How to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 11: Simple and Effective Methods

If you’ve accidentally deleted important files on Windows 11, don’t panic! You can recover them using various built-in tools and methods. This guide will walk you through the steps to get your deleted files back. By following these steps, you’ll increase your chances of restoring those lost files without too much hassle.

How to Recover Deleted Files on Windows 11

This section will help you recover accidentally deleted files on your Windows 11 computer. We will cover multiple techniques, from simple to more advanced solutions.

Step 1: Check the Recycle Bin

First, look in the Recycle Bin for your deleted files.

The Recycle Bin is a temporary storage for deleted files. Right-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and select "Open." If you find your files, right-click them and choose "Restore."

Step 2: Use the File History Feature

If your files aren’t in the Recycle Bin, use the File History feature.

Navigate to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Backup" > "More options" > "Restore files from a current backup." Browse through the available backups to find and restore your deleted files.

Step 3: Use the Previous Versions Feature

For files not saved in File History, try using Previous Versions.

Right-click the folder where the file was originally located. Select "Restore previous versions" and browse the available versions to find your lost file. Click "Restore" to recover it.

Step 4: Use Data Recovery Software

If the above methods fail, use third-party data recovery software.

Software like Recuva or EaseUS Data Recovery can scan your hard drive for deleted files. Download and install the software, then follow the on-screen instructions to scan and recover your files.

Step 5: Check OneDrive Sync

Sometimes files are automatically saved to OneDrive.

Go to the OneDrive folder on your computer or log in to OneDrive online. Browse to see if your deleted files were synced and can be restored from there.

Step 6: Use Command Prompt

As a last resort, use Command Prompt for a deeper recovery.

Open Command Prompt as an administrator. Type chkdsk /f followed by the drive letter and press Enter. Then type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D and press Enter. This can help recover more hidden or system files.

After these steps, your deleted files should be restored. If they still aren’t, the files might be too corrupted or overwritten to retrieve.

Tips for Recovering Deleted Files on Windows 11

  • Regular Backups: Make a habit of regularly backing up important files to an external drive or cloud storage.
  • Use Cloud Services: Utilize cloud storage services like OneDrive for automatic backups.
  • Check Recycle Bin Settings: Ensure the Recycle Bin is not set to automatically delete files after a certain period.
  • Keep Software Updated: Always keep your recovery and antivirus software updated to avoid data loss issues.
  • Act Quickly: The sooner you try to recover a file after deletion, the better your chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I can’t find my files in the Recycle Bin?

If your files aren’t in the Recycle Bin, try using File History, Previous Versions, or data recovery software like Recuva or EaseUS.

Can I recover files deleted a long time ago?

Yes, but the success rate decreases over time. Use data recovery software for the best chance of recovering older deleted files.

Is data recovery software safe to use?

Reputable data recovery software like Recuva or EaseUS is generally safe to use. Always download from official websites.

What happens if I overwrite a deleted file?

Overwriting decreases the chances of recovery as new data can replace the deleted file’s location on the hard drive.

Can I recover files from a formatted drive?

Yes, data recovery software can sometimes recover files from a formatted drive, but it’s not always guaranteed.

Summary of Steps

  1. Check the Recycle Bin.
  2. Use the File History feature.
  3. Use the Previous Versions feature.
  4. Use data recovery software.
  5. Check OneDrive Sync.
  6. Use Command Prompt.


Accidentally deleting files on Windows 11 can be stressful, but it’s not the end of the world. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can maximize your chances of recovering your lost files. Always remember to act quickly and use the right tools for the job. Regularly backing up your files can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. If you’re looking for more in-depth guides, consider exploring advanced data recovery techniques or backup strategies. Now, go ahead and try recovering those files!