Where to Find Deleted Files on Windows 10 or 11 (Recovered)

This article solves the problem of where to find deleted files on Windows 10 or 11 and how to recover them, even if the Recycle Bin has been emptied.


By Kelsey / Updated on May 8, 2024

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Where to find deleted files on Windows 10 or 11?

On Windows 10 or 11,  there are two methods to delete files, namely using the Delete option and the Shift + Delete keys. Then, where do I find deleted files in Windows 10 or 11?

Situation 1: Use the Delete option

Recycle Bin, a waste-basket icon on the desktop, is used to store deleted files or folders using the Delete option temporarily. In general, the deleted files will be kept for 30 days and are recoverable.  It can be any file type, such as documents, folders, pictures, shortcuts, etc.

Situation 2: Use the Shift + Delete keys

In addition, there is a chance that you can use the Shift + Delete key, which will permanently delete files on Windows 10 or 11. And you cannot find them in the Recycle Bin. But the data are still on the computer and take up space unless they are overwritten. This time you need to seek help from data recovery software or Windows backup.

 If your deleted files are not in the Recycle Bin, please don't do the following items:
- Add new data to where you delete files
- Continue using the drive containing deleted files 
- Don't format the disk 

How to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin

After knowing where to find deleted documents on PC, let's see how to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Open Recycle Bin.

Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop to open it.

Step 2. Find the file and restore.

Find the files you deleted and right-click them to select Restore.

Click Restore

- If you can‘t find Recycle Bin icon on the desktop, you can work out where to find trash bin on Windows 10 with the following 2 methods.
- Press Win + E keys together to open File Explorer and type “recycle bin” in the address bar. And press Enter to open Recycle Bin directly.
- Hold Win +R key simultaneously to open the Run box, paste “explorer.exe shell: Recycle Bin Folder”, and click OK to open Recycle Bin.

Why deleted files are not in Recycle Bin?

Do you find that some files cannot be found in the Recycle Bin, even if you did not empty them? If the deleted files are not found in Recycle Bin, can they still be recovered? When the Recycle Bin can’t solve the problem of where are deleted files on Windows 10, it could be for the causes as follows:

#1. Delete the files using the Shift + Delete shortcut or via the Command Prompt.

  • Deleting files through a shortcut key or Command Prompt can skip the Recycle Bin and be completely deleted.

#2. Deleted files were stored on a USB flash drive or SD card.

  • When a file stored on the local drive is deleted, Windows only changes the location of the file from its original location to the Recycle Bin. But when you delete a file stored on a USB flash drive or SD card, Windows may not transfer the file to Recycle Bin but delete the file permanently.

Memory Card Usb

#3. Deleted files are much larger than the maximum size of the Recycle Bin.

  • If the size of the deleted items is larger than that of Recycle Bin or if the recycle bin is already full of other files, Windows will ask if you want to delete the file permanently. If you confirm it, files will be erased permanently.

#4. Deleted files or folders are hidden and cannot be accessed in Recycle Bin.

  • You can locate hidden files: Open Windows File Explorer > Go to the View tab > Click Options > Select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.

Show Hidden Files Folders

#5. Recycle Bin has been disabled.

  • Windows users disabled Recycle Bin will result in the files being completely deleted directly. How to enable Recycle Bin on PC: Right-click the Recycle Bin icon > Choose Properties > Switch the option from Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin to Custom size, and click OK to confirm it.

Dont Move Files To The Recycle Bin

How to recover deleted files using Windows backup

If your files are not in the Recycle Bin, the best way is to restore files from backup. Try this if you turn on Backup and Restore (Windows 7) or File History on Windows 10 or 11. They will contain all the files you backed up.

Recover deleted files using Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

Step 1. Open the Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

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

Restore My Files

Step 2. Browse or search your backup copy. 

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

Restore Files

Step 3. Select the recovery location and recover files.

Select where you want to restore your files - original location or new location and then click “Restore”to restore files in Windows 10.

Restore deleted files from previous version

Step 1. Open the Properties window.

Select the folder containing deleted files. Right-click it and select Properties.

Step 2. Check previous version of deleted files.

Switch to the Previous Versions tab and check if there is a previous version. Or click the Open button to confirm it.

Step 3. Restore deleted files from previous version. 

Then, select the previous folder version and click Restore. If there are any new data, you need to backup them first or move them out.

Restore Previous Version

How to recover deleted files using data recovery software

If you don't have any backup copy, the last and effective method is to use a reliable data recovery software. Microsoft released one named Windows File Recovery. You can also use third-party software, MyRecover, for instance. It's one of the best in terms of user-friendliness and has a higher success rate.

Recover deleted files in Windows 10 free using Windows File Recovery 

Windows File Recovery is one of the effective ways to recover lost data. Although it can recover lost files from internal and external hard drives, USB, and SD cards, you need to recover the deleted files using CMD because there's no graphical user interface. 

Besides, this utility is only compatible with Windows 10 build 19041 and later from the Microsoft Store.

Step 1. Check file system of your source drive

 Go to “This PC”, and right-click on the source drive, then click the ”Properties”  button. 


Step 2. Install Windows File Recovery. 

Click "Get" to download Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store, then install and "Open" it on your computer.


Step 3. Learn the syntax.

Select the basic "Regular" or "Extensive" mode and common switches while considering your file system and data loss scenarios.

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

Ensure the destination drive (which stores the recovered files) is not the same as the source drive (which stores your needed files before permanent deletion).
Two basic(Regular and Extensive) modes and another two advanced(Segment and Signature) modes support four (NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS) file systems.

Step 4. Resemble your own command lines in your situation.

For example: To restore permanently deleted PDF files from the F: drive to the D: drive, please type “winfr F: D: /extensive /n*.pdf” in the command prompt window.

Step 5. Start the recovery procedure.

Input “y” to continue, then wait for the recovery process to be finished. Your recovered files will be saved in the target drive.

Restore permanently deleted files in Windows using MyRecover

In addition, professional data recovery software can help you do it easier. MyRecover is one of the most experienced file recovery tools that can help you to recover completely deleted files in three simple steps, either for your local drive, external hard drive, or SD card.

  • It can recover lost Word document, Excel, PPT, PDF, ZIP, JPG, JPEG, PNG, etc. and other 200+ types of data easily.

  • With a pretty high recovery rate, it scans the data on the hard drive with a combination of Quick Scan and Deep Scan methods without missing anything and restores files in a short time.

  • It also offers to recover data from formatted disks and rescue files easily after a system crash, virus attack, etc.

  •  It supports Crashed PC Recovery, especially useful when your computer becomes unbootable.

Follow the guide below to learn how to recover files in Windows 10 or 11 when deleted files can’t be located in Recycle Bin.

Step 1. Start MyRecover for data recovery.

Install and run MyRecover on your computer. Then, hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

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

Select Location To Scan

Step 2. Preview and restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10 or 11.

Navigate to the folders/files that you want to restore in the scanned file list, or use the Filter feature to locate them. Then, select them, and tap on Recover xx files.

Select Files To Restore

Step 3. Save the recovered files. 

Select a storage path for restored files and wait for the recovery to complete.

Sum up

Where to find deleted files on Windows 10 or 11? When you find that a file has been deleted by mistake, the Recycle Bin should be the first place you check. If unfortunately the files are completely deleted or not saved in Recycle Bin, you can try to use data recovery software like MyRecover or backup images to get data back simply.

Actually, the best way to prevent files from being mistakenly deleted, damaged, or lost is to back up your data regularly. For this, you can use AOMEI Backupper to create copies of your Windows files to online storage services, local drives, and network-attached storage devices to keep your data safe.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.