There are several ways to recover a deleted file in Windows 11, but the two most effective are built into the features of the operating system itself.
If you have accidentally deleted an important file on your Windows 11 computer and don’t know how to recover it, don’t worry, luckily there are several ways to restore it without the need for any strange programs or tricks.
Although Microsoft operating system is an updated version, file loss issues can occur due to various reasons such as human error, system crash, malware or other unforeseen circumstances.
There are two ways to recover deleted files in Windows 11, in the first there is no need to install third-party programs or anything, everything is done from the functions of the system itself, and the best thing is that it is an easy and simple procedure.
The easiest way to recover deleted files, photo or video from Windows 11 is through the Recycle Bin, since it is the place where deleted files are usually temporarily stored before being permanently deleted. However, if the file is no longer in the trash, there is still a chance to recover it.
The second option is through Windows File Recovery, a tool created by Microsoft that is installed by default on some computers, but if this is not your case, it is available for download from the Microsoft Store for free.
Recover deleted files in Windows 11 with the Recycle Bin
When you delete a file, whether by mistake, system failure, or any other reason, it is not permanently deleted immediately, but rather moved to the Recycle Bin.
It is a special folder found on any Windows 11 computer, and its purpose is to temporarily store deleted files before removing them forever. To recover a deleted document, picture, video, app, or any other file in Windows, follow these steps:
- Double-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop.
- Find the file you want to recover. You can use the search box located in the upper right corner to find it more easily.
- Once you’ve found the file, select it by clicking on it.
- Now, right-click on the previously selected file and click on the Restore option in the context menu.
- The file will reappear in the folder where it was originally stored, and you can use it again.
It should be noted that the Windows Recycle Bin is limited in size, and older files are automatically permanently deleted to free up storage space for newer ones.
Therefore, if you have deleted a document or any other that you consider important a long time ago, it is possible that it is no longer available in this folder and you have to resort to other alternative methods to recover it.
Recover files in Windows with Windows File Recovery
The second option to recover your deleted files in Windows 11 is through the Windows File Recovery tool . This program created by Microsoft is based on a command line interface which can be a bit difficult to use for those who are not familiar with CLI.
However, it can be very effective in rescuing any deleted file, even the one no longer available in the Recycle Bin or File History. To use the tool follow these steps:
- Download and install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store.
- Open the app from the Start menu and click Yes when the User Account Control prompt appears.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to use the recovery commands to recover your deleted files. The basic command is: winfr source-drive: destination-folder [/mode] [/switches].
Let’s say you want to find a deleted document library file in Windows. In this situation, we will enter the command as follows to perform a standard mode scan: winfr C: D:\Recovery /regular /n users\juanm\Documents\.
To understand the tool, it is enough to explain each of its functions:
- source-drive : is the drive where the file was originally stored.
- destination-folder : is the path of the folder where the recovered files will be stored, and cannot be on the same drive as the source.
- Regular or Extensive – Regular is suitable for undamaged NTFS drives and is most useful for recovering recent files. On the other hand, extensive mode works with all file systems for deeper searching.
- switches : This allows you to specify a search with switch N. This is often used to specify a folder path or file name.
Windows File Recovery does not guarantee recovery of all files deleted in Windows 11 and its effectiveness may vary depending on various factors, such as the length of time since the file was deleted and whether data on the hard drive has been overwritten.
Therefore, it is advisable to act quickly and avoid any further writing to the storage disk to increase the chances of successful recovery. In any case, it is always advisable to make regular backup copies of your important files to avoid data loss.