9 Effective Ways to Recover Deleted Files from Recycle Bin

With 9 effective methods, you can easily recover deleted files from Recycle Bin in Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11, even after empty. Besides, you still can enjoy tips to prevent loss in it.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can you recover deleted files from Recycle Bin?

The Recycle Bin keeps all the deleted files from local disk until users empty the Recycle Bin. So you can easily recover files deleted from Recycle Bin. But if you empty it or permanently delete files to get more space?

"I have deleted 2GB from my documents by mistake. I only deleted the folder and its content from my documents then emptied the recycle bin. Is there any way to recover deleted files from recycle bin please?"

Recover Deleted Files from Recycle Bin

After emptying Recycle Bin or permanently deleting files, you may find the deleted files not in Recycle Bin. It does not matter, you still can recover deleted files. Because the permanently deleted files were just labeled with a "deleted" tag, but not immediately removed from your device. You need to stop using this drive and not overwrite it. And this article will introduce you to 9 effective methods as well as tips to prevent loss and better use Recycle Bin.

How to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty

Recovering deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty will be more difficult and more demanding, for example, some of methods in the following requires you have a backup copy of your deleted files. However, even if you don't, it is still possible to recover with data recovery software.

Method 1. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin with Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is a free software to recover deleted files Recycle Bin even after empty. It applies to Windows 10 2014 and later and requires you to learn more about its recovery modes & switches at length. Please refer to "How to use Windows File Recovery".

✍ Overview of recovery mode corresponding to scenarios and file system:

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



Corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



✍ Overview of switches to narrow your scanning range:



Supported mode(s)


Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.



Recover specific extension groups.



Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment

✍ Steps to check file system of your drive:

Press Win+E to open This PC > right-click on the drive where you have deleted files from> click Properties.


Both Regular Mode and Extensive Mode are available on PCs that use the NTFS File System. If you're not utilizing the NTFS file system, you can utilize WINFR's Extensive Mode.

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


Step 2. Run Windows File Recovery as administrator, then input the command line based on syntax

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

For example, if you need to recover zip files from the Recycle Bin under C: drive to E drive, you need to input commands like:

winfr C: E: /extensive /n \C:\Recycler\*.zip


Step 3. Wait for the recovery to complete. Then a folder named "Recovery_(date and time)" will be generated automatically in the destination.


Method 2. Restore deleted files from Recycle Bin using MyRecover

If you are not familiar with commands, which requires a certain level of expertise, MyRecover will be an easy and good choice. It has an intuitive interface, so all users can user it smoothly.

Easy to operate: It will automatically start a quick scan and then deep scan automatically to get your deleted files in simple clicks.
High success rate and fast speed: It is able to recover all files quickly as long as the deleted files can be scanned.
Convenient: The deleted files will remains its original file names, format and path after recovery.
Rich file recovery types: It helps to recover deleted images, audios, videos, documents, etc and more than 200 types deleted from Recycle Bin. 
All-inclusive: It applies to multiple data loss scenarios, such as, deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, and more in Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server.  

Step 1. Install and run MyRecover - a powerful data recovery software to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 2. The software will automatically start a quick scan and deep scan on the selected partition and find all the deleted and missing files. You can search for deleted files or folders, or use the filter (Type, Data Modified, and Size) to target your wanted data. ​

  • Type: It will contain all the file types in the local drive, such as, images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
  • Data Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom. To recover deleted files at a specific time period, try the last option.
  • Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.


Step 3. Check the Recycle Bin folder and click Recover files to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty in Windows 10 or 11. Or you can select specific files to recover. It will show the number of files and file size to recover.



  • You don't need to wait for the scanning process to complete. If you find files deleted in Recycle Bin, you can select it and restore.
  • Don’t recover deleted files to original location. Doing so will overwrite the space where the deleted files were stored and cause the recycle bin recovery to fail.
  • Besides, you still can use it to perform SD card data recovery or recovery on other storage like a USB flash drive.
  • To recover unlimited files, you need to upgrade MyRecover to the professional or technician edition.

Method 3. Recycle Bin recovery with the previous version

Except for data recovery software, you still can restoring previous versions of files or folders if you empty the Recycle Bin regularly. It requires you to enable system restore and have available system restore points.

Step 1. Start File Explorer/This PC. Locate the folder which is used to save the deleted file.


Step 2. Right-click it and then select Properties > Previous Version.

Step 3. Select the folder version which is exactly the one before you delete it, and click Restore to restore deleted files to previous version.


Tip: This method also helps to recover deleted Word documents after permanent deletion.

Method 4. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty using File History

If you have created a copy of your deleted files with file history, you can easily recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty in Windows 10 or 11. If not, nothing will be found.

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security and click File History.


Step 2. Select Restore personal files. It will open file history recovery window.


Step 3. Click the left arrow to locate your deleted files, and click the Restore to original location icon to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin.



Method 5. Restore deleted files from Recycle Bin with Backup and Restore

Like File History, Backup and Restore is a built-in Windows backup utility to help you backup and restore files. It was released in Windows 7 and later kept in Windows 8, 10, and 11 with new name - Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Try it if you create a file backup in advance.

Step 1. Navigate to Control Panel > System and Security and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Then, click Restore my files.

Restore My Files

Step 2. In the Restore Files window, you can search or browse for files and folders to restore.

  • Search: type part of the name of files and select the deleted files to restore.
  • Browse for files: navigate to the folder containing deleted files from Recycle Bin and select it. Then, click Add Files.
  • Browse for folders: select the entire folder with deleted files.  

Restore Files

Step 3. Select a location to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin. You can choose original location or browse to new location. Then, click Start Restore.

Method 6. Restore deleted files from Recycle Bin with OneDrive

Windows 10 comes with cloud backup service - OneDrive and many users use it to backup local folders to OneDrive. If you are one of them, try it to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty.

Step 1. Go to https://onedrive.com/ and log in with your Microsoft OneDrive account.

Step 2. Navigate to the folder containing deleted files. Select the file you want to restore and click the Download button to retrieve deleted file from Recycle Bin.


Tip: To restore multiple files, select all of them and click the Download button at the top.

Method 7. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty using command prompt

If your deleted files is in a hidden folder, you can use attrib command to display hidden folders and restore it.

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and select it with administrator priority.

Step 2. Type chkdsk /f C:  and press Enter. It will automatically scan disk errors and fix the error it found.

Chkdsk F

Note: C: is the drive letter for drive containing deleted files in Recycle Bin. Please replace it with your own.

Step 3. Type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D C:*.* and press Enter to display hidden folders with deleted files.


How to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin before empty

If you still don't empty Recycle Bin, please try the following two methods to restore deleted files easily and quickly.

Method 1. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin using Ctrl + Z

If you just removed unwanted files in File Explorer or other file managers and now you repent, you could press the Ctrl+Z key to revoke the deletion. It is used across the entire Windows system to undo the last change.

Step 1. Open File Explorer. Press and hold the Ctrl key and press the Z key.


Step 2. Release both keys. It will restore files deleted accidentally.

Step 3. Repeat the previous steps if you want an earlier version.

Note: This only works before restarting and on a local drive. If you removed a file from a flash drive, please get help to undo the flash drive delete.

Method 2. Restore deleted files from Recycle Bin directly

If you still don’t empty the Recycle Bin or permanently delete files in it, you can directly restore files deleted from Recycle Bin. Or the deleted files are still in the recycling period (1 day, 14 days. 30 days, and 60 days).

Step 1. Double-click Recycle Bin icon to open it.

Step 2. Locate the deleted files in Recycle Bin. 

Step 3. Right-click these files and click Restore to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin to their original location. Or navigate to the Manage tab and click Restore the selected items.


After recycle bin recovery, go to the original location of deleted files and check if all of them are lying there.

How to Avoid Data Loss in Recycle Bin Effectively

Recycle Bin is a tempera storage to store deleted files on local disk and allows users to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin if you don’t empty it. If you don’t want to lose data in it, please follow the following tips:

  • Maintain your system drive regularly. The primary Recycle Bin folder is stored on system drive, so if it’s physical damaged, you will lose access to Recycle Bin folder.
  • Keep more space for Recycle Bin. Windows only reserves a certain amount of storage space for Recycle Bin and the deleted files will not be added to Recycle Bin if it exceeds the specified space.
  • Don’t use your storage device heavily after deleting files in Recycle Bin until you recover them.
  • Create a backup copy of your important data. The best way to keep all the data on it is to create a system image backup in Windows 10 or 11 with a free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard.

File Backup

  • Don’t use system cleanup until necessary. Performing a system cleanup using Disk Cleanup or other tools will empty Recycle Bin, which increase the difficult to recover deleted files from it.
  • Keep antivirus software turn on. If your system is infected with virus or malware, you will lose access to your files. This will make the deleted files more difficult to recover.
  • Use a UPS. UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is a backup power supply that provides emergency power during a temporary power outage. This will leave you some time to save your data to prevent file corruption.

How to Make Better Use of Recycle Bin

  • Enable deletion confirmation. Right-click the Recycle Bin icon and select its Properties option. Then, select the General tab and check the Display delete confirmation dialog option. Save the changes and leave the Properties window.

Deletion Confirmation

  • Be sure the option “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted” is not checked in the Recycle Bin Properties window
  • Allocate more space for Recycle Bin. Go to the Recycle Bin Properties window, check Customize Size and modify its value to a larger one. Click OK and Apply.
  • Change retention period to longer. By default, Windows keeps files in the Recycle Bin for 30 days or until its space is exceed. You can change it to longer by clicking System > Storage > Change how we free up space automatically and selecting a longer option.

Change How We Free Up Space Automatically

  • Show or Hide Recycle Bin. Click Start > Settings > Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings. Then, select Recycle Bin and click Apply.

Recycle Bin

  • Don’t use shortcut keys (Shift) to delete files. If you delete files using Shift key, the files will be permanently deleted instead of being moved to Recycle Bin.

Frequently asked questions about Recycle Bin recovery

✍ How to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty

There are many ways to restore deleted files after empty Recycle Bin, such as, previous version, attrib command, different backup software, data recovery software, etc. Please note the backup software requires you to make a duplicate copy before you delete these files.

✍ Where do deleted files go after emptying the Recycle Bin?

If you empty Recycle Bin and deleted files in it, these files are still physically exist on your local disk. If you overwrite the space occupied by deleted files, it will be more difficult to recover your data unless you backup it or have a powerful data recovery software.

✍ Is the Recycle Bin permanent?

The answer is Yes, and the Recycle Bin folder remains permanently on your Windows system. All of deleted files will be moved to the Recycle Bin. And it will be kept within 30 days or until the space is exceed.  

✍ How to undo emptying the Recycle Bin?

The easiest way to undo deleted files in Recycle Bin is to use a backup software, such as File History, Backup and Restore (Windows 7), AOMEI Backupper Standard, etc. The key is you create a backup copy of the deleted files. Refer to backup files to external hard drive.

✍ Why can't I find a deleted file in Recycle Bin?

If you cannot find the deleted files in Recycle Bin, it may be because you empty the Recycle Bin, permanently delete files, or set the option to remove files immediately instead of moving Recycle Bin, etc.

✍ Does Recycle Bin have a history?

Recycle Bin has a history to track which documents has been deleted or restored and the users who do these actions, and the date and time. On the ribbon, click Engagement | History and Settings. Then, check Recycle Bin and click OK under Category.


This article introduces you to 9 effective methods to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, even after empty. It also offers you tips to prevent loss in Recycle Bin and better use it.

Among them, the best way to prevent loss is to create a file backup with a reliable backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard. It still allows you to run backup task automatically. And in advanced editions, you can even delete old backup images to free up more space for backup disk.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.