Despite the advent of online music streaming and internet radio services, many people prefer downloading music for offline listening. What’s more, there are many songs and artists whose music is simply not available online, making offline music libraries very much relevant even today.

recover deleted music files

The only problem with storing your music offline, be it on your computer or mobile device, is the fact that you can lose access to your files at virtually any moment because of a simple user error or a much less simple hardware failure.

Can Music Files Be Recovered?

Generally speaking, music files can be recovered. When you delete a music file, it’s just like when you throw a sheet of paper into a garbage bin. The sheet of paper doesn’t magically dissolve into thin air the moment you let go of it. Instead, it sits in the garbage bin until you take the garbage out and make it someone else’s problem. Until then, you are free to take the sheet of paper out at any moment.

In many cases, it’s just as simple to recover lost music files as it is to take out a sheet of paper from a garbage bin. In other cases, lost music files can be recovered only with the help of a special data recovery software tool. Regardless of which data recovery scenario you need to solve, the three simple methods described below are guaranteed to help you recover lost music files.

4 Methods to Recover Deleted Music Files

Method #1: Recycle Bin

mp3 recovery The Windows operating system comes with a temporary storage area for files that have been deleted by the user but are not yet permanently erased from the file system, called the Recycle Bin.

To recover deleted music files from the Recycle Bin:

mp3 recovery The macOS operating system also has its own temporary storage area for files that have been deleted by the user but are not yet permanently erased from the file system, the Trash folder.

To restore deleted music files from it:

Method #2: Professional Data Recovery Tools

Not all deleted files end up in the Recycle Bin or Trash. When you delete files on Windows using the SHIFT + DELETE command, the files don’t move to the Recycle Bin at all. Instead, the space they occupy on the hard drive is marked as unused, and they become hidden from the operating system. You can achieve the same thing by using the Option + Command + Delete keystroke sequence on Mac computers.

recover deleted mp3 files

Of course, it’s very unlikely for music files to become accidentally deleted this way, but many people have experience with the accidental format of a:

undelete music files Hard drive;
undelete music files USB flash drive;
undelete music files Memory card.

You can also lose your music files as a consequence of critical hardware or software failure.

To recover deleted MP3 files with Disk Drill:

  1. Download, Install and launch Disk Drill.
    Disk Drill
    Data recovery for free
    Your Companion for Deleted Files Recovery
  2. Once you’ve gone through the necessary permissions and configured the settings, you can begin recovering your lost data.
  3. Select the drive or external storage device from where you want to recover the music file.
    selecting drive on disk drill
  4. You can choose a preferred recovery method from two options – the Quick Scan or Deep Scan. By default, the All Recovery Methods option is chosen.
  5.  Now, click Search for Lost Data. While Disk Drill scans through your selected drive, you have an option to preview files and filter through the search results. You can also pause, save or resume the scan whenever you want.scan progress window on Disk Drill
  6. Once the scan is complete, select the MP3 files you want to recover.selecting music files for data recovery
  7. Choose the location for your recovery folder. Finally, click Recover.
    selecting destination for saving the recovered files

Disk Drill simplifies the file recovery process and allows you to restore your MP3 files efficiently and without any hassles. Moreover, Disk Drill can recover hundreds of other file formats from virtually any storage device. It comes with several useful disk tools that can help you avoid losing music files in the future. In other words, Disk Drill is a fantastic choice for all kinds of data recovery tasks—not just MP3 recovery.

Method #3: Data Recovery using Another Tool:

Another data recovery tool that you should know about to recover deleted MP3 files and other music file formats is TestDisk.

lost music files

The purpose of TestDisk is to recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again. This handy open-source data recovery tool is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, and it has features for both novices and experts.

TestDisk supports:

  • Windows;
  • MacOS,
  • Linux,
  • DOS,
  • FreeBSD,
  • NetBSD,
  • OpenBSD,
  • SunOS.

Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as easy to use as Disk Drill, which is why we recommend you read the official tutorial to learn how to recover lost or deleted music files using TestDisk.

Method #4: Recovering Files from Backups

If you’re someone who keeps backups of your files, you can attempt to recover your deleted or lost music files via cloud backups or your external drive. It’s good to create such backups since they can be beneficial in unexpected data-loss situations such as device formats, corruption with your storage device, etc. 

However, in case you don’t have any backups, there’s no need to worry. Your computer systems have some emergency backup features to help you restore your music. You can turn on the File History option on your PC or access Time Machine on your Mac to recover MP3 files. 

Recover MP3 Files Using Windows File History:

  1. Open the Windows search tab and type in Restore your files using File History. It will redirect you to the Control Panel.
    accessing file history in windows
  2. Ensure that the File History option is turned on. If the option is off, select an internal or external drive to backup all your information and data.
  3. Now, select the Restore personal files option.
    Restore personal files option in File History.
  4. Go through the available backups or the music folder and locate the MP3 files you want to recover.
  5. Once you’ve found the desired files, click on the green Recover button. Your file will then be restored to its original location.recovering files using file history

Recover MP3 Files Using Mac Time Machine:

  1. Open Spotlight [CMD + spacebar]. Now, type in Time Machine.
    spotlight shortcut on mac
  2. Navigate through the folders to locate your MP3 file from the local backups.
  3. Once you’ve selected the file, click on the Restore option.
    using time machine to recover data

How to Avoid Losing Music Files

In order to avoid losing music files in the future, you should back up your music library on a regular basis and enable data protection in Disk Drill. To be more specific, you should enable Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery, which are two different ways to avoid future data loss supported by Disk Drill.


It always feels horrible to lose your favorite music, regardless of how it happens. Fortunately, not all data loss scenarios are destined to end badly. If you have the right data recovery tool, the probability that you will see your files again is high.


Joshua Solomon

Technology, SaaS, and digital marketing are Joshua's go-to niches. He understands the need for simple and easy-to-read articles on the internet. As technologies grow in complexity, guides and how-to pieces must remain com...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.