Restoration Screenshot

How to Restore Deleted Files After Emptying the Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin Icon

So you’ve emptied your recycle bin and then realized that you’ve deleted a file that you still need.  If you act fast enough, you may be able to recover the files before the computer overwrites them with something else.  In the following article, I would like to show you some tools that can help you recover your files after you have emptied your recycle bin.

One of my favorite quick recovery tools is called Restoration. It’s a stand-alone Windows based file recovery program that allows you to restore deleted files even after they have been emptied from the recycle bin. Restoration requires no install and because of this, you can put it on your flash drive and take it with you wherever you go.  Here is how to use it.

Step 1: Download Restoration onto a drive other than the one that you want to recover files from.

Step 2: Run Restoration. If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8 then you may have to right-click Restoration and choose “Run as Administrator”.  Next, choose the drive you wish to scan.  If you know the file name or at least part of it, type it into the “All or part of the file” box. If you don’t then just leave it blank. You can check the box “Include used clusters by other files” but if this applies to the file you are trying to recover then it will probably be corrupt. You can now click “Search Deleted Files”.

Restoration

 

Step 3: When it is finished scanning you, can search through the file list to find the file that you would like to restore. Once you find it, highlight it and click “Restore by Copying”.

Restoration

 

Step 4: You will now be asked where to save the file. If you try to save it to the same drive you are scanning you will be asked if you would like to select a different drive so you don’t overwrite the original data. Once you have finished restoring the file you should be able to open it.

Restoration

 

If Restoration can’t do the job then the next tool I recommend using is Recuva.  Just like Resoration, Recuva is a free utility that let’s you undelete files after you have emptied your recycle bin.  It has different scanning methods than Restoration including a “deep scan” feature to use when the standard scans aren’t working.  Here is how to use it.

Step 1:  Download Recuva onto a drive other than the one that you want to recover files from.

Step 2: Run Recuva.  You will be presented with a wizard to ask you what type of file you want to recover.  If you aren’t sure then just choose “All Files”.

Recuva Screenshot 1

 

Step 3:  Next you will be asked where the files are located.  If these files were deleted from the recycle bin then choose “In the Recycle Bin”.

Recuva Screenshot 2

 

Step 4: You are now ready to start your scan.  This is also where you can choose to Enable Deep Scan if Recuva is having trouble finding the file.

Recuva Screenshot 3

 

Step 5: Once the scan has finished, you can now choose the file you wish to recover.  Select the file and click the “Recover” button.  Choose a location that is not on the drive you are trying to recover from, otherwise, you may overwrite your file.

Recuva Screenshot 5

 

Hopefully, after using these file recovery utilities, you now have your files back.

When you delete a file, Windows flags that space as usable free space again.  Therefore, there is always the possibility that Windows has already overwritten the deleted file with something else.  If this is the case then Restoration or Recuva will not be able to recover your file or your recovered file will be corrupt.  So the faster you act from the time you delete a file, the greater your chances are of recovering it will be.

 

If you are using a Mac, then I recommend using the MiniTool Mac Data Recovery utility.  It will restore files for free up to 1GB.  If they are larger than that then you must pay for the full version.

MiniTool Mac Data Recovery Screenshot

 

For more in-depth information on file recovery methods, check out How to Recover Data from a Crashed Hard Drive.

Please share your experience with Restoration, Recuva, or any other file recovery programs that have helped you retrieve deleted files.




31 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply January 3, 2008

    Thanks for the info on the “Restoration” download. Is there anything similar for the Mac?

    http://www.itdoescompute.com

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply March 6, 2008

    As far as I know data recovery tool Handy Recovery (http://www.handyrecovery.com) supports Mac file system (HFS)…

  • don

    Reply Reply January 9, 2011

    i hav complaint that its restores the files but im unable to preview the images

    • Casey

      Reply Reply January 15, 2011

      Hi Don,

      That’s because your files are corrupt, not because of an issue with the program.

      • izzat klate

        Reply Reply March 26, 2013

        that right

  • Agus Pribadi

    Reply Reply February 8, 2011

    This search program doesn’t work in my computer ….. why?

  • doomed

    Reply Reply April 8, 2011

    it keeps telling me that in order to use it I need to be logged in as an Administrator….I AM logged in as an Administrator on my computer….

  • loin

    Reply Reply October 17, 2011

    most of the file i restore never works

  • Angel

    Reply Reply November 16, 2011

    I have the same problem, @doomed. I am logged in as Administrator on my own computer but to no avail can I get it to work. Could someone give us help with our problem?

    • Anonymous

      Reply Reply April 9, 2013

      Just run as administrator if your using windows 7

  • Steve

    Reply Reply November 21, 2011

    Re Doomed/Angel – I had the same issue. Took a bit of Googling but instead of double-clicking to run the program, you right click and choose ‘run as administrator’

    • Bee

      Reply Reply August 14, 2013

      @Steve thanks! I had the same problem and your comment helped me!

  • The Dude

    Reply Reply February 19, 2012

    Failed to restore ANY of the files I selected – two days after deletion with minimal usage.

  • Lloyd

    Reply Reply April 12, 2012

    I can see that this is a very useful tool. I recently deleted a lot of important files in a folder, and could find all the individual files with this program and the sub-folders but couldn’t find the main folder itself. And because i can’t select multiple files to be restored (by holding the SHIFT key or using any other method), I am forced to press restore multiple times for each sub-folder and each file that wasn’t in a sub-folder.
    Simple functionality which allows a user to select multiple files/folders would make this program a lot better.
    Thanks

  • syedawaniyariaz

    Reply Reply March 17, 2013

    after clicking on search for deleted files it says please log on account with administrator privilege and then run the program again plzzzzzz tell me what should i do……….

  • icah

    Reply Reply March 23, 2013

    i have the same problem like doomed and angel. it keeps on telling me to register as an administrator first >.<

  • Chris

    Reply Reply March 23, 2013

    Click right click on the program, and then click Run as Administrator and VUALA!!

  • ramya

    Reply Reply May 19, 2013

    my daughter deleted my photos 1 year back can i get it back? if it does reply me

  • ramya

    Reply Reply May 19, 2013

    sorry for the mistake before 1 year she deleted can anyone help me? its all my baby photos collection from first month

  • vickey

    Reply Reply May 26, 2013

    this is a very good software to restore deleted files bcoz i got my file which was deleted before 5 years. thank u lot………………………..

  • vishal patidar

    Reply Reply June 5, 2013

    Thanks sir

  • Nick

    Reply Reply July 20, 2013

    They are saying log in to administrator privilege and run the program again..why ?

  • Mustafa

    Reply Reply July 28, 2013

    May we can have our old files again..but cant return to past of the life and we are doing many mistakes on the way so we have careful more because there is no any programme to bring back the time yet ;)

  • Rabiya

    Reply Reply August 12, 2013

    after restoring files, they doesn’t work

  • Matthew

    Reply Reply August 14, 2013

    So i have installed this program but it is only searching the Local Disk C. I believe i actually had the file saved on the desktop and thought it was a shortcut so i deleted it on the desktop anyway to search the desktop since it wont find it on the Local Disk C?

  • thanks. take note that once files are overwritten, they are not recoverable.

  • eric

    Reply Reply November 20, 2013

    thanks for sharing. Personally I never used the tools in the article, for me, I used this one: http://goo.gl/IxQqg

  • Eshaan

    Reply Reply June 8, 2014

    its not restoring all the files!

  • Google

    Reply Reply June 28, 2014

    This is because this device assures to either benefit or cure the autistic people in more ways than one.
    Based on their experience, they could know how much is required before going into details.
    And then on March 20, the world’s largest paid private blog network – BMR – announced that
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  • ahmed

    Reply Reply July 1, 2014

    how can we retore windos xp to acertain day without restore point ??

  • angel234

    Reply Reply July 8, 2014

    Data recovery tool is available to recover data so use this tool for quick recovery. http://www.en.windowsdatarecovery.net/

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