Accidental deletion is quite common—especially while performing tasks such as removing junk files and redundant shortcuts to clean up a cluttered Desktop. Apparently, files may also get deleted from the Desktop due to internal system issues related to the software or hardware.
You may have heard about ‘Windows update deleted the Desktop or Documents folder.’ And recently, a Windows October 2018 release version 1809 was also reported deleting Documents folder after the upgrade. And Microsoft confirmed this.
The point is that as a user you end up losing critical data. So let’s discuss how we can restore the files deleted from the Desktop location in Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and XP.
Follow these steps to restore the deleted files from your ‘Desktop’:
TIP: In the absence of a backup, you must perform immediate data recovery, as further use of the system may overwrite deleted files. This can lead to file corruption and permanent data loss, beyond recovery.
Check the Recycle Bin
Generally, when data is accidentally deleted, it’s moved to the Recycle Bin folder.
To restore files from the Recycle Bin, follow these steps:
- Open Recycle Bin folder
- Locate the deleted file
- Right-click on the file and select ‘Restore.’
Depending on the Recycle Bin folder settings, you may or may not be able to restore your deleted files. It depends on how much storage space has been allocated to the Recycle Bin folder and the Recycle Bin properties. Based on the parameters, the data may get deleted permanently without being moved into the Recycle Bin folder first.
TIP: To change Recycle Bin settings, right-click on the Recycle Bin folder and select ‘Properties.’
Further, when you use CTRL+SHIFT+DEL combination or empty the recycle bin, the files are permanently lost and can only be recovered with a data recovery software.
Restore to the Previous Version
This option helps in deleted file recovery but works only if the File History was enabled before the files were deleted.
- Go to C:>Users>YourProfileName
- Right-click on the ‘Desktop folder and choose ‘Restore previous versions.’
- Choose a version with the time or date when the file existed on the Desktop folder
If the window says, ‘There are no previous versions available’—straightaway head to the recovery part discussed in the next solution.
- Click ‘Restore’ and ‘Restore’ again to confirm
You will receive a message after restoration is completed.
Use Data Recovery Software
A data recovery software such as the Stellar Data Recovery can recover lost or deleted data from most data loss situations. The software can retrieve files and folders from a severely corrupt and formatted drive also.
Moreover, such software comes with a dedicated option to recover lost data from the Desktop or a particular folder.
Steps for deleted file recovery:
- Download, install and run the Stellar Data Recovery software
- Select ‘All Data’ and click ‘Next.’
- Click ‘Desktop’ under Common Location and then click ‘Scan.’
- The recovered files are listed in the left ‘Tree View’ pane. Click ‘File Type’ tab to sort data according to the file types
- In case desired data isn’t found in the scan, click ‘Click Here’ link at the bottom of the software screen to run ‘Deep Scan.’
Deep scan thoroughly scans each sector on the drive for the lost and deleted data based on file signatures. It also facilitates RAW recovery from a severely corrupt drive.
- After the deep scan, click on a file to preview it or click the checkbox to select the files for recovery
- Click the ‘Recover’ button. A new dialog box appears
- Click ‘Browse’ and choose a save location.
TIP: Use an external drive to save the recovered data and avoid data corruption.
- Click ‘Start Saving’
Desktop provides easy access to the installed applications and important files. It’s the first screen that shows up when a user logs in to a Windows PC, and therefore, many users often create several shortcuts to their files or folders for quick access. However, with a period, this begins to clutter the desktop, and finding the right document or the file becomes more difficult than opening it.
This creates bigger problems while cleaning the desktop location as people often accidentally delete critical and important data along with the junk. Moreover, files on the desktop may also get deleted due to some rare events such as faulty Windows update. In such cases, only a data recovery software such as the Stellar Data Recovery can help quickly restore your data.
In just a few steps, you can recover the data deleted from the Desktop or any other location and drive volume—even if it’s severely corrupt.