[5 Options] How to Retrieve Deleted Documents on Windows and Mac

This post mainly lists 5 available options for you on how to retrieve deleted documents on Windows or Mac respectively. The options also work for those who didn’t save the document. Choose one of the options according to your situation.


By Ellie / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How can I retrieve deleted documents?

“I accidentally deleted my Word document on Windows 10 desktop. I search it on my Recycle Bin but there is nothing. I have no idea what can I do. I wrote for a long time. Is there any way to retrieve the deleted documents?”

3 ways to retrieve deleted documents on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

When we accidentally delete or forget to save some files, documents, or photos, etc. we would check the Recycle Bin to recover firstly. However, some users complain that they could not find the deleted documents from there. Under the circumstance, it must be extremely frustrated for every individual, especially when we’re in a hurry. Now, let’s figure out how to retrieve the deleted documents on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7.

Way 1. Find the deleted documents in Microsoft Office

How to recover deleted files on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7? Actually, there are many types of documents, such as PPTX files, Excel or Word. Here in this part, we'll take a Word document as an example to achieve the goal. Keep reading!

Step 1. Open a new Word document and click “File”.

Step 2. Click “Options” and then select “Save”. You will find the AutoRecover file location.

Auto Recover File Location

Step 3. Copy this file path and open it in File Explorer to check the files.

Way 2. Recover deleted documents via Windows File Recovery

If you didn’t find your lost Word document in Microsoft Office, then you could use another tool, Windows File Recovery, which is developed by Microsoft and can help you recover your deleted document and retrieve your lost files.

But pay attention that the tool is only working with Windows 10 versions 2004 and later. And it might not recover all the documents. Now follow me to know how to recover deleted files in Windows 10, 11.

Step 1. Download and install Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Store Get

Step 2. Check the File System of disks, right-click on the source drive saving your lost documents before the deletion. Then click “Properties”. 

Check File System

Step 3. When the installation and the check are completed, search “cmd” in the search box and then click on “Run as administrator” to open it.

Step 4. The basic command format for data recovery on Windows File Recovery is winfr source-drive: destination-folder:  [/switches]

Enter Winfr Source Drive

Step 5. Run a search in regular mode. Suppose your deleted documents are called “FileRecovery”, and you want to recover the specific document from C: drive to E: drive, then you could run the following command (replace “users” with your username on PC):

winfr C: E: /n \Users\Documents\ FileRecovery.docx

Step 6. After that, input “Y” when you are asking to view the files.

Step 7. Now go to the “E” Drive to see your deleted documents.

Note: If you don’t want to be restricted by the complicated command line or be afraid not all your documents come back, you could use WinfrGUI to help achieve the goal.

Way 3. Retrieve deleted document with AOMEI Data Recovery[Most Recommended]

If you can’t find your Word document in Microsoft Office or the File Recovery is too confusing for you, then why not choose a third-party software for data recovery that can let you easily handle and reach the goal. MyRecover, an easy-operated and professional software that allows you to recover the permanent or accidentally deleted documents.

 Compared to Windows File Recovery, AOMEI Data Recovery is compatible with many kinds of Windows versions, including Windows 11, 10, 8, 7
The operation is fairly easy, and the interface is kind of user-friendly. You could recover your data with a few clicks.
 Apart from documents, it’s available for various types, such as deleted PPT, images, files, Web pages and so on.

Click on the blue button and enjoy it with me.

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

Step 1. Download and install MyRecover on your Windows computer and choose the partition where the deleted MS Office files were stored before. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

Select partition to Scan

Step 2. The scanning process will start with a quick scan and then a deep scan to find more missing files. You could perform data recovery during the scanning and you don't need to stop the scan.

Scan Lost Data

Step 3. Tick the Deleted files and click the button "Recover files" to save the recovered the deleted documents. 

Recover Lost Data

2 ways to get back deleted documents on Mac

After figuring out how to retrieve deleted documents on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7, now let’s learn how to retrieve a deleted Word document on Mac. Usually, if you just deleted it for a while on your Mac, you could undo the operation. And you can also get them back from the Trash, but if the documents are missing, these 2 ways below may suit you well.

Way 1. Restore deleted documents on Mac through Time Machine Backup

If you have enabled Time Machine backup, you can recover deleted data on Mac from a recent backup even if the trash bin has been emptied. This method is useless if no backup was previously created.

Step 1. On your Mac, open Time Machine on the desktop on Mac.

Step 2. You can find the specific documents you want to restore using the onscreen up and down arrows to locate them. Then you can preview it by pressing Space Bar.

Step 3. Finally, click the "Restore" button, and then the deleted file will be returned to its original location. 

Restore on Mac

Way 2. Get back deleted documents through Terminal

Another excellent option is using Terminal, which allows you to recover deleted documents without the software.

To restore deleted files on Mac via Terminal, follow these steps:

Step 1. Navigate to "Finder" > "Applications" > "Utilities" and  double-click "Terminal".

Choose Terminal on Mac

Step 2. Type command cd.Trash and press the "Return" key on your Mac (xxx means the name of the deleted documents).

Step 3. Input "mv xxx../" and hit "Return".

Step 4. Type "Quit" in the Terminal to exit the Terminal window. 

Run Command

Then, you can bring back lost data and open it easily.


In this guide, we mainly talked about how to retrieve deleted documents on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 and Mac. On Windows, we could restore documents in Microsoft Office, and retrieve them from Windows File Recovery on Windows 10. More importantly, if you can’t find files in these 2 ways or your PC is Windows 10 earlier version, then it will be extremely helpful to use AOMEI Data Recovery. On Mac, the documents can be recovered by using Time Machine and Terminal.

Data loss is kind of common in the modern world, and we could encounter this kind of situation every time and everywhere, such as the breakdown of PC, unsaved documents and so on. Therefore, it seems that backup your computer with AOMEI Backupper is necessary and important.

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