How to Recover a Deleted File on Windows 10, Windows 7 and 8, and Vista

It’s so frustrating when we’ve accidentally deleted some files or content, perhaps in an absent-minded state.

Maybe you just realized the importance of a deleted file and you’re searching for a way to get that file back—or at least part of it!

Today, I’ll show you a trick to recover a deleted file without using any external software. This trick will work on Windows 10, Windows 7 and 8, and even Vista (yes, that old Vista operating system for those of you still running that operating system).

Now, for those of you who prefer a video, watch the first two minutes of this video before you come back to this article. This video does specifically address the later versions of Windows – like Windows 10. If you want to skip the video, you can simply read on:

When you delete a file from your computer, its content doesn’t immediately get destroyed. What happens is, the reference to the file data in the File Allocation Table (FAT) or Master File Table is marked as deleted. This means that you might be able to recover deleted files or make them visible for the file system again.

Phew.  That means your data isn’t gone!

I’ve gotten a good response that this article works, and has helped many people to recover their important data after deletion.

recover permanently deleted files without using any software and using software on windows 7 and windows 8.1

How to Recover a Deleted File without using any Software?

Let’s assume that you have permanently deleted “mySweetHeart.jpg” from the folder named “My Life”, and now you want to recover “mySweetHeart.jpg.”

Do this simple trick to recover your beloved file (OK, I could have chosen a better file name, but, let’s go with that one)

  • Go to the folder “My Life” and right-click on it.
  • Select “Restore previous versions”.

simple trick to recover deleted file without software

  • Now, you should see an option to recover the folder.
  • If you don’t see “Restore previous versions” by right-clicking, go to the control panel to turn on the System Protection.
  • Then click on System & Security > System> System Protection (on the left side bar).

Control Panel - System Protection

  • Available drives with corresponding protection will be shown.
  • Select a particular drive and click on Configure.
  • Click on “Restore system settings and previous versions of files” and Click on “OK”.
  • That’s all, now you will see an option to recover the particular file.

How to Recover a Permanently Deleted Files Without Using any Software on Computer/Laptop System

  • Your deleted file should be restored again.

You can also recover your permanently deleted files with the help of software.

Recover permanently deleted files with the help of software:

1. Recuva Software

This software can recover files that have been deleted accidentally. Recuva supports the recovery of images, audio, documents, files, and even emails. It scans the hard drive, finds the file, and copies it to flash media.

Step 1: Download and Install

  • Install the free version of Recuva Software from the link below.

Download Recuva Software from here.

  • As soon as the file is downloaded, double click on the file and wait a few seconds until you get a window as Recuva v1.50 Setup.

Recuva - Recover permanently deleted files

  • Click on ‘Next’ displayed at the bottom of the window.
  • Now, you will find a list of Install options where you can select options.

Install Recuva Software

  • Then, click on ‘Install’ to get Recuva on your computer.

Install Recuva to recover deleted files

  • After completing the installation process, another window displays on the screen.
  • Click on the Finish button. Now, you have successfully installed Recuva software on your system.

Step 2: Quick Launch- Run the File

  • After finishing the installation of the Recuva software, a quick launch file will show up on the desktop. Click on that icon to run and start the file.

Recuva Wizard- Recover deleted files
Step 3: Choose Type of File

  • You will get different file types like Music files, Documents, Video files, Images, all files, etc.
  • Choose a specific file or Select ‘All Files’ so that you can recover any type of deleted file.

Recuva - Choose type of file

  • Now, just click on Next.

Step 4: Select File Location

  • This is the most important step. You need to select the appropriate location of the deleted files from your Windows laptop or PC.
  • If you wish to recover the files from pen drive, memory card, or any other external hard disk devices, then you need to connect those devices to your computer.

Recuva - Select File Location

  • Choose the drive where you have deleted the file. Select a right option and click Next.
  • But, if you don’t remember the specific location of the deleted file, then just mark on the option “I’m not sure”. Click “Next” for the further recovery process.

Step 5: Scanning Process

  • After choosing the location of the deleted file, you will be asked to initiate the scanning process.
  • Now, the Recuva software is ready to search the permanently deleted files or data in your Windows system.

Recuva - Scan for Deleted files

  • Be sure before starting the scan as it takes a good amount of time to scan your entire drive.
  • You will be shown a window that asks to enable deep scan.
  • Don’t mark or tick on “Enable Deep Scan.” Simply, click on ‘Start’ in order to complete the task as early as possible.

Step 6: Final Recovery Process

  • In this final step of the recovery process, you’ll see a window displaying the files you selected from the drive.
  • Just glance at the window below and you will see colored icons (red, green, and yellow) that are present in front of the file names.

Recuva - Recover Deleted Files

  • The colors displayed represent the chance of data recovery. The color codes show the possibilities like this:

Green >> Excellent Recovery
Yellow >> Very Poor Recovery
Red >> Can’t recover.

  • As Green refers to successful file recovery, you need to make a tick mark in the check box present in front of the file name that has the green color, and then click on Recover.
  • A pop-up window displays on the screen that will ask you to choose a specific location for saving the recovered file.

2. Panda Recovery

It recovers permanently deleted files, files originally deleted using Shift+Delete and DOS prompt. Panda Recovery allows you to find and reclaim recoverable deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted volumes, regardless of their type – you can recover pictures, songs, movies or documents.
Download Panda Recovery from here.

3. Undelete Plus

Undelete Plus also recovers permanently deleted files, and the size is approximately 583 KB. It supports all Windows file systems that include NTFS/NTFS5, and FAT12/16/32. Also, image recovery is possible through Multimedia, Compact Flash, Smart Media and Secure Digital cards.

4. TOKIWA Data Recovery

It supports FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS recovery. The size is about 198 kB, and easily portable.
Download TOKIWA DataRecovery from here.

 5. Puran File Recovery

This is another great software that can recover a deleted file from your computer. It is capable of scanning any device that includes USB, Pen Drive, Mobiles, etc. Hopefully, it will enable you to recover all your deleted files. The best feature of this software is that it can recover any partition/drive if it is not overwritten by some other new file. Puran File Recovery can be installed on your system totally free of cost.
Download Puran File Recovery from here.

 6. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS is one of the best software that helps you recover your deleted files. It supports major versions of the Windows OS that includes Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP, Vista, and Servers 2012, 2003, 2008. This is free software, but it is limited up to 2 GB and if you want to recover a number of files, then you need to upgrade your membership.
Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from here.

How To Retrieve Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 8 

Windows 8 Data Recovery Software can be very useful for the successful restoration of permanently deleted data on your Windows 8 device. This software is capable of retrieving any type of deleted file that includes applications, documents, media files, archive files, etc. Thankfully, it can recover the deleted files not only on Windows 8, but also supports Windows XP, Vista, 7 or any other OS. So, by using this efficient software you can also restore data from flash cards or USB hard drives.


Step 1: Download demo version of Windows 8 Data Recovery Software and install it on your Windows 8 computer. After the application is launched, just click on the “Recover Files” option from the main screen.
Recover deleted files- Windows 8 Recovery Software
Step 2: Choose “Recover Deleted Files” from the two options listed as “Recover Lost Files” and “Recover Deleted Files.”Windows 8- Recover deleted files
Step 3: Then, you will be asked to choose drivers/partitions that are displayed on the window in the below image. For example Driver C, Memory Card, USB Drive, etc.
Windows 8- Choose appropriate Drive
Step 4: Select the drive from which you have permanently deleted the file.
Step 5: Now, you need to select the type of file that you want to recover from your system. You can even skip this step at the bottom of the window.
Windows 8- Select type of file or simply skip
Step 6: After completing the scanning process, the software will list out all the files that were permanently deleted from your device.
Step 7: Later, the device displays a window showing that restoration was completed successfully.
Windows 8- Recovered files list
Step 7: You can see all the data either in “File Type View” or “Data View”. Now, you can select any file/files that need to be restored on your system.
Windows 8- Save Restored files
Step 8: Save the recovery session in order to avoid re-scanning the drive.

Recover SHIFT+Delete Files on your Windows 10 Computer

Here is a way to recover the Shift+Deleted files on your Windows 10 computer. Below, see how it’s done.

How to Recover Lost Data Using Easeus Data Recovery Wizard from Windows 10

All in all, these are the best methods of restoring permanently deleted files from your Windows PC or laptop. Follow the methods, and I hope this article helps you recover deleted files from your system in the best way.

If you have any queries in the above methods, let us know the comment section. We will get back to you to solve all your queries as soon as possible.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos and Files in Windows 10

If you know any other methods regarding this issue, write them in your comments and we will include them in our article in the next update after verification.

Which method would you use to recover a deleted file on Windows?