[3 Solutions] How to Recover Deleted Folder from External Hard Drive

The solutions on how to recover deleted folder from external hard drive are given, including Recycle Bin and 2 recovery software, and you could choose the method that is suitable for your situation.


By Bryce / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can I restore deleted files from external hard drive?



Help! , I deleted an external hard drive folder in recent days, and after deleting, I realize some important files are in it. The folder is not in the Recycle Bin, and I also didn't make a backup. What can I do to retrieve my folder?

The external hard drive offers more extra space to save your computer files. If you experience a similar situation as above when you utilize this tool, don’t worry, the deleted external hard drive files can be recovered. You could read this post and pick an appropriate method to finish the recovery.

How to recover deleted folder from external hard drive

How to recover deleted folder from external hard drive for free? Here are 3 solutions to help you figure it out.

Solution 1. Recover deleted folder in external hard drive directly from Recycle Bin

The folder deleted by clicking Ctrl+D can easily recover from Recycle Bin. But if you empty the Recycle Bin or permanently delete the folder, you can turn to use the following methods.

Step 1. Double click Recycle Bin to open it.

Step 2. Locate the file you deleted, right-click it and click the Restore.

Recycle Bin

Solution 2. Using Windows File Recovery to retrieve deleted external hard drive folder

Windows File Recovery is a reliable CMD tool, in the same time, it means you should write the command line by yourself, which is difficult for computer novice.

This tool is available for Windows 10 and above. It can recover files from external/internal hard drives, USB flash drive, memory card, and so forth, but recovery on cloud storage and network file shares is not supported. If you persist to use it to restore your deleted folder, you can refer to the process below.

Firstly, you should learn the parameters that you will use in the command line, and the structure of command line is winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches].


You should choose the right mode according to the file system.


If you don't know how to view your file system, you can refer to this process: Click This PC > Right-click the source drive > Tap the Properties.

File History

Then, you ought to select the suitable switch depending on the mode.


Next, you could start to complete the recovery.

Step 1. Open Start menu, find and click Microsoft Store to download this freeware.

Step 2. Enter Windows File Recovery on the search bar, and click Get button.


Step 3. Open Windows File Recovery, and click Run as administrator.

Run As Administrator

Step 4. Type the command line into it, and press Enter.

Solution 3. [The most recommended] Utilizing AOMEI Recovery tool to recover deleted external hard drive folder

Why do I recommend this method the most? Because it makes up for the shortcomings of the previous four methods. The merits of MyRecover are listed.

♥ This software is available for Windows 11/10/8/7/Windows Server, and can recover data from SSD, HDD, memory card and so forth.

♥ With a graphical interface, users can recover deleted folder with a few mouse clicks.

♥ It applies to recover data under different scenarios, like permanent deletion, disk formatting, system crash, and so forth. 

♥ It can recover various files, like PPT, Word, Excel, Photos, Audios, Zip files and etc.

♥ It restores files very complete, including files’ names, formats, and paths.

Step 1. Click the button to download and install MyRecover, and the process of how to recover deleted files from external hard drive for free are shown as well.

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

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the drive where your excel file are deleted, and click Scan.


Step 3.  After Quick Scan&Deep Scan, the deleted folder will appear.


Step 4. Select a storage path to store the recovered file, and click on the Recover X files button to start recovery.


Further reading: recover deleted folder from internal hard drive with backup

If the folder is not deleted from the external disk but from the internal disk, there is a good chance that the deleted files already have a backup.

Recover deleted external hard drive folders from File History

File history allows you to regularly back up copies of your files in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Desktop folders, and it’s just feasible after you enable this feature. If you enable this feature, you can follow the process below to complete the recovery.

Step 1. Launch the Control Panel, and click the System and Security.

File History

Step 2. Click File History, and tap Restore your files with File History.

File History

Step 3. Find and right-click the Restore personal files on the left list.

File History

step 4. Locate your folder, and click Restore.

File History

When you want to change the destination location: Right-click Restore > Click Restore to > Select a path to save recovered folder.

File History

Restore deleted external hard drive folder with Windows Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore can only be used to create backups on the C drive. If  have made the backup on the C drive before deleting the folder, you can recover deleted folder from it at ease.

Step 1. Launch Windows menu and choose Control Panel > Click System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Backup and Restore

Step 2. Click on the Restore my files button on this page.

Backup and Restore

Step 3. Choose Browse for folder, and then select the folder that you want to recover.

Backup and Restore

How to back up your external hard drive files with backup tool?

Windows built-in tools cannot back up the data on the external hard drive, so if you want to back up your external hard drive data, I recommend you to use AOMEI Backupper. This software is available for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, and allows you to set a time(daily/weekly/monthly) to back up.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper. Then, launch it, click on Backup and select File Backup.

AOMEI Backupper

 Step 2. Click Add File or Add Folder to select the files/folders you want to backup.

AOMEI Backupper

Step 3.  Click the second bar to select a storage path to save the files, and click Start Backup.

AOMEI Backupper


That’s all about how to recover deleted folder from external hard drive for free. There are several ways for you to choose, but I highly recommend you to use the last one. MyRecover can greatly save your energy when you recover the files, and recover folder without any data loss.

Bryce · Editor
Bryce is an editor of AOMEI Technology, he covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He would like to spend all time on reaserching computer problems. He is a very cute boy.