How to Recover Deleted PEF Files (2024)

s it possible to recover deleted PEF files? How to perform PEF file recovery? Is there any way to prevent such troubles? You can get these answers below.


By Ivy / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Have you ever deleted a PEF file, but realized later it is important? Don't worry, you're not alone. In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of recovering deleted PEF files and ensure you can get your valuable files back.

What Is a PEF File?

PEF (Pentax Electronic Format) is a high-quality raw image captured by Pentax Digital Cameras with zero compression & minimal processing. So these files usually include a large amount of image data that a basic image editor cannot process.

PEF Files

Similar to other raw images, .pef files are valuable to photographers who can further develop the photos to give them another look. They can also be converted to other formats, such as .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .bmp, etc.

Why Do You Lose Your PEF Files?

In fact, there are many possible reasons of PEF file deletion. The following are some of the common reasons:

  • Accidental deletion, such as click the “Delete All” tab on Pentax Camera.
  • Formatting error, you need to format the disk before you can use it, for example.
  • file system damage.
  • Abrupt removal of storage device.
  • Interruption during the file transfer process.
  • Storage device corruption due to virus attack, improper shutdown, etc.
  • ...

Is PEF File Recovery Possible?

When you delete a PEF file, it might not be removed completely from the device or computer. Instead, the occupied space will be marked as “free” for new data. This means your PEF files are recoverable before the old data is overwritten.

So please stop using your storage device or computer immediately after data loss. Don’t add new data to them. In addition, act promptly and start the data recovery process as soon as possible. The success rate gradually decreases with time.

In addition, the success rate varies in different data loss scenarios. For example, the quick format method will not overwrite old data but the full format will, making data recovery more challenging.

How to Recover Deleted PEF Files Effortlessly

It’s always a good choice to check the Recycle Bin folder as all the deleted files on Windows PC will be moved there and remain for a period of time. If deleted files are not in Recycle Bin, they may be deleted permanently. Try the following two methods.

Method 1: Restore PEF Files from File History

If you keep backing up your data consistently, you can restore deleted PEF files from previous backups. Starting from File History will be a good choice.

Step 1. Type file history in the search box and select Restore your files with file history.

Step 2. In the Control Panel, check if File History is on and select Restore personal files.


Step 3. Browse the most recent backup for deleted PEF files. Then, select it and click Restore.


Method 2: Recover PEF Files using Professional Software

If your PEF files are deleted permanently without backup, data recovery software can be a lifesaver. We recommend you use MyRecover to scan your storage device thoroughly in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Windows 11, etc. and search all the deleted or lost PEF files for recovery.

  • Filter and recover deleted PEF files quickly without losing quality. You can also preview them before processing.
  • Support a wide range of memory cards, such as standard SD card, SDXC, SDHC, MicroSD, CF, Cfast, xD-Picture, etc.
  • Compatible with different memory card brands, including SanDisk, Samsung, Secure Digital, Kingston, Sony, Transcend, etc.
  • Retrieve files in any scenario, such as accidental deletion, formatting, virus infection, etc. You can even preview

In addition, the software does not require technical expertise and is friendly to novices, making the recovery process seamless. Please download this professional Windows data recovery software to have a try!

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Launch Windows data recovery software - MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. It will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to find out all the deleted PEF files. To locate them quickly, use the Filter feature or go to the original location in the left panel.


Step 3. Select your desired files and then click Recover x files to recover deleted PEF files. You will then be asked to select a location. Please select a new location instead of the original location to prevent potential data overwriting.



  • The restore button will display the number of selected files and their full size. You can use it to determine the integrity of the recovered files.
  • You can perform PEF file recovery for free, up to 30MB. Once exceeded, please upgrade to the advanced editions.
  • In addition, you still can use this software to recover different file types, such as recover deleted X3F, 3FR, WMV, DBF, ASPX, LAB, etc.

If you fail to recover deleted PEF files using software or the situation is complex, it's wise to seek help from data recovery services, such as CBL, Ontrack, Geek Squad, etc. They usually employ experienced specialists and own advanced equipment to handle even the most challenging data recovery scenarios.

How to open PEF files on a Windows PC

The most modern computer has a built-in image opener compatible with the .pef file extension. For special editing purposes, you may need a more powerful graphic editor. Below are some examples:

  • Adobe Photoshop 2022
  • PENTAX PHOTO Browser 3
  • PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 3
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery
  • Corel Aftershot
  • ACD Systems ACDSee

Among them, the last two options are also compatible with the Mac system. Try it if you are a Mac user.

To open PEF files, take Adobe Photoshop 2022 as an example. Launch it, click File > Open, and navigate to the location of your PEF files. Then, locate and double-click the file to open it.

Prevention Measures to PEF File Loss

To avoid future instances of accidental PEF file deletion, consider implementing these preventive measures:

1. Regularly back up your files: Always create a copy of your important files and set it to run automatically, such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Try Windows backup software like File History, Backup and Restore, AOMEI Backupper Standard, etc.

2. Use multiple storage services: Saving backup images on two different locations, such as an external drive, cloud storage, or other reliable storage devices ensures you always have a copy of your PEF files.

3. Double-check before deleting: Double-check before deleting any files to prevent accidental loss.

4. Use digital camera properly: Don’t use it at a low battery or full capacity; Safe eject your device. Don’t remove your card when it is in use.

 5. Employ antivirus software: It will scan your device for viruses or malware and remove them to be sure your files will not be deleted mistakenly.


Losing PEF files can be stressful, but with the right approach, you can often recover deleted PEF files successfully. In contrast, the most effective method is using professional data recovery software like MyRecover. Remember to act promptly and start the data recovery process as soon as possible.

In addition, it’s also necessary to take some preventive measures, such as regular backups, high-qualify storage devices, etc to minimize the risk of data loss. And you are able to get them back quickly in a disaster.


1. Can I recover a PEF file deleted a long time ago?
The success rate decrease with time, but you can still try using data recovery software like MyRecover. This is one of the methods with the highest success rate.
2. Can I recover a PEF file from a formatted drive?
It's possible to recover PEF files from a formatted drive using data recovery software, but success rates may vary. The quick format will not overwrite the deleted data but the full format will, making data recovery more challenging.
3. How can I ensure my PEF files are never lost again?
Invest in two or more reliable storage devices and create regular backups on them. Any, you will have a copy of PEF files and be able to recover them, even if it’s lost.
4. How to recover deleted PEF files on Mac
On the Mac system, there is free backup software called Time Machine. If you enable it before PEF file loss, it’s worth trying to recover PEF files from it.
1. Press the command button and tap the space key to open Spotlight. Then, type time machine and press Return.
2. Navigate to the folder containing your deleted PEF files and locate your backup images.
3. Select the PEF files you want to recover and click the Restore button.
Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.