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Finding 'Lost' Files PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bernie Vincent   
Tuesday, 07 November 2006
Recently opened files:
To locate a recently opened file, in Word, Excel or other application, simply click FILE on the top menu and the choose from the list of files near the bottom of the options that you are given.
You will typically see the last 4 files, but you can increase the number to a maximum of 9.
Go to TOOLS, then OPTIONS and click the GENERAL tab. You will see an entry for the number of recent files to be displayed. The method of doing this is similar in many Windows programs.
Documents list:
Windows also keeps a record of the last fifteen files accessed on your computer. To see them, click on Start at the bottom left of the screen and move up to Documents.
This gives you a list of the file names, together with an icon representing the file type. For example you may see PowerPoint, Word & Internet Explorer icons. The most recently opened files appear at the bottom of the list.
To open any of these files then just click on its name once. This will load the program required and open the file. Of course if the file was saved on a floppy disk, this needs to be in the disk drive.
Recycle Bin:
You may have deleted the file that you are looking for. All is not lost though, because in Windows you really need to delete files twice to get rid of them. When you first delete a file from your hard drive, it is only moved to the Recycle Bin where it will stay for ever more, unless you delete it from there.
To see what is in your Recycle Bin, double click on its icon on your Desktop. If the file you are looking for is in the list then right click on it and choose Restore to return it to its original location.
Using Find:
If the above methods fail, then you can use the Windows Find tool to locate your files. To use it click, on Start, then Find (or SEARCH), the Files or Folders...
If you think you know the name of the file that you are looking for, or even just a bit of it, type it into the Named: field. The more you know the quicker it will be found.
Next, click on the black arrow beside the Look in: field.
Choose the location you want to search, probably your hard drive, [C:].
Tick the Include subfolders box to search all folders below [C:] and click Find Now. This produces a list of files that fit the search criteria. Just double click on any file name to run the appropriate program and open the file.
If you can't remember the file name, you may remember roughly when you last worked on the file. To conduct this search, click on the Date tab and choose how you want to search. For example, you may want to search for all files created or modified during the last month.
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