How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Windows 11: Ultimate Guide

When you accidentally delete a file on Windows 11, it can feel like the end of the world. But don’t worry! With a few simple steps, you can recover those permanently deleted files. This guide will walk you through the process, giving you the tools you need to retrieve your lost data.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Windows 11

In this section, we’ll cover the steps to recover your precious files. From using built-in Windows tools to third-party software, you’ll learn how to get back what’s lost.

Step 1: Check the Recycle Bin

Before you panic, make sure to check the Recycle Bin. Sometimes files are just hiding there.

Take a look inside the Recycle Bin by double-clicking its icon on the desktop. Look through the list of deleted files to see if yours is there. If you find it, right-click on the file and select "Restore."

Step 2: Use File History

File History is a built-in backup feature in Windows 11. If you’ve set it up, it can save you from data loss.

Navigate to the folder where the deleted file was located. Right-click on the folder and select "Restore previous versions." Choose the version that contains your deleted file and click "Restore." Make sure File History is enabled to utilize this feature.

Step 3: Restore from a Backup

If you have a backup system in place, now’s the time to use it.

Go to the location where you store your backups, whether it’s an external hard drive or a cloud service. Find the backup that includes your deleted file and restore it from there. It’s always a good practice to regularly back up your important data.

Step 4: Use Windows File Recovery Tool

Microsoft offers a free tool called Windows File Recovery, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

After downloading and installing the tool, open it up. Use the command prompt to enter commands that will help you search for the deleted files. The command syntax might seem tricky, but Microsoft’s support page provides detailed instructions.

Step 5: Try Third-Party Software

If all else fails, third-party recovery software like Recuva or EaseUS can be very effective.

Download and install the recovery software of your choice. Follow the on-screen instructions to scan your system for permanently deleted files. These tools often have user-friendly interfaces that guide you through the recovery process.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your deleted files should be recovered and ready for use. Be sure to save them in a safe location to avoid future loss.

Tips for Recovering Permanently Deleted Files on Windows 11

  • Act Quickly: The sooner you try to recover a deleted file, the better your chances.
  • Avoid Using the Affected Drive: Continued use can overwrite the deleted files, making recovery harder.
  • Enable File History: Constantly back up your files by enabling File History in Windows 11.
  • Keep a Backup System: Regularly back up your data to an external drive or cloud service.
  • Use Reliable Software: When using third-party tools, make sure they are reputable and trustworthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do files stay in the Recycle Bin?

Files remain in the Recycle Bin until you manually empty it or it reaches its size limit, which then causes older files to be automatically deleted.

What is File History in Windows 11?

File History is a backup feature that periodically saves versions of your files, allowing you to restore them if they are lost or deleted.

Can I recover files that were deleted a long time ago?

It’s possible, but the chances decrease the more you use your computer. Data recovery software can sometimes retrieve old files if they haven’t been overwritten.

Is Windows File Recovery Tool safe to use?

Yes, it is safe to use as it is provided by Microsoft. However, it requires some command-line knowledge.

What should I do if I can’t recover my files?

If all recovery methods fail, you might consider professional data recovery services, although these can be costly.


  1. Step 1: Check the Recycle Bin.
  2. Step 2: Use File History.
  3. Step 3: Restore from a Backup.
  4. Step 4: Use Windows File Recovery Tool.
  5. Step 5: Try Third-Party Software.


Losing important files can be stressful, but knowing how to recover permanently deleted files on Windows 11 can save the day. Whether you use built-in tools, third-party software, or rely on your backup system, there are several methods to recover your data. Always remember to act quickly and avoid further use of the affected drive to maximize your chances of recovery. Regular backups and enabling features like File History can prevent future data loss, giving you peace of mind. For further reading, consider exploring Microsoft’s support pages or reputable data recovery blogs. If you found this article helpful, share it with someone else who might benefit from it.