How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files/Folder in Windows 10/8/7/XP

Roxanne updated on Sep 24, 2020 to Data Recovery Solution | How-to Articles


You may permanently delete files/folders from hard drives or storage devices due to pressing "Shift + Delete" buttons, emptying the Recycle Bin, or because of other causes. When this happens, you can recover the permanently deleted files/folders with EaseUS file recovery software, or recover deleted folderfrom previous versions and Windows backup.

open encrypted pdf

Quick guides on how to recover permanently deleted files or folders in Windows 10/8/7:

1. Right-click on the folder that contained the permanently deleted files or folders.

2. Choose "Restore previous versions". Windows will search for and list the previous versions of files or folders. 

3. From the available versions, choose the one dated when files were there. Click "Restore" to recover the deleted files or folder

1. Recover deleted files in Windows 10 with professional file recovery software without any backup
2. Restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10 from Previous Versions (backup required)
3. Recover deleted files in Windows 7 from Windows Backup (backup required)

The methods provided on this page can be applied to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, and even Vista.

1. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files/Folders in Windows 10/8/7 with a File Recovery Tool

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

The file backup or Windows backup recovery requires you to have a backup file at first. If not, they are useless to you. So, to recover permanently deleted files without a backup, you can make it with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This professional data recovery program has a good reputation in data recovery, including recover data from emptied recycle bin, retrieve files formatted hard drive, recover data from corrupted SD card/USB flash drive, and other storage devices. 

Now, download this data recovery tool and follow the guide below to recover permanently deleted files/folder in a few simple steps. You can restore the deleted files and folders with this data recovery software by following the video and text guides below. 

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Choose the specific device and drive where you have permanently deleted files. Then, click "Scan" to find lost files.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. The software will automatically start scanning all over the selected drive. Soon, a quick scan result comes out and displays in "Deleted Files" under the drive/disk.

scan permanently deleted files

Step 3. Preview and select the wanted files. Next, click "Recover" to save them to another secure location or device.

select files and click recover

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, you can use the free version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to get it back. If you want to recover more than 2GB or unlimited data, you need to choose the pro edition.

2. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Previous Versions

Support: Undo permanent file loss with File History backup. With no backup, this method won't work. 

We can restore the deleted files and folders from previous versions. If you have set up File History to back up target files or folder automatically and even a local drive on your computer, when you delete files or folder on Windows 10 or 8 PC with the "Shift + Delete" button, you can retrieve them from the Previous Version. If you didn't turn on the feature, nothing would be found. Here are the steps.

For Windows 10/8 users:

Step 1. Open "File History", search for the path to locate the folder that you deleted on the computer. It will display all the files in the most recent backup of that folder.

Step 2. Click the "Previous" button to locate and select the file you want to retrieve, then click the green "Restore" button to get it back. 

recover deleted files in Windows 10 via File History

Step 3. 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.

Undo permanent file deletion for free in Windows 10 with File History.

For Windows 7 and older OS users:

This method only occasionally works to restore permanently deleted files or folders from its previous version in Windows 7 or even older Windows OS.

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

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

Recover permanently deleted files/folder in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista from Previous Versions

3. Restore Permanently Deleted Folder from Windows Backup

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

If you created a back up 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 the Windows backup, you probably still have a chance. If not, sorry, you are not the lucky one. We can restore the deleted files and folders from Windows backup by following the steps below. 

Step 1. Open "Control Panel", go to "System and Maintenance", select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)". 

Step 2. Click "Restore my files".

Restore deleted files from Windows Backup

Step 3. Click "Browse for files" or "Browse for folders" to select the previously created backup.

Select backup to restore

Step 4. Navigate a location to save the backup - "In the original location" or "In the following location". If there's a conflict, choose "Copy and Replace", "Don't copy" or "Copy, but keep both files" according to your needs.

Resolve conflict

Step 5. Wait for the restoring process to complete. Then all of your files or folder that were permanently removed will show up on your PC at the original or the new location. 

Wait for the recovery to complete

See More: Causes of Files or Folders Permanent Deletion in Windows

Usually, folders or files that get deleted normally can be retrieved from the Recycle Bin. However, as for the permanently removed ones, recycle bin recovery doesn't work at all. In this case, you may ask how do I recover permanently deleted files from my PC? Before data recovery, it's important to learn how the files or folder get completely lost. Here are two main causes:

1. Shift + Delete

It's a quick method to remove files from your device forever: select files and press "Shift + Delete" keys instantly. A lot of users like to press the "Shift + Delete" keys when they want to remove a file or folder from the computer. 

Shift delete to permanently delete files

2. Empty the Recycle Bin 

Another common way to entirely delete files is to empty the Recycle Bin. Sometimes, when people delete files from their computers or external storage devices, they keep the habit of regularly emptying the recycle bin to clear up junk files. Then a permanent file loss issue occurs. So another question appears, that is how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 from the emptied recycle bin?

empty recycle bin to permanently delete files

In general, after you delete files using the Del key or right-click deletion, they are moved to Recycle Bin. If you change your mind and want to restore the deleted files from there, you can do it in this way.

  • Open Recycle Bin. Find the file or folder you want to recover.
  • Right-click the item and click "Restore". Then, the deleted files will be restored to its original location.

The Recycle Bin will keep deleted files all the time until the maximum storage size for that Recycle Bin has been reached. When this happens, the Recycle Bin will automatically permanently delete/empty older files in chronological order to make room for the newer deleted files. If you don't want the Recycle Bin to delete files by itself, you can increase its maximum storage size.

  • Right-click "Recycle Bin", and choose "Properties". 
  • Select the Recycle Bin location for the drive that you want to change the maximum storage size.
  • Under "Custom size", set the maximum size in MB for storage you want, and click "Apply". Repeat these steps if you're going to change the maximum storage size for another Recycle Bin location. 

Note: The default maximum storage size of a Recycle Bin location is about 5% of its space available.

how to recover oermanently deleted files from recycle bin in Windows 10

3. Deleted Files Bypass the Recycle Bin

If the deleted files are larger than the free space of the Recycle Bin, or if you have selected the "Don't move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted." option, the deleted items will bypass the Recycle bin and be deleted permanently. To prevent this accident, you can increase the size of the Recycle bin with the way above and disable the feature. 

4. Other Unexpected Issues

Some other things beyond expectations can also cause the permanent deletion of files in Windows 10, such as abrupt system crash, malware, or virus infection. 

Most casual computer users can't find a way to recover the permanently deleted files resulted from these reasons. But now that you're here, don't worry anymore. This page includes the three most useful ways to help you undo the permanent deletion. After reading the guides above, we believe that you've learned how to recover deleted folders or files in Windows 10/8/7/XP effortlessly. 

Sum Up

If you have enabled File backup or Windows backup before, the first attempt to recover permanently lost files is restoring to the backup. But if you don't have any backup, don't despair, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is your last but best shot. It will fully scan and restore your lost files with a high recovery rate.

It's better to do a data backup in advance than to recover it after losing. Therefore, it is always recommended that you create a full backup of important files. It will save you from both file loss and economic loss. EaseUS Todo Backup enables you to do the basic file backup, disk partition backup, and even OS backup within only three steps. If you'd like to try it, here are the brief guides.

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files/Folder FAQ

Using the methods above, you can recover permanently deleted files and folders with ease. If you still have the following problems, check the simple guides.

Where do permanently deleted files go?

If you permanently delete a file, you only remove the entry and not the files themselves. It is removed from file system tables, but not wiped. Actually it's still physically present on the hard disk. Ideally, you should stop using the hard drive, then apply 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.

Is it possible to recover all deleted files?

Yes, generally, you have a few ways to recover all deleted files. If you have made a backup before, you can quickly restore the lost files from backup files. Once you have enabled the Windows Backup feature, you can restore deleted files from previous versions.

When there is no backup available, you still have the last chance to recover permanently deleted files with a professional data recovery tool, like the famous EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which is good at recovering data in any data loss situation.

Can System Restore recover permanently deleted files?

You can use System Restore to retrieve your Windows system files, registry settings, and programs installed on your system. However, System Restore cannot help you recover your personal deleted files such as photos, documents, emails, etc..

How do I recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10?

To recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7, you have two ways to troubleshoot:

  • Recover permanently deleted files from previous versions if you have activated the Windows File Backup feature in advance
  • Restore permanently deleted folders or files by using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, a top-rank file recovery software 

Was This Page Helpful?


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.