Regardless of your operating system, antivirus software is necessary for keeping you safe while you use your computer. This is especially true if your machine is always connected to the internet. The internet is full of virus threats and antivirus protection is key while browsing the internet.

While antivirus software does its job well, there is a small chance that your antivirus software could delete useful files from your computer. This may happen because the antivirus software might wrongly view files as viruses. Luckily there are ways to recover files deleted by antivirus. We’ll cover how to do this below.

Before we start exploring the different methods of undoing antivirus file deletion, we should mention a few things. The basics still count in this situation. We’re assuming that you have already checked your recycle bin and for any file backups.

Is It Possible For an Antivirus to Cause Data Loss?

While antivirus software is helpful overall, it is possible for antivirus software to mistake legitimate files for viruses and subsequently delete them. Luckily, this isn’t common and there are ways, as we will see, to recover files deleted in this manner. However, you have to be careful when recovering files that were deleted by an antivirus.

If an antivirus deletes files, you should only restore them if you’re sure that they aren’t malicious. You don’t want to run the risk of restoring an actual virus. This could cause problems such as further data loss.

Recovering Files Deleted by Antivirus Software via the Command Prompt: Is This Possible?

There are many articles out there that suggest that the attrib command can recover files deleted by antivirus software. However, this isn’t quite correct. This command allows you to hide/unhide files. However, when an antivirus quarantines a file, while it may be hidden, simply unhiding it won’t restore your files for a couple of reasons:

  • ✅ These files are also likely to be encrypted. This means that it will be very difficult for you to get your hands on them unless you’re accessing them using the software that quarantined them in the first place.
  • 💭 You have to know the exact folder location of the deleted files and this isn’t information that is readily available to the general public.

How to Recover Files Deleted By Antivirus Software

Here, we will take a closer look at the options available for recovering files deleted by antivirus software.

Recovering Files From Within The Antivirus Software From the Quarantine File List

We will discuss how to recover quarantined files from different antiviruses. However, the general method involves finding the settings for Quarantine in your application window and pulling up the quarantined file list.

You will have to select the files that you want to recover and then save them to a location of your choice. With that being said, let’s look at how this works in some specific cases:

Windows Defender

Undo Windows Defender Delete

Open Windows security, then go to Virus & threat protection > Protection history. From there, select Quarantined items and then you will be able to select the files that you want to recover.


Undo Avast Delete


To access the files quarantined by Avast, first, open the Avast client window and select Protection from the sidebar on the left of the window. From there, select Virus Chest. There, you’ll be able to see your quarantined files and you will be able to restore the files that you need.


Undo Kaspersky Delete


First, open the main application window. From there, select More Tools followed by Quarantine. You can then select the files that you want to recover.


Undo McAfee Delete


First, open McAfee’s main application page. Then, select the Settings icon in the upper-right hand corner of the window. From there, select Quarantined items. After doing this, you will be able to select the items that you want to restore.


Undo AVG Delete


You’ll first need to open the AVG main window. From the menu options, select Tools > Quarantine. From there, you can select the files that you want to restore.


Undo Eset Nod 32 Delete


To restore files from ESET NOD 32, you’ll have to open the main application window, then click Tools. Next, select Quarantine. You’ll then be able to select the files that you want to recover from the resulting file list.

Recovering Files That Have Been Permanently Deleted

If your files have been deleted permanently, there is a good chance that you can recover them but you will need a good data recovery application to achieve this. Here’s what you need to consider while searching for good data recovery software:

  • 📁 File types and storage media supported: The recovery app that you choose should support as many file types as possible. If you can only recover a limited number of file types, you run the risk of not being able to recover the files that you want to. The same thing goes for the types of storage media supported.
  • Speed: While a deeper scan usually takes longer, the option for a quicker scan allows users the possibility of recovering files quickly if things are urgent.
  • 👁 Ability to preview files: Previewing files is important for quickly identifying the files that are present. This lets users quickly find the files that they may want to recover.
  • 👶 Ease of use: Data recovery software should be easy to use. There’s no point in having the best features if you don’t know how to use your software.

It can be difficult trying to figure out which data recovery software will work best. There are several different data recovery applications out there that can do a decent job. However, we recommend using Disk Drill. Disk Drill is designed very well, offering professional results.

It is capable of recovering over 400 different types of files and it can recover from different storage devices such as SD cards and even Android Phones. In addition to this, it is easy to use. We will cover how to use Disk Drill to recover files in the following section.

We will mainly focus on how this works on Windows.

How to Recover Files On Windows With Disk Drill

After opening Disk Drill, you will first have to select the hard drive on your computer that you want to scan. If you only have one hard drive then this makes your job easier.

Recover Files Deleted by Antivirus with Disk Drill - Main Interface

After selecting your drive, then you can select All recovery methods in the right sidebar of the software.

Undo Antivirus Delete with Disk Drill - All Recovery Methods

Next, select Search for Lost data. This initiates the scanning of your drive.

Disk Drill - Search For Lost Data

Disk Drill will carry out a comprehensive scan. After this is done, a results page will show up. This page will categorize files according to the type of file. Some files will have to be reconstructed. This is common for files that have lost their filenames. Select the files that you want to recover and hit the Recover button.

Disk Drill - Choose Files

After choosing the files that you want to recover, you have to choose the save location of the files.

Disk Drill - Save Location

After doing this, ensure that your file works.


Final Thoughts

While antivirus software is useful, sometimes it may wrongfully delete files. We do have solutions for this, however. If the file is quarantined, access the section of your antivirus software that displays quarantined files.

This differs between software and we have covered how to do this in a few different antivirus applications here in this article. If the file has been permanently deleted, then you will need to use data recovery software such as Disk Drill.