How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 Without Software (Mac Included)

You may permanently delete files or folders by emptying recycle bin or Shift+Delete. Facing this issue, you can recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without software by using the command prompt, restoring from a previous version or backup. Besides, if all these ways fail, you can still use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 with ease.

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How Can I Recover the Deleted File Without Using Any Software

"I accidentally shift deleted a folder on my Windows 10 computer last night. There are many great images and word & excel documents stored in it. Is it possible to recover permanently deleted files or folders without using any software? If yes, how can I do it? Please help! I need to get my data back!" 

What does permanently mean? As you know, you can get back deleted files from the recycle bin with ease:

  • Open Recycle bin, right-click the deleted files/folders and click "Restore".

how to restore permanently deleted files from recycle bin

What we are talking about is accidentally deleting important files using the Shift + Delete in Windows 10. If you cannot recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without software, you can use professional data recovery software. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, an easy-to-use tool, is suitable even for complete beginners. With it, you can recover hundreds of file formats with just three simple steps. No matter what caused your data loss - corrupted data, mistaken deletion, unintended formatting, this file recovery software can restore them with ease. If you want to learn more, jump to Part 3.

Part 1. Top 3 Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 Without Software

Is it possible to recover permanently deleted files or folders without software? It is a frequently asked question by many users. Here, we would like to confirm that recover deleted files in Windows 10 without software is possible. In total, there are three ways to make it, restoring from the previous version, using the command prompt, and recovering from backup. In the following parts, we'll demonstrate these three approaches respectively, read in-depth. 

  1. Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10 Using CMD
  2. Restore Deleted Files from the Previous Version
  3. Recover Permanently Deleted Files from an Older Backup

1 - Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10 Using CMD (Without Third-party Software)

The most commonly used way to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without software is applying the command prompt. Using the command prompt to recover deleted files in Windows is the first way you should try, although it's not 100% effective. Let's start here. 

To Recover Permanently Deleted Files (Including Deleted Recycle Bin Files) Using the Attrib Command:

Step 1. Go to the start menu, type cmd in the search bar.

Step 2. Select "Run as administrator" to run the Command Prompt with administrator privilege.

Step 3. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d drive letter:\*.*"

how to recover permanently deleted files in windows 10 without software - using cmd

2 - Restore Deleted Files from the Previous Version

The Previous Version feature is a part of the Volume shadow service. By this service, Windows creates a restore point, which helps you effectively to roll back the changes. In this case, when you mistakenly deleted one or more critical files or folders, you can try to retrieve files from the Previous Version without downloading or installing any third-party data recovery software. It works even you emptied the recycle bin or Shift deleted your files or folders. Follow the steps to learn how to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty without software:

Step 1. Right-click the folder where you deleted your files, and select "Restore previous versions". Now, you will see an option to recover the folder. If you don't see "Restore previous Versions" by right-click, then follow the steps below to continue.

Step 2. Go to Control Panel to turn on the "System Protection".

Step 3. Click on "System & Security" > "System" > "System Protection" (on the left sidebar).

Step 4. Available drives with corresponding protection will be shown.

Step 5. Select a particular drive and click on configure.

Step 6. Click on "restore system settings and previous versions of files" and click on "OK". That's all; now you will see an option to recover the particular file.

recover deleted files without software - from previous version

3 - Recover Permanently Deleted Files from an Older Backup

Windows has a data recovery component called Backup and Restore, which allowed users to create backups and restore them from backups created earlier. If you are using Windows Backup, then there is a high possibility to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 by using a backup method. Here are the steps to restore permanently deleted files from a backup.

  1. 1. Connect your backup storage media with your Windows PC.
  2. 2. Press Windows + I key to go to "Settings". 
  3. 3. Choose "Update & Security" > "Backup".
  4. 4. Click "Go to Backup & Restore (Windows 7)".
  5. 5. Click "Restore My Files".

how to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty without software - using backup

Part 2. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac Without Software (2 Ways)

If you emptied a Mac Trash on a MacBook, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro, how to recover permanently deleted files without software? There two ways to retrieve permanently deleted Mac files without software. One is using Mac Terminal. The other is using Time Machine.

  1. Recover Deleted Files on Mac Through Terminal
  2. Recover Deleted Files on Mac with Time Machine

Tip 1. Recover Deleted Files on Mac Through Terminal

If you want to recover deleted files on Mac without software, using Terminal is a great choice. But Terminal command can only recover deleted files from Trash on Mac. 

1. Go to "Finder" > "Applications" > "Utilities" and  double-click "Terminal".

2. Type command cd .Trash and press the "Return" key on your Mac (xxx means the name of the deleted file).

3. Input "mv xxx../" and hit "Return". (xxx means the name of the deleted file)

4. Type "Quit" in the Terminal to exit the Terminal window. 

how to recover deleted files from recycle bin after empty without software - using terminal on mac

Tip 2. Recover Deleted Files on Mac Through Time Machine

Just like the built-in backup option in Windows, Mac has the same component called Time Machine. If you have enabled Time Machine backup, you can recover deleted data on Mac via a recent backup even you have emptied the Trash. If you have emptied Mac Trash without any backup, you can turn to Mac data recovery software to get back permanently deleted Mac data. Steps to restore Mac files from Time Machine:

1. Launch Time Machine on your Mac. You can click on the icon in the menu bar and choose "Enter Time Machine" or search for Time Machine using Spotlight.

2. You can find the specific files you want to restore using the onscreen up and down arrows to locate it. Then you can preview it by pressing Space Bar.

3. Finally, click the "Restore" button, and then the deleted file will be returned to its original location. 

how to restore permanently deleted files from Mac recycle bin - using time machine

Part 3. Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 with Software 

If the above methods failed to work and deleted the previous version of files or folders, how can you restore files? Don't worry. You still have a great chance to restore the previous version of the file using reliable and professional data recovery software. EaseUS disk data recovery software is developed to recover deleted or lost data from HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, Pen drive, external hard drive, CF/SD card, etc. 

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Recover Files

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, emails, etc.
  • 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

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and restore permanently deleted files from Windows 10/8/7.

In addition to the deleted file recovery, this data recovery tool is also capable of RAW partition recovery, lost partition recovery, virus attack recovery, recycle bin emptied data recovery, and so on. 

Step 1. Select the location to scan

Choose the specific device and drive where you have permanently deleted files. Then, click the "Scan" button to find lost files.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Check the results

The software will automatically start scanning all over the selected drive. 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

Select the permanently deleted files and double-click to preview them. Next, click "Recover" to save them to another secure location or device.

select files and click recover

Conclusion

It is a piece of cake to restore deleted files on a Windows PC or Mac device if you know what to do. If you want to restore Windows files without software, go to Part 1. If you want to retrieve Mac files without software, go to Part 2. If you want to recover permanently deleted files from PC easily, go to Part 3. EaseUS data recovery software is the only thing that you need.

Recover Deleted Files from Hard Drive Without Any Software FAQs

If you still have questions about permanently deleted file recovery, you can read the FAQs below.

Where do permanently deleted files go?

Files that are moved to the recycle bin (on PCs) or the trash can (on Macs) stay in those folders until the user empties the recycle bin or trash can. 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. 

Can permanently deleted files be recovered?

It depends on how you define permanently deleted files. If you mean files that have recently been deleted from the Recycle Bin, then we have good news for you: such files can usually be recovered. But if the files have been overwritten, then you most likely cannot recover them.

How can I recover permanently deleted files without software?

To recover permanently deleted files without software in Windows 10:

1. Recover Deleted Files in Windows 10 Using CMD

2. Restore Deleted Files from the Previous Version

3. Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Backup

Can you restore files after deleting from the recycle bin?

You can retrieve recover deleted files from recycle bin files immediately after you delete or drag them to the recycle bin. At this point, you just need to right-click the files and choose "Restore".

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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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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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