Recover Accidentally Deleted Files in Windows 10

Summary: Have you deleted a file on Windows 10? Accidental deletion is a primary reason for losing important files, and it mainly occurs due to human errors. This blog shares the methods to recover deleted files in Windows 10, including the use of Windows Backup & Restore utility, File History feature, and Stellar deleted file recovery software. Download a Free Trial of Stellar Data Recovery software before you read further. We will be using this software in one of the methods covered in this blog.

Recover Accidentally Deleted Files in Windows 10

Today, human errors cause more data loss than other reasons, like virus attack, corruption, etc. In fact, after hardware failures, human error is the top cause of data loss across the globe.

“Accidental file deletion” is often a result of human error when you delete several files on Windows PC while clearing the desktop or a partition to make space. Later, you might realize the need to recover the deleted files from your Windows 10 laptop.

How to recover accidentally deleted files in Windows 10

Methods in this blog provide you easy steps to recover deleted files in Windows 10, including the recovery of accidentally deleted photos, videos, documents, emails, audio files, etc. We wrap up with a list of measures that could save you from data loss due to deleting files on Windows — accidentally or knowingly.

Note: Before you jump over to the methods, be aware that you need to stop using your Windows system as soon as you realize that you have deleted an important file and want it back. This precaution will avoid overwriting of the deleted files by any new files you might store on the hard drive’s emptied space, thus retaining the chances to recover the deleted file.

Method 1: Restore Deleted Files from Recycle Bin

A deleted file in Windows 10 goes to the Recycle Bin unless you customize the Recycle Bin properties, use Shift + Delete keys, or empty the Recycle Bin. In these cases, the file is permanently deleted, requiring Windows 10 backup restoration or data recovery software.

Steps to restore the deleted files from Recycle Bin

You need to check the Recycle Bin to restore the deleted files in Windows 10, as follows:

Recover accidentally deleted files from Recycle Bin in Windows 10
  1. Go to Desktop and open the ‘Recycle Bin’ folder
  2. Locate the lost file in the Recycle Bin folder
  3. Right-click the file or the folder, and click ‘Restore.’

This method will restore the deleted file or folder to its original location. Alternatively, you can cut and paste the file at the desired location.

Method 2: Recover Deleted Files by Restoring Windows 10 Backup

Windows 10 provides a built-in Backup and Restore feature for backing up files on external media and restoring them later. So, if you maintain a backup, you can recover the accidentally deleted files using the Windows Backup and Restore utility, as follows:

  1. Connect the backup storage drive to your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Press the Windows logo key to open the Start menu
  3. Type Control Panel and press Enter.
  4. Navigate to Update and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7)
  5. Click ‘Restore my files’ and follow the on-screen guidance to restore the deleted files.
  6. If ‘Restore my files’ is not visible, click ‘Select another backup to restore files from’ and follow the restore wizard.
backup and restore windows

Method 3: Use Windows 10 File History to Restore Previous Versions

Windows File History feature allows backing up the files located in the Documents, Music, Picture, Videos, and Desktop folders on an external media. You can restore the deleted files using the File History feature, as follows:

  1. Right-click the folder from where you deleted the files.
  2. Choose the ‘Restore previous versions’ option.
  3. From the available versions, select the version containing the files.
  4. Click ‘Restore’ or drag & drop the version at a location on your Windows 10 system.
Restore previous versions

Method 4: Use Deleted File Recovery Tool

You can use tools that specialize in deleted file recovery from Windows 10 systems. Stellar Data Recovery is a D-I-Y tool using which you can recover deleted files on your own without any technical expertise. It works on Windows 10, 8.1, and older systems.

Steps to use Stellar Data Recovery software

Download the Free Trial of the software from the below link.

Free download

Install and run the software. Follow the below steps to recover deleted files in Windows 10:

1. Select the files you wish to recover and click the ‘Next’ button

Select the files you wish to recover

2. Select the drive or folder location from the ‘Recover From’ window and click ‘Scan’.

Select the drive or folder location

3. Search, filter, and sort to locate the desired file from the scan results and then select the files to save at your desired location using the ‘Recover’ button.

select the files to save at your desired location

NOTE: If the scan results do not show the required files, use the ‘Click Here’ link to run a deep scan. Deep scanning scans each sector on the drive and recovers the lost and deleted files from any Windows media, including corrupted and formatted drives.

You can also preview the recovered files such as images, documents, video, and audio before saving them.

Tips to prevent data loss

Save your Deleted Files from Permanent Loss – Best Practices

Here are some best practices you can follow to secure your deleted files from permanent loss:

  • Change the Recycle Bin properties:

You can configure the Recycle Bin properties such that the deleted files are moved to the Recycle Bin and not permanently removed without confirmation. Right-click the Recycle Bin and set its properties as shown in the below image.

Recycle Bin properties
  • Maintain data backup:

Method 2 and 3 were based on restoring a backup copy to recover the deleted files on Windows 10. So, having a backup increases your odds of pulling off a file recovery job.

  • Stop using the computer:

Continued use of the system after deleting a file can dramatically reduce the chances of recovering the file because Windows might overwrite it. So, you need to stop using the system, particularly actions like copy/paste or storing new files. 


This blog shared different methods to recover deleted files in Windows 10. For example, you can restore the deleted file from the Recycle Bin, restore a system backup, use File History feature, or run a file recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery.

Among these methods, the best one is “backup” that can avoid permanent data loss by restoring the deleted file. Alongside you can have data recovery software pre-installed on your Windows 10 system to tackle any data loss or deletion situation.

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