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Last updated: Sep 21, 2023

Restoring Files Deleted by McAfee Antivirus

The importance of antivirus software in safeguarding our digital lives cannot be overstated. While tools like McAfee play a crucial role in defending our systems against malicious threats, there are instances when they might identify benign files as threats and subsequently delete them. If you've found yourself in such a predicament, fear not. This article will walk you through the process of recovering files that were inadvertently deleted by McAfee, ensuring that your essential data remains intact.

Use DiskInternals Partition Recovery

When McAfee mistakenly deletes important files, it can be quite alarming. However, with tools like DiskInternals Partition Recovery, restoring these files becomes a feasible task. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you recover your files using this software.

Steps to Recover Deleted Files:

  1. 1. Download and Install DiskInternals Partition Recovery

    • Download the Partition Recovery software.
    • Install the software by following the on-screen instructions.
  2. 2. Launch the Software

    • Open DiskInternals Partition Recovery.
    • You'll be greeted with a wizard interface that will guide you through the recovery process.
  3. 3. Select the Drive to Scan

    • Locate the drive or partition where the deleted files were originally stored.
    • Highlight the drive and click "Next."
  4. 4. Choose the Recovery Mode

    • Select "Full Recovery" to conduct a deep scan and recover as many files as possible. This option is recommended if McAfee deleted your files a while ago.
    • Alternatively, select "Fast Recovery" for a quicker scan. This option is suitable for recently deleted files.
  5. 5. Scan for Deleted Files

    • Click "Next" to start the scanning process.
    • Wait for the scan to complete. Depending on the drive's size and the selected recovery mode, this may take some time.
  6. 6. Preview and Select Files for Recovery

    • After the scan, the software will display a list of recoverable files.
    • Browse through the list and preview files by right-clicking and selecting "Preview."
    • Select the files you want to recover by checking the boxes next to them.
  7. 7. Recover and Save the Files

    • Click the "Recovery" button.
    • Choose a location to save the recovered files. Note: It's advised to save the recovered files on a different drive or partition to avoid any data overwriting issues.
    • Wait for the recovery process to complete.
  8. 8. Uninstall McAfee if Needed

Restore McAfee Deleted Files from Quarantine

If McAfee has identified and deleted certain files as threats, they are often not permanently deleted immediately. Instead, they are moved to a "Quarantine" area where they are isolated to prevent any potential harm to your system. If you believe McAfee has mistakenly quarantined a benign file, you can restore it from there. Here's how:

  1. 1. Open McAfee Antivirus Software

    • Locate the McAfee icon on your desktop or system tray (near the clock). Double-click on it to open the program.
  2. 2. Access the Quarantined Items

    • Once inside the McAfee interface, look for a section labeled "Virus and Spyware Protection" or something similar.
    • Click on it, and you'll find an option called "Quarantined and Trusted Items" or "Quarantined Items." Click on this option.
  3. 3. Review Quarantined Files

    • Here, you'll see a list of all the files that McAfee has quarantined. These are files that the software has deemed potentially harmful.
    • Go through the list and locate the file(s) you wish to restore.
  4. 4. Restore the File

    • Once you've located the desired file, select it.
    • There should be an option to "Restore" or "Recover" the file. Click on this.
    • You may receive a warning that restoring the file might put your computer at risk. If you're sure that the file is safe, proceed and confirm the action.
  5. 5. Exclude File from Future Scans (Optional)

    • If you're certain the file is safe and you don't want it to be flagged by McAfee in the future, consider adding it to the exclusions list.
    • To do this, go to the "Real-Time Scanning" settings or a similar section in McAfee.
    • Find the "Excluded Files" option and add the file or file path that you don't want to be scanned.
  6. 6. Verify the File's Restoration

    • Navigate to the location where the file was originally before being quarantined. Verify that it's now accessible and functioning as expected.


  • What is the McAfee Quarantine function?

    The McAfee Quarantine function is a safety feature that isolates potentially harmful files, preventing them from executing or causing damage to your system. Instead of permanently deleting suspected files, they are moved to the quarantine area where they can be reviewed and either restored or deleted permanently.

  • Why did McAfee quarantine a file I believe is safe?

    McAfee, like other antivirus software, uses signature-based detection and heuristic analysis to identify threats. Occasionally, benign files that exhibit behavior or characteristics similar to known malware can be falsely flagged and quarantined. This is known as a "false positive."

  • Is it safe to restore files from quarantine?

    Before restoring any file from quarantine, you should be certain of its safety. If the file came from a reputable source and you believe its detection was a false positive, it might be safe to restore. However, if there's any doubt, consider scanning the file with another antivirus or malware scanner for a second opinion.

  • How can I prevent a file from being quarantined in the future?

    If you're certain a file is safe, you can add it to McAfee's exclusion list. This will prevent the software from scanning and quarantining the file during future scans. However, use this feature with caution, as excluding potentially harmful files can expose your system to risks.

  • Does McAfee automatically delete quarantined files after some time?

    McAfee may be set to periodically clean out older quarantined items, but the exact duration varies based on your settings. If you want to keep a file in quarantine or review them before deletion, regularly check the quarantine section and adjust settings accordingly.

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