[3 Ways] Recover Permanently Deleted Files/Folder in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista

Abby Haines updated on Sep 05, 2019 to Data Recovery Solution | How-to Articles


You may permanently delete files/folders from hard drives or storage devices by using "Shift + Delete" button or emptying recycle bin. When this happens, you can recover the permanently deleted files/folders from the previous version, Windows backup or with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Recover with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (Automated & 100% Working)
Recover from Previous Versions in Windows (Manual & 50% Working)
Retrieve from Windows Backup (Manual & 50% Working)

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

Causes of Files or Folders Permanent Deletion in Windows

Usually, folders or files that got deleted be retrieved from the Recycle Bin. However, as for the  "permanently" deleted files and folders, recycle bin recovery doesn't work at all.

Have you ever asked yourself this question: how do I recover permanently deleted files from my PC? 

To avoid the same issues occur again, it's important to learn how the files or folder got completely deleted. Here are two main causes:

# 1. Shift + Delete (40% People's Choice)

It's a quick method to forever remove files from your device: select files and press "Shift + Delete" keys at the same time. About 40% people like to press "Shift + Delete" keys when they want to remove a file or folder from the computer. 

Shift delete files.

# 2. Empty the Recycle Bin (60% Peoples' Choice)

Another common way to entirely delete files from your device is to empty the Recycle Bin after a right-click deletion.

Sometimes, when people delete important files from their computer or external storage devices, they keep the habit of regularly emptying recycle bin to clear up junk files. Then a permanent file loss issue occurs.

empty recycle bin

Most casual computer users can't find a way to recover these files. Fortunately, this page includes 3 ways here to help you undo the permanent deletion. Read on, you will learn how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista. 

Way 1. Recover with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (100% Working)

Support: 3-step recovery of permanently deleted files on Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista. 

If you deleted files from PC or an external device such as USB flash drives, SD cards, etc., or didn't have a backup of essential file folders, you can undo the permanent deletion with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

This professional data recovery program is built to recover lost data due to deletion, formatting or some other reasons. You can download it and use the guide below to recover permanently deleted files/folder in a few simple steps:

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is recognized as the most prominent and quickest file recovery software, especially when it comes to permanently deleted file recovery. Three clicks will be able to recover deleted files in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista: choose a file location -> scan -> recover.

1- Choose a file location

Left-click on the Drive X: (also, a specific folder is supported), where you deleted files permanently.
Click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

2- Scan

The software automatically starts scanning all over the selected drive.
Soon, a quick scan result comes out and displays in "Deleted files".

scan permanently deleted files

3- Recover

In addition to the "Deleted files" results, check the results in the relevant drive X: or other sections after the scan is over, especially in "Extra Files", where keeps the files that might have lost file names and paths.

Finally, select the wanted files and click "Recover" to save them to another secure location or device. Click "OK" to finish.

select files and click recover

Way 2. Recover from Previous Versions in Windows (50% Working)

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

You can try to retrieve them using Previous Versions or File History so long as you have enabled File History to back up files and remember the name of the deleted file or folder. 

For Windows 10/8 users:

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

Step 1: Open File History, search for the path to locate the folder that you deleted on 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. 

Free 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

Way 3. Retrieve from Windows Backup (50% Working)

Support: Bring forever lost files back from previously created file or folder backup. With no backup, this method work.

If you personally created a back up of all valuable files and folder on an external hard drive, you can 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. Here are the steps that you can follow:

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

Step 2: Click "Restore my files" .

Restore 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.

Wait for the recovery 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. 

Sum Up

When both of the 2 and 3 methods offered on this page fail to work, don't worry. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is your last but best shot. It will fully scan and restore your lost files.

Also, you are always to suggest to create a full backup of essential files in advance. It will save you from both file loss and economic loss. EaseUS Todo Backup Free enables you to do the basic file backup, disk partition backup and even OS backup for free. within only 3 steps. If you'd like to try it, here are the brief guide for you to follow:

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup and choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup".

back up data with easeus todo backup

Step 2: Choose disk partition 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.


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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.