How to Recover or Restore Deleted Files and Folders in Windows 10

Key Takeaways

  • Check the Recycle Bin first for any recently deleted files or folders
  • Use the File History backup feature to restore previous versions of deleted files
  • Install third-party data recovery software like DiskInternals or Recoverit to scan and recover permanently deleted data


Accidentally deleting important files or folders can be a frustrating experience, but fortunately, Windows 10 provides several methods to recover or restore them. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various techniques to retrieve your deleted data, ranging from built-in Windows tools to third-party recovery software.

Method 1: Check the Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is a temporary storage location for deleted files and folders in Windows. When you delete a file or folder, it is not immediately removed from your hard drive but instead moved to the Recycle Bin. This gives you an opportunity to restore the deleted items if needed.

To check the Recycle Bin for deleted files or folders:

  1. Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop.
  2. Locate the file or folder you want to restore.
  3. Right-click on the item and select “Restore” to move it back to its original location.

If you cannot find the deleted item in the Recycle Bin, it may have been permanently deleted or the Recycle Bin was emptied. In this case, proceed to the next methods.

Method 2: Use File History

Windows 10 includes a built-in backup feature called File History, which automatically creates backups of your files at regular intervals. If you had File History enabled before deleting your files or folders, you can use it to restore them.

To restore deleted files or folders using File History:

  1. Open the Control Panel and navigate to “System and Security” > “File History.”
  2. Click on “Restore personal files” in the left pane.
  3. Browse through the backup versions and locate the deleted file or folder you want to restore.
  4. Select the item and click the “Restore” button to recover it to its original location or a different location of your choice.

Method 3: Use Previous Versions

Windows 10 also provides a feature called “Previous Versions,” which allows you to restore files or folders to a previous state. This feature is particularly useful if you have enabled System Protection on your hard drive.

To restore deleted files or folders using Previous Versions:

  1. Navigate to the folder where the deleted item was originally located.
  2. Right-click on the folder and select “Properties.”
  3. In the Properties window, click on the “Previous Versions” tab.
  4. Select the version of the folder that contains the deleted file or folder you want to restore.
  5. Click the “Restore” button to recover the deleted item.

Method 4: Use Data Recovery Software

If the above methods fail to recover your deleted files or folders, you can try using third-party data recovery software. These tools are designed to scan your hard drive for deleted data and recover it, even if it has been permanently deleted or the Recycle Bin has been emptied.

Two popular data recovery software options are DiskInternals Partition Recovery and Recoverit. Here’s how to use them:

DiskInternals Partition Recovery

  1. Install and launch the DiskInternals Partition Recovery software.
  2. Select the drive where the deleted files or folders were previously located.
  3. Choose a recovery mode: Fast Recovery or Full Recovery (Full Recovery takes longer but is more thorough).
  4. After the scan is complete, preview the recovered files to confirm they are the ones you want to recover.
  5. Select the files or folders you want to recover and click the “Recover” button to save them to a desired location. [1]


  1. Download and install the Recoverit software on your computer.
  2. Launch the software and select the “Recover from Crash Computer” mode.
  3. Create a bootable drive (USB or CD/DVD) to scan your system for deleted files.
  4. Boot your computer from the bootable drive and follow the on-screen instructions to scan and recover your deleted files or folders. [2]


Losing important files or folders can be a frustrating experience, but with the methods outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of recovering your deleted data in Windows 10. Always remember to regularly back up your data to prevent data loss in the future.