6 Ways: Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 or 11

You can easily recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11, even without backup. Here are 6 methods in total.

Lora

By Lora / Updated on September 12, 2023

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Situations to permanently delete files in Windows 10 or 11

Have you ever permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11? To define it, there are generally 6 ways to permanently delete files for more space or it's unimportant.

Delete a file normally, and then delete it again in the Recycle Bin. 
You have intentionally or accidentally emptied the Recycle Bin
Use “Shift+DEL” to delete a file. 
Use the command prompt: “del” to delete a file. 
A file larger than 8998 MB will bypass the Recycle Bin and be permanently deleted once you delete it normally. 
Connect an external storage device and delete files from the external devices, like external HDD, USB, SD card, etc.

permanenlty-delete-files

Is it possible to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11?

So, is it possible to retrieve permanently deleted files in Windows 10? A simple answer is “Yes” if you stop using your computer immediately after permanently deleting files and act promptly. Both of them avoid any chance of overwriting.

You may ask  “Where do the permanently deleted files go if not in Recycle Bin?”. Actually, when you “delete” a file, your computer logically deletes it. Still, the file will stay in its original place. What is genuinely wiped is the pointer to the file. Meanwhile, the space is freed up, and ready to be used by another file.

So, before the space is overwritten, you can still get access to your deleted files. Even if you have emptied the Recycle Bin, you could also recover items deleted from Recycle Bin. This tutorial aims to solve the question for users. Now, you could follow the methods in the next section.

How to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or11

When it comes to permanently deleted file recovery, users will think of data recovery services and backups. Yet, since local data recovery services change extremely high, and plenty of users don’t have backups, these 2 options are not the best way. 

In addition, other methods like commands are far beyond easy for ordinary users. So using a software will be the easiest way. And I'll introduce you to all the feasible ways in case of you need them.

Method 1. Recover permanently deleted files with software 

MyRecover will be your second-to-none choice to restore permanently deleted files in Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1 & Server. It will scan your disk automatically and display them. You can even recover files during the scanning process. 

Recover permanently deleted files in Windows quickly: 
  • High recovery rate and fast speed: Scan your disk quickly and deeply with its effective scanning algorithms, and get files permanently deleted back immediately. 
  • Recover 200+ file format: Recover word documents, excel, ppt, png, jpg, mp4, mov, doc, xlsx, pdf, ppt, html, zip, etc.
  • Easy and convenient: Keep the recovered files with the original file name, format, quality, and path.
  • All-inclusive: Apply to a comprehensive data loss situation: deletion, recycle bin emptying, disk formatting, system crashes, viruses, etc.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Start the program > select a partition where you have permanently deleted files > Start Scan.

select-location-to-scan

Step 2. It supports data filtering/searching/previewing during the scanning process. You can also directly select the desired files and recover it without waiting for the final scanning result.

  • Filter: Filter the detected files in Type/Date modified/Size; e.g., view all Documents modified in the Last 7 days and whose sizes are between 1 MB to 512 MB.
  • Search: Locate the wanted files by inputting filenames/extensions in the search box.
  • Preview: Preview files in a clear thumbnail, such as wav,ico,jpg, png, bmp, jpeg, tif, svg, gif, ico, mp4, mp3, txt, xlsx, pdf, ini, docx, etc.

scanning-drive

Step 3. Select the permanently deleted files you want from the original location or Deleted Files > click Recover x files to restore. Please choose a place different from the source drive/partition to store your recovered data. Otherwise, your data will be overwritten.

select-deleted-folder-from-recycle-bin-click-recover

⚠️Notes:
  • In this way, you could recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 easily. Also, this tool can help users get data back from other devices, like recover files from external hard drive.

  • Currently, MyRecover offers a free edition to bring back permanently deleted files, up to 30MB. For unlimited data recovery, please upgrade MyRecover and subscribe to the Monthly/Yearly/Lifetime version.

Method 2. Restore permanently deleted files from File History backup

To get back your permanently deleted files, you could also take advantage of an embodied Windows backup utility, File History, which will save copies of their files and allow you to restore them in data loss scenarios. 

Step 1. Input Control Panel in the Windows search bar > start it > click System and Security.

system-and-security

Step 2. Click File History.

click-file-history

Step 3. Click Restore personal files.

restore-personal-files

Step 4. Select the deleted files you need and then click the green restore button. 

restore-deleted-file

Method 3. Restore previous version of files in Windows

The Previous Versions feature is another accessible feature to bring back permanently deleted files. You need to activate File History or System Restore feature inadvance. 

Step 1. Start File Explorer. Then, navigate to the folder where your permanently deleted files were previously saved.

Step 2. Right-click on the permanently deleted files and select Properties > Previous Versions.

Step 3. Click Restore to recover the data as you like. For instance, if you choose a Word document, you could find previous version of Word documents. You can also click the drop-down menu next to Restore and select Open to preview them.

previous-version-restore

Method 4. Get files permanently deleted back from Backup and Restore

An exclusive built-in backup tool in Windows PC, Backup and Restore, can also help recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11. It supports backup & restore files on the local drives as file copies in case file loss occurs.

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

backup-and-restore-windows-7

Step 2. Click “Restore my files”. If you haven’t made backups yet, you cannot restore files using this app.

restore-my-files

Step 3. Select the Browse for files/Browse for folders option to locate your wanted data.

browse-for-files-to-restore

Step 4. You can store your retrieved folders in your destination path or keep them in the original location.

select-location-to-save-recovered-files

Method 5. Retrieve permanently deleted files using Windows File Recovery

Without backups, you can also restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11 using the command line utility. Microsoft has provided an official tool named Windows File Recovery, which requires you to have some computer expertise. 

Before using this tool, you need to figure out your file system, the source drive & target place, recovery mode & switches. 

🔹To check your File System, go to This PC > right-click on the drive that contains the deleted files> click Properties.

check-file-system

🔹To decide which mode to use, please refer to the chart below.

File system Scenarios modes
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS Corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

🔹To filter the scanning range, use these switches.

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 Segment​​​​​

  For details, check tutorial on how to use Windows File Recovery

Step 1. Go to Microsoft Store > search for Windows File recovery > click Get

microsoft-store-get

Step 2. Click Open. Choose recovery mode & switches according to your data loss scenarios. If you have just permanently deleted your files, please choose Regular Mode. If the files are deleted for a while, please use Extensive Mode.

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

Now, let’s take an example, if you have just permanently deleted your files by “Shift+Del”, now you are going to recover jpg files from a folder named “pics” under C: Drive to D: drive. Then you need to input the following command and type to continue.

Winfr C: D: /n \Users\pics\*.jpg

winfr-commands

⚠️Note:

Step 3. Wait for the recovery, then a recovery folder will be created in the destination drive you have chosen.

⚠️Notes:
  • It is advisable to start Windows File Recovery in Microsoft Store.

  • The default recovery mode is Regular Mode. 

  • If the Windows File Recovery stuck at 99%, please check the troubleshooting tutorial to fix it.

Way 6: Bring permanently deleted files back using CMD

Windows also contains a Command Prompt window with a list of commands you can use, such as chkdsk, atttrib to recover hidden files in Windows 10 or 11. Sometimes, your files are simply hidden instead of permanently deleted. 

Step 1. Open a Command Prompt window by typing cmd in the search box and selecting Run as administrator

Step 2. Type chkdsk C: /f / r and press Enter

CHKDSK f r

Step 3. Type  Y to continue. It will scan and fix any disk error

Step 4. Type attrib –h –r –s /s /d C: *.*  and press Enter to show hidden files or folders. 

FAQ

Wrapping up

You can easily recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11 with the above methods. Among them, using data recovery software will be the easiest method. It will directly scan your disk for recoverable files and allows you to filter and locate your files quickly by specifying a specific type (e.g.: recover PDF files), date modified, and size.  

If you are worried about any precious data loss in the future, the best practice is to backup them immediately after recovery. To keep all the changes made later, it's suggested to set a scheduled backup task, such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Try effective Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to help you!

Lora
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.