How to Restore a Deleted File

By Techwalla Contributor

Learn how to retrieve previously deleted files.

Things You'll Need

  • A PC

Step 1

For most pc files, when you click "delete" to throw away a file, you aren't actually deleting that file in the normal sense. What you're doing is simply placing the file in the Recycle Bin. Files will remain the Recycle Bin for a specified time and eventually they will be completely gone. While the file is in the Recycle Bin you can still retrieve it. Here are the steps for recovering a deleted file that has yet to age or space out of the Recycle Bin: First, you must double click the Recycle Bin folder that usually sits on the desktop.

Step 2

Arrange the information so that you can find the title. ex: If you know the name of the file you can click on the "name" column to alphabetically sort the items by name.

Step 3

Once you have found the file you wish to recover you can highlight it.

Step 4

Once the file has been highlighted you want to right click and then choose "restore." This will retrieve the file and put it back in the folder that it was in before it was deleted. If you don't remember where it was before you deleted it you can always drop down to the start member and perform a "search" for the file name.

Tips & Warnings

  • While the file is in the Recycle Bin you will not be able to click on it and read any of the information. You must first restore the file before you can open it again.
  • Once the file has aged out of the Recycle Bin it is gone forever (in most cases)