Uncovering the Past: The Possibilities of Retrieving Deleted Files from SSDs


“Is it possible to retrieve previously deleted files from an old laptop’s SSD if I transferred other files to a new external SSD, but only realized months later that some important files were missing?”


In the digital age, data is often considered as valuable as currency, and losing it can be just as devastating. The question of whether deleted files can be retrieved after they have been removed from a Solid State Drive (SSD) is a common concern, especially when those files are of significant importance, such as a final graduation project.

Firstly, it’s essential to understand how data is stored and deleted on an SSD. When files are deleted from an SSD, they aren’t immediately erased from the drive. Instead, the space they occupied is marked as available for new data. This is due to the way SSDs manage data to extend their lifespan, a process known as wear leveling. However, once new data is written over the space that the deleted files occupied, recovery becomes nearly impossible.

Transferring Files and Data Recovery

When you transfer files from one drive to another, only the current existing files are moved. Any files that were previously deleted and not overwritten on the original SSD remain there. They do not transfer to the new external SSD. Therefore, the deleted files you’re hoping to recover would not be on the external SSD but could still be on the old laptop’s SSD, assuming they haven’t been overwritten.

The Time Factor

Time is a critical factor in data recovery. SSDs can employ a process called TRIM, which helps the drive understand which blocks of data are no longer in use and can be wiped internally. This means that as time passes, the likelihood of the deleted files being wiped increases, especially if the SSD has been in use.

Professional Data Recovery Services

If the old SSD hasn’t been used extensively since the deletion, there’s a chance that professional data recovery services could retrieve the files. These services have specialized tools and software that can scan the unallocated space for remnants of deleted files and piece them back together.

Preventive Measures

To prevent such situations, it’s always recommended to have multiple backups of important files, especially on different media types or cloud storage services. This ensures that even if one copy is lost or deleted, others remain accessible.


In conclusion, while it’s possible to recover deleted files from an SSD, the success rate diminishes over time and with continued use of the drive. If the files are crucial, seeking professional help as soon as possible is the best course of action. For future reference, always keep backups of essential data to avoid the panic of potential data loss.

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