By Lora / Last update May 9, 2022

“How do I recover a deleted ZIP file? Any idea?”

ZIP file, as a kind of archive file, is fairly convenient. It uses a compressed format to save users’ storage space and makes it easier for files to transfer. Just like other file types, when dealing with them, accidental deletion is an unavoidable question. Moreover, even if users intentionally delete the file, there will be regrets.



I am looking for a FREE (at least as a time limited demo) recovery software that can find and recover a few deleted .zip/.rar files. Any idea? Thx.


- Question from Tom’s guide


Some users are wondering how to recover deleted ZIP files free, and some are looking for free software to do so. Don’t worry, this article aims to give some practicable solutions.

How to recover deleted ZIP files free?

How to recover zip files? Users' top goal is to figure out a practical way to recover lost ZIP files. If you've checked your Recycle Bin and it's empty, there are a few alternative options for Windows file recovery.

This section introduces three ways for free ZIP file recovery that have a higher success rate.

Method 1. Recover ZIP files via File History

File History, which was launched with Windows 8, is a good in-built application that can back up users' documents, music, images, videos, and other folders/files. If you've used this application to back up your disk files, free ZIP file recovery is a simple task. 

   An available backup is required to use this method.

Step 1. Start Control Panel, and click System and Security.


Step 2. Navigate to File History.


Step 3. Select Restore personal files.


Step 4. Select the ZIP files you want to recover, click the Recycle button to restore deleted ZIP files.


Method 2. Recover deleted ZIP files using Windows File Recovery

How to recover ZIP files? The method given above is fairly easy to carry out but maybe not that widely available because plenty of users does not have the habit of backup.

Here an official tool will be introduced: Windows File Recovery (WINFR). It is a command-line app, designed by Microsoft, which can recover deleted media files/office files/ZIP files, etc.

Ordinary users who do not have command-related expertise will have certain difficulties when using Windows File Recovery.

If you need a detailed explanation of modes, switches, and commands in using this tool, please refer to "How to use Windows File Recovery". Here we only give simple steps in case you’ll get confused.

Before using this tool, you need to check your File System first. Press Win+E to open This PC > right-click on the drive that contains the deleted ZIP files> click Properties.


PCs using NTFS File System could use both Regular Mode and Extensive Mode.   Decide which mode to use according to your specific situation and File System.

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

To decide which switch to use, refer to this chart.

Switches Definition 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. NTFS Segment​​​​​
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS Segment

Now, you could follow the steps below to perform free ZIP file recovery.  

The source drive and the target drive could not be the same. If you only have one, please connect an external hard drive.
This tool is available on PCs running Windows 10 and later.
Please make sure you have input the right commands.
If you meet the error: “is not recognized as an internal or external command”, please get help.

Step 1. Go to Microsoft Store, search for Windows File recovery, and click Get to download.


Step 2. Input Windows File Recovery in the Windows search box, select Run as administrator, then input the command line:

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

source-drive”: where you have deleted files;

destination-drive”: the place you want to store the recovered files;

mode”: recovery mode, basically including “Regular” & “Extensive”;

Here, for example, if you are going to recover deleted ZIP files from C: drive to D: drive, then the command goes like this:

winfr C: D: /regular /n *.zip


Step 3. Then a folder named “Recovery_date and time” will be created automatically at the destination. You will have successfully performed free ZIP file recovery.

Method 3. Recover deleted ZIP files using WinfrGUI

How to recover deleted ZIP files free? To recover deleted files using command is way too tough, you might be thinking. Confusing command lines, switches, hard to avoid mistakes in syntax…

“I just want a free & easy tool to recover ZIP files.” Some users are in urgent need of a free Windows file recovery tool. And luckily, there indeed is one. You could utilize WinfrGUI - a free data recovery tool with an intuitive interface.

It is a free tool that can also recover deleted files like ZIP /JPEG/MP3/MP4/DOCX, etc. Why not take advantage of WinfrGUI and free yourself from difficult commands? You could also use this tool to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11.

Now download WinfrGUI to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
Secure Download
This tool only supports Windows 10 and 11. 
Fully invoking the function of Windows File Recovery, it cannot offer a 100 percent success rate in file recovery.
When choosing Scan Mode, if you are not using NTFS, please select Deep Scan.
Advanced Settings are available if needed.

Step 1. Locate the partition where your ZIP files are deleted > choose a place to save the recovered ZIP files.


Step 2. Select a Scan Mode according to your File System and data loss situation. Quick Scan scans your drive fast, while Deep Scan can last for a while.


Step 3. Click Start Recovery to recover deleted ZIP files free.


Method 4. Recover deleted ZIP files with the original file format, name, and directory kept

If all these methods above cannot meet your needs, don't worry, you still have a great chance to get the deleted ZIP files back with a professional Windows data recovery utility.

When using Windows File Recovery, you may get tired of all the complex commands and syntax, switches, etc., to free you from the difficult data recovery procedures, you might as well try this professional software- AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows.

Not only offering an intuitive user interface, but it supports deleted data recovery with the filename, path, and the file format kept unchanged. In addition, it has more features and highlights:

Restore deleted ZIP files easily and efficiently

A Reliable and Efficient Windows Data Recovery Software

  • Support data recovery while scanning.
  • Enable to retrieve more than 200 types of data.
  • Scan the hard disk at a very high speed and recovery rate.
  • Perfectly work with Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1/Server.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows > select a location to start data recovery > click  Start Scan.


Step 2. The software will automatically scan the partition with advanced scanning methods and locate all the deleted and lost files.


Step 3.   Select the ZIP files you need > click Recover x files to restore them.


In this way, you could directly restore deleted ZIP files within 3 simple steps. In addition, it is feasible to recover data from other devices, like to achieve SD card data recovery using this software.

Bonus tips: Back up Windows data smartly

4 practicable methods on “How to recover deleted ZIP files free?” have been detailed in this post. You could recover deleted ZIP files via File History, using Windows File Recovery, or you might as well make use of an easy alternative – WinfrGUI.

No matter what methods you are using, to get all your files back is the priority. But speaking of which, preventing data loss by making backups is the best bet.

To avoid running into the same dilemma, you might as well use professional backup software to protect your data.

AOMEI Backupper could help you back up your drives and disks smartly. Also, you could separately back up your files using “Files Backup”.