Desktop Data Recovery: Recover Desktop Files from Hard Drive

How to perform Desktop data recovery easily? Don’t worry, this article gathers a series of methods to recover Desktop files from hard drive to help you.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I restore files and folders on my desktop?

For the sake of convenience, computer users tend to put or temporarily store their files in use on the Desktop, thus they could easily and directly access them.

Meanwhile, these files are frequently important but not backed up or don’t have any copies.

It indicates that, once the important files on the Desktop get deleted, users will have nowhere to restore them.


Is there a way I can restore all of my files from my desktop that has been deleted via shift delete?


I wanted to get into task manager via ctrl+alt+delete, however, I hit the wrong shortcut ctrl+shift+delete, and the next thing I see is all of my desktop items are gone. Is there any possible way I can restore my desktop files back?


- Question from Microsoft Community


Similar cases can be found in the forums. Quite a lot of users are wondering why the Desktop files get lost and are looking for feasible methods to perform Desktop data recovery.

Why did my files disappear from my desktop?

The reason why files on the Desktop get lost results from multiple factors.

Files were hidden. Perhaps you have accidentally hidden the files and then lost access to them.

◆ File deletion. Also, you might have intentionally or accidentally deleted files from the Desktop.

◆ Virus attack. Viruses can hide/delete/encrypt/edit/modify your files; if the computer was infected, files can be lost.

◆ Windows update. There are also posts complaining about errors or issues that Desktop files missing after Windows update.


◆ Wrong user account. If you found all items on the Desktop are gone, maybe you have logged into the wrong or a temporary account. Just sign in to your correct account.

Now follow the guide to recover lost Desktop files.

How to achieve an easy Desktop data recovery?

Recycle Bin stores the removed files temporarily before emptying. If the Desktop files were just deleted, you could still recover deleted files from Recycle Bin.

Just go to Recycle Bin > locate the files > right-click the removed data > Restore. Your wanted files will go back to the original location.


If unluckily you find the deleted files not in Recycle Bin, that is to say, the Desktop data was permanently deleted. Refer to the methods below to learn how to restore Desktop files.

1. Recover lost Desktop files via File History

File History exclusively saves the copies of files on the C: drive (the drive that has System Protection enabled), including the Desktop files, Downloads, Favorites, etc. When a folder disappeared from the Desktop, you could use this tool to recover it.


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


Step 2. Click Restore personal files.


Step 3. Go to the Desktop folder > select the Desktop data you need > click Recover.


Then the data you want will be sent back.

2. Find the previous versions of Desktop files

If you have activated the File History, then the Previous Versions will also keep the file copies. This tool automatically saves copies when a restore point is created.

You could use it to restore previous versions of files to access earlier contents.

Step 1. Go to File Explorer > find the parent folder that contains the Desktop files you need.

Step 2. Right-click the folder > Properties > Previous Versions > choose an earlier version > Restore.


If the deleted Desktop files were directly saved on the Desktop but not in a folder, it is not suggested to revert the Desktop folder to its earlier version; you could refer to the next method.

3. Recover Desktop files from hard drive using the Windows backup feature

Turning to the backup feature in Windows machines is also a proven solution. It backs up the hard drive you selected on a regular basis according to your specific demands.

If you have enabled it, just recover lost Desktop files from the backup.

Step 1. Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).


Step 2. Restore my files.


Step 3. Browse for folders > select the backup of C: drives or Desktop > choose the deleted files > Next.


Step 4. Choose a preferred destination > click Restore.


This tool can help recover permanently deleted Excel files from Desktop as well.

4. Effortlessly perform Desktop data recovery

If you are seeking an easier and more efficient way to recover Desktop files from a hard drive, those methods introduced above cannot fit your demands - all of them require backups made in advance.

After all, no one can predict the coming data loss accidents and do some precautions. In addition, users usually don’t think they will be that unlucky to meet data loss.

Then, without backups, how to restore lost Desktop files?

Professional file recovery software for Windows will be the correct answer. You might as well choose MyRecover to be your helper.

It is specially designed for Windows users and is equipped with advanced and effective scanning methods. With its good features, it will be extremely simple to realize data recovery.

Simply select Desktop data to restore in 3 steps
  • Recover deleted and missing files from internal and external hard drives, including HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc.
  • Get back data lost due to deletion, formatting, Recycle Bin emptying, system crash, etc., at a high speed.
  • Restore 200+ types of data while scanning, e.g., photos, videos, audio, documents, etc.
  • Compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1 & Server, and NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/ReFS, etc.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Install and run the software > hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


Step 2. Filters like Date modified, Type, Size, etc., help you target the wanted files.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files > go to the Desktop folder under the Users folder >select the deleted files you want > Recover x files.


Except for an internal hard disk or the Desktop, it also facilitates you to recover data from external hard drives.


This article is about the methods to perform Desktop data recovery. For more info, refer to the Q&A corner below.

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.