Tutorial: How to Recover Data without Backup [3 Options]

This post mainly gives you three effective methods on how to recover data without backup. If you’ve been bothered by this issue, find the way that suits you the most in this post.


By Ellie / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can I recover data without backup?

“I have mistakenly deleted some files on my computer. I know I can restore data from a backup. But as long as I know, I haven’t made any backups on my computer as I don’t know how to back up files. So can I recover data without backup?”

Luckily, you are able to recover data even if it has not been backed up. With the three methods offered here, you can get back your data with ease.

How to recover data without backup [three options]

If you happen to delete some of your files by mistake, here you’ll have three options on how to recover data without backup.

Option 1. Get back data directly from the Recycle Bin

The first and also the most direct way to recover data without backup is to recover them from Recycle Bin.

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

Step 2. Look for the files that you just deleted. Restore these files by right-clicking them. Your files will then be restored to the location where they were before they were deleted.

Click Restore

Option 2. Recover lost data using CMD

The second option to recover data without backup is to use Windows File Recovery, a command-line utility of Microsoft, which allows you to recover data using the Command Prompt.

Preparation work before using Windows File Recovery:

To use this tool, check out your File System first. Go to This PC > right-click on the drive that contains the data you want to restore before > click Properties.

Check File System SD Card

 In addition, you need to use recovery mode and switches to get back your files. To decide which mode to use, refer to this table.

File system Scenarios Mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS Corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

Switches are used to filter the scanning range, thus can save the scanning time.

Switches Meaning Supported mode(s)
/n Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recover specific extension groups. Signature
/k Recovers system files. NTFSSegment
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFSSegment

Step 1. Download and install Window File Recovery on your computer from Microsoft Store and then open it.

Install Windows File Recovery

Step 2. Open Powershell or Command Prompt (run as administrator). In the Command Prompt, enter commands in the following command format:

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

For example, if you need to recover deleted pdf files from F: drive (the external hard drive) to D: drive, then the command will be like:

winfr F: D: /regular /n *.pdf

Winfr Regular External Hard Drive Files


  • The tool is only compatible with Windows 10 versions 2004 and up.
  • The results of Windows File Recovery are unpredictable. Some of your information might not be recoverable.

Using Windows File Recovery appears to be quite difficult for those without command-line experience. As a result, WinfrGUI was created to assist users in resolving the problem. With a graphical user interface, users can experience all the functions from Windows File Recovery easily.

Option 3. Restore data after formatting via data recovery tool

If your data was lost after you have formatted one of your drives, you can use professional data recovery software such as MyRecover to recover data from a formatted drive effortlessly. It allows you to recover over 200 types of data, including photos, videos, PDFs, Words, PPTs, Excels, and others, with a high success rate and rapid scanning speed.

Step 1. Download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer.

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

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the  formatted drive from which you want to recover your data. Click Scan.

Select Partition to Scan

Step 3. Then the scanning process will start automatically. You don’t need to wait for the process to complete if you find the data you want to recover.

Scan Lost Data

Step 4. Select the files you want to restore. Click Recover xx files.

Recover Lost Data

How to recover data with backup [three options]

For your information, we also introduce how to recover data with backup in this section.

Option 1. Restore data using the Backup and Restore utility

The first option to recover data with backup is to use the Backup and Restore utility provided by Microsoft.

Step 1. Navigate here: Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Click on Restore my files to selectively recover permanently deleted files. You can also choose Restore all users’ files to get all deleted files back.

Restore My Files from Windows Backup

Step 2. Search for your deleted files by using the Browse for files or Browse for folders option.

Restore with Windows Backup

Step 3. Choose a location to save the backup, select your files and click Restore to recover them.

Option 2. Use File History to restore data

If you have turned on File History to back up your files, then you can restore your lost files using this service.

Step 1. Input Control Panel in the Windows search bar, and start it.

Open Control Panel

Step 2. Click System and Security.

System and Security

Step 3. Click File History.

File History

Step 4. Click Restore personal files.

Restore Personal Files

Step 5. Select the files you need to recover and then click the Recycle button.

Restore Deleted File

Option 3. Backup and restore data via AOMEI Backupper

The final option for you is to use the free professional backup and restore software AOMEI Backupper, which allows you to back up all your data in just a few simple clicks and then restore files from backup whenever you want.

Part 1. Data backup

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper for Windows on your computer. 

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Under the Backup tab, select the Disk Backup option.

disk backup

 Step 3. The Task Name can be set to help you distinguish backups from each other. Click Add Disk to choose the disk.

Add Disk

Step 4. Select a location for the disk image by clicking the folder-shaped button. You can create a disk-to-disk backup, or backup to a USB flash drive, CD/DVD, NAS device, or network drive, among other options.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. Click Start Backup to carry out disk backup and wait until the operation is complete. Click Finish to exit the interface.

Backup Finish

Part 2. Data restore

Step 1. Click Restore and then Select Task.

Select Task

Step 2. Choose the backup containing all the data you need and then click Next.

Select Image

Step 3. Select files or folders you want to restore and then click Next to continue.

Select Folders Files

Step 4. Select Restore to original location or Restore to a new location to store the files. Then, click Start Restore to restore files from backup.

Restore to Original Location

Bonus Tips: How to recover iPhone data without backup

Is it possible to recover deleted data from an iPhone without a backup? The answer is a resounding YES! Let’s look at how to recover data without backup on iPhone using the professional iPhone data recovery tool AOMEI Phone Data Recovery.

Download FreewareiOS 10 and later
Secure Download

Step 1. Download, install, and launch AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS on your PC. Connect your iPhone to the computer properly.

Connect iOS Device

Step 2. Then click Scan Now.

Start Scan Now

Step 3. All recoverable data will be listed in the left column. Select the types of data you need, for example, go to Photos, select the photos you want, then click Recover.

Click Recover


This post mainly gives you three options on how to recover data without/with backup respectively. Besides, a professional iPhone data recovery tool is also introduced in case you need to recover lost data from your iPhone/iPad/iPod. In a word, no matter whether you admit it or not, backup has played a great role in ensuring data safety. Therefore, back up your important data in case any unexpected occasion happens.  

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.