Efficient Ways to Recover Deleted Files Windows 10 Free

How to recover deleted files Windows 10 free? This post shares two Windows features and other tools to recover lost files Windows 10 with you.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Help! Anyone can help me recover lost files Windows 10?


Help! I pressed Shift +Delete to wipe out several word files from my desktop. Several days later, I realized I need some of them. But I have no idea about how to recover lost files Windows 10? Is there any accessible data recovery tool for me? Thanks.  

With different formats of documents in the digital age, many users become more organized, systematic, and efficient in their work. But it also brings potential risks for data loss like the above case. 

Besides top-rated data recovery software for Windows, how to recover lost files Windows 10 free?

How to recover deleted files Windows 10 free?

Here, we’re more inclined to share two ways of using the Windows feature for Windows data recovery first. Because many built-in features are overlooked or are underutilized by many users. After that, let’s tap into two tools.

Way 1. Use the Windows system image feature

If you’re familiar with Windows Backup and Restore, you may also have a sense of familiarity with the Windows system image feature. Because Backup and Restore includes two types of backup: file and folder backup, and system image.

But system image is different from Backup and Restore from two perspectives. First, the system image could make a complete PC backup on Windows. In contrast, Backup and Restore only can apply to the C drive.

Second, the steps of creating a system image and restoring from the system image also differ from Backup and Restore. These are explicit instructions for these two parts below.

Part 1. Create a system image

Step 1. Press the “Start” button, and enter “Control Panel” in the search bar. Then open it.

Step 2. Open “Settings”, then click “Update & Security” > “Backup”. Select “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” and go on.


Step 3. Click “Create a system image” from the left. After clicking it, this PC will find a suitable drive to save your data.


Step 4. Click “On a hard disk”. Under it, you can also select a new location to make a full backup of Windows 10. Then you’ll see a confirmation screen after clicking the “Next” button.


Step 5. Click the Start backup” button. The size of your image has an impact on the process. Please wait patiently.


Part 2. Restore deleted files from this system image

Step 1. Press the “Start” button, and enter “Settings” in the search bar. Then open it.

Step 2. Click “Update & Security” > “Recovery” > “Restart now”. Then your PC will shut down and boot to a blue screen.


Step 3. Click “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “System image recovery” > “Windows 10”.


Step 4. Then select the “Use the latest available system image” option on the Re-image your computer page. And click “Next”.


Step 5. Choose “Format and repartition disks” or “Only restore system drives”. Pay attention to the reference picture below. Then click “Next”.


Step 6. Click “Finish”. After restoring from the backup, you can click Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates to install any missing updates security.

Way 2. Use the Windows restore previous versions feature

If you’ve activated Windows File History, you can make good use of the Windows restore previous feature to recover your deleted files. Please refer to the steps below.

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


Step 2. Locate the folder including your files. Click the “Restore” button to recover files to the previous location. You can also right-click the folder and select “Previous Versions.


Way 3. Windows File Recovery to recover lost files Windows 10

If there’s no sign of your deleted files from the Recycle Bin, you can use Windows File Recovery to recover lost files that have been deleted from your local storage device (HDD, SSD, USB, and SD card like the memory card).

This free application is a command-line utility without a graphical user interface, so you have to enter specified command lines for varied file systems and recommended modes. You can select a suitable mode among the Regular/Extensive/Segment/Signature mode. These four modes can support NTFS/non-NTFS/FAT/ex-FAT/ReFS file systems.  

Stop using your PC or reduce your computer usage after losing files. Any use of the computer might overwrite the “free” space.   
Ensure your source drive and destination drive are different. The first drive is used to scan files before deletion, the second drive is used to save recovered files.
 Adjust command lines according to winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches], then input it in the Command Prompt window.

Step 1. Confirm your file system with the following form. Pay attention that you cannot skip this step.

File system


FAT and exFAT

SD cards, flash or USB drives (< 4GB)


Computers (HDD, SSD), external hard drives, flash or USB drives (> 4GB)

Step 2. Click “Get” to download after choosing Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store. Then install it on your computer.


Step 3. Enter “Windows File Recovery” in the search bar, then click the “Run as administrator” button to run it.


Step 4. If you’ve figured out your file systems, you can select a recommended mode with the following form for data loss scenarios.

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago



After formatting a disk



A corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



If you can re-examine these functions of this command-line software, you’ll find Windows File Recovery also can recover lost files from formatted/corrupted disks.

Step 5. Adjust and resemble your command lines using some switches below.



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

Let’s use the deleted Word files as an example. You can enter winfr C: E: /regular /n *. docx in the Command Prompt window.

Step 6. Press “y” to continue. The recovery process is heavily dependent on the size of the source drive. Please wait patiently, your recovered files will be saved on the destination place you’ve chosen before. You can also press “Ctrl + C” to stop this process if you need.

WinfrGUI: Alternative handy tool

Free WinfrGUI has invoked all the functions from Windows File Recovery with a graphical user interface. So you can utilize this user-friendly software to recover deleted files such as JPEG, PDF, DOCX, MP3, EXCEL, and ZIP under Windows 10/11. If there’s a stop during the recovery process, WinfrGUI still can recover deleted files from the scanned data.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
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Step 1. Download and install WinfrGUI on your computer. Then select a partition to scan and another partition to save the recovered files.


Step 2. Select quick scan or deep scan. Then go to “Advanced Settings” and select documents.


Step 3. Click “Start Recovery” to start the scanning process. After that, you can find your recovered files saved in a new folder of the destination drive.


MyRecover: Alternative efficient tool 

If you want a higher recovery rate and a faster recovery speed,  you could select this more efficient tool-MyRecover

This Windows data recovery software not only can save you from upgrading the operating system but also can keep its original format of the deleted/lost data.  Want to get other fascinating features? Please check them out below. 

▶It can recover the deleted/lost files from SSD/HDD.

▶The software will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to detect your deleted and lost files. 

▶It enables you to recover 200+ types of data: Word, PPT, Excel, Photos, Audios, Videos, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.

▶It supports NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server. 

Step 1. Download, install, and run MyRecover on your PC. 

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

Step 2. After loading the disk, hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


Step 3. You'll see all the deleted and lost files after performing Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically. 


Step 4. Check the scanning results and select your needed data. Then click "Recover x files" and save these recovered files in a new location. 


Wrapping up

You can get several feasible solutions to recover deleted files Windows 10 free. For example, if you’re familiar with Windows Backup and Restore, you can try Windows system image. If you’ve activated File History, you can use the Previous Versions for Windows data recovery.

Practice proved that Windows File Recovery is indeed a powerful tool. Nevertheless, it is hard for everyone to operate. There's no denying that many users could utilize MyRecover to recover lost files Windows 10.  So why not have a try? 

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.