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

Abby Haines updated on Sep 04, 2019 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


Permanently deleted files are actually not gone forever. You can recover deleted files with the three methods. The easiest way is to use EaseUS file recovery software and get data back in three steps. Also, you can restore permanently deleted data from file history or restore the previous versions.

Method 1. Recover Files Use Software
Method 2. Restore Files Use the Backup
Method 3. Restore the Previous Versions

What Does "Permanently Deleted File" Mean

When we delete a file in Windows 10/8/7, it often goes to the recycle bin. No matter you use a "delete" key, or "shift+delete", such deletion is a temporary deletion. You can easily get files back by:

  • Going to the recycle bin
  • Selecting the files and click "Restore"

recover deleted files from recycle bin

However, when you empty the recycle bin your files are "permanently deleted". This also happens when you run cleaner software - the files and folders are permanently removed (deleted) from the system. The good news is permanently deleted files can be recovered. Here are three methods to retrieve permanently deleted files in Windows 10. 

Why It's Possible to Recover Permanently Deleted Files

Due to the nature of digital data storage, those "permanently deleted files" are not actually cleared from your computer right away. The deleted file is marked as available space for the system and wait to be overwritten by new data on the drive. This fact means that those files are most often recoverable, just so long as they haven’t been overwritten. So did you permanently delete your important files or folders on a Windows 10 PC and thought you had no way to get them back? Don't worry! The solutions are here.  

  • If you don’t have a backup, go to method 1. It is the easiest way.
  • If you created a backup that contains the permanently lost files on your PC, you can go to method 2 or method 3.
  • If you accidentally deleted files on Mac, don't worry. Follow this guide to recover deleted files on Mac immediately.

Method 1. Recover Permanently Deleted Files with Software (The Easiest One)

The easiest way to restore permanently deleted files is to use effective disk data recovery software. You can recover Windows 10 files with the help of this software in three steps. And this software has lots of highlights:

  • Recover files after deletions, formatting errors, partition losses, OS crashes, virus attacks, and more.
  • Restore more 1000 types of files including photos, documents, videos, audio, emails, compressed files, etc.
  • Supports bootable recovery. Boot with a downloadable WinPE when your system fails to start or crashes.
  • Supports a wide file system including FAT, NTFS, ext2/3/4, HFS+, ReFS and more.

Follow the instructions given below to restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10 :

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

Method 2. Use Backup and Restore (Recover Files from a Backup)

If you have a backup, you can check your recent backup and restore permanently disappeared files from your Windows backup. Here's how.

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

Step 2: Click "Browse for files" or "Browse for folders" to select the previously created backup.

Step 3: Select a place to save your files. 

restore files from windows backup

If there's a conflict, choose "Copy and Replace", "Don't copy" or "Copy, but keep both files" according to your needs. Then, wait for the restoring process to complete.

Method 3. Restore Files from Previous Versions in Windows 10

Also, you can recover Windows 10 files by using the previous versions. Before you try this method, you must be sure that you have set up File History to automatically back up files. If you haven't turned on this feature, give up this method. 

Step 1: Right-click on the folder that contained the permanently deleted file(s).

Step 2: Click "Restore previous versions".

Step 3: Select the wanted files and click "Restore"

restore files to the previous version

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 back right now.

Bonus Tips - Back Up Files Frequently

To prevent permanent data loss, always keep a backup of your files. You'd better create a schedule to back up your files. If you have difficulty in creating a backup plan, you can use free backup software to help you. Here, I'd like to mention EaseUS Todo Backup - the easy-to-use backup software. It only takes a few steps to back up files automatically.

back up files as usual as possible

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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.