How to Recover Deleted Files From Your Windows PC – Step-By-Step Tutorial

Lamenting the loss of your precious files? Let’s delve into the world of data recovery and uncover the secrets to retrieving your deleted files from your Windows PC.

The accidental deletion of files can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless, but fear not! In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through the process of recovering your lost data, ensuring that no file is lost forever.

So, gather your wits and prepare to embark on a journey of digital salvation.

Assess the Damage

To assess the damage done to your Windows PC and determine the extent of file deletion, follow these steps.

First, check your Recycle Bin by double-clicking on its icon located on your desktop. This is where deleted files are temporarily stored before being permanently deleted. If you find the files you need, simply right-click on them and select ‘Restore’ to bring them back to their original location.

If the files aren’t in the Recycle Bin, don’t panic just yet. Next, try using the ‘Search’ function in the Start menu. Type in the name of the file or a keyword related to it and hit Enter. Windows will search your entire computer for any matching files. If you’re lucky, the deleted files may appear in the search results. Again, right-click on the files and choose ‘Restore’ to recover them.

If the above methods don’t yield any results, it’s time to turn to file recovery software. There are various free and paid options available online. Download and install one of these programs, then follow the instructions to scan your computer for deleted files. The software will attempt to recover any recoverable files and present them to you. Select the files you want to restore and let the software do its magic.

Check the Recycle Bin

Now it’s time to check the Recycle Bin on your Windows PC. This is where deleted files are temporarily stored before they’re permanently deleted.

Recycle Bin Contents

You can easily recover deleted files from your Windows PC by checking the contents of the Recycle Bin. When you delete a file, it doesn’t permanently disappear from your computer; instead, it gets moved to the Recycle Bin.

The Recycle Bin is like a holding area for deleted files, allowing you to restore them if needed. To access the Recycle Bin, simply double-click the icon on your desktop. Once the Recycle Bin window opens, you’ll see a list of all the files you’ve deleted.

To recover a file, right-click on it and select ‘Restore.’ The file will be returned to its original location on your computer. Remember to regularly empty your Recycle Bin to free up storage space and prevent unnecessary clutter.

Restoring Deleted Files

When recovering deleted files from your Windows PC, one effective method is to check the contents of the Recycle Bin. This is a built-in feature in Windows that temporarily stores deleted files, allowing you to easily restore them if needed.

Here’s how you can restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin:

  • Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking its icon on the desktop.
  • Once the Recycle Bin window opens, you’ll see a list of deleted files.
  • To restore a file, simply right-click on it and select ‘Restore.’
  • Alternatively, you can select multiple files by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on each file you want to restore, and then right-click and select ‘Restore.’

The restored files will be placed back to their original location on your computer.

Utilize File History or Previous Versions

To recover deleted files from your Windows PC, consider utilizing File History or Previous Versions as a helpful option. These built-in features in Windows allow you to restore previous versions of files or folders, providing you with a simple and effective way to recover those important documents or media files you accidentally deleted.

File History is a feature that automatically backs up your files to an external drive or network location. By default, it creates snapshots of your files every hour, allowing you to go back in time and retrieve deleted or modified files. To access File History, go to the Control Panel and search for ‘File History.’ From there, you can select the specific file or folder you want to restore and choose the version you want to recover.

Another option is to use the Previous Versions feature, which allows you to restore previous versions of files or folders stored on your local hard drive. To access this feature, simply right-click on the file or folder, select ‘Properties,’ and navigate to the ‘Previous Versions’ tab. From there, you can select the desired version and restore it to its original location.

Both File History and Previous Versions provide convenient ways to recover deleted files without the need for third-party software. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you accidentally delete an important file, remember to check these built-in features for an easy and reliable recovery solution.

Use a Data Recovery Software

Consider using a reliable data recovery software to recover deleted files from your Windows PC. When it comes to recovering lost data, a data recovery software can be a lifesaver.

Here are two reasons why using a data recovery software is a smart choice:

  • Easy to use: Data recovery software is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible for both technical and non-technical users. With just a few clicks, you can initiate the scanning process and let the software do its magic. It will search for deleted files in your PC’s storage and present you with a list of recoverable items.

  • Wide file format support: A good data recovery software can recover files of various formats, including documents, photos, videos, audio files, and more. Whether you accidentally deleted an important document or lost precious memories captured in photos, the software can help you retrieve them.

Restore From a Backup

Now it’s time to explore how you can restore your deleted files from a backup.

First, you need to identify the location and types of backups you have available.

Once you have that information, you can proceed with the process of restoring your files from the backup source.

Backup Location and Types

If you need to restore deleted files from your Windows PC, you can do so by accessing a backup location and utilizing different types of backups. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Identify the backup location: Determine where your backups are stored. It could be an external hard drive, a network location, or a cloud storage service.

  • Choose the appropriate backup type: Depending on your needs, you can opt for different types of backups, such as:

  • Full backup: This type of backup creates a complete copy of all your files and folders.

  • Incremental backup: With incremental backups, only the changes made since the last backup are saved. This helps save storage space and reduces backup time.

Restoring Files From Backup

To restore files from a backup on your Windows PC, follow these simple steps.

  1. Open the backup location where you stored your files. This could be an external hard drive, a USB drive, or a cloud storage service.

  2. Navigate to the specific folder or location where your files were backed up.

  3. Once you have found the files you want to restore, select them by clicking and dragging or using the Ctrl key to select multiple files.

  4. After selecting the files, right-click on them and choose the ‘Restore’ option.

  5. Windows will then begin restoring the files to their original location on your PC.

It’s important to note that the time it takes to complete the restoration process will depend on the size and number of files being restored.

Seek Professional Help

Consider consulting with a professional to maximize your chances of successfully recovering deleted files from your Windows PC. While there are many do-it-yourself methods available, seeking professional help can provide you with the expertise and resources necessary for a more effective recovery process. Here are some reasons why professional assistance may be beneficial:

  1. Specialized Knowledge:

    • Professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in data recovery techniques.
    • They’re familiar with various file systems, including NTFS, FAT, and exFAT, ensuring a better understanding of how to retrieve your specific file types.
  2. Advanced Tools and Technology:

    • Professionals utilize advanced software and hardware tools that may not be accessible to the average user.
    • These tools can perform more thorough scans, increasing the chances of finding and restoring your deleted files.
  3. Minimize Further Data Loss:

    • Incorrect recovery attempts can potentially lead to permanent data loss.
    • Professionals can minimize the risk of further damage or accidental deletion of files during the recovery process.
  4. Time Efficiency:

    • Professionals can save you time by quickly identifying the most effective recovery methods.
    • They can efficiently navigate through complex file systems and locate your deleted files without unnecessary delays.

Prevent Future Data Loss

To prevent future data loss, you can take proactive measures after successfully recovering deleted files from your Windows PC with professional help. By implementing these measures, you can safeguard your important files and avoid the stress and frustration of losing them again in the future. Here are some steps you can take:

Step Description
Regular Backups Create regular backups of your files and store them on an external hard drive, cloud storage, or a network-attached storage (NAS) device. This ensures that even if your PC crashes or files are accidentally deleted, you can easily restore them from the backup.
Use Reliable Antivirus Software Install a reputable antivirus software and keep it up to date. This will protect your PC from malware and viruses that can corrupt or delete your files. Regularly scan your system for any potential threats.
Be Mindful of Downloads Avoid downloading files from untrusted sources or clicking on suspicious links. These can contain malware that can harm your system and delete your files. Always verify the source and authenticity of the files before downloading them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Recover Files That Were Deleted a Long Time Ago?

Yes, you can recover files that were deleted a long time ago. By following the step-by-step tutorial, you will be able to retrieve your deleted files from your Windows PC.

Is It Possible to Recover Files That Were Permanently Deleted From the Recycle Bin?

Yes, it is possible to recover files that were permanently deleted from the recycle bin. With the right tools and methods, you can retrieve those files and restore them to your Windows PC.

Will Using a Data Recovery Software Affect the Performance of My Computer?

Using a data recovery software might slightly affect your computer’s performance, but it is necessary to recover deleted files. The benefits of retrieving important data outweigh the temporary impact on your system.

Can I Recover Files From an External Hard Drive or USB Drive?

Yes, you can recover files from an external hard drive or USB drive. Just follow these steps: connect the drive to your PC, use data recovery software, and select the drive to scan for deleted files.

What Are Some Common Causes of Data Loss That I Should Be Aware Of?

You should be aware of common causes of data loss. Accidental deletion, hardware failure, software corruption, and malware can all lead to lost files. It’s important to back up your data regularly to prevent loss.


In conclusion, recovering deleted files from your Windows PC is possible by following these steps.

First, check the Recycle Bin, as files may still be recoverable.

If not, utilize the File History or Previous Versions feature to restore previous versions of the files.

If all else fails, try using a reliable data recovery software.

Remember to regularly back up your files to prevent future data loss and seek professional help if needed.

Safeguarding your data is crucial to avoid permanent loss.


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