How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Downloads Folder on Windows 10

If you accidentally deleted downloads folder on Windows 10 or 11, worry not, with 7 useful methods, you can easily get them back.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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The Windows Downloads folder is a default folder to save downloaded files from the Internet, like documents, software, video files, and others. When you accidentally deleted the downloaded files in the Downloads folder, you can choose to re-download them from the internet, restore deleted downloaded files with File History or data recovery software.

However, if the Downloads folder on Windows PC is deleted or missing, all of the downloaded files or data will be erased. Moreover, you may not also be able to access new files or applications if you try to download them. So how to recover accidentally deleted downloads folder on Windows 10 or 11? Get 7 data recovery methods below to restore deleted or lost download files or folders.

Accidentally Deleted Downloads Folder Windows 10

What happens if I delete files in my Downloads folder?

When you delete files in your Downloads folder, they will be sent to the Recycle Bin folder immediately. You can go to Recycle Bin and right-click the deleted files to restore them to the original saved place.

But sometimes you may find deleted files not in Recycle Bin. The reason is the files are too large or the Recycle Bin is nearly full. Luckily, it’s still possible to recover the permanently deleted downloads files.

In this situation, you may need available backup files or professional data recovery software to restore your accidentally deleted files. If you don’t have backup files, please be sure your downloads are not overwritten.

How to recover accidentally deleted downloads files or folder

If you want to know how to recover accidentally deleted downloads files on Windows 10 or 11, you come to the right place. Check the following methods to recover accidentally deleted downloads folders and downloaded files in Windows 10 or 11.  

🛒Check Recycle Bin The deleted files will be moved to Recycle Bin temporarily. So it is always the first place to check.
💿Restore from File History If your files are deleted permanently, backup software like File History will be a good choice. 
💻Recover Downloads using Software If you delete files without backup, try powerful data recovery software like MyRecover.
📄Check deleted folders from Temporary Files You can search the deleted Downloads folder from Temp in short period.
⚙ Recover from Desktop.ini  The desktop.ini file includes all the user folder, such as Downloads. So you can restore from it.
🔁Restore to Default Location You may change your downloads folder to another location. In this case, try to locate it and restore it to the default location.
🔙Restore from Previous Version If you enable system restore or file history, you can try the restore previous version feature to get your downloads folder back. 

▶ Way 1. Check the deleted downloads in Recycle Bin

If you accidentally delete a file, the first place you need to go is Recycle Bin. You can easily recover the deleted files and folders in Recycle Bin if you haven’t permanently deleted them or emptied the Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon to open it.

Step 2. Find the desired deleted files or folders in Recycle Bin. You could directly search the file names.

Step 3. Right-click the files or folders you want to recover and select “Restore”. Alternatively, you could drag and drop the files to the location where you want. ​


If you find the deleted files not in Recycle Bin, you need to try the other 6 methods to restore accidentally deleted downloads or downloads folder in Windows 10 or 11.

▶ Way 2. Restore Deleted Downloads folder from File History

File History is a fantastic Windows feature to regularly backs up the user data in in Libraries, Desktop, Contacts, and favorites folders. If you have enabled this function and put the data there, you could recover deleted Downloads files or folder using it.

Step 1. Go to “Control Panel” > “System and Security” > “File History”.


Step 2. Click “Restore Personal Files”.


Step 3. Find and select the files you deleted, then click the green Recover button.​


▶ Way 3. Recover accidentally deleted downloads folder via data recovery software

How to find deleted downloads or downloads folder on a PC without any backup? The easiest way is to use professional data recovery software. MyRecover is one such software. It is able to recover 200+ file types, such as Word documents, Excel files, PPTs, pictures, videos, compressed files, etc. So, no matter you delete any download file or the whole download folder, you can recover it quickly.

  • Support two advanced scanning methods - Quick Scan and Deep Scan. It helps to find the downloads folder and all the deleted downloads files (eg: recover deleted Word documents) in it.
  • Filter specific downloads files quickly with Type, Date Modified & Size and recover them as soon as they are found.
  • Recover data with a high success rate and fast speed, keeping its original file name, format, quality, and path. 

Download this reliable data recovery software to recover accidentally deleted downloads or downloads folder on Windows 10 or 11.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch the Windows data recovery software - MyRecover on your computer. Hover the mouse over the partition containing the Downloads folder, it’s usually C drive and click Scan.


Step 2. The software runs a Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to find deleted files and other missing data in the C drive. You don't need to wait for the scanning process to end if you find the downloaded files or folder in the scanning list.



  • Quick Scan only supports NTFS drives, while Deep Scan works for all file systems.
  • To locate specific files, you can type their file name in the Search for files or folders box or use the Filter feature.

Step 3. Select the downloads folder or download files you want to recover and click “Recover X files.  



  • MyRecover will display the number of files to be recovered and their entire size. You can free recover files up to 500MB in total. To recover unlimited files, please upgrade MyRecover.
  • Select a new location to store the deleted files. Retrieving files to original location may overwrite the space of deleted data, resulting in data recovery failure.
  • Except for Windows 10 or 11, it is still able to recover deleted files from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

Besides, you still can use this software to recover deleted files from SD cards, USB flash drives, external hard drives, and other storage devices as well as data loss due to format, virus attack, system or disk failure, etc.

▶ Way 4. Find deleted downloads in Temporary Files

Windows creates a folder on your computer that stores temporary files. This folder can store a wide range of files, but it can also store and index downloaded files. This way, you will be able to search for downloaded files in a short time after they have been deleted.

Here is how to find such files in Windows:

Step 1. Press the Start button.

Step 2. Start typing the name of the file you want to retrieve.

Step 3. Press the Enter button.

If your temporary files are functioning properly, a window will open. The window lists the files that match the search. You can right-click the file and open it, or drag and drop it to the location you want. Or, you can also navigate to C:\Windows\Temp to find deleted downloads in Temporary Files. 

▶ Way 5. Recover deleted downloads folder from desktop.ini file

The desktop.ini file is able to restore all user folder in the "C:\Users\%USERNAME%" folder. You can use it to recover accidentally deleted downloads folder, or other folders like music, videos, etc.

Step 1. Press ”Win + R” to open the Run window. Then, type “shell: downloads” and click “OK”.

Step 2. In the Folder options, set the protected operating system files to show.

Unhide Protected Operating System Files

Step 3. Download the and extract it. Then, right-click on the desktop.ini file (it’s a .txt file) and select Properties.

Step 4. Under the General tab, click the “Unlock” button and “ OK”.

Step 5. Go to C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Downloads and replace the desktop.ini file with the newly extracted one.

Step 6. Open an elevated command prompt. Type attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Downloads /S /D and press "Enter". Then, restart your system to make changes take effect.

▶ Way 6. Restore downloads folder to its default location

You may not delete the downloads folder (the default location is C:\Users\Downloads) but change it to another location. In this case, you need to restore the downloads folder to its original location.

Step 1. Open your File Explorer and go to the new location of your Download folder. Right-click it and select “Properties”.

Step 2. Go to the “Location” tab and click the “Restore Default” option.

Restore Default

▶ Way 7. Recover downloads folder from previous version

Restore points is a Windows feature to take snapshots of files or folders stored on your computer. If it’s enabled, you can easily restore files to the previous versions or get lost downloads folder.

Step 1. Navigate to the Download folder, Go to C drive > “Users” > [Your Name].

Step 2. Right-click [Your Name] folder and select “Properties” > “Previous Versions”.

Step 3. Under the Folder versions, select a previous version and click “Restore”.​


Best practice to protect downloads folder and files

Whether you download a picture, video, page, etc, they will be saved to the downloads folder. If you accidentally deleted downloads folder, all the downloaded files will disappear. So please take a double-check before deleting any downloads. The best practice to protect them is to create a backup copy of the downloads folder. Try free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to help you.

Step 1. Launch free backup software for Windows - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Choose "Backup" and "File Backup" subsequently.

File Backup

Step 2. Type a new task name to distinguish it from other backup tasks. Click “Add File” to select the downloads files you want to backup. To backup the entire downloads folder, click “Add Folder” instead.

Add Folders Files

Step 3. Click the second box and select a local path, share or NAS or cloud drive to save your downloads files or folder.

Select Destination

Step 4. To backup downloads files or folder automatically, click “Schedule Backup” and enable "Daily", "Weekly", "Monthly", "Event trigger", or "USB plug in" options.

Schedule Settings General

Step 5. Confirm all the configured backup settings and click "Start Backup" to backup downloads files or folder. It will create a full backup and then backup only changed files in the scheduled backup time.

FAQs about downloads files recovery

Concluding Words

Whether you accidentally deleted downloads folder in Windows 10 or 11, with 7 effective methods, you are able to recover the downloads folder or files in it quickly. For downloaded files, please check the Recycle Bin folder first. If it’s not in the Recycle Bin, try the other 6 methods.

Among them, the best way is to restore downloads folder from backup files. If you don’t have one, try data recovery software - MyRecover. It supports two advanced scanning methods, which can find and recover your download files and folders quickly.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.