How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11: A Complete Guide

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

So, you’ve accidentally deleted some important files on your Windows 11 computer and they’re not in the Recycle Bin. Don’t panic! There are ways to get them back. You can use built-in tools or third-party software to retrieve your lost data. Keep reading to see how you can recover those files step by step.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

In this section, we’ll go through the steps to help you recover those permanently deleted files. By the end, you should have a clear idea of how to get your lost data back.

Step 1: Check OneDrive or Cloud Backups

First, check if your files are backed up on OneDrive or another cloud service.

If you have been using OneDrive or any other cloud storage, your files might be safely stored there. Log in to your cloud storage account and navigate through your folders to see if the deleted files are there.

Step 2: Use the File History Feature

Next, use the built-in File History feature to restore previous versions of your files.

Open the Control Panel, go to "System and Security," and click on "File History." If it’s turned on, you can restore files from a previous backup. Navigate to the folder where your deleted file was, and you might find it there.

Step 3: Try Windows File Recovery Tool

If File History doesn’t help, download and use the Windows File Recovery Tool.

This free tool from Microsoft can help you recover lost files. Download it from the Microsoft Store, launch it, and follow the on-screen instructions to scan for and retrieve your deleted files.

Step 4: Use Third-Party Data Recovery Software

If the built-in tools don’t work, consider using third-party data recovery software.

There are many reliable data recovery tools like Recuva or EaseUS. Install one of these programs, follow their instructions to scan your hard drive, and restore the deleted files.

Step 5: Check Your Backups

Lastly, see if you have any external backups.

If you regularly back up your files to an external hard drive or another storage device, check those backups. You might find your lost files there.

After completing these steps, you should have a good chance of recovering your permanently deleted files. If one method doesn’t work, try another. Persistence can pay off!

Tips for Recovering Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

Here are some additional tips to help you recover your files more effectively:

  • Always check your Recycle Bin first, just in case.
  • Regularly back up important files using both cloud and external storage.
  • Keep your data recovery software updated to handle new file types.
  • Act quickly; the longer you wait, the harder it might be to recover your files.
  • Be careful with new installations or large downloads, as they can overwrite deleted data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover files deleted a long time ago?

Yes, but the chances decrease over time. Older deleted files are more likely to be overwritten by new data.

Is it safe to use third-party recovery software?

Generally, yes. Stick to well-known and reputable programs like Recuva or EaseUS to minimize risks.

What if my file is not in the Recycle Bin?

Use File History, OneDrive, or third-party software to try and recover it.

Can I recover files from a damaged hard drive?

Yes, but you might need specialized recovery software or professional help.

How can I prevent accidental file deletion in the future?

Regular backups, using cloud storage, and being cautious with file deletions can help prevent this.


  1. Check OneDrive or Cloud Backups
  2. Use the File History Feature
  3. Try Windows File Recovery Tool
  4. Use Third-Party Data Recovery Software
  5. Check Your Backups


Losing important files can be a real headache, but as you can see, recovering permanently deleted files in Windows 11 is not impossible. By using built-in features like File History, cloud backups, or third-party software, you can often get back what you thought was lost for good. Remember, the key is to act quickly and not to lose hope. Regular backups and using reputable recovery tools can save you a lot of time and stress. So next time you accidentally hit that delete button, you’ll know exactly what to do! Happy recovering!