How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files/Folder in Windows 10

You may "permanently delete" files/folders from hard drives or storage devices by pressing the Shift + Delete buttons, emptying Recycle Bin, or using other deletion methods. If you do this and later you need to recover deleted files, you can use a program like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

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When you delete a file from your computer, it doesn't simply disappear from existence. Even if you immediately empty the Recycle Bin or the Trash folder, all your deletion does is earmark the space that the file takes up on your hard drive as vacant. Thus, your "permanently deleted files" can be recovered if you know how.

Here are some effective ways to recover permanently deleted files from PC, Mac, and smartphones.

To recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin on Windows 10:

  • Open the Recycle Bin by right-clicking its icon on your desktop.
  • Select Open from the menu to view deleted files.
  • Check the box to the left of the filename you want to restore.
  • Right-click on the selected file and choose Restore to recover the file to its original location on Windows 10.

recover deleted files from recycle bin

What if you find that the Recycle Bin is empty? What if the files you want to restore are not available in the Recycle Bin? In these cases, the methods outlined below will help you out.

Check the video tutorial about 5 methods:

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from PC with Software

Support: recover permanently deleted files in 3 steps on Windows 10/8/7/XP without backup. 

Most data recovery methods, including the ones built into Windows 10, require that you have a backup to restore your files. If you haven’t got any backups, one of the options you can try is to use a data recovery program. There are many such programs on the market and you can try the one that you think is good.

EaseUS Data Recovery is one of those programs and it's been in the market for several years. It's worth giving this tool a shot to see if it helps recover your files.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, emails effectively
  • Recover files from formatted hard drive, emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations

First, download this data recovery tool and then follow the guide below to recover permanently deleted files/folders with simple steps.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Select the Recycle Bin, device, or a drive, then click the "Scan" button to start looking for deleted files on Windows 10.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Check the Results

When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" button to quickly find the deleted files.

scan permanently deleted files

Step 3. Preview the files you want to recover

Click the "Recover" button to restore deleted files in Windows 10.

recover deleted files on Windows 10

EaseUS free data recovery software allows you to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10/8/7 for free as long as the data you lose is less than 2GB. If you want to recover more than 2GB or unlimited data, you need to go for the pro edition.

Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 Without Software

If the deleted folder recovery software is not your first preference, you can try File History to restore deleted folders. This method won't work if you don't have a data backup.

Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 from the Previous Version

Support: Undo permanent file loss with File History backup. This method doesn't work without a backup.

If you enabled File History before getting your files deleted, you can use that feature to restore the deleted files on your computer. This method should work even if you deleted your files using the Shift + Delete method that removes your files for good. Do not attempt to use this method if you didn’t enable it before losing the files.

For Windows 10/8.1/8 users:

Step 1. Open the Start menu. 

Step 2. Type restore files and hit Enter on your keyboard.

Step 3. Look for the folder where you deleted files were stored.

Step 4. Select the Restore button in the middle to undelete Windows 10 files to their original location.

how to recover permanently deleted files from pc

If the computer warns you that it already contains a file or folder with the same name, select Replace the file in the destination to get your permanently deleted files or folder back.

how to recover permanently deleted files from pc -2

For Windows 7 and older OS users:

This method may or may not work, but you can give it a shot to see if it helps you recover your permanently deleted files on Windows 7 and earlier.

Step 1. Create a new file or folder on the desktop and name it the same as the deleted file or folder.

Step 2. Right-click the new file or folder and choose Restore previous versions. Windows will search for and list the previous versions of files or folders with this name along with their associated dates.

restore previous version

Step 3. Choose the latest version and click Restore to get your deleted file or folder back. 

how to recover permanently deleted files in windows 7

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 via Backup and Restore

Support: Bring lost files back using a previously created file or folder backup. This method won't work if there is no backup generated before.

If you have created a backup of all valuable files and folders on an external hard drive, you could effectively restore the lost files from the backup. Or, if you have turned on Windows Backup, you still have a chance.

Here's how to restore the deleted files and folders from Windows Backup:

Step 1. Open the Start menu. recover deleted files in windows 10

Step 2. Type backup and hit Enter on your keyboard.

Step 3. Select the Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option under Looking for an older backup.

backup and restore (windows 7)

Step 4. Click the Select another backup to restore files from option and choose your backup.

Step 5. Click Next and follow the instructions to complete the recovery process.

how to recover permanently deleted files without software

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Folder on Mac

Support: macOS 11.0 ~ 10.9 (click Apple logo > About This Mac to check your macOS version)

If you are a Mac user, you can also restore permanently deleted Mac files with the software, Time Machine, or Terminal.

The Terminal method only works if your deleted files are still in the Trash. Feel free to use this method if you haven't removed from your files from Trash, yet. As for Time Machine, you're going to need a Time Machine backup to restore your files.

If you don't meet the requirements for the above methods, your last resort is to rely on a data recovery tool. Again, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can potentially bring your lost files back on your Mac.

Using this tool, you can:

  • Retrieve over 200+ file types from various Mac devices
  • Create a bootable USB drive even your Mac fails to bootable
  • Recover lost data due to accidental deletion without a backup, format, and virus attack

Download the Mac version and retrieve permanently deleted Mac files:

Step 1. Select the device location you deleted files from. Click the "Scan" button to pinpoint permanently deleted files.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will list the files it finds in the left-hand sidebar.

start scan on the Mac

Step 3. Preview the items you are looking for and click the "Recover Now" button to restore permanently deleted files on Mac.

click recover now button to recover lost data on your Mac

Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Android/iPhone

If you deleted photos, videos, and other files on your Android phone or iPhone, check out the methods below.

Method 1. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Android

Support: Nearly all Android phones

You can also get back photos from Android with a PC. All you need to do is download EaseUS MobilSaver for Android. Follow the details below and recover photos from Android.

Step 1. Connect your Android phone to the computer. Install and run EaseUS MobilSaver for Android.

Step 2. Scan Android phone to find permanently deleted files on Android phone.

Step 3. Preview and recover deleted files from Android phone.

how to restore permanently deleted files Android

Method 2. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on iPhone

Support: iOS 13 and iPhone 11/11 Pro/XS/XS Max/XR

You may be wondering if you can recover deleted photos, videos, or files that the iPhone removed. The good news is in many cases, you can. But, if you can't locate the image in the Photos app, chances are it's lost forever.

However, all hope is not lost. You can use EaseUS iOS data recovery software to try and get your lost iPhone files back. Here's how you do this:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS MobiSaver. Among the three recovery options, choose Recover from iCloud > Enter your Apple ID and password.

Step 2. Then, it will start to scan your device. After that, all the files that were found will be displayed on the left side. You can find the iCloud photos quickly by choosing the Photos/Videos category > Preview the recoverable pictures one by one > Click Recover and specify a location to save them on your computer.

recover permanently deleted files iPhone

Conclusion

If you enabled File Backup or Windows Backup prior to losing files, those file recovery methods should be your first choice. If you don’t have any backups, don’t panic as you can still recover your files.  There are many data recovery tools on the market to help you out, and if you can’t think of anything, start with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

We have listed different solutions for PC to recover deleted folders, so you can choose a method according to your needs: 

Deleted Scenes Recycle Bin Data Recovery Software Previous Versions File Backup & Restore
Deleted files recovery
Permanently deleted files recovery ×
Emptied Recycle Bin recovery ×
Need backup × ×
Recovery rate Low High Low  Low

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files/Folder FAQs

Using the methods above, you can recover permanently deleted files and folders with ease. If you still have any issues or questions, the following should help you.

1. Where Do Permanently Deleted Files Go?

If you permanently delete a file, you only remove the entry for that file and not the file itself. The file is removed from the file system tables, but it is not wiped off. In fact, it's still physically present on the hard disk.

Ideally, you should stop using the hard drive, then use a data recovery program to scan and recover the lost files. The sooner you do the data recovery after you delete your file, the better the chances of recovery will be.

2. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Cloud Drive?

Take Google Drive as an example:

Step 1. Move to drive.google.com/drive/trash.

Step 2. Right-click the file you want back and choose Restore.

restore deleted files from google drive

However, if you have click Deleted Forever from the trash bin, it is hard to recover files from the trash bin in Google drive. Read also and get more details: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive

3. How to Recover Deleted Files with Free Software?

There are many free software programs out there to help you recover deleted files on your devices. You can start with something like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and see how it helps you get your lost files back. Tools like this usually work on all modern Windows versions including Windows 10/8/7.

The steps to use these tools are usually as follows:

  • Launch the recovery tool on your computer and let it scan the drive where your lost files were located.
  • Take a look at the list of files the tool can recover for you.
  • Select the files to be recovered and click the Recover button.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced comuter tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

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