How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Hard Drives in Windows?

How to recover permanently deleted photos from hard drives? This post lists three targeted solutions and other data loss prevention tips for you.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can photos be recovered after permanently deleted?


Hello! I deleted with Shift + Delete a few files on the desktop and maybe I accidentally marked them with my folder (but I don’t think so). In this folder, I had a few folders, with a lot of things like my photos. Is it possible for me to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10?

- A user from Microsoft

People often use pictures to explain certain obscure concepts or important matters. It’s undeniable that image files are indispensable to our work and life.

If you’re wondering how to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10, maybe this post can save you from data loss.

Three ways to recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10

It’s impossible for you to recover pictures from the Recycle Bin if you’ve emptied your Recycle Bin or executed the “Shift + Delete” performance. At this point, how to recover permanently deleted photos from hard drives?

Those users who have developed good habits of making regular backups can restore the permanently deleted photos from valuable backups.
On the contrary, you can take advantage of data recovery software to perform photo recovery.   

Method 1. Recover permanently deleted photos from Backup and Restore

Let’s begin with Backup and Restore because this free feature can work with Win7 and above. Besides file and folder backup, Backup and Restore also supports System image backup. Please refer to the following steps to find deleted pictures on hard drives.

Step 1. Open “Control Panel” by searching it on your PC. Then click “System and Security” and select the “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” option.


Step 2. Click the “Restore my files” button.


Step 3. Please select “Browse for files” to find your permanently deleted photos.


You can restore your selected image files to the original location or to a new location.

Method 2. Recover permanently deleted photos through File History

Released in the Win8.0 operating system, File History can backup Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, Desktop folders, and OneDrive offline files saved on your PCs.

Please ensure you’ve enabled File History before. Otherwise, you cannot restore the deleted, lost, or damaged original files from backups. Not to mention restoring previous versions of Excel files to recover overwritten Excel files in Windows.

 Tips: File History allows you to save backups on the external hard drive or cloud drive.

These steps depict how to recover permanently deleted photos from hard drives via File History.

Step 1. Open “Control Panel” by entering it in the search bar and click the “System and Security” option.


Step 2. Select the “Restore your files with File History” option under the File History tab.


Step 3. Click the “Restore personal files” button.


Step 4. If you want to save your selected photos to the previously saved path, click the “Restore” button.


If you want to change the saved path, right-click on “Restore” and select the “Restore to” option.

Method 3. Recover recently/permanently deleted photos with photo recovery software

How to recover permanently deleted photos from hard drives without backups? As stated earlier, you can seek help from trustable photo recovery software for Windows.

If you’re still worried about changing the file format after the recovery process, MyRecover can relieve your worries. Because it can retain the original format for the deleted/lost data.

Moreover, you’re supposed not to write new data to your storage devices after data loss because any written performance will overwrite the deleted/lost photos.

Besides HDD, you can use it to recover the deleted/lost files from portable devices such as USB and SD cards.
Recover 200+ types of data: Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Videos, Audio, Emails, Webpages, Compressed files, etc.
During scanning, you can search your desired photos by entering their filenames in the search bar or wait to see all the deleted and other lost files on your computers.  
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.

Don’t hesitate to perform the deleted photo recovery on Windows 10 by downloading it now!

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

Step 1. After loading the disk, hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


Step 2. Search or wait to view all the deleted and other missing files of your selected disk/partition after running Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files/Other missing files folder, and select the image files you prefer. Then click “Recover x files” and store them in a new location.


Bonus tips: How to prevent data loss for Windows?

How to recover permanently deleted photos from hard drives? In brief, use backups or data recovery software. Whichever way you go, please avoid adding new data after data loss. Then you can recover your deleted/lost files as much as possible.

Please think twice before executing any permanent deletion performance like emptying your Recycle Bin.

What’s more, backups are the best hedge against data loss. So why don’t you make regular backups using free Windows features or free backups software-AOMEI Backupper?

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.