for more on that. Unless you mean quite literally that you just deleted a file? If so, check the Recycle Bin. The file you want to recover is probably sitting in there. See How To Restore Deleted Files From the Recycle Bin if you've never gotten a file back out of the Recycle Bin before.