How to Find Deleted Pictures on Hard Drive in Windows 11, 10?

How to find deleted pictures on hard drive in Windows 11/10? This article shares five practical solutions with you to resolve this issue.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can you retrieve deleted photos from a hard drive?

Pictures carry our precious feelings and memories of daily lives and careers. Most users prefer to save photos on the computer hard drive among storage devices. However, it also brings potential dangers for data loss because of accidental deletion, intentional deletion, disk formatted, etc.


I’ve saved hundreds of photos on my laptop. Several days ago, I deleted these photos by mistake. But I cannot find them in the Recycle Bin. Could you find deleted pictures on the hard drive and get them back? Thanks.


Are be bothered by a similar issue? If it happens to be your case, learn how to retrieve deleted pictures from hard drive below.

How to retrieve deleted pictures from hard drive?

Among these five methods, there is always a way for you to find deleted pictures on hard drive. If you haven’t emptied your Recycle Bin, go to the Recycle Bin and retrieve your needed pictures. Otherwise, you could use one of the last four solutions to recover permanently deleted photos.

A valuable backup that includes your needed images is an irreplaceable item for the 2nd and 3rd methods. The 4th method closely links to CMD. Naturally, you can also utilize one of the best software to recover the deleted files recommended by the final solution.

Way 1. Find deleted pictures on hard drive from the Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin could keep your deleted files for 30 days. If you haven’t performed “Shift + Delete” or emptied your Recycle Bin, you could get your desired pictures back within this period.

Step 1. Double click on the Recycle Bin on your Desktop to open it.

Step 2. Locate pictures you want to restore in the Recycle Bin.


Step 3. Right-click on your desired pictures and click the “Restore” button.


Way 2. Find deleted pictures on hard drive from File History

File History is a practical feature for Windows 8 and later users to create backups in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Desktop folders, and offline OneDrive files. Assume you have enabled File History by clicking Control Panel > System and Security > File History. After that, you can restore pictures from these backups even if these files are deleted, lost, or damaged.

Tips: It’s possible for you to recover photos from the external hard drive like the USB flash drive because it enables you to save backups on the external hard drive.

Step 1. Enter “Control Panel” in the search bar and open it. Then click “System and Security”.


Step 2. Click “File History” > “Restore your files with File History”.


Step 3. Click “Restore personal files”.


Step 4. Type the filenames of your needed pictures in the search bar. Then “Restore” them to the original location.


If you prefer to change a destination place, right-click “Restore” > “Restore to.” After that, you can go to the new location to check these recovered pictures.


Way 3. Find deleted pictures on hard drive through Previous Versions

Compared with the 2nd method, some of you are more willing to find deleted pictures on the hard drive through previous versions because it provides different backup versions for you to select. Moreover, this Windows feature cannot help you recover permanently deleted photos without turning on File History. After activating File History, you’ll get a full history of your files over time.

Step 1. Launch “Windows File Explorer” on the computer. Then locate the folder that includes your pictures before deletion.


Step 2. Right-click on your selected folder > “Properties”.


Step 3. Click “Previous Versions” and select a version you want to “Restore”.


Way 4. Find deleted pictures on hard drive with Windows File Recovery

As mentioned above, most users save photos on the computer hard drive. However, some specific users like photographers are more inclined to save pictures on the external hard drive (SD card or memory card). Therefore, it’s easy to see why these users have no accessible backups using the Windows feature.

In this case, you could try Windows File Recovery to recover the deleted/lost files from the local storage devices such as HDD, SSD, USB, SD card, and memory card. This powerful command-line software supports retrieving Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, ZIP, JPG, JPEG, PNG, etc. But Windows File Recovery only works with Windows 11/10.

Users need to recover files using CMD because there is no graphical user interface for you to interact. You’re supposed to select a comprehensive mode and some switches, and adjust the basic command format: winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches] with your selected mode and switches.

Please stop using your PC or other storage devices, and don’t add new data to it after deletion.
The source drive is different from the destination drive. The former drive saves pictures before deletion, and the latter drive stores retrieved photos.
Four modes (Regular, Extensive, Segment, and Signature) support NFTS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.
Check the file system of your hard drive: Click “This PC” > right-click on the source drive > “Properties.”   


Select a comprehensive mode based on the file system of your hard drive and the data loss scenarios.

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



 Select switches among the common switches below.



Supported mode(s)


Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.



Recover specific extension groups.



Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


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

NTFS Segment

Step 1. Click the “Get” button to download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store, then install it on your PC.


Step 2. Open” Windows File Recovery after installation.

Let’s perform how to retrieve the JPEG pictures from the C drive to the E drive.

the basic command format: winfr source drive: destination drive: [/mode] [/switches]

the adjusted command line: winfr C: E: /x /y :JPEG

Step 3. After typing the corresponding command line in the command prompt window, hit “Enter” to continue the recovery process. If you need, press the “Ctrl + C” keys to stop the process.

Way 5. Find deleted pictures on hard drive with MyRecover

How to retrieve deleted pictures from hard drive without effort? Maybe you can try out MyRecover. This reliable photo recovery software is a helpful assistant to save you from making backups beforehand or resembling CMD. More conveniently, it’s accessible for you to check the content of your deleted pictures by the original filename and format after recovery.

The following highlights could help you learn more about it.

Recover the deleted/lost files from SSD/HDD/USB and other storage devices.
Recover 200+ types of data such as Word, PPT, Excel, Photos, Audios, Videos, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.
Perform Quick Scan and Deep Scan together automatically.
Handle deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, and other data loss scenarios.
Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.   

Step 1. Install and run MyRecover on the computer.

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

Step 2. Select the partition/disk including your needed pictures before deletion. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 3. The tool will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically. Then you’ll see all the deleted files and other lost files.


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


In conclusion

How to find deleted pictures on hard drive? This detailed guide shows five ways to retrieve the deleted images. If you cannot locate your lost files, you could check your Recycle Bin first. If there’s no sign of your lost pictures in your Recycle Bin, another four solutions could be your better options.

To prevent data loss in the future, you’re supposed to make regular backups and update them in time using the Windows feature or professional backup software for Windows. For example, you can also utilize Backup and Restore to backup files and folders if you’re more familiar with this Window feature.

In this case, we’d like to introduce another handier freeware for you. That is the AOMEI Backupper. It helps you make a “File Backup,” “Partition Backup,” “Disk Backup,” and “System Backup” at ease. Meanwhile, incremental and scheduled backups are also allowed.

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.