By Ivy / Last update September 10, 2019

The need to recover files from recycle bin after empty

I bet many of you have this experience: after deleting some files and documents, no matter mistakenly delete it or not, and you find you need some documents back but you have emptied the recycle bin. What should you do to restore the deleted files? When you encounter this problem, do not worry, you can refer to this article and learn how to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty in Windows 10/8/7.

Stop writing anything on your hard drive

When you realize you emptied the recycle bin which contains the important file that needs to get back, stop writing anything on the hard drive. This is very important. When files deleted or emptied from recycle bin, actually they are not really gone permanently from your computer. Instead, these deleted files will be saved on the hard drive as raw data.

Only when the raw data has been overwritten or erased from file system, the deleted files will disappear forever. It indicates that you still have a chance of recovering deleted files from recycle bin. So it's a sensible choice to undo empty recycle bin as early as possible when you recognized the wrong deletion.

How to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty in Windows 10/8/7

Here in this part, you will learn 4 methods that can help you recover files from recycle bin after empty. First, you can try the Windows built-in tool to find the deleted files. If not, try the recovery software then.

Way 1. Recover files from recycle bin after empty via the previous version

By default, system protection is turned on in Windows 7/8 and it will create restore points automatically. With those restore points, you can restore your permanently deleted files to previous versions. Let’s see how to recover deleted recycle bin from the previous version.

1. Firstly, create a new file or folder on the desktop and name it with the same name of the deleted file or folder. (If the folder was at the top level of a drive, for example, C:\, you can right-click the drive, and then click Restore previous versions.)

2. Right-click the file and choose "Restore previous versions". Here Windows will search for and list the previous versions of the permanently deleted files or folder with different times and dates.

3. Choose the latest one and click "Restore" to recover permanently deleted files or folder with ease.

Previous Versions

If you turn off system protection, there will not have previous version, you can try to recover data with command prompt.

Way 2. Recover files from recycle bin after empty via Windows backup utility

If you have set up your backup with Backup and Restore utility, then you can try it to restore files from recycle bin after empty.

1. Go to "Control Panel" and choose "System and Security".

2. Select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" and click the "Restore my files" button.

Restore My Files

3. Follow the steps in the wizard to find the deleted files.

Way 3. Recover files from recycle bin after empty with a Command Line

Command prompt can undo empty recycle bin and get back all mistakenly deleted files.

1. Press F8 when booting up your PC and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

2. Type cd../.. and press Enter > type cd $Recycle.Bin if PC runs Windows 7 or later version or cd RECYCLER if computer runs Windows XP and press Enter button.

3. Type cd and press tab key, then you can see a directory name. After seeing this, press Enter. (showing as picture below)

Command Line

5. Type dir/a to show all files > Type copy [file name] [file location] > Type cd../.. > Type dir and enter > Type ren [file name]

Now, you can see all files deleted from the recycle bin. By using Command Prompt to undo all deletion, the file names do not present as the original. This method has some risk, it is not recommended to try this if you are not a specialist.

Way 4. Recover files from recycle bin after empty via free software

If you failed with the above three methods, you can turn to professional data recovery software.

Recuva is the very best free data recovery software tool. It's very easy to use and has many optional advanced features as well. Recuva can recover files from hard drives, external drives, BD/DVD/CD discs, and memory cards.

Download Recuva, and open this software. By default, Recuva starts with a Wizard, click next. You will be asked what sort of files you are trying to recover.

Recover Files

Then it will ask the file location. If you know where to look, select it, otherwise, leave the default as “I’m not sure”. Click next.

At the next Window, you can enable deep scan if previous scans have failed. Confirm that it’s ready to start searching and click Start.

Then the scan begins. After some time, Recuva will present you with a list of what it has found. Check the box in front of the file you want in the list, and click Recover.

List Files

Learn a lesson: a file backup make you never worry permanently deleted files

After experiencing much trouble from recovering deleted files from recycle bin after empty, you should learn a lesson: how to protect files from losing. The answer is to make a regular backup.

Actually, a regular backup not only protects your file from accidental deletion, but also protects your files from virus, system failure, hard drive failure, etc.

You can use free backup and restore software AOMEI Backupper to backup your important files and folders on a schedule. This software allows you to create incremental backup, so you do not worry backup disk space issue. Also, with its user-friendly interface, you can handle this software very easily. To schedule file backup, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper, run this tool. At the main interface, click backup and choose File Backup. (If you want to protect your whole disk, click disk backup.)

File Backup

Step 2. At next Windows, click Add File or Add Folder to select your folder or file; then clcick the second box to select destination path.

Add Folders Files

Step 3. Click Schedule to set automatic backup on a regular basis.

Schedule Settings Genera

Step 4. Then you can click Start Backup.

Start Backup

If you accidentally deleted recycle bin, you can easily restore the deleted files with the backup created by AOMEI Backupper. It will save you much time and efforts to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty.


That’s all for how to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty in Windows 10/8/7. Hope one of the methods can help you find the deleted files. To avoid such problem in the future, please remember to make a scheduled backup for your files via AOMEI Backupper.