How to Recover Lost/Deleted CHM Files?

Updated on May 28, 2022

Compiled HTML (CHM) is a help file format exclusively used on Windows OS computers. It was developed by Microsoft as proprietary online help file format with .chm file extension. This help documentation includes compressed HTML files, index, images and other navigation tools. Microsoft requires a library called ITSF – Info Tech Storage File in order to read or write .chm files on Windows platform.

What Do CHM Files To Go Missing?

However, users may lose these compiled HTML files in various ways and encounter critical loss of information in it. Given below are few scenarios of CHM file loss on various Windows OS computers:

  • Unplanned deletion is the main factor that results to loss of required .chm file. When user unintentionally presses shift and del keys after selecting any CHM file, it will bypass Recycle Bin and gets lost completely
  • Also, while trying to clean up unimportant files from system drive accidentally selecting any CHM file and deleting it using command prompt will erase the file beyond manual recovery
  • Missing of CHM files due to use of unreliable third party applications on system
  • Formatting or reformatting the system drive without securing proper backup of required files can also lead to loss of CHM files

When CHM file gets lost or been accidentally erased from Windows system or from any other storage devices, it is not permanently lost. The file will be still intact with the storage device until any new data is been stored on it. This is because, when file loss occurs the OS removes the index pointer of this file in registry entry and makes it invisible marking its memory location as free. Thus, if addition of new data is avoided onto storage device from which CHM file was lost, it is possible to recover CHM file with the use of proficient file recovery software.

How To Recover Lost Or Deleted CHM Files?

If you are worried about secure way of recovering CHM files then employ File Recovery tool tool. This application follows advanced read-only recovery strategy to retrieve erased, lost as well as hidden CHM files on system hard drive with utmost ease. Software can also recover Compiled HTML files lost from other external storage devices like removable hard drive, USB drive, Firewire drive, etc. It supports storage drives formatted with FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5 and ExFAT file systems on desktops and laptops operated with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 OS versions.

Steps To Recover CHM Files On Windows:

  • Download the software on to a Windows system from which CHM files are to be recovered
  • Install and run the utility by following provided instructions
  • In the main screen you will see these two options, “Deleted File Recovery” and “Lost File Recovery”
  • Click on appropriate option according to CHM file loss scenario and proceed next
  • Next screen shows a list of drives present on the system
  • Click on the drive / partition from which files have to be restored and click next
  • By clicking next, the tool starts to scan the selected drive / partition for lost files
  • After completion of scanning process, switch between Data view and File Type view to go through the list of recovered files
  • Then select required files, specify a new destination location on system drive (or on any external storage device) and click on Save button

Necessary Tips:

  • Before erasing any file, cross verify whether the file is the right one to delete
  • Do not make use of unsecured alternative applications on system
  • Have regular backup of important CHM files without fail

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