How to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10 And 11 (10 Ways)

Accidentally delete an important file? Emptied Recycle Bin? No problem, there are 10 effective methods to help you recover deleted files in Windows 10 or 11.


By Lora / Updated on March 14, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

If you delete files by pressing Shift + Delete, it means that you can't recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin. Similarly, it's hard to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty. Both of these scenarios makes data recovery more difficult, but not impossible.

To recover as much data as possible, you need to stop using the drive containing the deleted files and take immediate steps to recover them. In this article, I will show you 10 ways to recover deleted files in Windows 10, 8, 7, as well as Windows 11.

Recover Deleted Files Windows 10

How to recover deleted files in Windows 10

No matter you delete files from a local disk, empty the Recycle Bin, or permanently delete files, this guide helps you to recover deleted files in Windows 10, 8, 7 and 11. There are some effective ways that you can try, including built-in tools and third-party software.

▶ Option 1. Recover deleted files in Windows 10 without software

If you use the “Delete” shortcut to delete files, they will be moved to Recycle Bin at first and keep for a certain period. Before you manually empty it or it meets the size limit, you can restore deleted files in Windows 10 from there.  

Step 1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon to open it and locate the deleted files in the Recycle Bin folder.

To quickly find your files, right-click the blank space and select the “View” option and select “Details”. It will show file name, original location, date deleted, etc.


Or you can search Recycle Bin for your deleted files.

 Step 2. Right-click on deleted file and click “Restore”to recover deleted files in windows 10 from Recycle Bin.


✦ To restore multiple files, hold down the “Ctrl” key and select the files you want to restore.
✦ The deleted files will be recovered to the original location. You can move it to other locations if you want.
✦ You may find the deleted files not in Recycle Bin sometimes. This may be because you empty the Recycle Bin manually, the deleted files were too large, or it was stored on a portable device.

▶ Option 2. Recover permanently deleted files with Windows File Recovery

Microsoft also provides users with data recovery software - Windows File Recovery to restore deleted files (eg: photos, documents, videos, etc) in Windows 10 for free. It’s challenging for non-technician users and easy to make mistakes. Because it is based on a command line and requires you to learn the syntax, recovery mode, and switches of it. For non-technician users, try WinfrGUI, it fully invokes Windows File Recovery (Microsoft command-line app) to restore deleted files with a graphical user interface, letting you recover deleted files only in a few clicks.

The syntax:

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


The recovery mode corresponding to different file systems and scenarios:

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



corrupted disk





The switches of winfr:



Supported mode(s)


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



Recovers specific extension groups.



Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Segment mode; recoversfiles under NTFS drives using file recordsegments.



Signature mode; recoversfiles under all file system types using fileheaders.



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

NTFS Segment

Step 1. Open theStoreapp andsearch for “Windows File Recovery”.Then, click“Install” to get it and launch it.


Step 2. Open Powershell or CMD with administrator priority. Type the command suitable for your situation and type Y to start the file recovery. Below are x examples:

To recover files from C: drive toafolder on D: drive:

Winfr C: D: /regular /n \Users\\Documents\

To recover PDFfilesand Word documents from C: drive to afolder on D: drive:

Winfr C: D: /regular /n *.pdf /n *.docx

To recover files with the string “piano” in the file name:

Winfr C: D: /extensive /n *piano*

To recover JPEG and BMP images from the Pictures folder on D: drive:

Winfr C: D: /extensive /n \Users\\Pictures\*.JPEG /n\Users\UserName\Pictures\*.BMP

Step 3. Try Segment modeif you’re still unable to find or recover deletedfile. It is usually used with the /r switch.

winfr C: D:/r /n \Users\UserName\Documents\xyz.docx

Step 4. To recover specific file types, trySignature mode. It requires /x and /y switches to specify file type. Type winfr /#to confirm the supported file types if you are unsure.

winfr C: D: /x /y:ZIP


You can try Windows File Recovery, but it may not retrieve your deleted files every time.
✦ The tool supports only Windows 10, version 2004 and above.

▶ Option 3. Recover from Previous Versions

If you enable system restore in Windows 10, you still can restore previous versions of file, even if you empty Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Start File Explorer/This PC. Locate the folder withdeleted files.

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

Step 3. Select theprevious version offolder and click Restore to restore deleted files in Windows 10.


▶ Option 4. Recover deleted files through Backup and Restore

If you create a file backup with Backup and Restore, you can also restore files. It will include all the backed-up files.

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

Restore My Files

Step 2. Click the “Search…”, “Browse for files”, and “Browse for folders” options to find your deleted files or folders.

Restore Files

Step 3. Select where you want to restore your files - original locationor new locationand then click “Restore”to restore files in Windows 10.

▶ Option 5. Better way to recover deleted files easily and quickly

MyRecover is a professional data recovery software for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, and Windows Server. It allows you to recover deleted files, even if it is not in Recycle Bin or you use the “Shift + Delete”method.

  • Restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10/11 with a high success rate and fast speed.
  • Recover Excel, Word, PPT,pictures, videos, audio, emails,etc., and other frequently used file formats.
  • Recover deleted or missing files from internal disks (HDDor SSD), external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc.
  • Keep the original file names and path after recovering deleted files.
  • Recover deleted files in Windows 7/8/10/11 free, up to 30MB at a time. To recover unlimited files simultaneously, please upgrade MyRecover.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Download and openMyRecover on your computer. Select a partition and click "Start Scan".


Step 2. The program runs the quick and deep scanning method toquickly find deleted files and other missing files in this partition. You could recover any file you want even thoughthe scanning process is incomplete.


Step 3. To recover specific files, PDF files, for example, click Filter >Type and select Document and type PDF in the Search for files or folder box. You can also filter by date modified and size. Then, select thedeletedfilesand click "Recover files".

Filter PDF

You can directly select the deleted files to recover if you find them, even if the scanning process does not complete.
It will display the number of files to recover and the total size. You can confirm from this that you have selected all the deleted files.
Select a new location to recover deleted files in Windows 10 or 11. Restoring files to their original location may overwrite the space occupied bydeleted files,causingthe file recovery to fail.
Besides, you still can use it to recover deleted files in Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

▶ Option 6. Restore immediately deleted files in Windows 10 with Undo Delete

If you delete an important file and immediately realize your mistake, you can quickly get it back with the “Ctrl + Z” key. It helps to undo the deletion, but only files that were deleted immediately. It requires you not to close this window.

Step 1. Open Windows Explorer and go to the folder containing the deleted files.

Step 2. Right-click the blank space inside the folder and select Undo Delete.


Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Z to recover deleted files immediately after you deleted them.

▶ Option 7. Recover deleted files in Windows 10 using CMD

Sometimes, you may find your files lost without deletion. Maybe you just only lose access to them. It may be a virus infection, file system corruption, or other problems. In this case, you could use chkdsk and attrib commands to recover hidden files and make them accessible.

Step 1. Press Win + X and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Step 2. Type chkdsk #: /r(replace # with the letter of your disk) and press Enter. It helps to check bad sectors and errors and recover readable information on good sectors.


If it asked whether you want to “convert lost chains to files”, select Y.
● The device will be locked if you use the chkdsk command. During the process, you are not able to access any files on it.

Step 3. Type “attrib -h -r -s /s /d #:*.*” (replace # with the letter of your local disk) and press Enter. It helps to make hidden file protection and the system normal.


Note: You may find the attrib not working sometimes. It may mean the files are deleted instead of being hidden.

▶ Option 8. Retrieve lost files in Windows 10 with system image recovery

Besides file backup, the Backup and Restore feature also helps create a system image backup in Windows 10. If you create one recently, you can choose to restore the entire system including the deleted files.

Step 1. Go to “Settings” > “Update and Security” and select “Recovery” at the left pane.

Step 2. Scroll down to “Advanced startup” and click the “Restart” button. It will restart to Windows 10 recovery environment.


Step 3. Click “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” and select “System Image Recovery”. 


Step 4. Select the System Image backup containing deleted files and set other settings with on-screen instructions. Click “Finish” to restore files from the system backup.

▶ Option 9. Recover deleted files from File History backup

File History is also a backup software in Windows 10 to help you backup and restore files. By default, it will backup all the default and custom Libraries (including Public Folders), plus Contacts, Desktop, and Favorites folders. If your deleted files are in these folders, try it.

Step 1. Type “Restore your files with File History” in the search box and select the top result. It will direct you to the File History recovery window.

Step 2. Click the left arrow to find your deleted files and click the blue “Restore to original location” button.


Note: To selectively choose files to recover, keep the Ctrl key pressed while clicking on the files and folders.

▶ Option 10. Restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10 from Google Drive

If you backup files to Google Drive and mistakenly delete it, you can also find the deleted files in the Trash folder. Note the deleted files will go after 30 days.

Step 1. Go to your Google Drive and log in with your credentials.

Step 2. Go to the Trash folder, right-click the deleted files in Google Drive, and click Restore.

Restore Files from Google Drive

Bonus reading - Recover lost partition in Windows 10

If you accidentally delete the entire partition in Windows 10, all the files in it will be lost. To recover lost partitions and files, you can try a partition recovery software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

To avoid more data loss before you recover it, please don’t do any operation on the hard drive or lost partition: 

  • Add new items to the partition.
  • Rebuild the partition table.
  • Reformat the hard drive.
  • Other operations.

Step 1. Download, install, and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click on Partition Recovery Wizard under Recover and then select a disk you want to recover. Tag on “Next”.


Step 2. Select a search method - Fast Search or Full Search, and click “Next”.

  • Fast Search: This is the recommended method. It will find out the deleted or lost partition quickly.
  • Full Search: This method will scan every sector of the selected disk and take a lot of time.


Step 3. Select the partition you want to restore and click on “Proceed” to recover lost partitions on Windows 10.


How to prevent data loss in Windows 10

In fact, you can avoid some data loss if you take precautions. Or get all of your data back quickly. Here are useful tips for you:

  • Take a few minutes to check the Recycle Bin before emptying it.
  • Create a file backup automatically. It’s the best way to prevent data loss. Because it will include all of your files and allows you to restore files from backup if you backup them. I strongly recommend you free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

File Backup

  • Keep your antivirus software always on.
  • Update the latest drivers and software. It often addresses bugs and security flaws that could cause data loss or increase the risk.

FAQs about Windows 10 recover deleted files


This is the full guide on recover deleted files in Windows 10. You can easily restore files from Recycle Bin if you don’t empty it. After emptying or permanently delete files, you still can retrieve files using CMD, Previous Versions, Backup and Restore, data recovery software, etc. For immediately deleted files, Ctrl + Z is the easiest and quickest way.

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.