A common problem faced by Windows users is realizing that they need a deleted file after the Recycle Bin has been emptied. While their first reaction may be to panic, the situation is not as bad as it seems. Disk Drill Data Recovery for Windows offers a method that enables users to perform the recycle bin recovery in a few simple clicks.
Recover Data from the Recycle Bin BEFORE Empty
It’s always the easiest to recover lost data before the Recycle Bin has been emptied. If you haven’t made any recovery attempts yet, we highly recommend you start with the two simple methods described below. You might get lucky and successfully undelete all lost files without having to download and use a third-party data recovery software application.
Try the CTRL + Z Shortcut
The Windows operating system remembers your actions, allowing you to undo recent changes, such as the deletion of an important file or folder. How? By pressing a single keyboard shortcut: CTRL + Z
Check the Recycle Bin One Last Time
You’ve probably already done that, but practice shows that many users often forget to check the Recycle Bin to see if the files have actually been deleted. So, to recover data directly from the Recycle Bin:
- Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking on its icon.
- Locate the items that you want to recover.
- Check the box next to the files or folders you want to retrieve.
- Right-click and select Restore to recover the items to their original locations.
Is Recycle Bin Recovery Possible?
The only problem is that Windows doesn’t come with any native data recovery application that would let you restore access to permanently deleted files. As such, you need to use third-party data recovery software (learn how data recovery software works here).
Here’s a 30-second explanation of how it works:
- Data recovery software analyzes your storage devices, looking for all recoverable files.
- The software then lets you specify which files you want to restore.
- The restored files are moved to a safe location, and the logical links to them are restored.
All this sounds simple in theory, but there are many factors that may influence your recovery success rate, including the cause of the data loss, the quality of the selected data recovery application, the amount of time passed since the data loss incident took place, and the type of storage device on which the deleted files were stored.
How to Recover Deleted Files from the Recycle Bin After Empty
Just because you’ve already emptied the Recycle Bin folder doesn’t mean that your files are gone for good. If you act quickly enough and closely follow the instructions below, you should be able to get them back in no time.
For the purposes of this article, we’ve decided to use Disk Drill as our data recovery software of choice, and there are many good reasons why:
- 🤗 Easy to Use: Data recovery tools can be intimidating, but not Disk Drill. With its intuitive and polished user interface, Disk Drill is the most approachable data recovery tool available today. Instead of overwhelming you with technical information and incomprehensible options, it reduces the entire data recovery process into a single click on the Recover button.
- 🦾 Powerful: Despite its ease of use, Disk Drill is still a professional-grade data recovery solution loved by over 500,000 pro clients and used by many world-famous companies. It supports hundreds of file formats and can restore them from all storage devices and file systems.
- ⏱ Fast: Don’t have time for in-depth data recovery? Just use the Quick Scan option and discover all files deleted from the Recycle Bin in no time. You can always use Deep Scan to find files that are likely missing their original file names and locations.
- 🛡️ Secure: Disk Drill is designed to recover your files in the safest manner possible, taking great care not to cause more hard than good. For example, it will warn you when it detects that you’re attempting to recover deleted files to the same storage device on which they were originally located, which is a big no-no.
- 💸 Affordable: Professional data recovery services can be incredibly expensive, but Disk Drill can accomplish the same for a fraction of the price. Best of all, you can preview files before recovery for free.
Step 1. Download, Install and Launch Disk Drill to Start the Recycle Bin Recovery
Step 2. Choose the Location and Start Scanning for Lost Files
Disk Drill’s main window will display all the disks that are available for recovery. Clicking the Search for lost data button after selecting the disk on which the Recycle Bin resides (this is usually your computer’s main internal drive) initiates the scanning procedure, which defaults to using all available scanning methods in the optimal order, which is what we recommend.
You can also select the drop-down options next to the selected disk and choose a Quick scan for a fast restore of recently deleted files or Deep scan for a comprehensive analysis of your storage device.
Step 3. Preview and Select the Files That You Want to Recover
Once Disk Drill finishes scanning your disk, you’ll be able to preview the files available for restoration in the recovery panel.
Files are grouped by type, such as Pictures or Documents, to streamline this process. You can view all files inside a folder and nested subfolders by holding the ALT key and clicking on the top folder. To preview a file, simply hover your mouse over it and click the preview icon (a small eye). Generally, all files that can be previewed can also be successfully recovered. Just keep in mind that the preview feature can preview only the file formats supported by Windows.
When you find a file or folder that you want to recover, click the checkbox next to it to add it to the recovery queue.
Step 4. Click the 'Recover' Button to Perform the Recovery
Step 5. View the Recovered Files
It should take just a short while for Disk Drill to recover your files and display the “Data recovery complete” message. To view the recovered files, click the magnifying glass icon next to the recovery path.
If you’re not satisfied with your recovery results, you can return to the list of all the disks that are available for recovery and try a different recovery method or scan another disk.
Recover Files Deleted From the Recycle Bin after Empty Without Software
You actually don’t need to download and install a third-party software solution to recover files deleted from the Recycle Bin if you had enabled one of the built-in data backup features in Windows prior to data loss.
Restore a Previous Version from File History
Recent versions of the Windows operating system come with a backup feature called File History. When enabled, File History takes regular backups of files stored in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders.
As its name suggests, File History creates incremental backups of files that can be restored at a later date, allowing you to go back in time and get back an older version of a file that has been overwritten a long time ago.
Here’s what you need to do to recover previous versions of files from File History:
- Right-click on the folder that contained the deleted file.
- Choose Restore previous version from the menu.
- Select the version you want to restore and click the Recover button.
Restoring with Windows Backup
Windows 7 introduced a backup feature that allowed its users to back up selected libraries, folders, and system data with a few simple clicks. Called Backup and Restore, the feature offers two main backup options:
- 💡 Let Windows choose: Windows will back up data files saved in libraries, on the desktop, and in default Windows folders. Windows will also create a system image, which can be used to restore your computer if it stops working. These items will be backed up on a regular schedule.
- 🤔 Let me choose: You can select libraries and folders and whether to include a system image in the backup. The items you choose will be backed up on a regular schedule.
Regardless of which of the two options you choose, you can always recover your data with minimal effort.
On Windows 7 systems:
- Open Control Panel.
- Select System and Security.
- Choose Backup and Restore.
- Click Restore my files and follow the wizard.
Windows 10 users should:
- Open Settings.
- Choose Update & Security.
- Select the Backup.
- Click the Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) options.
- Select a backup to restore from and follow the instructions.
What’s the Best Way to Prevent the Loss of Important Data
It’s always a good idea to take extra steps in order to prevent the loss of important data. Even though it’s usually possible to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin or using a data recovery software tool like Disk Drill, why risk permanent data loss when you can easily prevent it by following the tips below?