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How to recover deleted files on PC with or without software

PCs have built-in tools like Recycle Bin, File History, and Windows Backup to perform file recovery after deletion, while some software also helps in recovering PC-deleted files.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Sep 13, 2022 9:16 PM
  • To recover deleted files or folders on your PC, you can first check the Recycle Bin where the deleted data files are usually located.
  • If you want to get a deleted file back from your PC, you may find it in a previous computer either from Windows Backup and Restore, or from the File History.
  • The third-party tool Data Recovery offers even more features, like recovering various types of files from every hard drive on your PC, and even other external or removable storage media.
  • Many Cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, can also store deleted files in the Trash folder so that they can be restored later.

Step-by-step guide to find and recover the deleted files on a PC.

We live in a world where digital data is indispensable. The data on our computers holds some of our most precious information, such as our personal data, photos, business files, and many more.

When you accidentally delete a file on your PC, it can be incredibly frustrating, especially if the file was something you had been working on for days, weeks, or even months. Actually, deleted files can still be recovered on a Windows PC. There is no need to worry if you accidentally delete some crucial files. To restore the lost files on a PC, there are several recovery methods available:

What to do if accidentally delete files on PC?

Permanently deleting files does not completely remove them from your computer. Not right away, at least. You can still access the deleted files on your PC storage. They are just marked as invisible. But, if you keep using your PC, new data will overwrite the existing deleted files. Therefore, it is necessary to stop using your computer immediately if you want to recover the deleted files from your PC.


  • For extra time, avoid writing new data to the storage device that contains the deleted files by closing all applications and processes that are not necessary. By doing this, deleted files will be able to be recovered before they are overwritten.

Retrieve deleted PC files from Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is the first place you should check when you fortuitously delete your files on PC. All deleted files should go straight to the Recycle Bin unless you make permanent deletion by Shift + Delete or empty the Bin completely. To recover deleted files from Recycle Bin on your PC:

1. Get started by launching the Recycle Bin.

2. Locate the deleted files.

  • To recover a deleted file, this is the most important step. The file will still be in the recycling bin if it hasn't been permanently deleted.
  • If you're looking for a particular file in the recycling bin, arrange the deleted files by date.
  • The top-right search bar in the Recycle Bin can also be used to find specific deleted files.

3. Restore deleted files from Recycle Bin on PC.

The files in Recycle Bin folder can be easily restored to their original location on your PC.

Click the Restore option from the menu that appears after you locate the correct files. Deleted files will be returned to their original folders. You can search for the file name in the search bar if you don't know where it was.

Accidentally deleting important files can be very irritating. The luckiest thing is that you can always restore what you've deleted from the Recycle Bin on your PC. But, when you have emptied the Recycle Bin and all your deleted files are gone, what can you do?

Recover files on PC with Data Recovery Software

Your deleted or lost files can be recovered or undeleted using recovery software such as Data Recovery. It offers users a fast and effective way to recover various deleted files from your computer and from almost every type of storage device that your computer is capable of reading.

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Step 1. On your PC, launch the Data Recovery program.

Step 2. Specify the data type(s) and then drive to scan.

Choose the types of files you wish to recover and select the locations where you'd like to restore from. Click on the blue Scan button to quickly find the deleted files from selected drives.

The simple interface lets you easily select what deleted files to recover and where to restore from.

It's also able to recover data files from a removable drive which is connected with your PC.

Step 3. Search for the file(s) to be recovered on the PC.

After a quick scan, the program will display the deleted files it found on your PC. Deep Scan mode on the upper-right corner is a premier option to find more deleted items if the Quick Scan doesn't reach the files you're looking for.

The scanned results on the screen will be sorted by the data types.

Step 4. View and recover data files.

All the recoverable files are sorted according to their file types. You can check specific data types from the left side and preview the scanned results. Simply tick everything you wish to recover, and click on the Recover button to get them back.


  • Using the Filter feature, it is also possible to specifically search for files that have been deleted from your PC if you happen to know the file's name and where they were.
  • You can recover the files to their previous locations where they were deleted from, or restore them to a newly created folder on your PC.
  • Click Open Folder to view the restored files on the PC when the recovery is complete.

Your deleted files will be accessible on this PC after the file recovery is finished.

With this amazing Data Recovery software, not only can you recover photos but also a wider variety of file types such as videos, music, various documents, email, etc. Each of these file types has a different format, and the file recovery plan works with all of them.

Not to mention its straightforward and simple interface. Even the ones with little tech knowledge can use this great tool. Its user-friendly layout displays all the options and features so that anyone can easily understand.

Restore deleted files on PC from Cloud Backup

When you accidently or permanently delete a file on your PC and want it back later, the online cloud backup may help you avoid dealing with the undesirable data loss. It doesn't matter what cloud service you're using. You can restore your deleted files from the latest online backup if you get into the good habit of backing up your data regularly.

1. Online Trash Bin recovery.

Cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive do not remove the files immediately when you delete them. The files you deleted has been moved online into a Trash folder. So when you get your files permanently deleted from your PC, try the cloud-based solutions to get them back.

2. Find deleted files in Google Drive.

The files you remove and delete in Google Drive are kept in the Trash — a folder like Recycle Bin on a PC. After deleting the files, you'll have the access to restore them in 30 days by default. So if you deleted some files recently using Google Drive app on your PC, there's possibility to restore get the deleted files back yourself.

  • On your PC, open Google Drive or go to its website and log in with your Google account.
  • Locate and access the Trash folder.
  • Select the deleted files that you like to get back onto your PC.
  • You can sort the trashed files by date so you can find the newest files you deleted on PC.
  • Check the items you prefer to recover, and right-click to choose Restore. This will put back the deleted files to their original location.

Navigate to your cloud storage and restore the deleted files from its Trash folder.

Restore files you deleted on PC without software

Using Data Recovery tool and cloud storage services, you can easily restore deleted files to your PC even if you can't find them in the Recycle Bin or think they're gone forever. But can permanently deleted files or folders be recovered without the assistance of software? Fortunately, your PC does support the local file recovery with several built-in features below:

1. Windows File History on PC

The preset File History on PC allows for simple data recovery as well as the recovery of permanently deleted files on a Windows OS computer. Once enabled, it automatically saves different versions of your files and folders as backups. When you cannot find your original files no matter they are lost or deleted, you can certainly restore them from backups it has kept before.

  • Start by clicking the Start button.
  • On your keyboard, type Restore files in the search bar and press Enter.
  • Select Restore your files with File History.
  • Find the folder where you deleted your files, or enter the name of the file you want to restore.
  • You can also use the arrows to view different versions of the deleted files or folders.
  • Undelete the files by selecting the Restore option - the green button in the middle.


  • You can access the deleted files on their original location after the file restore is done.
  • It also allows you to add a new folder and restore the deleted data files to it. To save the recovered files in a new place, simply right-click the green button and choose Restore to.

Run PC File History, select deleted files from the timeline and restore them to a previous version.

To back up your PC with File History:

  • You can back up your PC files with an external drive or a network location.
  • Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Add a drive.
  • Choose the external or the network location where you want to save your file backups.
  • Then your PC files will be backed up and saved to the chosen location for future use.

2. Get deleted files back on PC using Windows Backup

Backup and Restore is another feature in Windows PC that allows users to create backups and restore files from the backups. It's also capable of recovering permanently deleted files or folders on your PC without the help of software.

If your PC is running Windows 10, restore the deleted files from a previous backup:

Step 1: On the taskbar, open Start menu and type Control panel.

Step 2: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Step 3: Find your deleted files from previous versions of backups and restore them as you want.

Restore the files from a backup created earlier on a Windows PC.

If your PC is having Windows 11, then restore files with Backup and Restore by following:

Step 1: Connect the external drive or portable storage device that stores your backup files.

Step 2: Enter and select Control Panel on the taskbar.

Step 3: Choose Backup and Restore (Windows 7) > Select another backup to restore files from.

Step 4: Locate the external or mobile storage media, and follow the on-screen instructions to get the deleted files back to your PC.

3. Recover files on PC from Previous Version

The restore point service helps you roll back the changes by creating a backup copy of the data files. It brings you the possibility to recover files from the Previous Version that your PC has kept before you mistakenly delete one or more important files or folders. No matter how many times you empty the Recycle Bin or Shift delete your files or folders, it still works.

  • On your PC, navigate to the folder which contained your deleted files before.
  • Right-click the folder and select Restore previous versions from the option list.

Retrieve deleted PC files from Previous Versions.

  • All the available versions of the selected folder will show up.
  • Select the files or folders that you wish to recover. And click on Restore button. Or just simply drag your wanted files to the location where you hope to save them.

Restore PC files or folders to their previous versions.


1. Where can I find the deleted files on my PC?

The files will be moved the Recycle Bin by default after getting deleted on a Windows PC. The deleted files and folders will keep staying in the Recycle Bin until you clear everything manually.

2. How do I recover permanently deleted files from my PC?

To perform a PC file recovery after permanent deletion, simply get Data Recovery tool on your computer. Run the app > Select file types and location drives > Start scanning the deleted files > Choose what to recover > Restore them to the original location or a target folder.

3. Is it possible to recover deleted files after formatting PC?

There are several ways to recover formatted files from a PC. If you've created computer backups lately, you an easily restore your deleted files with built-in features on your PC:

  • Retrieve deleted files with Windows Backup and Restore
  • Restore PC deleted files from File History
  • Replace the files with a previous version

4. Can you recover deleted photos on Windows?

Yes. The deleted photos are recoverable on a Windows PC before they are overwritten by the new data. So make sure you stop adding pictures on your PC and try to restore the deleted ones from a recent backup. It can be a Windows Backup, or a backup from your cloud storage services. You can even return your picture folder to a previous version to get the lost items back.

The final words

At any time, your old or deleted files may be needed. To prevent any inadvertent data loss in the future, it's time now to have a file recovery plan on your PC. It's never too late to be prepared for emergencies, like error deleting crucial files at an inopportune time, by having the right tools on hand to recover deleted files and folders on your PC. With luck, the Data Recovery, Cloud services, and many built-in Windows features can help you with that.

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