How to Recover Missing Files in Windows [2022 Guide]

In this post, 5 useful methods with detailed steps are provided to let you know how to recover missing files with ease. If you need it, you can consider adopting some advise here.


By Zoey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I recover a file that disappeared?

Hi everyone, can anyone help me with this problem? The other day I saved a couple of files (notepad files, MS word and what not) in different folders on desktop. Then two days later, when I looked for them they disappeared in their folders. I checked the recycle bin and found nothing similar to my files. I tried opening recent option from MS word and it said ‘it was moved, renamed or deleted?’ It seems like the files saved on that same day are missing. Can anyone tell me what might be causing this and how to recover the files if possible? Thanks for your help in advance.

Windows users constantly edit and share their files on PC, which is very important for their studies, work and life. But often, as in the case above, the files on the user's computer disappear. So the user wants to know how to recover missing files. For this, the tutorial provides 5 solutions aimed at solving the question.

How to recover missing files: get a solution here

If you want to know how to recover missing files in Windows 10/11/8/7, here we prepared 5 different ways. Some of them are easy to operate while some are a little complex.

Beforehand: search for files in the Recycle Bin

Before using a tool or software to recover missing files, please check the Recycle Bin on your PC. If your files are there, things just get easier.

Just open Recycle Bin, and find your missing files to right-click on them. Then choose Restore on the pop-up menu.

Recycle Bin Restore

If you cannot find your missing files in the Recycle Bin, don’t worry, please refer to the 5 solutions as follow.

Solution 1. Recover missing files with a keyboard shortcut

If your missing files are deleted accidentally a few seconds ago, you can use a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Z keys to undo your operation. If something is wrong with your keyboard shortcut, you can find the location where your files are lost, then right-click on the blank part to choose Undo Move.

Undo Delete

Solution 2. Recover missing files using a CMD recovery tool

No matter if you want to know how to recover missing files in USB, or external hard drive, and other storage devices, you can try using CMD. Sometimes your missing files are just hidden so you cannot find them. CMD can help you to retrieve hidden files. Please scroll down to use Command Prompt to recover hidden files from USB, hard drive, SD card, etc.

1. Open the Windows search box and search for cmd. Locate Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

Run As Administrator

2. Input the command attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* and hit Enter. You can replace G with the drive letter of your storage drive.

Attrib Cmd

3. After the operation is done, your missing files will reappear in their original location.

Solution 3. Recover missing files from a backup

How to recover missing files in desktop? If you turn on the File History feature on your PC, you can find missing files from backups on it. File History is a backup tool built in Windows 10 and you can check if you enabled it on PC. Just go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History. If it shows turn off, it has been ON already.

Run Now File History

Then you can follow the steps below to recover missing files from a backup via File History:

1. Open the search box and locate Restore your files with File History, then click Open.

Open Restore File With File History

2. Find your missing files, and click on the Recycle icon.

Restore Deleted File

Or you can right-click on your files and choose Previous Versions, then you can get the files back to a previous date.

Previous Version Restore

Solution 4. Recover missing files via Windows File Recovery

If you think command line is not difficult to use, you can consider another command-line tool provided by Microsoft - Windows File Recovery. It can help you recover multiple types of files, including jpg, png, docx, xlsx, mp3, mp4, mov, and so on. Here are the detailed steps to use such a tool:

Before recover missing files with Windows File Recovery. you need to go to This PC and right-click on your drive where your files were missing. Choose Properties to see the File system.

Check File System

You need to know the general command line syntax to recover files via Windows File Recovery is winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches].

The mode is related to the file system above and you can refer to this table below:

Wfr Mode

And different switches have different meanings as follows:


After learning the above, you can recover missing files via Windows File Recovery according to the steps below:

1. Go to the Microsoft Store to Get Windows File Recovery.

Microsoft Store Get

2. Enter a command like: winfr C: D: /n \Users\ashe\pics\*.jpg

The Attrib Command

3. Press y to continue the recovery process. When it is done, you can check your files in the destination you set.

⇒ Tip: Since Windows File Recovery is a command-line tool without a user graphic interface, it is not easy to use. If you want an easier tool to recover missing files, you can consider switching to graphic user interface of Windows File Recovery - WinfrGUI, which can help you recover missing files with a few clicks on its clear interface.

Solution 5. MyRecover - Recover your missing files easily

If you want to know how to recover missing files from external hard drive/USB drive/SD card, etc, MyRecover is the easiest way to help you. There is no complicated operation and limitation so you can recover your missing files without effort. Compared with other recovery tools, MyRecover has many advantages:

Compatible with all Windows operating systems including Windows 11/10/8/7/Server.
Scan and recover 200+ types of files like Word, PPT, Excel, photos, videos, audios, emails, webpages, and compressed files.
Keep files with their original name, path, and format.
Support SSD/HDD data recovery.
Works the way as Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.

Then, you can click on the Download Software button and follow the easy 3-step guideline as follow to recover your missing files.

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

1. Hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan to scan it.

Select Partition To Scan

2. Then you can choose Deleted data to operate a Quick Scan. Or choose Other missing files to have a Deep Scan. And you can type the filename in the search box or use the Filter feature.

Search Files

3. After that, check the scanning result. Select a new location to store your recovered files. After that, click on the Recover X files button to recover your missing files.

Recover Lost Data

Final words

In this guide, we provide 5 ways to solve how to recover missing files for free. You can try recovering missing files with a keyboard shortcut, Windows File Recovery, Command Prompt, or File History. But if you want the easiest solution, MyRecover is the best choice for you. With the help of it, you can recover your missing files with a few clicks easily.

Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.