Where Do Deleted Files Go And How to Recover Them?

In this guide, you are going to learn where do deleted files go and how to recover deleted or lost files on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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[Answered]Where do deleted files go in Windows 11/10/8/7?

Where do deleted files go? Normally, files you delete will be sent to the Recycle Bin. But the files in the recycle bin don't disappear from the computer, they still take up disk space. We can right-click the target file in the recycle bin and select Restore to recover it to its original path.

Where do delete files go after Recycle Bin? When you empty the Recycle Bin, deleted files are wiped from the hard drive. Also, the disk space occupied by the deleted files will be "freed". This means you can store new data in this location.

Data Recovery

Is it possible to recover deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin?

Yes, it is. Most users think that once you delete files, you lose them forever. In fact, deleted files can still be recovered.

Every time a file is emptied from the Recycle Bin, a copy of it is still stored on the hard drive although the user cannot find the file in its original path. It will not be emptied until a new file overwrites the path of the deleted file.

Therefore, when you need to recover deleted files, do not rewrite the hard drive, and please perform the recover process as soon as possible.

How to recover deleted files when empty Recycle Bin

Now that you have understood where do deleted files go, let's proceed to learn how to recover deleted files. There are 2 ways to recover deleted files, including File History and a professional data recovery expert. You can choose one according to your demand.

Option 1. Recover deleted files through File History

To recover files via File History, please make sure you have enabled the File History function from System and Security. If you haven’t, please skip to option 2.

First, open the “Control Panel” and click “System and Security”. Then, find “File History” in the list and click it. Next, click “Restore personal files”, where you can see the deleted files. Finally, find the target file and click the “Restore” button.

File History

Note: File History is only available on Windows 8.0 and above operating systems.

Option 2. Recover deleted/lost files with data recovery software

As you can see, File History is not good for everyone. If you want to recover deleted files more easily and safely, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional must be the better choice.

This is an all-in-one partition manager (compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP), its Recover Data function supports running quick scans and deep scans on storage devices to recover deleted or lost data, including Word, Excel, PPT, photos, videos, audios, mailboxes, compressed files, etc. Besides, it offers easy-to-follow operating steps, which are friendly to beginners.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
There more advanced features are waiting for you to try, such as recover lost partitions, password reset, clone internal hard drive to external hard drive, allocate free space, app mover, and so on.
If you want to recover data on Windows Server, please turn to Server Edition.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, click Recover > Recover Data.

Recover Data

Step 2. Select the target drive where the file you want to recover saved and click Start Scan.

Recover Windows Data

Step 3. When the scan is over, all deleted files, Recycle Bin and other lost files will be listed. Please select the data you want to recover and click Recover.

Select Recover Data

Step 4. Select a path to save the recovered file.

Select Saved Path

Step 5. The recovery progress will start and the file will be saved to the target path if it is worked.



In this post, we not only answer where do deleted files go, but also provide two effective methods to help you recover lost/deleted files. If you want to recover files in a more flexible way, you should not miss AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.