How to Recover Deleted Files Not in the Recycle Bin

6 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutesWhen a file is deleted, it is usually sent to the Recycle Bin. However, under some circumstances, files may not show up in the Recycle Bin. This can be distressing, especially if you wish to recover these files. Luckily, these files can be recovered by following the right steps as we will see below. Here, we will show you where files that were deleted but didn’t go to the Recycle Bin were sent and also how to recover these files.

Location of Deleted Files That Are Not in the Recycle Bin in Windows 10

Retrieving files from the Recycle Bin is usually straightforward. However, in Windows, files can be deleted ‘permanently’ with the Shift + Delete shortcut. If a file is deleted in this way, it won’t be visible in the Recycle Bin after it is deleted. Luckily, it isn’t actually immediately cleared from your computer’s storage. Your operating system simply marks the space that the files that were deleted occupied as being available for overwriting. If you act quickly, you can recover a deleted file or folder not in the Recycle Bin using one of the methods outlined below.

How to Recover Deleted Files That Are Not in the Recycle Bin

Since some deleted files don’t go to the Recycle Bin depending on how they were deleted, you will need to use special methods to recover them. Here, we’ll look at one of the best third-party tools available for data recovery on Windows as well as the built-in tools that are available.

How to Recover Files That Are Not in the Recycle Bin Using Disk Drill

Disk Drill offers professional-level functionality and is easy to use. It can also recover more than 400 different file types, which makes it one of the best data recovery applications available on the market. To use Disk Drill to recover deleted items that are not in the Recycle Bin do the following:

Step 1. Download Disk Drill and install it on your computer.

After installing Disk Drill, Windows’ User Account Control will ask you for admin permissions to allow Disk Drill to run its advanced data recovery algorithms. After you open Disk Drill, select the drive that you want to recover from and then All Recovery Methods. This runs through all of Disk Drill’s available recovery algorithms in the optimal order to increase your chances of finding the maximum amount of files possible.

Disk Drill Recover
Step 2. Select Search for lost data to start the search process.

Start file search

Step 3. You’ll now need to locate the files that you want to recover.

You will be presented with a list of files that can be recovered. This list will even include hidden files. Select the category of file that best corresponds to what you’re looking for. For example, if you were looking for a document, you would select Documents to help you find what you’re looking for more quickly.

Browse file list

Step 4. Now it’s time to save the files you want to recover.

You should save these files to another storage device as you may overwrite the very files that you’re trying to recover if you attempt to save these files to the same storage devices that you’re recovering from. Disk Drill will display a confirmation message to let you know if the process was successful or not.

Recover Selected Files

Recovering Deleted Files That Are Not in the Recycle Bin Using Built-in Windows Tools

There are also a few options available from within Windows that will allow you to recover your files. Since they are centered around the File History feature, let’s start with its setup. 

To get started with File History, you will need to carry out the following steps:

Step 1. First, open the Settings app in Windows 10 and go to Update & Security.

Windows Update Security

Step 2. You will now need to select Backup from the left sidebar.

Windows Select Backup

Step 3. From the Backup screen, you will now be able to select the drive that you want to use for backing up your files. Select Add a drive to do this.

Backup add drive

Step 4. After completing this, you should switch on automatic backups so that you don’t have to worry about manually completing backups. Do this by toggling on the Automatically back up my files option.

Automatic Backup

Restoring Deleted Files Using File History

If File History is set up on your computer, you can restore files that may not have gone to the Recycle Bin by following these steps:

Step 1. Open the Settings app and then go to Update & Security > Backup. Select Restore files from a current backup to get started.

restore selection

Step 2. You can now browse to the folder where the files that were deleted were originally located. From there, you can select the green Restore button.

Restore selected files

Restore Deleted Files Using Previous Versions

To use the Previous Versions feature in Windows 10, you will have to ensure that File History is enabled. This will work if you lost an older version of a file that you didn’t mean to get rid of. Browse to the location of the current version of the file, right-click and then select Properties. Click on the Previous Versions tab. You will then be able to select any of the previous versions of the file. Check the dates associated with the previous versions available to see if they match up with when you lost the older version in the first place.

Previous Versions Select


Wrapping Up

Files can be ‘permanently’ deleted in Windows 10. However, this deletion isn’t quite so permanent. With the right tools, you will be able to recover these files. You have the choice of using third-party data recovery software such as Disk Drill to recover ‘permanently’ deleted files that don’t go to the Recycle Bin or you can use tools built into windows to do this. The File History option backs up your files and with it, you can restore backups of files that may have been deleted but didn’t show up in the Recycle Bin.