5 Ways to Recover Files for Free on Windows 10

How to recover files for free Windows 10? This post covers five tested and trusted methods to help you get the deleted or missing files back. Besides, you will learn an easier way to restore files in seconds.


By Hedy / Updated on November 10, 2023

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Unintentionally erasing the incorrect files on Windows 10 doesn't equal a permanent deletion, as there exist several trusted methods for their recovery. If you find yourself unfamiliar with these techniques, there's no need for concern. Adhere to these comprehensive, user-friendly, step-by-step guidelines that aim to recover files for free.

Before we start

In order to effectively restore deleted files on Windows 10, it is crucial to take swift action to retrieve them before they become overwritten.

To extend the window of opportunity, close unnecessary applications and processes, and most importantly, refrain from adding new data to the storage device where the deleted files were situated.

While the top 5 free methods for recovering deleted files on Windows 10 can be employed in any sequence, it is advisable to commence with the first method and proceed through the list in sequential order.

How can I recover deleted files for free?

Method 1. Check the Recycle Bin

Whenever the accident deletion of vital files occurs, your first action is to check the Recycle Bin. Deleted files remain within the Windows 10 Recycle Bin indefinitely, unless manual adjustments are made to empty it after a specified duration.

How to recover files for free from the Recycle Bin? Go ahead to the following steps:

Step 1. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon situated on the desktop.

Step 2. Identify the deleted files and mark them for selection. Employ the Ctrl key while clicking on their names or icons to select multiple files simultaneously.

Step 3. Right-click on any of the selected files and choose the Restore option. This action promptly restores the chosen files to their original location.


Method 2. Retrieve files via Undo Delete

Many Windows 10 users may not know that the deletions actions can be reversed. It's essential to bear in mind that this feature typically facilitates the undoing of recent actions. Moreover, the undo history in Windows 10 doesn't carry over between different sessions. This implies that the method might not be applicable if you've logged out or initiated a computer restart or shutdown.

To recover deleted files for free Windows 10 utilizing the Undo command, adhere to the subsequent steps:

Step 1. Launch Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory containing the deleted files.

Step 2. Right-click anywhere within the folder.

Step 3. Opt for "Undo Delete" from the context menu, effectively initiating recovery.


Method 3. Retrieve permanently deleted files via File History Backup

The File History feature, introduced in Windows 10 to supplant the Backup and Restore component of earlier Windows versions, serves as a backup mechanism that automatically generates copies of files within specified folders.

By default, File History covers files within the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders. To restore permanently deleted files using File History, here are the steps:

Step 1. Type "Restore files" in the Search icon, and then click "Open" to restore your files with File History.


Step 2. Find the deleted pictures or the folders which contain the pictures

Step 3. Select the green refresh button to recover deleted pictures to their original places.


Method 4. Regain deleted files via prior System Restore Point

The Windows 10 operating system incorporates a valuable data-safeguarding utility known as System Restore. This feature is designed to automatically generate snapshots of your system, enabling the reversal of undesirable alterations by returning your computer to a prior state.

To retrieve deleted files through a previous system restore point, adhere to these steps:

Step 1. Type "Control Panel" in the search box on the taskbar and select the Control Panel option.

Step 2. Type "recovery" in the search box within the Control Panel.

Step 3. Select "Recovery" and then "Open System Restore" from the menu.

Step 4. In the Restore system and files settings, click the "Next" button.


Step 5. Choose the desired restoration point or click "more results" to explore additional options and scan any affected applications.

Method 5. Recover files for free using Command Prompt (chkdsk)

Despite being arguably the less user-intuitive method to recover deleted files for free Windows 10 within this article, its inclusion remains warranted. The Command-Line interface provides access to various system tools, enabling deleted file recovery without relying on free data recovery software for Windows 10.

To initiate deleted file recovery using Command Prompt, follow these steps:

Step 1. Restart your computer, and during the restart, press the F8 key. This action will grant you access to the Safe Mode with Command Prompt feature.

Step 2. Once successfully within the command prompt interface, input "cd../.." and press the Enter key. Subsequently, type "cd $Recycle.Bin."

Step 3. After entering "cd" and pressing the tab key, a directory name will manifest. Promptly press Enter as soon as the name becomes visible.

Step 4. Employ the "dir/a" command to list all files. Following this, execute the command "copy [file name] [file location]" to facilitate file retrieval, then follow up with the sequence "cd../.." > "dir" > "ren [file name]" to further navigate and manage the files.


An easier  way to recover deleted files in Windows 11/10/8/7

If the methods mentioned earlier prove ineffective or if you haven't configured automatic backups, you might find it necessary to employ an external tool for recovering deleted files, especially after their contents have been emptied in Windows 11/10/8/7. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a remarkable data recovery software tool, emerges as an all-encompassing solution that incorporates advanced data security functionalities.

Some notable features of AOMEI Partition Assistant are as follows:
◆ Recovery of deleted files from the recycle bin, even when it has been emptied, or in scenarios involving OS updates, virus intrusions, inadvertent deletions, and similar situations.
◆ Comprehensive support for data recovery from various sources, including partitions and portable storage mediums such as external drives and USB flash drives.
◆ Versatility across a set of file types, including over 1000 formats, spanning photos, videos, audio files, and documents.
◆ Compatibility extended to operating systems like Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and even Vista and XP systems.

Let's start the process of recovering lost files in Windows 10 by using AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Begin by installing and launching AOMEI Partition Assistant. Access the Main Tab, and navigate to "Recover" followed by "Recover Data".


Step 2. At this point, the Recover Windows Data tool will appear. Choose the desired partition location where data recovery should commence, and then click on "Start Scan".


Step 3. After the scanning process is complete, you will see a comprehensive list of deleted files, including those from the recycle bin and other missing files. Simply select the data you wish to recover, and proceed by clicking on "Recover".


Step 4. Now, designate a specific folder path on your PC where the recovered data will be saved.


Step 5. Once the recovery process is successfully completed, your data will be securely saved to the designated path you selected earlier.



By utilizing the 5 free methods outlined in this article to recover files for free on Windows 10, you can promptly retrieve your files without requiring specialized expertise. If the free methods are not working, you can resort to professional data recovery software like AOMEI Partition Assistant.

It is not a simple file recovery tool but also a data backup utility that allows you to clone hard drive to another as a duplicate of essential data.

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.