So, is it Possible to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Windows 10?
Yes. Due to the method in which the Windows operating system handles the deletion of data, it is possible to recover files that were thought to be permanently deleted from your Windows 10 machine. You are often able to get back files that are no longer logically available to the system due to the fact that they are still physically present on their storage media. Until Windows reuses the storage, the files are not truly lost and could be recovered.
Logically deleted files can remain resident on their hard drive for an extended period of time, based on your computer usage. Windows logically deletes files and marks their previous storage as available for reuse. The file is still physically available until the time that Windows actually overwrites it with new data, even though you can no longer access it through Windows Explorer. This makes it possible to recover permanently deleted files on Windows 10 computers.
There are many reasons that data such as documents or videos can be lost. Human error can be the culprit as it is easy to accidentally delete an important file during the course of a normal workday. Software upgrades can sometimes inadvertently delete files from your machine. Infection with malware or a virus can also lead to data loss. Suddenly files that were on your desktop have disappeared!
When faced with a data loss scenario, there are several methods that can be used in an attempt to undelete or retrieve the lost information.
Let’s look at three common methods used to restore deleted files on Windows 10.
Table of Contents
- Method 1: Check the Recycle Bin or Try to Restore Previous File Versions
- Method 2: Recover Deleted Files on Windows 10 Using Data Recovery Software
- Method 3: Restore Accidentally Deleted Files on Windows 10 From a File History Backup
- Why you should use recovery software
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How to prevent accidentally deleting data on Windows 10
This method should be the first one you employ when you need to recover deleted files on Windows 10 computers. If the file in question was deleted recently, it may be in the Recycle Bin where it is easily retrieved.
To do so, follow these simple steps.
- Double-click on the Recycle Bin to open it.
- Find and see the files to be recovered. You can use the Ctrl and Shift keys to choose multiple items at once.
- Right-click on the selection and choose Restore. This will restore the file to its original location. You can also drag the file out of the Recycle Bin and drop it on a new location where it will be stored.
- Verify the files have indeed been restored to their original or new location.
Using file recovery software may be necessary in order to undo the effects of a data loss event. We recommend CleverFiles’ Disk Drill for Windows as your data recovery tool of choice. It is a comprehensive data recovery application which makes use of advanced algorithms to scan any storage media for deleted files that can be recovered. Its deep scanning mode will scavenge your disk for fragments of files that can be reconstructed long after they have been deleted from the storage device.
Here are the steps to employ when recovering lost data with Disk Drill.
- Download and install Disk Drill.
- Launch the application.
- Select the disk or partition where the files were located from the list presented in the application’s window.
- Click the Search for lost data button to initiate Disk Drill’s scanning algorithms. As it processes, you will be presented with a list of the files that can be recovered.
- Select the files you wish to restore and a new location where you will store them.
- Click Recover to perform the data recovery.
- Navigate to the new location and verify that the files are fully recovered and usable by your applications.
One of the most important tasks for all computer users is the protection of the data that reside on the machine. The best way to accomplish this is to perform a regular system backup using the backup tool of your choice. Windows 10 offers a built-in backup and recovery tool called File History that can be instrumental in allowing you to restore deleted items. Windows users should take the time to set it up to protect the data on their laptop or PC.
Here are the steps to recover deleted files from a File History Backup.
- Click on the File Explorer icon and open the folder that contained the items that you want to recover.
- Click the Home tab and then the History button.
- Select the files or folder that you wish to restore.
- Navigate through time with the arrows to search for the version you want to recover.
- Click the Restore button to restore the file to its original location.
- Address any naming conflicts by replacing the original file with the restored version, skipping the file, or keeping both for your review.
Recovery software may be the only option to recover files which have been deleted by mistake. You should consider installing and becoming familiar with a quality data recovery product to address these specific situations.
- Lack of File History backups – Unless you take backups constantly, there is a chance that recently created files that have been deleted were never backed up. To recover them, you will need to use data recovery software.
- Emptied Recycle Bin – You might find that after deleting a number of files as part of a cleanup operation, the Recycle Bin has been emptied. Now when you discover that a file you need is not recycled but permanently deleted, a data recovery tool will be required to recover your lost data.
- Unexplained data loss – Faulty upgrades or malware can result in large scale data losses with files disappearing without making a stop at the Recycle Bin.
The ability to unerase data previously stored on your hard drive can be critical to the success of a business or personal project. It is well worth some time spent on learning how to use your data recovery software. Check out how it functions before the stress of recovering during an actual data loss event.
Preventing the accidental deletion of data from your computer is certainly preferred over spending time recovering from data loss events. Here are some tips that may help you protect your valuable information and enable you to access it at any time.
Minimize human interaction – Human error is the primary cause of data loss. Controlling access to a computer and its data can go a long way in protecting it from unexpected data loss. Training in correct procedures can help minimize mistakes, but as long as people are interacting with computers the chance of an accident that wipes out some data will continue to exist.
Take regular backups – Backing up your computer is critically important if you value the data that it contains. At a minimum, you should be using the internal File History method of backing up a Windows 10 machine to an external storage device. You should also consider cloud backups to maintain copies of important data in an alternate location to protect against physical disasters such as fire or flooding.
Keep system software up to date – Installing the latest system updates can help prevent data loss. These updates often address bugs and security flaws that could increase your chances of losing data.
It is impossible to totally guard against data loss. Most experienced Windows users have had to recover lost files and folders at one time or another. Using the methods outlined above will give you a great chance of recovering all of your lost data. Remember to get those backups set up, and good luck with your recovery efforts.