By Lora / Last update May 9, 2022

As the last hurdle for the computer to protect the files and data deleted by users, the Recycle Bin keeps the deleted files for quite a long time until the user has permanently deleted those data, which has redeemed a lot and avoided plenty of losses for users.


However, the storage space of the computer is limited. In order to ensure the running speed of the computer, some users also regularly clean the recycle bin.

After deleting some trivial files, users may find that they have deleted important files by mistake, such as some study materials, work data, contracts, etc., or some files that are not of economic value but are emotionally precious, such as family travel photos, graduation vlogs, etc.

Can I recover deleted files from Recycle Bin?

It is not difficult to imagine the frustration and regret of users when faced with the situations above. Then, is it possible to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin? If so, then how about when the Recycle Bin has been emptied?

Certainly yes. So this post is to help users who have a burning desire to recover deleted files and data to retrieve their important materials or precious memories. Follow these three methods to conduct Recycle Bin recovery, and to recover files from Recycle Bin after empty.

5 methods to perform Recycle Bin recovery

These three methods are applicable to two situations. First, the Recycle Bin has not been emptied, and second, it has been emptied already. Now let’s come straight to the point.

☞ Tip: You can recover deleted files from Recycle Bin directly because the operating system of your PC will remember your last operation. This feature is based on the condition that you did not turn off the computer before performing the "undo" action, if you shut down or restart the computer after deleting the file, the shortcut keys will not work.

Method 1. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin directly

Step 1. Double click Recycle Bin to open it.

Step 2. Locate the file you have just deleted.


Step 3. Right-click the file, then click Restore.


Then your file will come back to the location where it was before being deleted.

If you realized you have deleted something important immediately after you did so, and haven’t emptied the Recycle Bin, don’t touch anything, just try the shortcut “Ctrl+Z” to undo your deletion.

Method 2. Recycle Bin recovery with the previous version

If unfortunately, your Recycle Bin has been emptied, you can still try the following method to recover files from Recycle Bin after being empty with the previous version.

☞ Tip: Do not use your storage too much after deleting your valuable files or data to increase the possibility of recovering important files.

Step 1. Start Windows File Explorer on your PC.

Step 2. Then locate the folder which is used to save the deleted file.


Step 3. Right-click it and then click Properties  > Previous Version > select the version which is exactly the one before you delete it, then click Restore.


Then, congratulation, your file is back.

Method 3: Recycle Bin recovery from File History Backup

This method is also feasible in the situation where the recycle bin has been emptied. To recover files from Recycle Bin after empty, follow these steps.

☞ Tip: To try this method, a backup of your files is required. Things will go easy if you have made one. To make a backup regularly is highly recommended for your file and data security.

Step 1. Start Control Panel on your PC, then click System and Security.


Step 2. Go to File History.


Step 3. Select Restore personal files.


Step 4. Locate your deleted files, then click the Recycle icon to restore your deleted files.


Then your file will get retrieved to the location where it was before being deleted, you can check if it is restored in your folder.

Method 4. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin via Microsoft official tool

 If you don't have a backup to restore from, then how do you get files back from Recycle Bin? An official utility of Microsoft could be used. Windows File Recovery, a command-line app used to recover deleted or lost media/office/compressed files in Windows 10 2014 and later.

If you need an explanation of recovery modes & switches at length, please refer to "How to use Windows File Recovery". To use this utility, you need to check your File System first. 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.

Then, 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

And switches are also available to narrow your scanning range.

Switches Meaning 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
/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS

Now follow the steps to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin using Windows File Recovery.

The source and target drives must not be the same.
Please connect an external hard disk if you only have one.
Please double-check that you've entered the correct commands.

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


Step 2. Run Windows File Recovery as administrator, then input the command line: 

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.

If errors like Windows File Recovery stuck at 99% occur, get help from the troubleshooting guide.

How to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin free & easily?

However, this utility is pretty difficult for common users who do not possess any command expertise. For these users, how to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin without commands?

A good tool could be utilized to help you out - WinfrGUI. Since Windows File Recovery does not have a GUI, which makes it difficult for users to use, WinfrGUI offers a graphical user interface to help users easily get files back.

With this tool, you could even recover files from Recycle Bin after emptying. Now download WinfrGUI to enjoy an easy file recovery.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
Secure Download
WinfrGUI completely invokes Windows File Recovery's function. No guarantee of 100% success 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 which you have deleted your files from; choose a place to save the recovered 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. To scan the Recycle Bin only, go to Advanced Settings, and select the $Recucle Bin.


Step 4. Click Start Recovery to recover deleted files for free.


Method 5. Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin via a professional Windows data recovery app

Since Windows File Recovery requires command knowledge and cannot guarantee a success rate, it is a better bet for users to choose a professional Windows data rescue tool - AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows. This tool is equipped with efficient and useful scanning methods, locating deleted or lost data at a very high speed. Also, it possesses lots of shining points:

★Software shining points:
Restore deleted and missing files with a high success rate.
Retrieve 200+ types of data.
Compatible with Windows OS from Windows 7 SP1, 8, to Windows 11.
Support data recovery during the scanning process.

Applying to all data loss scenarios, it can easily detect your deleted files in the Recycle Bin. Now don't hesitate to download and enjoy its features.

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

Step 1. Install and run the software > select a location to start data recovery > click  Start Scan.


Step 2. The software will automatically Quick Scan and Deep Scan your partition and list all the deleted and missing files.


Step 3. Go to $Recycle Bin folder > select the files you need > click Recover x files to restore them.


Also, this tool could assist users to get data back from other devices, like performing SD card data recovery


In this post, three ways to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin are introduced. You can choose a practicable approach based on the problem you are experiencing and the specific situation. Hope it will be of help to you!

By the way, data security is closely related to every user. In order to keep your data safe and avoid loss due to the accidental deletion of important files, it is highly recommended that you regularly back up important files;

What's more, saving copies of important files on different storage devices, and using the "Shift+Delete" shortcut cautiously can reduce the data loss risk.