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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 Without Software

Have you ever mistakenly emptied your Recycle Bin only to find that it contained the files you need? Or have you deleted files with Shift + Delete keys but found out you still need them? This tutorial provides the three best ways to help you recover permanently deleted files without software.

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Table of Contents

How Do I Recover Shift Deleted Files Without Software

A user case for shift delete recovery without software:

I retrieved the shortcuts, but my problem is with my files and folders. They were originally located on my desktop, but as the title says, I accidentally shift+deleted it. When I search for the name of the deleted folder, it still shows up, but I can't open it. Is there any way to get them back? Or at least the deleted folder altogether (the stuff inside the folder wasn't really important, but I'd still like to get them back). I use an Asus laptop on Windows 10 if that info is needed. A user question from Reddit.

As with Shift+Delete, many other ways can lead to permanent data loss, including emptying Recycle Bin, formatting the hard drive, and deleting files bypassing the Recycle Bin.

Once your files or folders are completely deleted, the best way is to apply professional data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which can recover permanently deleted files from HDD, SSD, USB, SD card, external hard drive, laptop, and PC, to restore lost data quickly in case of data overwriting.  (Note: As long as you are still using the storage device or computer after deleting your data, your data is likely to be overwritten.) 

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However, some users want to try to recover deleted files without software. To this end, we have summarized the following three methods for you and the conditions of use. You can choose what works for you to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without software.

👨‍💻Use Windows file recovery CMD
  • First, download the Windows File Recovery tool from Microsoft Store.
  • You should be familiar with Command Prompt and the syntax.
  • Computer novice users use with caution.
🎯Restore from Previous Versions Enable Windows backup like File History and create restore points in advance. 
🧿Restore from Windows backup

If none of the scenarios that don't require data recovery software work for you, jump to how to recover permanently deleted files with software.

How to Recover Deleted Files from Recycle Bin After Empty Without Software - Use CMD

As mentioned above, Recycle Bin emptying is one of the common ways to lose data permanently. A possible way to recover deleted files from emptied Recycle Bin without software is by using Command Prompt. Windows File Recovery provides you with free deleted file recovery opportunities. 

Let's see how to use it.

Step 1. Download and open the Windows File Recovery tool. 

Step 2. Type the winfr command in the Command Prompt window. The code example is as follows:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

Step 3. Windows File Recovery offers two modes to recover deleted files: Regular or Extensive mode. 

Go to the source page of Microsoft to check the detailed steps on recovering lost files on Windows 10 with Windows File Recovery. 

recover permanently deleted files using cmd

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How to Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive Without Software - from Previous Versions

The Previous Version feature is a part of the volume shadow service. Using this service, Windows creates a restore point, which helps you to effectively roll back the changes. In this case, when you mistakenly delete 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 if you emptied the Recycle Bin or Shift deleted your files/folders on a USB drive or external hard drive. Check out the steps below:

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-clicking, then follow the steps below.

recover deleted files without software - from previous version

Step 2. Go to Control Panel to turn on "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 "restore system settings and previous files versions" and click "OK". That's all. You will now see an option to recover the particular file.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 Without Software - from Backups

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

Step 1. Connect your backup storage media to your Windows PC.

Step 2. Press Windows + I keys and navigate to "Settings". 

Step 3. Choose "Update & Security" > "Backup".

Step 4. Click "Go to Backup & Restore (Windows 7)".

Step 5. Click "Restore My Files".

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

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 with Data Recovery Software 

Don't be discouraged if you fail to recover shift+deleted files without software. You have a great chance to restore permanently deleted files from the emptied Recycle Bin or external hard drive with the help of EaseUS file recovery software.

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EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, an easy-to-use tool, is suitable even for all levels of users. With it, you can recover deleted files in Windows 10 with just three simple steps. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard supports Recycle Bin recovery, lost partition recovery, RAW recovery, OS crash recovery, and deleted recovery. 

Now, download this best data recovery software and restore permanently deleted files from Windows 10/8/7.

Step 1. Select the location to scan

Choose the specific device and drive where you have permanently deleted files using Shift delete or emptying recycle bin. 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, select the "Deleted Files" and "Other Lost Files" folders in the left panel. Then, apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" button to quickly find the deleted files.

scan permanently deleted files

Step 3. Recover deleted files

Select the deleted files and click "Preview". Next, click "Recover" to save them to another secure location or device.

select files and click recover

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Is it possible to recover permanently deleted files or folders without software? Yes, there are three ways to do so: restoring from the previous version, using Command Prompt, and recovering from a backup. If these ways are unavailable, and you can't retrieve lost files, turn to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This ultimate file recovery tool enables you to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, as well as other Windows OSs. 

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Recover Deleted Files Without Software FAQs

You can read the FAQs below if you still have questions about permanently deleted file recovery without software.

Can permanently deleted files be recovered without software?

Suppose you don't want to use any third-party data recovery software. In that case, you have two ways to recover permanently deleted files without software: restore from previous versions or recover from backup files.

How can I recover permanently deleted files without software?

You can restore the previous version of a file:

Step 1. Find the folder that contained your deleted files. Right-click it, and then select "Restore previous versions". 

Step 2. You'll see available previous versions listed. Choose the one that includes files saved on a backup to restore.

How can I recover files deleted from Recycle Bin without software?

You can retrieve deleted files from Recycle Bin after emptying them by using the Windows File Recovery tool. Run the Command Prompt, and use the winfr command to get back lost data. 

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced computer 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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