How to Restore and Recover Files in Deleted Recycle Bin

When you delete files on your Windows computer, they get moved to the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin allows you to easily restore recently deleted files if you accidentally delete something important. However, sometimes files get permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin, either because you manually emptied it or the files have been in there for too long. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

Check Inside the Recycle Bin First

Before trying anything else, open up the Recycle Bin on your desktop and double check that the files you want to restore are not still in there. The Recycle Bin does not automatically empty itself, so deleted files can remain in there indefinitely until you manually empty it.

To restore a file from the Recycle Bin, simply right-click on it and select Restore. The file will be moved back to its original location.

Use Previous Versions to Restore Deleted Files

If a file is no longer in the Recycle Bin, your next option is to look in the Previous Versions folder. Windows automatically creates restore points and file backups as a way to revert your system to an earlier state if something goes wrong.

Here’s how to try restoring files from a previous version:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where the file used to be stored
  2. Right-click the folder and select Properties
  3. Go to the Previous Versions tab
  4. Select a previous backup version of the folder
  5. Click Restore to recover the deleted file

This allows you to pull files out of previous backups as long as System Restore has been enabled on your machine.

Use Data Recovery Software

If the first two options don’t work, your last resort is to use dedicated data recovery software that can scan your hard drive and recover deleted files. Here are some of the best free data recovery programs:

  • Recuva: User-friendly interface and deep scan capabilities. Can recover files from hard drives, external devices, and some cloud services.
  • TestDisk: More advanced command line tool that can rebuild and repair damaged file systems.
  • Photorec: Companion to TestDisk that focuses specifically on recovering lost photos, videos, documents and archives.
  • UndeleteMyFiles Pro: Easy-to-use free file recovery with support for mobile devices.

These tools scan the hard drive and pull files out of unallocated disk space where deleted files still reside. The key is to use the software as soon as possible before that space gets overwritten with new data.

How to Use Recuva to Restore Deleted Files

Recuva is one of the most popular free file recovery programs for Windows. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use it to recover deleted files from your hard drive:

  1. Download and install Recuva from
  2. Run Recuva and select the drive you want to scan
  3. Click Scan to search for deleted files
  4. Once the scan completes, select the files you want to recover
  5. Choose a restore location and click the Recover button
  6. Wait for the recovery process to complete

With Recuva, you can easily undelete files that have been removed from the Recycle Bin. Just be sure to recover them to a different drive than the one you are scanning to avoid overwriting data.

Enable Windows Backup for File History

One way to avoid needing file recovery is to regularly back up your data. Windows has a built-in File History tool that makes copies of your files and stores them on another drive.

Here is how to set up automatic file backup using File History:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Backup
  2. Under File History, click “Add a drive”
  3. Select an external hard drive or network location
  4. Turn on “Automatically back up my files”
  5. Click “More options” to exclude folders or set the backup frequency

Now Windows will automatically save copies of your files over time. You can access previous versions of files or restore entire folders if you ever lose your data.

Tips to Avoid Needing File Recovery

Losing important files can be incredibly frustrating. Here are some tips to avoid data loss so that you never need to restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin:

  • Back up your data regularly: Use Windows File History or cloud backup services to create copies of your data.
  • Make restoring files a priority: If you accidentally delete something important, stop using the computer and recover the files right away. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of recovery.
  • Double check before emptying the Recycle Bin: Carefully verify that you don’t need any files before emptying the Recycle Bin. You can also disable the option to permanently delete files when deleting.
  • Store files in cloud storage services: Cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive can keep additional copies of your files online as another backup.

Following best practices for managing your data and handling backups will help ensure you never have to deal with accidentally losing important files. But if disaster does strike, use the Recycle Bin recovery methods listed here to get your files back.