Reasons and Solutions for “McAfee Deleted My Files”

What to do after McAfee deleted my files? How to recover files deleted by McAfee? Check the methods in this post to restore deleted data on computers.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Automatically deleting my project files

“I have been very worried since all my project files are automatically deleting. I write c++ code in vs code editor, and after compiling them I am not able to execute them because as soon as I run it on the terminal, McAfee automatically quarantines them. Why does this happen and how to stop McAfee from deleting a file?”

McAfee is a well-known antivirus program for protecting computers from viruses and malware. After you install McAfee on your computer, it will scan the computer every time you start. If McAfee detects possible risks, it can delete or quarantine the files. However, McAfee could wrongly recognize your important files as viruses if they seem suspicious. How to recover deleted files and stop McAfee from quarantining files?

Why is McAfee deleting my files?

McAfee is designed to detect and eliminate viruses and other threats on computers. But it may detect a normal file as a threat for kinds of reasons. Some files can be mistakenly identified as a virus, worms, or other malware. If the file is corrupted or really contains a virus, McAfee will definitely quarantine or delete it. Some files are trying to access sensitive information in the system, they can be threats to the system.

All suspect files or folders will be isolated in a secure quarantine zone. However, if you think McAfee has incorrectly classified something as a threat, you can easily recover files or folders from quarantine.

How to recover files deleted by McAfee?

If McAfee has permanently deleted or shredded your files, you can still recover them by using data recovery software. Alternatively, you can retrieve files from McAfee quarantine.

Method 1. Retrieve files from McAfee quarantine

McAfee may not delete the threat right away. You can find the files in the quarantined folder. You can retrieve files from McAfee quarantine if you are sure the files are safe. Where are the quarantined files stored in McAfee? The location is a little different on Mac and Windows computers, but restoring files can be completed in the McAfee app. Follow the steps to find McAfee quarantined folder.

Step 1. Launch McAfee antivirus software and click the three-dot menu to get more options. Click “My Protection”.


Step 2. Select “Quarantined Items”. You can select the files from the quarantined folder and click “Restore”.


Method 2. Recover files deleted by McAfee via data recovery software

If you cannot find the deleted files by McAfee in the Quarantined folder, the files could be permanently deleted by McAfee. If you don’t have available backup files, professional data recovery software can be the best way to recover permanently deleted files.

It’s recommended to use MyRecover which is designed for Windows data recovery in kinds of data loss scenarios. It allows users to recover files deleted by McAfee or other antivirus software. Download this freeware to start data recovery.

★Feature of MyRecover
Recover deleted data from HDD, SSD, USB drives, SD cards, etc.
Supports deleted files recovery, disk formatting recovery, Recycle Bin emptying, etc.
Restore deleted or lost files within three steps.
Compatible with Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Download and install MyRecover on your computer. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 2. The software will quickly scan the partition and you can recover the deleted files directly during scanning.


Step 3. After the scanning stops, you can sort or search the wanted files by file extension, type, size, or date modified. Select the files you want to recover and click “Recover XX files” to save them to a desired location.


How do I stop McAfee from deleting a file?

After you find back the files deleted by McAfee, how to stop McAfee from deleting files? Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent McAfee from quarantining files, as this is an important feature for protecting against virus and malware threats.

However, if you discover that McAfee is quarantining the same files at the same time, even if they are not dangerous to your computer, you can add them to excluded files and folders by the following steps.

Step 1. Go to My Protection on the McAfee app, and select “Real-Time Scanning”.


Step 2. Click “Add file” under the Excluded Files option. Then the files will not be deleted by McAfee anymore.



McAfee and other antivirus software provide effective malware and virus protection. However, it is not perfect at identifying suspicious files and may delete some vital items from your computer wrongly.

Fortunately, you can retrieve quarantined files by McAfee directly on the McAfee app. If you can’t find the files on the app, MyRecover is the easiest way to restore deleted files in any data loss scenario.

After you find the deleted files back, to avoid data loss happening again, making a regular backup can be the best solution. You can try Windows built-in utilities, File History, or Windows Backup and Restore. Compared with those tools, AOMEI Backupper can be a good alternative if you want to make backup easier and faster. 

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.