[Fixed] How to Find a Lost File on Your Computer?

How to find a lost file on your computer? Use six practical ways including the best software to recover deleted/lost files on this page.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I find a lost file in Windows 10?


It may sound like a stupid question that I have lost files. What’s worse, I cannot find them. Since I have few computer skills, I’m not sure how to do a proper search. Does anybody have good instruction in this project? Thanks.

- A user from Tenforums

Many users could raise a similar question as to the above case if you fail to find your lost files in Windows 10. As you can see, accidental deletion could be the most common factor for data loss. Apart from that, the hidden file attribute, Windows update also among reasons. If you need, learn how to find a lost file on your computer below.

✦Quick Navigation:

Option 1. Show the hidden files with Windows File Explorer

Option 2. Recover the deleted files from the Recycle Bin

Option 3. Recover the deleted files with Backup and Restore

Option 4. Recover the lost files by checking the hard disk

Option 5. Recover the deleted/lost files with Windows File Recovery

Option 6. Recover the deleted/lost files with MyRecover

How to find deleted/lost files on Windows 10?

As mentioned above, the lost files include two types of files: hidden ones and deleted ones. Although the hidden file attribute prevents you from seeing these files, these files still exist on your PC. Please note the prerequisites for each method before following a solution.

Option 1. Show the hidden files with Windows File Explorer

Please refer to the following steps to show the hidden files using Windows File Explorer.

Step 1. Enter “Control Panel” in the search box and open it. Then click “Appearance and Personalization” > “Show hidden files and folders.”


Step 2. Select the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option. Then click the “OK” button.


Then you can open the Windows File Explorer again to view your desired files. If the above method cannot show the hidden files saved on your PC, you need to ask for help from other targeted solutions.

Option 2. Recover the deleted files from the Recycle Bin 

How to find deleted files on Windows 10? Let’s begin with the easiest method. You’re allowed to recover the recently deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Open the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop. Then locate the files you want to retrieve in the Recycle Bin.


Step 2. Right-click on your selected files, and click the “Restore” button.


Assume you’ve deleted files for more than 30 days. At the moment, it’s impossible for you to retrieve the permanently files from the Recycle Bin.

Option 3. Recover the deleted files with Backup and Restore 

Backup and Restore is a practical feature released by Windows 7 and later versions. As the name suggests, you need to make backups first, then restore files from this backup. It supports two types of backup (file and folder backup, and system image). And you’ll get files and folders backup in ZIP archives.

Let’s perform how to find a missing file from the backup using Backup and Restore. Moreover, you’re supposed to ensure this backup includes your needed files.

Step 1. Enter “Control Panel” in the search bar, and open it. Then click “System and Security” > “Backup and Restore (Windows 7).”


Step 2. Click “Restore my files” under the Restore tab.


Step 3. Select the “Browse for files” option to find your needed files. Then save these retrieved files in a new location.


Option 4. Recover the lost files by checking the hard disk 

Many users may have overlooked this reason, that is hard drive corruption also leads to file loss. The following steps depict how to check your hard disk and fix file system errors. Maybe you can find your lost files from a corrupted hard drive after these steps.

Step 1. Click “This PC” > right-click on the hard drive you want to scan > “Properties.”

Step 2. Go to Tools” and click “Check” for error checking.


Step 3. This operation will fix the file system errors. Please wait patiently. After that, you can reboot your computer and confirm the lost files whether are restored or not.

Option 5. Recover the deleted/lost files with Windows File Recovery 

If there’s no error on your hard drive, what can you do to recover the deleted/lost files without a valuable backup? In this case, perhaps Windows File Recovery can give those users who are proficient at computers a hand because it’s a command-line file recovery software without a graphical user interface (GUI).

However, it still permits you to recover the lost files from HDD/SSD/USB flash drive and other storage devices using the command prompt. If you’re ready to use CMD to recover files, let’s locate the targeted mode and switches based on your scenarios. Then fill in your selected mode and switches to the basic format command line.   

If possible, minimize the usage of your PC because any written performances could lead to overwriting the free space. After overwriting, these retrievable deleted/lost files will become unretrievable.
Windows File Recovery is only compatible with Windows 10/11.
 It helps you recover the deleted/lost Word, PPT, Excel, ZIP, PDF, PNG, JPEG, etc.
 Ensure your destination drive (where to store your recovered files) is different from the source drive (Where to save files before deletion/loss).
 The Extensive, Regular, Segment and Signature modes could support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.
 Check the file system of your source drive: Click “This PC” > right-click on the source drive > “Properties.”   


Step 1. Select a suitable mode according to the file system of your source drive and the data loss scenarios.

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago



After formatting a disk



A corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



Step 2. Select switches you need among the following form.



Supported          modes


Recover specific extension groups, comma-separated



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



Overrides user prompts, which is useful in a script file.



Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment


Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers files without primary data streams.

NTFS Segment


To keep your results manageable and focus on user files, some file types are filtered by default, but this switch removes that filter. 

NTFS Segment


Specifies which file types are filtered.

NTFS Segment

Step 3. Click the “Get” button to download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store. Then install and “Open” it on your PC.


Step 4. Resemble your needed command lines. Let’s take the Word file as an example.

Assume the source drive is the “E” drive, and the destination drive is the “D” drive.

the basic format command line: winfr souce-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switch]

the adjusted command line: winfr E: D: /segment /n *.docx

Then enter the repaired command line in the window.


Step 5. Enter “y” to go on. After the process, these recovered files will be stored in the destination drive which you’ve selected. If you want to stop the recovery process, press the “Ctrl + C” keys.

Option 6. Recover the deleted/lost files with MyRecover 

How to find deleted files on Windows 10 at ease? If you’re reluctant to use the complex CMD, why not use another more user-friendly data recovery software to perform data recovery? MyRecover could be the best software to recover deleted files. Perhaps you will be attracted by the highlights of this powerful software.

Recover the deleted/lost files from HDD/SSD/USB and other storage devices.

▶Recover 200+ types of data such as Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Audios, Videos, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.

▶Retain its original format for the deleted and lost data.

▶Run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to search all the deleted files and other lost files.

▶Apply to broader data loss scenarios such as deletion, disk formatting, etc.

▶Work well with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.

Step 1. Install and launch MyRecover on the computer.

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

Step 2. After loading the disk, select the partition/disk that includes your needed files before data loss. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 3. You’ll see all the deleted files and other lost files after performing Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.


Step 4. Check the scanning results and select files you want to restore. Then “Recover x files” and save these recovered files in a new location.


Wrapping up

How to find a lost file on your computer? This comprehensive guide lists six methods for you. There’s no denying that MyRecover is the most efficient method among these solutions.

Besides, you’re supposed to back up your important files and folders in advance. Maybe this free backup software-AOMEI Backupper could save you from complicated backup steps using Windows features. So why not have a try?

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.