3 Free Methods to Recover Deleted Files from a Windows PC

Deleted Files from a Windows PC

File loss seems irretrievable? Items deleted normally should go straight to the Recycle Bin, providing you with a chance of recovery just in case. Deletion that bypasses the bin involves the “Shift + Delete” shortcut: this invokes a command to remove one or more files permanently. A virus, buggy piece of software or system error all may create a similar predicament, corrupting or sending your files into oblivion.
With the advent of Win10, the Backup and Restore feature has been introduced. But let’s assume that you haven’t enabled File History Backup or System Restore Point, and don’t have a system image on hand. Can something still be done to recover deleted files in Windows 10 if you are out of backed up data?
Actually, even wiped files are not gone for good, as the OS doesn’t altogether erase data immediately after deletion. Although disk space is labeled as freed up, the files still lurk there somewhere.

Using the Command Prompt

When a file or folder cannot be found via the usual routine, there is a small chance that it has been hidden accidentally or became corrupted. Before bringing out the big guns, consider trying a few directives in the native command line to check if this helps.

  1. #1: Use Run in the Start menu and type in cmd.
  2. #2: Ensure you have administrator privileges to proceed.
  3. #3: Put chkdsk *: /f in the command line window. Use the corresponding hard drive letter in place of * and confirm the command with Enter.
  4. #4: When completed, type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D D:*.*, with the corresponding hard drive letter in place of D. Confirm the command with Enter.

Hopefully, the restoration process will bring your loss back.

WFR as Another Native Recourse

Trying to revivify deleted files with the assistance of Windows File Recovery app is surely a daunting task for many. Still, the instructions for free file recovery are pretty straightforward and have low chance of failure.
Firstly, ensure you own at least two drives in order to use one as a recovery media. Then, proceed with the program’s basic syntax to start scanning drives.

Regular recovery

The syntax goes like this:
winfr X: Y: /regular /n \Users\NameOfUser\Folder\File.type,
where X stands for the source drive, while Y marks the destination memory device. The rest is self-explanatory: just don’t forget to edit the name and file paths before proceeding with the command.
An example line for Jonh, who accidently wiped Queen’s song Bohemian Rhapsody from drive D and now wants to recover it to drive E, could be made into something like this:
winfr C: D: /regular /n \Users\John\Downloads\myphoto.jpg
If any of the file or folder names contain spaces, the whole path must be between quotation marks, like in the example below:
winfr C: D: /regular /n “\Users\Me\Music\Queen\Bohemian Rhapsody.mp3”
Once you put in the command, press Enter and confirm it with ‘y’.
In case the Regular command hasn’t been effective, try an Extensive approach. The system will attempt a deeper examination. You will also have to type in more basic instruction:
winfr C: D: /extensive /n *.mp3
If the attempted recovery result in a success, you will be able to view the files in a separate dedicated folder.

Meet Free Data Recovery Software

Third-party apps like Disk Drill allow you to resuscitate even completely wiped files that your Win10 no longer shows in the Explorer. Disk Drill is free to download, and it can be used to bring back as many as 500 MB of data. This data recovery software is very user-friendly, and it supports a lot of file extensions.


Another retrieval tool accessible in shareware format is Glarysoft File Recovery Free. As soon as you chose which drives or partitions you need to scan, the software quickly scans the selected sectors for removed files. Immediately during the scan or after, files can be tracked by name, type, and location. The only disadvantage to the aforementioned free edition is that a user is only allowed to restore three files up to 2GB in size.
Finally, functional both for free and for money, Recuva is the tool you can surely rely on to bring back your lost data from any kind of hard drives, memory cards, and USB sticks.

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