.ILK File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .ILK file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

ILK File Recovery

What is a .ILK file?

File used by Microsoft Visual Studio, an IDE used for developing Windows applications; contains linker data for a compiled executable file (e.g., .EXE or .DLL); enables faster project compilation and linking, especially for larger projects.

What Are Common Causes of ".ILK" Files Lost or Failure?

There can be several common causes for ".ILK" files being lost or experiencing failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete ".ILK" files while trying to clean up their system or free up storage space.
  2. Software or system errors: Errors in software or the operating system can lead to the corruption or loss of ".ILK" files. This can occur due to bugs, crashes, or compatibility issues.
  3. Malware or virus infections: Malicious software can infect and damage ".ILK" files, leading to their loss or failure. This can occur through infected downloads, email attachments, or visiting compromised websites.
  4. Hardware issues: Problems with the storage device where the ".ILK" files are stored, such as a hard drive failure or bad sectors, can result in the loss or corruption of these files.
  5. Improper shutdown: If a computer is not shut down properly, such as during a power outage or system crash, it can cause ".ILK" files to become corrupted or lost.
  6. Software conflicts: Conflicts between different software programs or incompatible versions can cause ".ILK" files to fail or become inaccessible.
  7. File system errors: Issues with the file system, such as file system corruption or errors, can lead to the loss or failure of ".ILK" files.
  8. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidentally formatting the storage device containing ".ILK" files or overwriting them with incorrect data, can result in their loss or failure.

It is important to regularly backup ".ILK" files and maintain a reliable backup system to minimize the risk of data loss.

How to recover lost ".ILK" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".ILK" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".ILK" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".ILK" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".ILK" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".ILK" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".ILK" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo incremental Linking File image file file?

Programs that open ".ILK" files

Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 Microsoft Visual Studio 2019

Additional Information

  • File type: Incremental Linking File

  • File extension: .ILK

  • Developer: Microsoft

  • Category: Developer Files

  • Format: Binary


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 16:14 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .ILK files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is the process of repairing .ILK files and what tools or software are commonly used for this task?

    The .ILK (Incremental Linking) files are generated by the Microsoft Visual Studio linker during the build process. These files contain information about the program's dependencies, such as function addresses and object file references. If the .ILK file gets corrupted or goes missing, it can cause issues with the program's build process or debugging.

    To repair .ILK files, you can follow these steps:

    1. Clean the project: In Visual Studio, go to the "Build" menu and select "Clean Solution." This will remove any existing .ILK files associated with the project.
    2. Rebuild the project: After cleaning, rebuild the project by selecting "Rebuild Solution" from the "Build" menu. This will generate a fresh .ILK file.
    3. Check project settings: Ensure that the project's settings are correct. Go to the project properties and verify that the "Incremental Linking" option is enabled. If it's disabled, enable it and rebuild the project again.
    4. Delete and recreate .ILK files: If the above steps don't work, manually delete the existing .ILK file(s) and rebuild the project. Sometimes, the file can be corrupted, and recreating it can resolve the issue.
    5. Update Visual Studio: If you're using an older version of Visual Studio, consider updating to the latest version. Sometimes, bugs or issues related to .ILK files are fixed in newer releases.

    As for tools or software commonly used for repairing .ILK files, there are no specific dedicated tools available. The repair process primarily involves cleaning and rebuilding the project in Visual Studio. However, if you suspect a corruption issue, you can try using general file repair tools like disk repair utilities or file recovery software to recover or fix any potential file corruption.

    Remember, .ILK files are generated during the build process, and their absence or corruption usually affects the build or debugging process rather than the actual running of the program.

  • What are some common issues or errors that can occur with .ILK files, and how can they be resolved?

    Some common issues or errors that can occur with .ILK files (Incremental Linker File) are:

    1. ILK file not found: This error occurs when the linker cannot locate the .ILK file associated with the executable or library. To resolve this, make sure the .ILK file is present in the same directory as the executable or library file.
    2. ILK file is outdated or corrupted: If the .ILK file is outdated or corrupted, it can cause issues during the linking process. To resolve this, you can try deleting the existing .ILK file and recompiling your code to generate a new .ILK file.
    3. Build configuration mismatch: If you are trying to use an .ILK file generated from a different build configuration (e.g., Debug vs. Release), it can lead to errors. Ensure that the .ILK file corresponds to the correct build configuration.
    4. Insufficient permissions: If the user account running the linker process does not have sufficient permissions to access or modify the .ILK file, it can result in errors. Ensure that the user account has the necessary permissions to read, write, and modify the .ILK file.
    5. Conflicting .ILK files: If multiple projects or solutions are using the same .ILK file, it can cause conflicts and lead to errors. Make sure each project/solution has its own unique .ILK file to avoid conflicts.
    6. Disk space issues: In some cases, insufficient disk space can cause issues with .ILK files. Ensure that you have enough free disk space to accommodate the .ILK file size.

    If none of these solutions resolve the issue, it is recommended to consult the documentation or support resources specific to the compiler or development environment you are using for further assistance.

  • Is it possible to recover or restore data from a corrupted or damaged .ILK file, and if so, what are the recommended steps to do so?

    Recovering or restoring data from a corrupted or damaged .ILK (Incremental Link) file can be challenging. The .ILK file is generated by the linker during the build process and contains information related to program linking and debugging.

    Here are some recommended steps to try and recover data from a corrupted .ILK file:

    1. Check for backups: If you have a backup of the .ILK file, restore it to the original location. This is the easiest way to recover the data.
    2. Use a file repair tool: There are specialized file repair tools available that can attempt to repair corrupted .ILK files. These tools analyze the file structure and attempt to fix any errors. Try searching for reputable file repair tools online.
    3. Use a hex editor: If the .ILK file is not severely damaged, you can try opening it in a hex editor. Hex editors allow you to view and edit binary files. Look for any patterns or recognizable data within the file that you can salvage.
    4. Consult with a data recovery professional: If the above steps fail, you can seek assistance from a professional data recovery service. They have specialized tools and expertise to recover data from corrupted files. Be aware that professional services can be costly.

    It's important to note that the success of data recovery from a corrupted .ILK file depends on the extent of the damage. It is always recommended to regularly backup your important files to avoid data loss.

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