How to Find Deleted Files on Computer [Windows OS]

You may be wondering how to find deleted files on computer. You can refer to this detailed guide to know how to do it. Moreover, you will learn how to recover the deleted files from Windows 11/10 computer.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Deleting files is a common operation for computer users. During the use of the computer, you may need to remove duplicate files, unwanted files, useless files, junk files, or other kinds of files from your computer. This is always a good way to free up disk space and clean up the computer.

But sometimes, chances are that you accidentally deleted some important files or you realize that you need to use files that have already been deleted. Then, you may wonder how do I find deleted files on my computer and how to bring them back. In the below content, you can perfectly solve these two questions with the guide on how to find deleted files on computer and how to restore these files that have been deleted accidentally or completely.

To delete a file or folder, you can:
1. Select the file/folder you want to delete, press the Delete key, or right-click it and choose Delete.
2. Drag the file or folder to the Recycle Bin on the desktop directly.
To permanently delete a file or folder, you can:
1. Highlight the to-be-deleted file or folder, and hit the Shift + Delete keys together to perform the permanent deletion.
2. After files or folders are removed to the Recycle Bin, right-click the Bin icon and choose Empty the Recycle Bin.

How to find deleted files on computer Windows 11/10?

To know where do deleted files go on Windows 11 or 10 computer, here are three methods you can put into use. 

Way 1. Find delete files on computer from the Recycle Bin

Usually, the temporarily deleted files will be moved to the Recycle Bin and kept there for 30 days by default. If the file you deleted does not exceed the duration, you can go to the Recycle Bin to locate deleted files on the computer and choose if to restore them to their original locations. And this is also the easiest way to know where your missing files are.


Way 2. Find delete files on computer via Undo function

Most users don't know they can quickly get the deleted files back after performing the deletion. Windows offers Undo function, allowing users to undo some actions including deleting files. But to use this function, there are some prerequisites you need to pay attention to:

◆ No action is taken after deleting the file.

◆ You know where the deleted files are from.

Once you realize your files are gone, don't fret, right-click the black area and click "Undo Delete" or press "Ctrl + Z" immediately to recover them. Then, go to the folder in which the deleted files are located originally, you can find the recovered files after deletion.


Way 3. Find deleted files after being deleted from the Recycle Bin

How do I find deleted files on my computer? As we mentioned, the Recycle Bin can only keep the temporarily deleted files for 30 days. What if you empty the Recycle Bin or you have deleted the files permanently in the beginning or even the files have been deleted more than one month? In these cases, where to locate your deleted files on computer?

Luckily, aside from the file recovery tool we are going to introduce to you in the latter content, here we will show you how to find delete files on computer via Windows register.

Step 1. Press "Win + R" keys at the same time to open the Run dialog and input "regedit" to open the Register Editor.



Step 3. Right-click the blank area, choose "New > Key" and name it as {645FFO40-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}.

Step 4. After that, click it, change the value type to Recycle Bin, and click "Yes" to exit the register.

Step 5. Finally, you can go to the Recycle Bin to see your deleted files.

How to find deleted files back on Windows 10/11 computer?

After knowing the location of deleted files, you must be eager to know how to recover them. Whether your files are deleted temporarily or completely, you can always get a suitable method in this part. Three ways are explained step by step to recover deleted files in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.

Way 1. Recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin

It is the easiest way to find and retrieve a deleted file from Recycle Bin. When you click the Bin icon on the desktop, you will see all your files that have been removed temporarily on the interface. Just locate what you want to restore, right-click it and choose "Restore". Then, you can go to the original location to see your recovered files.


Way 2. Retrieve deleted files from a file history backup

File History Backup is provided by Windows to get the lost files back. It can recover deleted Documents, Videos, Music, Pictures, Desktop folders, etc. But it only works if you have backed up the files before. Then, you can follow the steps below to learn how to recover deleted files on computer Windows 10.

Step 1. Open "Control Panel" by typing it in the search bar and then click "System and Security".


Step 2. Select "Restore your files with File History" under the "File History" tab.


Step 3. Click the "Restore personal files" button.


Step 4. If you directly click "Restore", the deleted Excel files will be sent to their original location. If you right-click "Restore", you can save them in your specific location.

locate-the deleted-files

Way 3. Restore deleted files via data recovery software

If you can't find your lost files in the Recycle Bin or haven't created a backup, it becomes troublesome to have these files recovered. But don't worry, you can turn to the expert data rescue software, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, to complete the file recovery.

What makes this software outstanding and popular?
✔ It is easy to use and friendly to users of all levels.
✔ It is compatible with all editions of Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista on different brands of computer, like HP, Dell, and so on.
✔ It can scan your computer quickly and bring your deleted files with a high recovery rate.
✔ It supports recovering 200 + types of data including Word, Excel, PPT, Videos, Audios, Photos, Emails, etc from various storage devices like HDD, SSD, USB, and so on.
✔ It is available to restore files from accidental or intentional deletion, temporary or permanent deletion, power failure, etc.

Click the demo version below to download the powerful tool on your computer and see how to recover deleted files on computer Windows 10 without backup.

Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI software. In the Main Tab, please click "Recover" > "Recover Data".


Step 2. The Recover Windows Data tool will pop up. Select the partition location to start data recovery and click "Start Scan".


Step 3. Once the scan is completed, all deleted files, recycle bin, and other missing files will be displayed. Please select the file you would like to recover and then click "Recover".

Tip: You can narrow down the search scope by typing the filenames, sizes, types, and so on.


Step 4. Then, select a folder path on your PC to save the recovered files. That is to say, where to find deleted files on computer is up to you.


Step 5. When the recovery process is successful, go to the path you select to see the files.


How to find deleted files back on computer in other cases?

Sometimes, you may store files on an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or SD card. What if you have lost files on these devices? Since they won't go to the Recycle Bin after deletion, it’s harder for you to find them back via common ways in Windows.

If you remove files from these storage drives, you can follow the simple steps to retrieve them:

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive, SD card, or USB drive to your Windows PC and make sure it can be detected by the system.

Step 2. Launch AOMEI data recovery software and use it to recover deleted files with the above steps.

FAQs about how to find deleted files on computer

✍ Are deleted computer files gone forever?

When you delete a file or folder from your computer, it doesn't disappear from the Windows immediately. The deletion action just makes the deleted files invisible to users, which doesn't mean it won't exist on the computer anymore. That's why you can get them back easily sometimes.

Unless you digitally shred or completely wipe out the files from your storage devices, your files or folders still remains there.

✍ Where do permanently deleted files go?

A deleted file or folder will be simply moved to the Windwos Recycle Bin. If you empty the Recycle Bin or use the Shift + Delete keys to remove it, the files are permanently erased from the hard drive. It can't be restored unless you apply to a professional data recovery utility.

✍ How to undo deleted files?

In addition to using the recovery methods, the Undo function can make you undo deleted files quickly and safely. When you accidentally delete a file or folder on the computer, you can simply press "Ctrl + Z" keys to undo the delete action. Or you can do as follows:

Step 1. Go to the folder that contains your deleted files.

Step 2. Right-click the blank area in the folder and choose the Undo Delete option from the extended menu. Then, your deleted files would be found back rapidly with this.

✍ How do I recover permanently deleted files from my computer?

From the content above, you can know that Windows makes it hard to restore permanently deleted files from the computer. But with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, things become easy. Only after several steps, you can easily find deleted files on computer back.

Step 1. Download and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 2. Scan your Windows computer to list all lost files.

Step 3. Select the recoverable files and restore them easily.


That's all about how to find deleted files on computer Windows 11/10/8/7. After deleting files, you can easily find them in the Recycle Bin. To recover the deleted files, you can get three tested and effective ways in this passage.

If you want to restore files that have been removed permanently, please don't miss AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional which is not only a data recovery tool but also a data protection program. It can help you clone hard drive, migrate OS, or copy partition to another drive as a backup.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.