5 Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from My PC

How do I recover permanently deleted files from my PC? If you deleted files by mistake, or using Shift + Delete keys, or empty the Recycle Bin, keep reading this article and get 5 effective methods below.


By Lora / Updated on May 24, 2024

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Can you recover files after permanently deleted?

A: The answer is yes in most cases!

When dealing with multiple tasks on your PC, you may lose vital data like images, videos, documents, etc by pressing Delete or Shift + Delete keys, and think they are deleted permanently. But the truth isn't always as bad as it seems. 

If you use the Delete key instead of Shift + Delete keys, the deleted files will be put in the Recycle Bin. If you use Shift + Delete keys or empty the Recycle Bin, it's deleted permanently.  It means files are permanently deleted which couldn’t be simply recovered from the Recycle Bin. 

Fortunately, the permanently deleted files can still be recovered as long as you don't overwrite the space occupied by deleted data. In addition, the disk type also matters. If your disk is SSD, please be sure the TRIM feature is not enabled. Otherwise, your data will be wiped when you perform a file deletion.

Check the Recycle Bin folder

If you use the Delete key, or are not quite sure, the first place is to check the Recycle Bin folder. In general, all the deleted files on a PC will be moved to this folder. 

Step 1. Double-click the Recycle Bin folder on the desktop. 

⚠️If the Recycle Bin folder is not on the desktop, press the Win + E keys to open File Explore and type recycle bin in the address bar.

Step 2. Search the deleted files, select it, and click the "Restore" option. 

Click Restore

  • To restore multiple files, hold the Ctrl key while selecting deleted files. Then, right-click the mouse and select the Restore option.

  • To restore all files, press the Ctrl + A keys and select the Restore all items option at the top.

Recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 using software

If the deleted files are not in the Recycle Bin and there are no previously saved versions, you can recover deleted or permanently deleted files on a PC or laptop using one of the best Windows data recovery software -MyRecover.

MyRecover, designed with advanced algorithm technology, is an easy-to-use tool with a flawless track record in the data recovery field. 


Rich data recovery scenarios: permanently deleted files recovery, formatted file recovery, recover virus infected files, etc.
Wide range of storage devicesRecover deleted files from HDD, SSD, external hard drive, SD card, USB flash drive, and others.
▶ Compatible with different file types, such as documents, images, videos, audio, emails, etc., and more than 200 file formats (eg: recover deleted PNG files).

Crashed PC Recovery: It allows you to create a bootable media and recover deleted files from hard disk without OS, especially useful when your computer become unbootable.
▶ Compatible with Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
10,000 people have downloaded it

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your computer. Hover the mouse over the drive and click "Scan" to scan.


⚠️MyRecover has 3 editions: Free, Pro and Technician. The Free edition allows you to recover permanently deleted files over 500 MB. To recover more or unlimited data, please upgrade to MyRecover Pro or Technician. The Technician is recommended for business users within a company.

Step 2. The program runs the scanning process automatically and finds all the deleted files and other missing files in this partition. During scanning, you could recover any file you want. 


⚠️MyRecover has two scanning methods:
  • Quick Scan: Scan and locate the recently deleted files by their file and log record. Once any files are found, they will be listed in the Deleted Files directory.

  • Deep Scan: Scan every sector of the selected disk and find other missing files. These files will be put in the Other Missing Files directory.

Step 3. Select the file or the folder that you want to recover and click "Recover files". You can also filter and preview deleted files before recovering. For example, to preview PNG images, click Filter > Images and type .png in the search box. Then, double-click them to preview.


If your computer is unbootable, you still can create a bootable USB or CD/DVD to boot it. The Crashed PC Recovery feature in MyRecover will help you a lot. Learn more about how to recover data from hard disk without OS

Recover deleted files in Windows 10 using Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is an official command-line app released by Microsoft to help users recover lost or deleted files in Windows 10 2004 and above. 

There are four modes to use: Regular, Extensive, Segment, and Signature. The mode depends on the scenarios of data loss and the file system of the hard disk. You could input different commands according to the basic command format:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

So please check them one by one in the following:

🔷Check the file system 

To check file system, right-click the drive that saved the deleted files and select “Properties” to check the file system.


🔷Select recovery mode:

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago



After formatting a disk



A corrupted disk





🔷Select recovery switches:

Parameter / switch


Supported mode(s)


Scans for a specific file by using a file name, file path,file type, orwildcards. For example:

  • File name: /n myfile.docx
  • File path: /n /users//Documents/
  • Wildcard: /nmyfile.*
  • /n *.docx
  • /n **


Recover specific extension groups, commaseparated



Saves a log file of the recovery operation in a different location than the default location on the recovery drive (for example, D:\logfile).



Segment mode, recoveryoptionfor NTFS drives using file recordsegments



Signature mode, recovery option for all file system types using fileheaders


You can then install Windows File Recovery and recover permanently deleted files using it:

Step 1. Press the Win + Q keys, input “Microsoft Store” in the search box, and open it. Then type “Windows File Recovery” and click “Get”.


Step 2. After Windows File Recovery installation completes, type Windows File Recovery in the search box and select “Run as administrator”.


⚠️The error message “WinFR requires admin privileges to run” indicates you need to run this software with administrator priority. If you still have problems, click the previous link to learn more.

Step 3. For example, if you want to recover a zip file but you don’t know the detailed name from C: drive to E: drive, you could input the following command:

winfrC:E:/regular/n\C: \*.zip


⚠️ If you receive the error message “Winfr.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command”, you could click it to get help.

Recover permanently deleted files from Windows backup

If you have turned on File History on your computer, you could restore your folders to the previous version to recover permanently deleted files.

When File History is activated (go to “Control Panel” > “System and Security” > “File History”), it could back up files in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders regularly. Follow the steps below to restore files with File History.

Step 1. Press the Windows + Q keys, and type “restore files” to open “Restore your files with File History”.


Step 2. Find the folder where your deleted files are stored. Click the “Restore” button to recover files to the previous location. Or you could right-click the folder and select “Previous Versions”. You could make this folder back to the date you want.


Unlock hidden attributes of files in Windows 10

You may inadvertently select the hidden attribute for your files or folders instead of permanently being deleted. Your files may also be hidden when they are corrupted.In this case, you couldn’t locate your files on your Windows system. Use the following commands torestore hidden files in Windows 10.

Step 1. Press Windows + Q and type “CMD” in the search box. Select “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. Input chkdsk G: /f in Command Prompt and then hit Enter. Replace G with your hard drive letter.


Step 3. And then input G: , and then type "attrib -h -r -s /s /d*.*". Replace D with your hard drive letter. After commands are executed and you could check whether the hidden files are recovered.



“How do I recover permanently deleted files from my PC?” You could try the methods above to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or11. But your deleted files could not be recovered even using all kinds of ways due to kinds of reasons.

Therefore, backing up important data is the best method to avoid data loss. You could use the Windows built-in tools like Backup and Restore or File History. However, they usually back up files in the C drive. It’s recommended to use the freeware-AOMEI Backupper to make file backup, system backup, disk backup, and partition backup.

Here we summarize the methods and scenarios to help you select a method quickly:

Recovery Scenarios Recycle Bin MyRecover Windows File Recovery File History chkdsk & attrib
Deleted file recovery ×
Permanently deleted file recovery × ×
Recycle Bin recovery × ×
Require backup copy × × ×
Hidden file recovery × × × ×
Recovery rate Low High Low High  High


1. Can I recover permanently deleted files from my Recycle Bin?
No, once files are permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin, they cannot be recovered from there. However, recovery is still possible using data recovery software or backups.
2. Is it possible to recover files if they were deleted a long time ago?
The possibility of recovering files decreases over time, especially if the storage space has been overwritten by new data. However, recovery software can still attempt to retrieve old files, and there's a chance of success if the data hasn't been overwritten.
3. What are recommended data recovery software for retrieving permanently deleted files?
Some popular data recovery software options include MyRecover, Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Disk Drill, and Stellar Data Recovery. These programs scan your hard drive for recoverable data and help restore it.
4. How effective is data recovery software in recovering permanently deleted files?
The effectiveness of data recovery software depends on several factors, including how much time has passed since the deletion and whether new data has been written to the drive. The sooner you attempt recovery, the higher the chances of successfully retrieving your files. However, there is no guaranteed success, especially if the data has been overwritten.
5. Can I recover permanently deleted files without using software?
If you have a recent backup, you can restore your files from there. Windows users can use File History or previous versions of files, provided these features were enabled before the deletion occurred. Otherwise, using recovery software is the most effective method.
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.