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.

3 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:

  1. Open the Recycle Bin.
    • The easiest way how to do this is to double-click on its icon on the Desktop.
    • If you don’t see the Recycle Bin on your desktop, click the Start button and then select Settings. Select Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings. Select the Recycle Bin checkbox > Apply.
  2. Locate and then select whichever music files you need to restore.
  3. Right-click or double-click on the selection and choose Restore.
  4. The Recycle Bin instantly restores the deleted files to their original locations.
    • You can see the original location by viewing the Recycle Bin in "Details" view.
    restore deleted music files

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:

  1. Open the Trash by clicking its icon in the Dock.
  2. To restore deleted music files from the Trash, select them and drag them back out into the folder where they belong.undelete music files

Method #2: Professional Data Recovery Software

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.

Whenever you can’t undelete music files by simply restoring them from the Recycle Bin or Trash, you need a capable data recovery software tool such as Disk Drill to help you out. Featuring several powerful data recovery algorithms, Disk Drill can recover music files even from failing and unreliable storage devices, and it supports a wide range of music file formats, including MP3, MIDI, AAC, M4A, FLAC, WAV, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, ALAC, AIFF, and others.

To recover deleted MP3 files with Disk Drill:

  1. Download Disk Drill and install it on your Windows or Mac computer.
    Disk Drill
    Data recovery for free
    Your Companion for Deleted Files Recovery
  2. Launch it and click the Recover button next to the storage device where the deleted or lost music files were previously located.
  3. Disk Drill will scan the storage device and present you with a list of recoverable files. All you have to do is select which music files you want to recover and begin the recovery process.mp3 recoveryrestore deleted music filesmp3 recoveryrecover deleted mp3 files

In addition to music files, Disk Drill can recover hundreds of other file formats from virtually any storage device, and it comes with a number of 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: Free Data Recovery Software

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.

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.

Recovery Vault makes it much easier for Disk Drill to recover deleted or lost files by saving the metadata (filename, file location, etc.) of all deleted files.recover deleted music files

Guaranteed Recovery, on the other hand, actually saves complete copies of all deleted files. Keep in mind that Guaranteed Recovery is supported only by the Mac version of Disk Drill.mp3 recovery


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. Disk Drill is our favorite data recovery tool because it hides all the complexity that goes into data recovery behind a single button. Despite delivering professional results, Disk Drill is nowhere as expensive as professional data recovery services, and there’s even a free version that you can use to recover up to 500 MB of data without any limitations.

Jeff Cochin

Jeff Cochin is a data management and recovery expert. He also serves as a technical writer, testing and reviewing tech solutions in various fields. Jeff Cochin is a professional data management, warehousing and recove...

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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.