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How to Recover Deleted Files: A Step-by-Step Guide

Oh no, you’ve just realised that an important file has been deleted! It’s a sinking feeling when something valuable disappears from your computer – whether it was a mistake or the result of an unexpected glitch.

But don’t panic just yet; recovering these files might be easier than you think. Whether they were precious family photos, vital work documents, or simply files you weren’t ready to say goodbye to, there may still be hope.

Here’s a comforting fact: Your Windows PC might still hold onto deleted files in its Recycle Bin – offering you a straightforward way to bring them back with just a few clicks. This guide will walk through various methods to restore those seemingly lost treasures.

From checking the simple hiding spots on your system like the Recycle Bin to employing powerful data recovery tools and professional services—we’ve got all bases covered so you can breathe easy again.

Ready for some digital magic? Let’s roll up our sleeves and get those files back where they belong!

Key Takeaways

  • Check the Recycle Bin first to see if your deleted files are there. You can find and restore them with a few clicks.
  • If you cannot find your files in the Recycle Bin, use data recovery software like Windows File Recovery or Stellar Data Recovery which might help.
  • Stop using your computer right away. This stops you from overwriting lost files, making it easier to get them back.
  • Look into using Control Panel’s ‘Backup and Restore’ option for file recovery, especially if you have previously set up backups.
  • Consider hiring a professional data recovery service if you need more help getting your files back. They use special tools and know-how to find lost data.

Checking Your Recycle Bin

If you accidentally deleted a file, the first place to check is your Recycle Bin. Find the file and restore it with just a few clicks.

Find the File

Double-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop to look for your deleted files. Look through the items and see if you can find the file you lost. It might still be there, just waiting to be restored.

Use the search box at the top right corner if you need help finding it quickly. Just type in a part of the file’s name and check what comes up.

Once you spot your document, photo, or any other item, click on it once to select it. This is how you make sure that file is ready to bring back to where it was before. Getting files back from the Recycle Bin is often very easy and doesn’t take much time at all!

Restore the File

To restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin, start by double-clicking on the icon located on your desktop. Then, highlight the file you want to recover and click “Restore”. This will return the file to its original location before it was deleted.

Remember that checking the Recycle Bin is often sufficient to retrieve accidentally deleted files without needing additional software or services.

Using third-party data recovery software can also help in restoring permanently deleted files. You can download and install reputable programs such as Windows File Recovery, Stellar Data Recovery, EaseUS, or Disk Drill for this purpose.

These tools are handy when files are not found in the Recycle Bin or have been permanently removed from it.

Using the Control Panel

Open the Control Panel on your computer.

Look for “Backup and Restore” under System and Maintenance.

Click on “Backup and Restore” to open it.

Select “Restore my files” and follow the instructions to recover lost or deleted files.

Utilising Data Recovery Software

If checking the Recycle Bin or using the Control Panel doesn’t work, you can try using data recovery software to retrieve your deleted files. There are several options available for Windows and Mac users that can help you recover lost data easily and efficiently.

Windows File Recovery

To recover deleted files on Windows, you can use the built-in tool called “Windows File Recovery.” This software helps in retrieving accidentally deleted documents, photos, or any other file types from your hard drive.

It can also restore files from external storage devices like USB drives and SD cards. Utilise this software by following the simple steps provided to successfully retrieve your lost data.

After understanding how to use “Windows File Recovery,” let’s explore another effective way of recovering deleted files: Stellar Data Recovery.

Stellar Data Recovery

When it comes to recovering deleted files, Stellar Data Recovery is an excellent choice. This user-friendly software allows you to retrieve a wide range of file types, from documents and photos to videos and audio files.

With its simple interface and powerful scanning capabilities, Stellar Data Recovery can help you restore lost or damaged data from various storage devices like hard drives, SSDs, USB drives, and more.

Moreover, it supports various file systems such as NTFS, FAT16/32, exFAT making the recovery process seamless and efficient.

If you find yourself in a situation where important files have been deleted or lost due to accidental deletion or system errors, using Stellar Data Recovery can be your best solution.

You won’t need any specialised technical skills as the software guides you through each step seamlessly. The advanced features like deep scan ensure that even if your files seem permanently erased or inaccessible, this tool may still be able to recover them for you.


EaseUS is a widely used data recovery software that can help you retrieve deleted files from your computer, external hard drive, or removable storage devices. It offers an intuitive user interface and powerful features, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

By scanning your storage device thoroughly, EaseUS can recover various file types including documents, photos, videos, and more. It’s important to download and install the software as soon as possible after deleting a file to maximise the chances of successful recovery.

Using EaseUS provides a convenient solution for recovering permanently deleted files from your PC or other devices. With its straightforward steps and effective performance in retrieving lost data, EaseUS simplifies the process of file restoration for individuals without extensive technical knowledge.

Disk Drill

Use Disk Drill to recover deleted files from your computer or external storage devices. This user-friendly software is equipped with powerful data recovery capabilities, making it an effective tool for retrieving lost documents, photos, and other file types.

With its intuitive interface and advanced scanning algorithms, Disk Drill offers a seamless experience in restoring erased files and recovering removed items.

Once you have installed Disk Drill on your system, you can initiate the scanning process to identify and recover permanently deleted files. The software’s quick scan feature efficiently locates recently deleted data while the deep scan option thoroughly searches for traces of lost files.

By leveraging this comprehensive approach to data recovery, Disk Drill maximises the chances of successfully restoring your valuable information. Whether you need to retrieve deleted documents or recover lost photos, Disk Drill provides a reliable solution for salvaging your important files.

Hiring a Data Recovery Service

If you can’t recover your files on your own, consider hiring a data recovery service with the right expertise and tools. Data recovery services often have success in retrieving lost or deleted files from various devices, including hard drives, SSDs, USB drives, and memory cards.

These professionals utilise advanced techniques such as digital forensics to retrieve crucial data that may seem permanently lost. It’s important to choose a reputable data recovery service with good customer feedback and a track record of successful file recoveries.

Bottom Line: Steps to Follow for Successful File Recovery

After considering hiring a data recovery service, you can also take the following steps to maximise your chances of successful file recovery:

  1. Check Your Recycle Bin: Start by searching for and restoring the file from the Recycle Bin on your computer or laptop.
  2. Explore Control Panel: Utilise the Backup and Restore feature in the Control Panel under System and Maintenance to retrieve lost or deleted files.
  3. Use Data Recovery Software: Consider third-party tools such as Windows File Recovery, Stellar Data Recovery, EaseUS, or Disk Drill for efficient data retrieval.
  4. Cease Device Usage: Stop using the storage device immediately after file deletion to prevent overwriting and increase the likelihood of recovery success.
  5. Identify Search Queries: Be aware of relevant search terms like how to restore deleted files on Android or recover permanently deleted files from a PC for tailored solutions.


In conclusion, by following this step-by-step guide, you can easily recover deleted files with efficiency. The practical strategies provided in this article are simple to implement and yield effective results.

It is important to emphasise the impact of these approaches, as they can lead to significant improvements in data restoration. Further resources and services are available for those seeking additional guidance on file recovery methods.

Remember that taking action based on the information provided will set you on the path to successful file recovery.


1. Can I get back files that I deleted by accident?

Yes, you can often recover deleted photos and documents by using Recycle Bin recovery or file recovery software.

2. What should I do if my files are permanently deleted?

If your files are gone for good, don’t worry. You can try restoring lost files with file recovery services or use data restoration methods.

3. How do I restore previous versions of a document?

To bring back an older version of a document, look for the “Restore previous versions” option on your computer and pick the copy you want.

4. Is there a way to retrieve deleted data from my backup?

Sure! If you have a file backup, you can use it to recover erased files easily and get your data back.

5. Are recovering removed files and retrieving lost files difficult tasks?

Not really! With simple steps in file recovery guides or software, restoring erased documents or retrieving lost items is something many people can do.


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