How Do I Restore Deleted Files in Windows?

Windows does not treat all deleted files the same. For instance, when using the Recycle Bin to delete files, Windows does not actually delete them until you tell it to do so inside the Recycle Bin utility. This makes recovering or restoring mistakenly deleted files rather simple. On the other hand, if you hard delete ("Shift" + "Delete") a file, it bypasses the Recycle Bin and Windows' ability to restore it. Likewise, Windows cannot restore files deleted when you empty the Recycle Bin. If you need to restore files that Windows cannot recover, you must use a third-party application.

Instructions

  1. Restore Files in the Recycle Bin

    • 1

      Click the "Recycle Bin" icon on the Windows Desktop.

    • 2

      Locate the file in the Recycle Bin that you want to restore. Right-click the file name, then click "Restore" on the pop-up menu.

    • 3

      Close the Recycle Bin window.

    Using Restoration

    • 4

      Navigate to the Restoration website. Click the "Restoration.zip" link at the top of the page to download the program file. Save the file to your computer.

    • 5

      Click "Start" and then "Computer." Go to the folder where you saved the "Restoration.zip" file. Right-click the file name and click "Extract here" on the pop-up menu. Windows extracts the file into a new sub-folder. Click the new sub-folder name to open it.

    • 6

      Click the "Restoration" file to launch the recovery utility. Enter all or part of the file name you want to restores and click the "Search Deleted Files" button to begin scanning for the deleted file. Wait while Restoration attempts to locate the deleted file on your computer. It could take several minutes before the utility returns any results in the file name window.

    • 7

      Highlight the deleted file name and click the "Restore by Copying" button.

    • 8

      Click "Start" and then "Computer." Navigate to the folder on your PC where you want to save the recovered file. Press the "Ctrl" + "V" keys. Windows copies the file to the selected folder.

    Glary Undelete

    • 9

      Navigate to the Glarysoft.com website and download the free Glary Undelete program. Save the installation file to a folder on your computer.

    • 10

      Click "Start" and then "Computer." Browse to the folder where you saved the "gunsetup.exe" file. Click the file to launch the installation wizard.

    • 11

      Click "OK" to select "English" as the installation language. When the Glary Undelete Setup Wizard screen appears, click the "Next" button. Accept the License Agreement and click "Next." Follow the remaining prompts to install Glary Undelete on your computer.

    • 12

      Ensure there is a check mark in the box next to "Launch Glary Undelete" and click "Finish." Glary Undelete launches on your computer.

    • 13

      Enter the name of the deleted file to recover in the text box next to the "Search" button. Click the "Search" button and wait while Glary Undelete scans your computer for the deleted file. This could take quite a while depending on the number of files and folders on your computer.

    • 14

      Select the deleted file to restore in the right pane of the Glary Undelete window. Click the "Restore" button. The utility restores the deleted file in the original folder location.

Tips & Warnings

  • While the above methods are effective for recovering many deleted files, there is no guarantee that any of them will work for you. If you accidentally delete a file, always attempt to restore it before rebooting your PC. Once you restart the computer after deleting a file, your chances of a successful recovery diminish considerably.

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