How do you recover files deleted by antivirus? If you need a way to recover antivirus deleted files, you are coming to the right place, for you will find the best file recovery to help you on this subject.

Antivirus Can Delete Important Files by Mistake

Antivirus, such as Kaspersky, Avast, and Norton, is a kind of computer applications that are essential for all computers and phones since they are capable of preventing most viruses from attacking devices so as to protect data and system security. However, there are many cases reporting that antivirus deleted reliable files by mistake. Here is an example:

"When I insert a memory stick to computer, McAfee immediately deleted all the files on the stick, no warning, no asking for permission or confirmation, just going forward and deleted the files. What happened? How can I recover these antivirus mistakenly deleted files."

Considering this issue, we wrote this post to show users why antivirus could delete secure files by mistake and how to recover files deleted by antivirus programs using multiple reliable ways.

#1. Check Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin is a place used to undelete  files, so you can open it to see whether your deleted files are stored there. If yes, restore them. If not, go to #2.

#2. Show Hidden Files

If you failed to find mistakenly deleted files in Quarantine, try showing hidden files using Windows Folder Options or CMD .

Show Hidden Files Using Folder Options

Go to Folder Options in Windows 7 or File Explorer Options in Windows 10, then click the View tab, check Show hidden files, folders, and drives , and apply the change.

show hidden files in folder options

Show Hidden Files Using CMD

Please type the following commands in CMD (here we take showing hidden files in partition E for example), and each type show be followed by a press on Enter key:
attrib *. -h -s /s /d

show hidden files CMD

Tip: The command prompt may seem unresponsive after the last press on Enter key, but actually it is performing changes we made. Please wait patiently until the unhide is completed.

#3. Recover Antivirus Deleted Files and Programs from Quarantine

Most antivirus programs are designed with a Quarantine, which is a place to store potentially harmful files. It is a safe location because it isolates suspected items from the rest of operating system. Files moved to Quarantine are not permanently removed from our system, and users can return a mistakenly deleted file, folder, or program to its previous location here.

Tip: Quarantine in different antivirus programs has different name. For example, in AVG Internet Security, it is called Virus Vault while in Avast it is called Virus Chest or Quarantine.

Here, we take Kaspersky, Avast, Norton, McAfee, and AVG for example to recover data since they are more widely used. Of course, operations might be a little bit different in different versions/editions of these programs.

Recover Files Deleted by Kaspersky

If you are using Kaspersky Anti-Virus, please launch the program, click More Tools, and choose Quarantine.

Once Quarantine is opened, all potentially risky files will be listed. Just select the one you want to recover and Restore it.

Recover Files Deleted by Avast

In the main window of Avast, please click Scan , then choose Scan for viruses , and next select Quarantine (Virus Chest) from the bottom (image from Avast).

After these clicks, Virus Chest window will emerge. To restore a wrongly deleted file or program, please right click it and choose Restore.

Recover Files Deleted by Norton

In the main window of your Norton product, please choose Security → History → Quarantine. Then, select files or programs you want to recover and restore them. Or click Advanced → Quarantine and restore useful files.

Recover Files Deleted by McAfee

On the Home page, please click Navigation on the top right corner, and choose Quarantined and Trusted Items . Then, click Quarantined Items or Quarantined Potentially Unwanted Programs to display the list of quarantined items. At last, select and restore needed files or programs.

Recover Files Deleted by AVG

In the main window of AVG product, please click the Options menu on the top right corner and choose Virus Vault . Then, select needed files to restore.

Of course, you may use other antivirus software to protect your computer. Please search on the internet or view your antivirus provider's website to look for the Quarantine.

BUT sometimes, mistakenly removed files can't be found in Quarantine. And the following 2 causes can be responsible for this issue:

  1. Antivirus just hides files rather than deletes them.
  2. Deleted files are too large to be quarantined, which is similar to the rule of Windows Recycle Bin.

Well, how can we recover antivirus deleted files that are not quarantined? Keep reading the post to get detailed operations.

Hope the above 3 solutions are helpful. But if all of them fails, you may refer to the 4 th one to recover files deleted by antivirus.

#4. Recover Antivirus Deleted Files Using Data Recovery Software

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is the best data recovery software for Windows users, and it is capable of recovering mistakenly deleted files, recovering files from lost/deleted partition, and retrieving data from existing partitions no matter they are accessible or inaccessible.

Here is the guide to recovering files deleted by antivirus.

Firstly, download and install the Trial Edition on your Windows computer before you pay a penny.

Free Download

Warning: Please do not install it to the partition where data loss appears, otherwise the deleted files might be overwritten , which could make it impossible to recover deleted files .

Then, launch MiniTool data recovery software to get its main window. You can see 4 functional modules in total, including This PC , Removable Disk Drive , Hard Disk Drive and CD/DVD Drive .

To recover antivirus deleted files, choose This PC , select the partition where file loss emerges and click Scan .

select the partition where data loss happens to scan

Depending on your computer's performance and total data amount, this data recovery freeware needs various times to show you all the scanning results.

Power Data Recovery is scanning the drive

Just unfold each drive to look for and check files you want to restore. If you feel difficult to find needed files from a huge number of scanning results, make use of the following 4 features:

  • Preview: it allows users to view pictures and text files before recovery.
  • Find: type the full or a part of the name of the file you want to recover, and then MiniTool Power Data Recovery will locate the file.
  • Filter: in the Advanced Filter window, you can filter out needless files by file name/extension, file size, creation date, modification date, etc.
  • Type: click it and you are able to select specified types of files to view.

select the files you need to recover

Finally, choose a storage device to save files deleted by antivirus. You need a license key to activate the software and enable it to recover antivirus deleted files since it is a Trial Edition. Luckily, you can buy a license here.

Warning: Please do not save recovered files to their original location, for doing this may bring data overwrite, making data recovery impossible.
Tip: If MiniTool Power Data Recovery fails to find files you want to restore, most probably they are overwritten already.

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More Tips on Antivirus Deleted Files Recovery

Apart from Windows PC, antivirus could be running on other devices, such as Mac machines and mobile phone. Therefore, you might be one of people who are going to recover antivirus deleted files of Mac and phone.

To recover antivirus deleted files on Mac machines, firstly, you can restore from a backup, which could be created by iCloud, iTunes, Time Machine, and other backup program. If there is no backup available, make use of MiniTool Mac Data Recovery . This program has the same functions as MiniTool Power Data Recovery, and the only difference is that Mac Data Recovery can only be running on Mac while Power Data Recovery is running on Windows platform only.

To recover antivirus deleted files from iPhone, please make sure whether there is a iCloud backup, iTunes backup, or other types of backup. If there is, restore from backup. But if there is no backup or you just want to restore a part of files, MiniTool Mobile Recovery for iOS may help you out. It is able to recover deleted files from iOS device as well as restore specified data from iCoud or iTunes Backup in easy operations.

To recover antivirus deleted files from Android mobile phone, you can use MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android if there is no backup available. This is a Android data recovery software running on Windows machines and capable of restoring data from Android internal memory as well as SD card. For more information about the program, please refer to Free Android Data Recovery Software .

But the first and most important thing, we think, is to perform data backup. You may choose reliable backup software to go ahead to back up important files to Cloud. Be prepared and you won’t be sorry.

Bottom Line

Antivirus could help us prevent computers or phones from being attacked by virus, but sometimes it deletes our significant files due to mistaken judgment. If you are encountered with the same issue and confident that deleted files are 100% safe, now it's time to restore them by following methods introduced in this article.

In addition, there is another trick for users: data recovery software is able to recover files deleted by most security programs (not limited to antivirus) and cleaning tools such as CCleaner, Disk Cleanup, and Wise Disk Cleaner. If you need to do such a kind of recovery, use it.

Do you think this post is useful? If yes, please share it with your friends and followers so as to help more people. Should you have any problem, just feel free to contact us via [email protected] or leave messages in the comment section.

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