How to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10

Almost every Windows PC user has accidentally deleted a file they wanted to keep. Although your first move should be to check the Recycle Bin, it may not be there. Windows 10 doesn’t automatically keep all erased files in the Recycle Bin. Sometimes it deletes files permanently, leaving you little hope of ever seeing them again. If you are in this situation, we might have answers for you.

How to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10

This article explains how to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

How to Retrieve Deleted Files in Windows 10

You can still recover deleted Windows files regardless of how you lost them. Below are the top file recovery techniques to try:

Search for Deleted Files in the Recycle Bin

If you highlight a file in Windows 10 and press “Delete” or “Backspace,” it goes straight to the Recycle Bin. The file will remain there until you recover it, empty the Recycle Bin, or the storage becomes full, and the oldest files are deleted first. Thus, you have adequate time to rescue deleted files. Additionally, the Recycle Bin groups deleted files by Name, Original Location, Date Deleted, Size, Item Type, and Date Modified. This allows you to sort files by the most preferred parameters.

To recover deleted Windows 10 files from the Recycle Bin, do this:

  1. Move to the Desktop and double-click the “Recycle Bin” icon. You can also right-click this icon and choose “open.”
  2. Under “Name,” you will view all deleted files.
  3. To restore a file, select one item.
  4. Right-click the highlighted file and choose “Restore.”
  5. Use the Best Data Recovery Tool for Windows

 You can also delete a file forever by highlighting it and pressing the “Shift + Delete” keys. If you empty the bin or delete a file manually, you will free up disk space but lose that content. You should be certain you won’t need a file again before deleting it forever. Ensure you retrieve deleted Windows 10 files before you start overwriting them.

Each time you erase a file on your PC, the operating system doesn’t physically remove it from the drive. Instead, it marks the space as “available.” If you introduce new data, it simply overwrites the deleted files’ clusters. You can prevent this by recovering your files before this occurs. If you wait, you might never recover erased files fully. Your best tool for this work is third-party data recovery software. Here are your options:

Windows Recovery Tool

The Windows File Recovery tool uses command prompts to recover deleted files, which means it may require some advanced computer knowledge. To use this tool, download it from the Microsoft store, but only if you’re running Windows 10 or a newer version. After downloading this tool, view instructions on usage on Microsoft’s support page.

If you understand syntaxes and switches, try using this tool to retrieve lost files from Drive C to E. Don’t interrupt the file recovery process, which might take a while to run. Otherwise, you risk overwriting the erased files and complicating the recovery process.

Third-party File Recovery Software Tools

Try a third-party recovery tool if you can’t use the complicated Command Prompt technique. Most third-party data recovery tools work just fine. However, the success rate goes up if you want to recover recently-deleted files on Windows. Overwritten deleted documents and media files are hard to recover, even with software. If your lost files are intact, use the following tools to recover them:


Some free third-party recovery tools can restore your lost files. Although many free software tools exist, one of your best options is Recuva. If you can’t recover the deleted files with Recuva’s free plan, you can upgrade to a premium membership. Meanwhile, the free software can recover deleted files from not just Windows hard drives but also memory cards and USB sticks. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download “Recuva” from the official website and install it.
  2. Launch “Recuva” and wait for it to load the startup wizard.
  3. The Wizard will ask you to choose the file type you wish to recover and its location.
  4. Wait for “Recuva” to scan the stated file location and return deleted files. If it returns nothing, perform a deep scan.
  5. Choose the file you want to retrieve and click “Recover.”

Disk Drill

Disk Drill is another tool you can employ when recovering deleted files. It is a professional data recovery tool with numerous users because it recovers Windows files in many formats. To use Disk Drill for free, do the following:

  1. Download Disk Drill for free.
  2. Install the downloaded file on your Windows PC.
  3. Next to the hard drive you want to recover deleted data from, hit the “Search for lost data” icon.
  4. Choose the files you need to recover from the list and Click “Recover.”

The free Disk Drill version can retrieve up to 500 megabytes of deleted files. If the files you plan to recover are few, you should use Disk Drill. Also, it has a simple user interface that a beginner would understand, no matter their technical knowledge.

How to Retrieve from a File History Backup

File History is a backup and restore feature in Windows 10. It recovers not only Recycle Bin files but also the ones you’ve deleted forever. It works this way:

  1. Click “Start” and enter “Restore files.”
  2. Press the “Enter” key.
  3. Search for the folder that contained the deleted files.
  4. Choose the green “Restore” icon at the bottom of the “Home – File History” screen.
  5. Check if your files are in their original storage locations.

The “Home-File History” window will have several folders. Your “File History” feature might be off if you can’t see any folders. So, turn it on and see if you can view any folders.

Restore Files With Restore Previous Versions Data Recovery Feature

Windows 10 is more advanced since it has the “Restore previous versions” data recovery tool. Its job is to recover earlier versions of your files and folders. It will only function if you’ve enabled it. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Click the “Start” icon and enter “System protection.”
  2. Click “Configure” and choose “Turn on system protection.”
  3. Hit “OK” to use the “Restore previous versions” tool.
  4. Next, right-click on a folder or file and click “Previous Versions.”
  5. Select the most appropriate version to restore the highlighted file or folder to.
  6. Click “Restore” to finish the process.


Can I recover erased Windows 10 files from Google Drive?

If Google Drive is your favorite cloud storage option, then use it to recover permanently lost files. You can select the Google Drive folder when using a data recovery tool. You can also use the “Restore from Trash” feature on Google Drive.

Can I recover the Windows 10 files I deleted several months ago?

You may recover these files if other backups existed before deletion. For instance, you can use the “File History” method above to recover deleted files even after several months. This may work best if a data recovery tool does not retrieve your files.

Find Permanently Deleted Files

The Recycle Bin contains most of your deleted files unless emptied. Also, if you removed a file by pressing Shift + Delete, it is not in the Recycle Bin. You can recover it with a free data recovery tool. Additionally, you can get it from the “File History” or “Restore previous versions” features.

Did you permanently delete some crucial Windows files? Have you retrieved any of them using the above techniques? Let us know in the comments section below.

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