How To Restore Deleted Files On Windows 10

Before I start many SSD (Solid State Drive) drives use a TRIM feature that will permanently remove your files and greatly reduce the chance for file recovery without third-party tools.

Magnetic hard drives don’t have this feature, so you can restore your files if they were deleted recently. Now that you know the difference between SSDs and magnetic hard drives you can try to restore your files by using one of these solutions.

Restore Soft Deleted Files from SSD Manually

Soft-deleted data of SSD drive also get stored in the Recycle Bin, unless you have changed the default settings of Windows. So, pay a visit to the Recycle Bin of your Windows system to check if the deleted files are there. If yes, then select the file/ files you want back and right click on them. Then select Restore to restore those files to their original location. If you want to restore all files of the Bin at one go, click on the Restore all items button located under the Manage tab.

When you choose the Delete option in Windows your files are automatically moved to the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin offers a limited amount of storage and it will keep your files there temporarily. If you didn’t empty your Recycle Bin manually, it’s rather likely that your file is still there. To restore your files from the Recycle Bin, do the following:

Open the Recycle Bin.

  1. When Recycle Bin opens, you’ll see a list of all deleted files. If your file is available, right click it and choose Restore.

Restore files from the backup

You might be able to restore your files from the backup. This solution works only if you have Backup and Restore feature enabled. If you don’t use this feature at all, this solution won’t apply to you. To restore files using the Backup and Restore feature, do the following:

Select Restore my files option and follow the instructions on the screen.

Use Restore previous versions option

If you accidentally deleted a file, you might be able to restore it simply by using Restore previous versions option. Keep in mind that this feature is related to both Backup and Restore and System Restore, so if any of these features aren’t enabled when you deleted the file, this solution won’t work for you. To restore the deleted file, do the following:

  1. Locate the directory that contained the deleted file. Right click the directory and choose Restore previous versions from the menu.
  2. List of previous versions should appear. Locate the desired version and double click it.
  3. Now locate the desired file and drag and drop it to a new location.

This is an easy way to restore deleted files, this feature is related to System Restore and Backup and Restore.

Check cloud storage services

Windows 10 comes with OneDrive service enabled by default, so it’s possible that your file was backed up to OneDrive before you deleted it. Be sure to visit OneDrive’s website and check if your file is available in the Trash section. If you use any other cloud storage service, be sure to repeat the same steps for it as well. This isn’t the most reliable method to restore files, but it’s worth checking out.

Check File History feature

Windows 10 has a useful File History feature that allows you to restore your files. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t enabled by default, so if you didn’t enable it manually you won’t be able to use it to restore the file.

To Enable File History in Windows 10, click on Start, go to Settings

  1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.
  2. Do step 3 (off) or step 4 (on) for what you want to do.
  3. To Turn Off File History. Click/tap on Backup on the left side, and turn off Automatically back up my files on the right side.
  4. To Turn On File History.

 To restore files using File History, do the following:

  1. Open the directory that contained the deleted file.
  2. Once the directory opens, click on Home tab and choose History from the menu.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to restore the file using File History feature.

About Sylvia the IT Lady

About Sylvia the IT Lady Sylvia has been working in the IT industry for 25 years. Provided support for users at the Calgary Airport, Calgary City Hall, Nortel, Law firm in Calgary, Law firm in Toronto, Software start-up company and a Bottling company. She began her career after the kids went to school working for an Electrical Contracting firm in Calgary, started on the reception desk ending up as HR manager. Times were changing so she decided to change careers to IT. Received her MSCE from a small technical college in Calgary, and the rest is history. As well as my MSCE she has earned CompTIA Server+, iNet+, Network+ and ITIL.v3. certifications. When she is not supporting companies and user, she can be found in the kitchen canning pickles to enter into local agricultural fairs, (winning several ribbons) preparing pies and quiches for the freezer, hiking in the summer, snowshoeing in the winter and making wine. Learning to play the piano as well. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sylviajandrews
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