How to Recover Files After Unexpected Shutdown?

An unexpected computer shutdown can feel like a heart-stopping moment, especially when you are in the middle of critical work. What’s even more catastrophic is that you risk losing crucial files due to the accompanying hardware malfunctions or software glitches.

To tackle this, you should start out by understanding the root of your computer’s random turnoff, learn about skills to recover the files, and finally take steps to fix the issue. Perplexed already? Don’t worry. This comprehensive and novice-friendly guide will walk you through the whole process!

How to Recover Files After Unexpected Shutdown

Losing essential files due to a sudden shutdown can be devastating, but recovery is often possible. You need to follow two rules before taking steps to recover them:

  1. Stop creating or deleting files in your computer after the sudden shutdown. Otherwise, your lost files may be overwritten and thus disappear for good.
  2. Do not browse through your computer’s folders or drives trying to retrieve the files manually, or you may miss out on the best moments and chances for file recovery.

There are 5 safe and easy methods to recover your files.

MethodsEase of OperationTimeRecovery Result
File ExplorerEasy5-10 minutesMedium
Recycle BinEasy3-5 minutesMedium
BackupsMedium5-10 minutesGood if you have a backup
Auto-save FeatureEasyHigh chance to recover filesLow chances to get back your files
Data Recovery Software (such as ONERECOVERY)Easy5-10 minutesHigh chance of recovering files

Method 1: Retrieval by File Explorer

Reboot your computer after the shutdown. In most cases, the files still reside in the system. All you need to do is to launch File Explorer to search for them. If you fail to find them, try the following methods.

Method 2: Restoration from Recycle Bin

Sometimes, the lost files are moved to the Recycle Bin. Open it, locate the files you are looking for, and click on the Restore button.

Method 3: Restoration from Backups

You are in luck if you’ve taken backups of important files on Clouds or other external storage devices. You can directly restore them in such cases.

Method 4: Retrieval via the Auto-save Feature

Some computers have the auto-save feature that applies to programs like Windows Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PS. You can press Windows + E to open the File Explorer, choose This PC in the left panel, and then type “.asd” into the search bar. Hit Enter, and your computer will show the unsaved, recoverable files in the search results. Now you should click on the files you wish you recover, open them, and save them as usual.

the auto-save feature of computer

Method 5: Professional Data Recovery Software

Although the above methods are reliable solutions, they might sometimes fail to suffice for various reasons. Under such circumstances, you can resort to professional, mature data recovery software. This section will introduce to you 4 tools that are always on your call. These four software are all with different features. You may choose based on your needs and preferences.

SoftwareEase of OperationRecovery RateFee
RecoveritEasy95%Starting from $69.99/year
EaseUSEasy99.7%Starting from $69.95/year
iMyFoneMediumNot mentioned$79.99/LifeTime


ONERECOVERY is an advanced tool dedicated to tackling numerous data loss scenarios, such as unintended deletions, hard drive failure, OS crashes, viruses and malware, and much more. It is capable of recovering more than 1,000 file formats in high quality, bringing your valuable memories or projects back to life in no time.

Step 1: Download and install ONERECOVERY on your computer.


Step 2: Run the software to scan the whole computer. It might take some time as the Deep Scan mode will completely scan and dig out all the data on the OS.

Scan the computer using ONERECOVERY

Step 3: Preview the list and find out the missing files due to unexpected shutdown. 

find delete files

Step 4: Select the files and hit “Recover”. The tool will initiate the recovery process. 

initiate the recovery process

Step 5: Select the file location to save the recovered documents.

save the recovered documents

Step 6: Open the folder to check the resulting files.

Open the folder to check the resulting files


Recoverit stands as a powerful data recovery tool that can help you retrieve data with simple clicks. It comes with many features such as quick and deep scan, advanced video recovery, and preview functionality. It can recover lost or deleted files from a range of devices including your mobile phone, tablet, music player, and more.

The recovery process consists of 3 simple steps: scan, select, and your data back. 

the 3-step to use Recoverit to bring lost data back

You can follow the video guide to use it or you can refer to its PDF user guide if you encounter any difficulties.

Recoverit is free for basic features and requires fees for more advanced functions. You can choose a version that caters to your specific needs.


EaseUS is well-known for providing one-stop data solutions including data backup, comprehensive disk management, multimedia software and of course, data recovery. It can handle all common data loss issues and support a variety of file formats. You can get your files back in 3 quick steps:

Step 1: Launch the program on your computer.

Step 2: Direct the software to scan the drive for deleted/lost videos.

Step 3: Preview and recover the video files of your choice.

the 3-step to use EaseUS to bring lost data back

If you need help, access EaseUS’s user guide and video tutorials or follow the video guide on YouTube. You can recover up to 2GB of data for free on Windows 11/10/8/7, and pay for the Pro and Technician versions equipped with more advanced functions.


iMyFone offers a holistic approach to recovering deleted, formatted, damaged, and lost files. Able to accommodate a vast array of file formats, it is perfectly suited for beginners and is chosen by more than 5 million users. You can retrieve files with iMyFone in 3 steps: launch the program, scan and locate the files you wish to recover, and restore them.

the 3-step to use iMyFone to bring lost data back

You can go to its 24*7 user support if you have any difficulties in recovery, but note that licensed customers and registered users enjoy the priority. You can use the basic functions for free and pay for more features. iMyFone is offering an 80% discount during its 8th-anniversary sale, which ends on August 16th, 2023.

How to Fix Unexpected Shutdown

Unexpected shutdowns not only disrupt your workflow but also may signal a deeper issue. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you should fix the problem after recovering your files. This section will introduce 4 methods in this aspect.

Turn off Fast Startup

As mentioned before, although Fast Startup helps your computer boot up faster, it may cause random shutdowns. You can turn off this feature on Windows 10 in the following steps:

Step 1: Press Win, search for the Control Panel and launch it.

the Control Panel of Windows

Step 2: Select Power Options.

the Power Options of Windows

Step 3: Click on “Choose what the power buttons do”.

the 'Choose what the power buttons do' of Windows

Step 4: Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.

the“Chage settings that are currently unavailable”.

Step 5: Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” and click on “Save changes”.

Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” and click on “Save changes”

Here’s a video guide on turning off Fast Startup.

Update Drivers and GPU Driver

Outdated drivers could be the culprit of random shutdowns of your computer, so update them in Device Manager regularly to avoid turnoffs in the future.

Step 1: Right-click on Start and select Device Manager.

Device Manager

Step 2: Expand “Display adapters”. Right-click on it and select Properties.

Expand “Display adapters”. Right-click on it and select Properties

Step 3: Switch to the Details tab and click on “Device description” drop-down. Choose “Hardware Ids”.


Step 4: Copy the first result. Open your browser, paste in the ID, and search for it. The first few search results will show the exact name and manufacturer of your GPU.


Step 5: Visit the website of the GPU manufacturer and download an updated driver.


Step 6: Install the driver and restart your computer.

If you cannot find the official website of your GPU manufacturer, you can browse its name with the prefix “driver update for” (e.g., driver update for Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 drivers / HP HP EliteBook 840 G3).

Scan the Computer for Viruses

Abrupt shutdowns may result from virus attacks. In this case, you can scan your system with Windows Security (aka Windows Defender) or a random third-party anti-virus program. Here’s how to use the Windows Security:

Step 1: Press Win. Search for “Windows Security” and open it.


Step 2: Switch to the “Virus & Threat Protection” tab on the left and click on “Scan Options”.


Step 3: Choose “Full scan” and click “Scan” now.


This might require several hours, so be patient with it.

Run System File Checker (SFC)

The System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in utility of the Windows system to help scan and repair corrupted files. You can utilize it in the following steps:

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box. Type CMD and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt as an administrator.


Step 2: Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.


Step 3: Restart your computer.

Why Your Computer Randomly Turns Off

There are various reasons why your computer accidentally turns off. We have listed the main 4 reasons and the corresponding solutions below.

windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown

Reason 1: Computer Overheating

Computers need to maintain an appropriate temperature to run optimally. If your device is running at above 60℃ or higher, it will automatically shut down to protect its components from damage. Laptops overheat more easily than desktops due to structural differences.


1. Clean the dust and place your computer in a ventilated place.

2. Maintain the fan inside your computer.

3. Reduce workload by exiting unnecessary programs and limiting resource-heavy tasks.

4. Keep the software and the OS updated to speed up your computer.

Reason 2: Faulty Hardware

Failing or incompatible hardware components, like the monitor, network adapter, storage controllers, disk drives, network card, RAM, video card, modem, and sound card, can cause your computer to turn off randomly.


1. Check for loose connections and ensure all hardware components are securely connected.

2. Update drivers and firmware from the manufacturer’s website.

3. Replace or remove faulty hardware.

Reason 3: Driver Issues

Outdated or faulty drivers are another reason why your computer shuts down unexpectedly. You should troubleshoot them one at a time before uninstalling them, or there will be further damage.


1. Visit the manufacturer’s website or use driver update software to download and install the latest drivers.

2. If a recent driver update caused the issue, roll back to the previous version that worked reliably.

3. For drivers causing persistent problems, uninstall them completely and then reinstall the correct drivers.

4. Adjust settings to control driver updates manually as automatic updates can sometimes install incompatible drivers. 

Reason 4: Software Issues

When your computer shuts down suddenly, you can check and detect corrupted or lost system files, problematic apps, junk files, and Windows registry issues. You should also check software updates regularly.


1. Use the SFC tool(System File Checker) in Command Prompt (Windows) to scan and repair corrupted or missing system files.

2. Use disk cleanup tools or third-party software to remove temporary files, cache, and unnecessary data that could be causing issues.

3. Ensure your operating system is up-to-date.

Tips for Protecting Your Files

It is of paramount importance to protect your files from unexpected loss in the digital era. Here, we offer you several preventative methods:

  1. Always save the documents you are working on.
  2. Make sure that you save the files before turning of the computer.
  3. Consider using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to provide constant power to your PC.
  4. Remember to disconnect any removable drives, such as USB flash drives, before turning off the computer.
  5. Back up crucial data regularly to prevent unexpected incidents.

Wrap Up

In this digital age, unexpected computer shutdowns can disrupt plans, causing critical file loss and work interruptions. This guide has provided you with comprehensive insights into why shutdowns occur, from overheating to faulty hardware, and offered you step-by-step solutions for recovery. 

With the practical methods discussed, including professional tools like ONERECOVERY, you’re well-equipped to deal with sudden shutdowns and file loss. Moreover, it doesn’t stop at recovery. Strategies to fix the root cause of unexpected shutdowns and preventive tips to secure your files have been detailed to ensure a smoother and more secure computing experience. With all this knowledge and skills, you are free to enjoy your digital life without worries!

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