By Stephanie / Last update December 22, 2022

Can I recover deleted items from my recycle bin?

  "I had downloaded songs from various sites and saved them in one of the folders under 'Library' on 'C:' drive of my Laptop.

However, this folder was accidentally sent to the Recycle Bin, and later on, the Recycle Bin was emptied. So anyone can guide me as to how I can restore these files? Since using software downloaded from any unknown site may contain a virus, I would like to avoid the same, as far as possible. Thanks.”

--From Microsoft Community

The Recycle Bin is essentially a storage place for removed files. Instead of being deleted from your computer right away, deleted files are first moved to the Recycle Bin, where they wait to be erased automatically or manually. If you empty the Recycle Bin or press the Shift + Delete keys to delete files, it means the files are permanently deleted from your computer.

There are several methods for recovering permanently deleted files from Recycle Bin on Windows 10. Keep reading to know the two free methods to recover files deleted from Recycle Bin without software.

How to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin without software?

Is it possible to recover files deleted from Recycle Bin without software? Yes, but it needs a few unusual steps to restore. After you empty the Recycle Bin, the storage space of the deleted files becomes available and allows other data to overwrite. So kindly stop using the computer if you want to find the permanently deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

It’s easy to find them back if you have backup files like File History. Otherwise, you could use cmd to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin.

Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin Windows 10 via File History

You could recover deleted files from Recycle Bin without software via File History. File History, a Windows built-in utility, creates incremental backups of files that could be restored if the files are deleted or lost accidentally. You can recover deleted files from backups in Windows 10.

When File History is turned on, it backs up files in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders regularly. Follow the procedures below if you have a File History backup drive set up.

Tips: If you haven’t turned on the File History, you could use command lines to recover permanently deleted files from Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Press the Windows key, and type “restore files” to open “Restore your files with File History”.

open-restore-files-with-file-history

Step 2. Check the folder where your deleted files are saved. Click the “Restore” button to recover Windows 10 files to the previous location.

restore-deleted-files

Alternatively, you could right-click the folder which includes the deleted files and select “Previous Versions”. According to the time, you could get the folder back to a previous date by clicking “Restore”.

previous-version-restore

Using CMD to recover shift deleted files without software

If you want to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin without software, you could try Microsoft’s official command-line app to restore data permanently emptied from Recycle Bin by using command prompts.

Microsoft released a command-line utility-Windows File Recovery in 2020 to help users recover deleted or lost files even emptied from Recycle Bin. It only supports Windows 10 2004 and later. However, it doesn't have a user graphic interface., which means you need to input specific CMD to recover deleted files . 

There are four different modes to use Windows File Recovery correctly: Regular, Extensive, Segment, and Signature. If you want to recover the files deleted from Recycle Bin, you need to recall the previously saved location and then use the command. The following is the basic command format of Windows File Recovery.

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

Step 1. Type “Microsoft Store” in the search box and open it. And then find “Windows File Recovery” and click “Get”.

microsoft-store-get

Step 2. After installing Windows File Recovery on your computer, type Windows File Recovery in the search box and select “Run as administrator”.

run-winfr-as-administrator

*View the solutions of “WinFR requires admin privileges to run.”

Step 3. Right-click the drive which saved the deleted files and select “Properties” to check the file system.

File system

Scenarios

Recommended mode

NTFS

Deleted recently

Regular

NTFS

Deleted a while ago

Extensive

NTFS

After formatting a disk

Extensive

NTFS

A corrupted disk

Extensive

FAT and exFAT

Any

Extensive

Step 4. There are some common switches to use. You could check them and their description in the following chart. To find more switches in the Windows File Recovery tutorial

Parameter / switch  

Description

Supported mode(s)

/n

Scans for a specific file by using a file name, file path, file type, or wildcards. For example: 

  • File name: /n myfile.docx
  • File path: /n /users//Documents/
  • Wildcard: /n myfile.*
  • /n *.docx
  • /n **
 

/y:

Recover specific extension groups, comma separated

Signature

/p:

Saves a log file of the recovery operation in a different location than the default location on the recovery drive (for example, D:\logfile).

All

/segment

Segment mode, recovery option for NTFS drives using file record segments

Segment

/signature

Signature mode, recovery option for all file system types using file headers

Signature

Step 5. For example, if you want to recover a zip file but you don’t know the detailed name from C: drive to E: drive, you could input the following command:

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

*View the solutions of "Winfr.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command".

Best Windows File Recovery alternative-MyRecover

If you are not familiar with command lines, it could be difficult to use Windows File Recovery to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin.  Therefore, you could try to use third-party Windows data recovery freeware-MyRecover.

MyRecover Free helps users get rid of complex command lines to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin. It has a friendly user interface. Users can easily restore lost and deleted data from HDD, SSD, external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, etc in Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11 and Windows Server. 

Download the freeware to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin now. 

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

Step 1. Select the partition where you stored the deleted files before and click "Start Scan".

select-location-to-scan

Step 2. The software will scan the partition quickly. You don't need to wait for the scanning process to complete. You can search the file names or use a filter to find the deleted files you want. 

scanning-drive

Step 3. Click Recycle Bin in the left panel, and select the deleted files you want. Click "Recover XX files" to save them to the desired location. 

select-recycle-bin-click-recover

Conclusion

If you want to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin without software, you could try to restore files with File History to restore your files and folders to a previous version or use Windows File Recovery to restore permanently deleted files from Recycle Bin with command lines. Comparatively, MyRecover is easier to operate for everyone than using Command Prompt.

Besides, to avoid further data loss, it’s suggested to make regular backups. You could use File History or Windows Backup, but it only backs up the files in C: drive. AOMEI Backupper, as a free Windows backup tool, could assist users in keeping all data safe.