A while ago I had a file on my windows desktop with a lot of my email accounts that I use for very specific purposes like online forums or shopping, and each one's password. I don't know what on earth has happened but I can't find that file anywhere. I did a whole "*.txt" search on the C: but I still didn't find it and I don't remember ever deleting it. What's a good program I could use to recover files and specifcally .txt files? Thanks.

Let's cover two scenarios.

  1. The file is just misplaced.
    In this scenario I think Everything would be my choice to find the misplaced file by it's partial name.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_(software)

  2. The file was deleted. If so it's very important to stop using this drive.
    Place the drive in another PC and see if RECUVA can find it.

And if you can't remove the drive and have to run a recovery program, run it from some other media like a USB stick.

commented: Thanks for adding this option. +0

might have been when open office and one drive where fighting over the doc extension and they would both try to over write the files at the same time. If an askii text file is opened by two programs and they rewrite the bite stream back at the same time no more document. I switched to unicode years ago and most of those were trashed as well, but software like recuva that reads the bits on the drive may be able to recover any bits that have not been over written but have it search the drive for not knowing where the files are. Make sure the programs are running off a different drive on the same sata controller, and that you have another drive about ten times as large on a fast sata or usb 3 or later type of connection. It is going to dump thousand of files that are likely not the file you are looking for. If you re-installed and the file was on the desktop of one user and you did not log back in as that user prior to windows ten those files get deleted when you try to look at them with a different user cid. depending on the situation the file is likely long gone but if you use recuva you likely have to buy it to get full usage and the file may not still be there, so only try to recover the file if you are willing to spend the money on the non destructive software or a full blown xray of the disk.

commented: For the xray especially. -3
commented: Mostly nonsense. -3