By Stephanie / Last update August 12, 2022

How can I recover permanently deleted files without backup?


I pressed the Shift+Delete keys to delete files in Windows. But I accidentally deleted an important document. Kindly know how can I recover permanently deleted files without backup. Thanks a lot!

Have you ever deleted your files permanently and wanted lost files to be retrieved? You may want to delete unneeded files from your PC for space-free or privacy purposes. However, vital files might be accidentally deleted. There are several methods to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10, but many of them require different types of backups.

If you want to recover permanently deleted files without backup, the third-party data recovery software could be the best choice for file recovery. To rise the success rate, it is important to remember that you must stop using the system or hard drive since you deleted the files. This step is essential to decrease the risk of files being overwritten. Then, you need to take action for file recovery immediately.

Where do all permanently deleted files go?

After you deleted files, your computer doesn’t erase them entirely and immediately. The files are still stored in your hard drive but marked as inaccessible data, but you can't recover them directly by yourself. Only professional tools can scan the hard drive and find the deleted data from it. 

Please consider shutting down all applications operating and preventing writing new data to your hard drive to win more time. The permanently deleted files can be never recovered n Windows 10 if you continue to use the hard drive or Windows system. Stop using your computers and check the methods below to recover files in Windows 7/8/10/11. 

Basic ways: how to recover deleted files in Windows 10

How to recover deleted files in Windows 10? You can try to restore your permanently deleted files by the methods provided in this article. Here are several proven methods to recover deleted files on Windows 10 computers whether you have backup files or not. Follow the steps below, at least, one of those methods will help you get deleted/lost files back.

Method 1. Restore recently deleted files from Recycle Bin

The majority of computer users delete files by selecting them and right-clicking “Delete” or taping “Delete” on the keyboard. It does not mean deleting a file permanently in Windows 10.

Whenever you deleted your data accidentally, the recycle bin is the first place to check. All deleted files should go straight to the Recycle Bin. You may find the deleted files not in Recycle Bin if you empty the Recycle Bin manually, the deleted files are too large, or files stored on portable devices get deleted.  

Steps to restore deleted files from recycle bin

Step 1: Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking the Recycle Bin icon on your Desktop.

Step 2: Locate the deleted files you want to save in the Recycle Bin folder. Select the “View” option and select “Details”, which can help you quickly locate your files.


Or you can search for your deleted files by using the search bar on the Recycle Bin window.

Step 3: Right-click on deleted files and click “Restore”.


Then you will find the deleted files will be recovered to their original location, or you can cut and paste the files to where you want to keep them.

Method 2. Restore immediately deleted files with undo delete

Nearly many Windows 10 users know that any action, including deleting the incorrect file, can be quickly undone. However, be aware that only recent operations can normally be undone. This method is only suitable for immediately deleted files. Moreover, you won't be able to use this method if you log out, restart or shut down the computer because the undo history won’t be kept in different sessions.

To recover deleted files with Undo Delete command:

Step 1: Go to the folder in which the deleted files are located in Windows File Explorer.

Step 2: Right-click inside the folder to open the menu.

Step 3: Click “Undo Delete”.


Alternatively, you can press ctrl + z to recover deleted files immediately after you deleted them. It’s just a command to undo your last action.

Method 3. Using command prompt to restore lost files

Sometimes, you may find your files lost without deletion. Maybe you just only lose access to them. Generally, virus infection, file system corruption, or other problems can make them inaccessible. Those files are hidden instead of being deleted. You could use the CHDKSK command to fix file system problems and the attrib command to recover hidden files.

The command line can help out this situation by access to various system tools though it is the least user-friendly method to recover deleted files without third-party software. CHKDSK and ATTRIB might help you have access to your files again.

Has your file system been corrupted by power failure or an unexpected restart? CHKDSK can assist in restoring it.

Steps to fix corrupted file system with command line

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


Alternatively, you can type “cmd” or “PowerShell” in the search bar, right-click on the one you prefer, and select “Run as administrator”.

Step 2: Type the command chkdsk #: /r (replace # with the letter of your storage device) to check the storage device for bad sectors and errors and recover the readable information on good sectors.


Tips: 1. If it asked whether you want to “convert lost chains to files”, select Y.

2. The device you check to perform must be locked by Chkdsk. You will not be able to access any files on this device when the process is running.

ATTRIB isn’t a file recovery tool. It offers access to options as same as you right-click on a file. It allows you to modify flags of a file to set it as a hidden file, read-only, or as a file system. CHKDSK and ATTRIB can help you regain access to your lost files which are not really deleted. If you found attrib not working, it may mean the files are deleted instead of being hidden.

Type “attrib -h -r -s /s /d #:*.*” to make hidden, file protection and system normal. (replace # with the letter of your storage device).


How to recover deleted files in Windows 10 with backup?

If you have used Windows backup utilities to back up your files regularly, it's easy to find the deleted files back. Check the following methods to retrieve permanently deleted files with backups.

Method 1. Recover deleted files in Windows 10  via Windows Backup and Restore

Backup and restore is a great tool provided by Windows 10 that allows users to back up files and restore them when needed. Backup and restore can back up the operating system, but it requires you to manually choose from where to restore your data. Therefore, you need to have them backed up first to recover deleted files in Windows 10 with Windows backup and restore.

If you are using Windows Backup you need to check the recent backup to recover the deleted files.

Step 1: Press Windows Key on your keyboard, type “Control Panel” and press enter. Click “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” under System and Security.


Step 2: Click on “Restore my files” on the bottom right and follow the wizard to recover deleted files.


Step 3: Click “Choose a different date” to choose from which backup you want to restore deleted files. Or select the options on the right “Search…”, “Browse for files”, and “Browse for folders” to recover the specific files and folders.


Step 4: Set where you want to restore your files and then click “Restore”.


How to set up Windows backup?

When you find “Restore my files” is invisible, and Windows shows “Windows Backup has not been set up”, you need to set up Windows backup first.

Step 1: Click “Set up backup” on the right.

Step 2: Select the drive where you want to save your backup and click “Next”.

Step 3: The processing time depends on what you’ve decided to back up.

Tips: If you are running out of storage space, you can click “Manage space” and click “View backups…”. You can select backups you want to delete and click “Delete” to get some storage space back.

Method 2. Retrieve lost files in Windows 10 from a system image backup

If you regularly make full system image backups, you don’t need to back up your personal files individually. The system image backup function is intended to back up the whole Windows 10 operating system.

Because this option does not allow you to restore individual files, you can take this method as your final resort to recover deleted files with system restore.

Step 1: Press the Windows key, type “control panel”, and hit Enter on your keyboard.

Step 2: Click “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” under System and Security.

Step 3: Choose recovery from the list of options on the left.

Step 4: Save your work and click on the “Restart” button under Advanced startup.

Step 5: Click on “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “See more recovery option” > “System Image Recovery”.


Step 6: Select a System Image backup file and click "Next".

Step 7: Choose additional restore options and click "Next".

Step 8: View the system image details and click “Finish” to start the restore process.

Method 3. Recover deleted files from a file history backup

File history is the one that specializes in securing your personal files from all the backup solutions offered in Windows 10. However, just like any backup system, you must first set it up to recover lost data from Windows 10.

In this part, procedures for setting and restoring deleted files will be displayed in the following.

How to set up file history?

It’s better to prepare an external storage device, like a USB flash drive or an external hard disk drive. We recommend that you select one with plenty of storage space to hold several versions of your personal data. With File History, you could recover previous versions of deleted files

Step 1: Connect the external storage device with your computer.

Step 2: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, and type “Restore your files with File History”.

Step 3: Open “Restore your files with File History”, and it shows “no file history was found”. Click “Configure File History settings”.


Step 4: Select the external drive to store its backups.

Step 5: File History will be turned on and you can use the external drive to store backups. It’s better to create the first backup manually. Click on “Run now” under your drive’s icon.


How to recover deleted files with File History?

Step 1: Go to File History’s main page and click on “Restore personal files”. File History will display the contents of the latest snapshot.


Step 2: Keeping the CTRL key pressed while clicking on the files and folders to selectively choose them. And then click the green button to begin the recovery process.


Alternatively, you can right-click on the folder that included the deleted files. Click “Restore previous versions” and select the versions containing the deleted files from the available versions. Click “Restore” to store the deleted files.

How to add or exclude more folders to File History?

Step 1: Press the Windows key and type “Backup settings”.

Step 2: Turn on “Automatically back up my files” and then click on “More options


Step 3: Click on “Back up now” to create the first backup manually. And then click on “Add a folder”.


Step 4: Scroll down “Back up these folders”, and you will see the option to exclude some folders from your backups.

How to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 without backup?

If you don't have available backup files to use, the easiest way is to use a file recovery tool. There are kinds of data recovery software, and how to choose the best one? Check the following two file recovery programs to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 without backup.

Method 1. Recover permanently deleted files via Windows File Recovery

If you deleted a file in Windows 10 and empty it from Recycle Bin, the third-party tools can be useful but expensive. Microsoft provides a command-line tool called Windows File Recovery to restore the deleted file. It means you can retrieve deleted files via CMD. If you want a graphical user interface (GUI), you could download the free WinfrGUI to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11. 

The Windows File Recovery can restore photos, documents, videos, and other types of files on the hard disk drive, SSD, USB drive, or memory card, supporting FAT, NTFS, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

This app requires Windows 10 build 19041 or later and offers three different recovery modes: regular mode, segment mode, and signature mode.

Steps to recover deleted files by Windows File Recovery

Step 1: Type “Store” in the search bar. Then search for “Windows File Recovery”.  Click the “Install” button to get the application.


Step 2: Open Powershell or Command prompt (run as administrator) as displayed before.

Step 3: In the command prompt, enter the following command:

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


There are different commands to recover the deleted files displayed:

  • If you want to recover files from C: drive to the recovery folder on D: drive, type:

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

  • If you want to recover files like PDF and Word documents from C: drive to the recovery folder on D: drive, type:

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

  • If you want to recover files with the string “piano” in the file name, type:

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

  • If you want to recover JPEG and BMP images from the Pictures folder on D: drive, type:

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

After running the above-described commands, enter Y to start the recovery process. If you’re still unable to find or recover the file, you may want to try Segment mode. To do this, add a/r switch to the command, as in winfr C: D:/r /n \Users\\Documents\xyz.docx.

The final option is Signature mode. It only supports certain file types. Type winfr /# at the command prompt to see the supported types. To use this mode, add an /x to the command and a /y to specify the file type, as in winfr C: D: /x /y:ZIP.



- Windows File Recovery is a command-line tool. You have to run some commands to get your deleted files back, which is a little complicated for non-technical computer users.

- The tool supports only Windows 10, version 2004 and above.

- Even if you used Windows File Recovery, maybe you will not be able to retrieve all of them.

Method 2. Retrieve deleted files in Windows 10 via file recovery software

MyRecover,  professional third-party file recovery software, can recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server. It is simple to use and supports hundreds of file formats as well as all commonly used storage devices such as internal hard drives, SSDs, memory cards, USB flash drives, etc. 


▶ Support permanently deleted files recovery, formatted file recovery, and other data recovery situations.
▶ Recover deleted or missing files from SD cards, USB flash drives, HDDs, SSDs, external hard drives, and other storage devices.
▶ Recover pictures, videos, audios, emails, and hundreds of other file types.
▶ Compatible with Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
10,000 people have downloaded it

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


Step 2. The program runs the scanning process quickly to find deleted files and other missing files in this partition. You could recover any file you want even though the scanning process is not completed. 


Step 3. Select the file or the folder that you want to recover and click "Recover files".


How to recover deleted files in Windows 10 due to partition loss

If your individual files are lost due to the entire partition being lost or deleted, AOMEI Partition Recovery Wizard could be the best choice for you. Once your partition gets lost, deleted, or corrupted, all of the files in the partition are lost too.

Do not make any new operations on the hard drive or rebuild the partition table to protect the lost data from being rewritten or covered to recover your deleted data as much as possible.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which provides AOMEI Partition Recovery Wizard, is a versatile disk manager that helps you to manage your partition effectively. It provides the basic features including "creek partition, deletes partition formats, changes drive letters and extend partition".
Moreover, many advanced features are offered such as "convert MBR and GPT without partition removal, move partition, clone partition, merge partition, large-scale hard drive format (over 32GB) to FAT32, allocate space free from FAT42”.

Follow the steps below to recover lost or deleted partitions and files in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. You can download the demo version first.

Try Demo Version Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Steps to recover partitions and files via AOMEI Partition Assistant

Step 1: Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant

Step 2: Click on Partition Recovery Wizard on the left panel and select the disk you want to restore. Click on “Next”.


Step 3: Select a search mode. It is recommended that you select Fast Search the first time because it saves time. Then, click on “Next”.


Step 4: AOMEI Partition Assistant will show you the list of all lost or deleted partitions. You can select the one you want to recover. And then, click on “Proceed”.


Step 5: When the partition recovery process is completed, you will be informed by the “Congratulations” window.


Step 6: Then go to Windows File Explorer to check whether the deleted or lost partitions and files recovered. If you have made new operations to the hard drive or system, it’s hard to recover all files in the partition.

FAQ about how to recover deleted files in Windows 10



How to recover deleted files in Windows 10? With the methods to recover deleted files put forward in this article, you could get your deleted files back effortlessly without professional computer knowledge. The most important is you need to start the data process as soon as possible to get satisfactory results because it is a time-sensitive process.

Keeping your important files back up is the best way to prevent data loss, and you can follow the steps provided in this post to set up file history or system backup. File History is a wonderful Windows backup tool. File History could automatically store a copy of the files and folders to an external USB drive or Network drive. Alternatively, you can choose AOMEI Backupper to help you to back up and restore your vital data.