How to Restore Previous Versions of External Hard Drive?

Want to restore previous versions of external hard drive? This tutorial shares three feasible methods to recover deleted files from external hard drive.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I restore my external hard drive to a previous date?


Yesterday, I cleared the directory Search Results, thinking it was a directory with only file references. When I noticed it started deleting 100k+ files (22GB), I canceled it. After that, only a handful of files were in the Recycle Bin, and some folders stored on the C drive were not retrieved. I tried using the Windows System Restore and selecting a System Restore Point to restore my PC, yet the files I deleted were gone. My question is: Is it possible for me to restore my hard drive to a previous date/time completely? And I haven’t made backups because it’s a fairly new PC.

-A user from Sevenforums 

Those users might be eager to restore previous external hard drive versions after accidentally deleting critical files from the external hard drive. However, it’s not an easy thing. If it happens to be your predicament, please get the corresponding method below.

How to restore external hard drive to previous versions?

Previous versions are either backup copies or shadow copies. Click Control Panel > System and Security > File History to activate your File History. Because only by turning on File History, you could get a complete history of your files over time.

But Win7 users cannot use File History because it debuted in Windows 8. 

The Previous Version feature provides several file versions, you can browse them through a timeline and restore the deleted files/lost/damaged originals to the original location or the destination path.

You will be prompted to specify an internal hard drive, external hard drive, or network to store your backup files before the backup process.

Recover deleted files from external hard drive through previous versions

At the moment, previous versions seems like an ideal method for this problematic issue. But please note the following two tips.

▶the content of backup: File History only saves copies of files in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Desktop folders, and OneDrive files that are accessible offline on your PC.

▶the location where it can be backed up: Add or move your needed files or folders from other locations to the above folders.

Assume that you’ve fulfilled the above conditions, let’s perform how to restore previous versions of external hard drive.

Step 1. Enter “Windows File Explorer” in the search bar and open it. Then locate the folder that contains your needed files or folders.


Step 2. Right-click on your selected folder and click the “Properties” option.


Step 3. Click “Previous versions” and choose a file version you want to retrieve. Then click the “Restore” button.


Another way to recover deleted files from external hard drive

Although the above solution is effective, it comes with many restrictions. Thus, are there other ways to recover deleted files from external hard drives? It turns out there is a better approach. That is the third-party tool.

MyRecover is a powerful and user-friendly program for you to recover deleted/lost files from HDD, SSD, USB, and other storage devices. This trustable data recovery software could save you from complex reparations and backup steps. There are other fascinating features of this tool.

Top1 External Hard Drive Data Recovery Tool 
  • Recover deleted files from Seagate, Lexar, WD, Kingston, Samsung, and other brands of external HDDs.
  • Recover deleted/lost files from internal/external HDDs, SSDs, USBs, SD cards, etc. 
  • Recover files, folders, compressed files, images, videos, etc.
  • Offer the filter & preview feature: Quickly find deleted folders by filename, file format, saved path, storage size, deleted date, etc.
  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Server and NTFS/exFAT/FAT32/ReFS file systems.

Step 1. After loading the disk, hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 3. The software will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically. After scanning, you’ll see all the deleted files and other lost files.


Step 4. Confirm your scanning results and click the “Recover x files” button. Please store these recovered files in a new location.


In conclusion

Wondering how to restore previous versions of external hard drive? This article offers you two efficient ways to recover deleted files from external hard drive. If you prefer to restore external hard drive to previous versions, ensure you’ve turned on File History. Then the previous versions could work for you. Moreover, you’re supposed to copy the external hard drive files or folders to the specified location.

Without a doubt, the majority of users could be more inclined to a third-party tool like MyRecover. More importantly, you’re expected to develop a good habit of making regular backups via Windows features or free backup software, AOMEI Backupper.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.