How to Recover Files Deleted from Windows Recycle Bin

The recycle bin on your PC is a useful folder for cleaning up your desktop and getting rid of any unwanted files from your system. It allows for recently deleted files to be organized and stored for a while in an easy-to-find location.

recover recycle bin

Most things sent to the recycle bin are probably no longer needed and you will eventually delete them permanently from your computer to free up excess space.

Sometimes, you may want to restore files sent to the recycle bin and this is an easy task that can be accomplished in a matter of seconds.

It’s also easy to delete files permanently from the recycle bin folder if you no longer want or need them. But what happens if you want to restore these deleted files for whatever reason?

Let’s take a look at how to recover items deleted from the recycle bin in Windows.

How the Recycle Bin Works in Windows

As briefly mentioned above, the recycle bin folder serves as a temporary location to store any recently deleted or unwanted files from your PC.

It functions as an easy way to clean up and organize your desktop and system as well as a location where these files can be stored for a time before they are permanently removed.

If you want to restore or recover these recently deleted files, the recycle bin also allows you to do so.

Any files that you drag and drop directly into the recycle bin will be temporarily stored in this location. Files that are deleted by selecting them and hitting the delete key will also be stored here as well.

These temporary files can be easily recovered once they are placed into the recycle bin. All you need to do is to select the file you wish to restore, right-click on the selected file and then click Restore.

Once you restore files from the recycle bin, they will be returned to the same location on your computer that they were before being placed into the bin.

What Happens If You Delete Files in Recycle Bin

If you have emptied your recycle bin, those files will be permanently deleted, and recovering them takes extra steps.

It is not always possible to recover these files once they have been removed from the recycling bin, or deleted in another way but the steps we will look at below can help you to attempt to recover them.

Emptying the Recycle Bin removes temporarily deleted files and they then become permanently deleted. Items can also be completely removed from your system if you used the Shift + Delete keys to delete the item or if the file is too big to fit into the recycling bin.

If a file is too large to fit into the recycling bin you probably saw a message asking if you want to permanently remove the file. If you clicked OK, this file will bypass the recycling bin and be permanently deleted.

The recycle bin folder itself will also start to delete the files that have been in it for the longest amount of time once it becomes full.

How to Recover Files Deleted from Recycle Bin

If a file has been permanently deleted from the recycle bin, there are still methods to recover the file. If you wish to restore a file that has been removed due to any of the reasons above, you can follow the steps in the methods below to try and recover these files.

There is no guarantee that you will be able to recover the file for sure, but by going through the steps listed here, there is a good chance that you might be able to.

Method 1: Recover from a Backup

If you have a backup of your system files, this is the first method to use to recover your deleted files. It’s always a good idea to make a backup of all of your important files and even your entire system often.

You never know when files might get lost or damaged and by having a backup, you can easily recover any important information and data that you have lost. You can easily make a backup on an external hard drive or use cloud storage for the task.

To recover items deleted from the recycle bin from a backup follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button on the lower left-hand side of your screen
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click on the Update & security button
  4. Click on Backup
  5. Select More options from the window on the right
  6. Locate Restore files from a current backup on the bottom of the page and click
  7. Now enter the name of the file you are looking for. You can search through various backups until you find the most recent backup or whatever file version you need to be recovered.
  8. Select the file you want to recover and click the Restore button

Method 2: Recover Using Third-Party Recovery Software

If you do not have a backup of the deleted file, the only option you have to restore this file is by using a third-party Windows data recovery software.

First, you need to download and install a data recovery software on your PC. Then follow the recovery guide that will appear on your screen and you will (most likely) find the deleted files by following the steps in the guide.

If the deleted files are found by the recovery software, you should be able to restore them very quickly.

Final Thoughts

By following the methods listed here, there is a good chance that you will be able to recover any items deleted from the recycle bin in Windows.

Remember to always back up your important files as often as you can as this makes the recovery process easy and reliable. If you don’t have a backup, data recovery software is your last resort.

Have you ever deleted items from Windows Recycle Bin? Were you able to recover them?

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  • Tom

    Thanks for sharing the way to recover data from Windows recycle bin. I have tried the last option mentioned by you in the blog but the software name may differ, i tried data recovery software of Stellar and had great success with it.

  • Jeff

    If I accidentally emptied my recycling bin from my computer can anyone recover my file from another computer or server or does it have to be from my computer?

  • Roycie

    I have tried several times to take my Dell all in one back to factory condition, it does not work, I get to a place that asks me what keyboard and my keys don’t work nor does my mouse lol I am at a loss can u help me, please ?