By Stephanie / Last update December 1, 2022

Are files really permanently deleted from Recycle Bin?

“I have lost some important files that are necessary for my small company. While cleaning up some useless data from my laptop, I accidentally put some files that are the backbone of my small business to Recycle Bin and emptied them. The files were deleted yesterday. Can I recover files deleted from Recycle Bin? I need to get these files asap. Any help or advice is welcomed. The files were photos.”

After you delete a file in Windows, it doesn’t disappear permanently, unless you press the Shift-Delete keys, the file is too large, or you delete the files from portable storage devices. The deleted file would be sent to Recycle Bin directly. It’s easy to restore the deleted data from Recycle Bin by right-clicking “Restore”. If you find the deleted files not in Recycle Bin, try these free methods below to recover files recently deleted from Recycle Bin.

recover-recently-deleted-files-from-recycle-bin

How to recover files recently deleted from Recycle Bin?

Deleted files are typically saved to the $Recycle.bin system folder, from which they can be recovered easily. The Recycle Bin folder is located in the C: drive's root directory. However, because it is a hidden folder, you could only open the Recycle Bin Windows by double-clicking the Recycle Bin icon.

If you couldn’t find the recently deleted files in the Recycle Bin, they've most likely been erased. If you have enabled File History, it’s easy to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin, otherwise, Windows data recovery software can be the best assistant to recover permanently deleted files from Recycle Bin in Windows 11/10/8/7.

Method 1. Recover deleted files after empty without software

File History could be a good way to recover recently deleted files from Recycle Bin without software. This method requires the File History function to be enabled before accidental deletion. If not, this is a good opportunity to turn on File History to avoid data loss in the future. To open File History, please go to “Control Panel” > “System and Security” > “File History”. Besides, you need to prepare another external hard drive to save the file copies.

File History only supports Windows 8.1 and above. Here takes Windows 10 as an example to recover recently deleted files via File History.

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

open-restore-files-with-file-history

Step 2. Find the folder where the deleted files were saved before. Select the file you want to recover and click the “Restore” button to retrieve the deleted file to the original location.

restore-deleted-files

Step 3. Alternatively, if you want to restore the folder or file to the previous version via File History, you could right-click the folder or the file and select “Properties”. Check the “Previous Versions” of the file or folder.

previous-version-restore

Tips: File History only backs up from Libraries, Desktops, Contacts, and Favorites. Therefore, you could put the files in those folders to be copied.

Method 2. Recover files recently deleted from Recycle Bin via Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is an official command-line application by Microsoft. It aims to recover deleted or lost files in Windows 10 and above. It’s freeware to recover files from Recycle Bin after empty. But this software requires users to be familiar with Command Prompt. Using Windows File Recovery is to recover deleted files using CMD.

According to the File System of hard disks and data loss scenarios, four recovery modes are available. Two basic modes are Regular & Extensive, and the other two advanced modes: Segment and Signature. To use Windows File Recovery, you need to input command lines in the following format:

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

Step 1. Check the File System of the hard disk. Right-click a partition of the hard disk and select “Properties”.

check-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 2. Get Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store and run it.

microsoft-store-get

Step 3. According to your needs to input different parameters and switches to execute the commands.

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 4. For example, if you want to recover a recently deleted word file named “Test” from D: /working/Documents folder to E:, the command prompt should be:

winfr D: E: /r /n \Working\Documents\Test.docx

    Tips: Check the solutions when encountering errors “WinFR Requires Admin Privileges to Run” or “Winfr.exe Is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command”.

Method 3. Recover files recently deleted from Recycle Bin via Windows Backup & Restore

Windows Backup and Restore feature is a backup tool pre-installed on a Windows PC. It offers file and folder backup in all versions of Windows. You can back up anything you want from local disks to any local place.

It can create file and folder backups and system image backups. Those backups can be restored for data recovery when you encounter data loss by accidental deletion, permanent deletion, data corruption, hard disk drive failure, or virus attacks.  

Step 1. Open Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

windows-backup-and-restore

Step 2. Click "Restore my files".

restore-my-files

Step 3. Click "Browse for files" > select the files you need > Next.

browse-for-files-to-restore

Step 4. Specify the destination according to your preferences, and click "Restore".

select-location-to-save-recovered-files

Method 4. Restore recently deleted files from Recycle Bin via data recovery software

For Windows 7 & 8 users, if you want to restore permanently deleted files from Recycle Bin, the method that is suitable for everyone even beginners is using a third-party data recovery software.  It's recommended to use MyRecover, it's a professional data recovery solution that supports Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, and Windows Server. 

MyRecover will thoroughly scan the partitions of internal and external hard drives to find all deleted and lost data at a fast speed. With advanced computing methods, it can quickly find the location of deleted files. This software could solve those situations in the following easily. 

Empty your Recycle Bin.
 Use the "Shift + Delete" keys.
Files/folders are too big to recycle, bypassing the recycle bin.
 The Windows recycle bin is already too full to hold the deleted items.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Steps to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty

Step 1. Download and install MyRecover on your computer. Select a partition where the files were stored before and click "Start Scan".

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. The scanning process will automatically start from a quick scan to a deep scan. You could recover the needed data once you find it in the scanned result. 

scan-lost-data

Step 3. Click "Recycle Bin" to check the files deleted from Recycle Bin.  You can use Search and Filter to quickly locate the recovered files. Select the deleted files of folders and click the "Recover files" buttons to set a destination path to save the recovered files. 

recover-lost-data

Bonus tips: How to prevent accidental deletion?

Hopefully, you can fix "how to recover files recently deleted from Recycle Bin" from the methods above. However, you may still not get the deleted files back, because the files were overwritten by new data. Therefore, it’s important to repair the house before it rains. To prevent accidental deletion in the future, there are some useful tips to help you avoid data loss in the future.

Notes:✎..
Make regular backups using Windows built-in features or professional backup freeware. You could back up important data via Windows Backup & Restore or File History. But they only copy the files in C: drive.
Try the Windows backup freeware-AOMEI Backupper to back up, restore and clone your important data of internal and external hard drives and partitions.
 Increase the maximum storage size limit for Recycle Bin files, if the deleted files or folders are too large to be not sent to Recycle Bin. Right-click the Recycle Bin icon and navigate to “Properties” > “Recycle Bin Location” > “Settings for selected location” > “Custom Size”.
Do not delete files via the Shift + Delete keys. If you delete data via Shift-Delete, the data will be permanently deleted from your computer. It’s not easy to recover Shift Deleted files if it is covered.