By Lily / Last update April 28, 2021

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Situations when files are permanently deleted

We create and download files on our computers nearly every day. With the accumulation of all kinds of files, we must delete extra files to save disk space. Your files can be deleted permanently in following situations:

  • Delete files with Shift + Delete.

  • Delete separate files from the Recycle Bin or empty the Recycle Bin.

  • Delete files from external hard drives such as USB flash drives or SD cards.

  • The file is overwritten when put into a folder which contains a file with the same name.

  • Files are deleted due to virus attack.

If the files deleted are no longer needed, then there’s nothing to worry about. If the deleted files turn out to be useful later, you may be eager to recover them. Is it possible to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 7/10? Fortunately, the answer is positive.

Top 3 ways to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 7/10

Here I’m going to show you three effective methods of recovering deleted files in Windows 7 or 10:

Method 1: restore files with Windows Backup

If you have backed up files and folders with Windows Backup, you can restore permanently deleted files/folders with a few steps:

1. Navigate to the Backup and Restore utility.

In Windows 7: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore.

In Windows 10: Start > Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

2. Click on Restore my files in the Restore part.

Restore My Files

3. In the pop-up window, click Browse for files to find the files you want to recover. You can also click Search and type the filenames to find them.

Browse for Files

Tips: You can click Browse for folders to select certain folders to be recovered.

4. In the next window, choose where you want to keep the restored files and click Restore to start the recovery process.

Method 2: recover files from previous version

If you have turned on system protection on the drive that used to contain deleted files and created restore point for it, you can recover files from previous versions in following steps:

1. Double click the Computer/This PC icon on the desktop. Navigate to the folder that used to contain the deleted files/folders, right click it, and then select Restore previous versions.

Tips: If the folder is at the top level of a drive, for example C:\, right click the drive, and then select Restore previous versions.

2. You’ll see a list of available previous versions of the folder. Select a previous version of the folder that contains deleted files according to the date. You can click Open to view it to make sure it’s the version you want.

3. Click Restore to restore the folder to the original location.

Restore Previous Versions

Note: The folder will replace the current version on your computer using the Restore feature. You can click Copy to copy the previous version of the folder to another place, thus keeping the current version as well.

Method 3: recover files via professional data recovery software

What if there are no Windows backups or previous versions available? A professional data recovery tool like Recoverit Pro will help you out in this condition. It offers you eight data recovery modes which can be used under different situations. Learn how to recover permanently deleted files/folders in Windows 7 or 10 in detail below:

1. Install and run Recoverit. Select the “Deleted Files Recovery” mode to start.

Select Recovery Mode

2. Select a location where you lost your data and click “Start”.

3. Wait for the scanning process to be done. Tick the files/folders you want to retrieve and click “Recover”. It is recommended not to save the files into the hard drive where you lost your data.

Recover Deleted Files

Tips: If you cannot find your lost files, you can try “All-Around Recovery” on the left-bottom from the screen.

Get rid of file deletion scare using backup freeware

As you see, recovering files from backups saves time and energy compared with recovering through data recovery software. With a backup at hand, you won’t need to struggle your way to look for deleted files because you know very well where to get back all your files. 

Here I’d like to recommend the best free backup software—AOMEI Backupper Standard to you. It offers more advanced features than Windows inbuilt backup tools, and it’s free of charge! 

✦ It enables you to perform full system backups as well as backing up specific files, documents, disks and partitions.
✦ With the Schedule feature, you can set your backup tasks to run daily/weekly/monthly.
✦ You are allowed to do incremental and differential backups to improve the backup efficiency.

Just download this freeware to have a try. After clicking “Backup” on the left-hand panel, you’ll see all the backup types available. With the intuitive interface, all you need to do to perform backups are a few clicks!

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download


Note: To backup files in Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012, etc., you may pick AOMEI Backupper Server.

Wrapping things up

Now you know how to recover permanently deleted files/folders in Windows 7/10 easily. To perform better protection for your precious data, AOMEI Backupper can be a good assistant. Besides the backup and restore features, it also enables you to clone Dell laptop hard drive and sync two external hard drives. Any interest? Just go for it!