How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Knowing how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11 can save you a lot of trouble. Whether it was an accident or a technical glitch, retrieving your lost data is possible. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to recover those files. By following these instructions, you’ll have the best chance to get your important documents, photos, and other files back.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

So, you’ve accidentally deleted some important files, and they’re not even in the Recycle Bin? Don’t worry. This guide will show you how to recover those permanently deleted files in Windows 11. While data recovery isn’t always guaranteed, these steps will give you the best shot at getting your lost files back.

Step 1: Check OneDrive or Other Cloud Backups

Before diving into complex recovery methods, check if the deleted files were synced to OneDrive or other cloud services.

If you use OneDrive or any other cloud service, your files might be backed up there. Log in to your account and see if you can find the deleted files. Sometimes, cloud services have a version history feature that allows you to restore previous versions of files.

Step 2: Use Windows File History

Navigate to the folder where your file was stored, right-click, and select “Restore previous versions.”

Windows File History is a built-in feature that can help you recover files. If this feature was enabled before you lost the files, you might be able to restore previous versions of the folder where your files were located.

Step 3: Utilize Backup and Restore

Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore, and follow the prompts to restore files.

If you’ve set up Windows Backup, you can restore files from your latest backup. This method is reliable if you regularly back up your system. Follow the prompts to choose the backup date and select the files you need to restore.

Step 4: Try Third-Party Data Recovery Software

Download and install reputable data recovery software and follow the instructions to scan for deleted files.

There are several third-party software options that can help recover deleted files. Programs like Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, or Disk Drill are popular choices. These tools scan your storage device and may find files that you thought were lost forever.

Step 5: Consult a Data Recovery Professional

If all else fails, it might be time to consult a professional data recovery service.

Professional data recovery services can be costly, but they have the expertise and tools to recover files from damaged or corrupted storage devices. This should be your last resort if the above methods don’t work.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll either have your files back or know you’ve tried everything possible from your end. The next move is to implement better backup strategies to prevent future data loss.

Tips for Recovering Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

  • Always Check the Recycle Bin First: Sometimes files are hidden there, even if you think they’re permanently deleted.
  • Enable File History: This built-in Windows feature can be a lifesaver if files are accidentally deleted.
  • Regularly Backup Your Data: Use an external hard drive or cloud storage for regular backups.
  • Be Cautious with Third-Party Software: Ensure you download recovery software from reputable sources to avoid malware.
  • Avoid Using Your PC After Data Loss: The more you use your computer, the higher the chance your deleted files get overwritten.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all permanently deleted files be recovered?

Not always. Recovery depends on several factors, including how long ago the files were deleted and whether new data has overwritten them.

How does data recovery software work?

Data recovery software scans your storage device for traces of deleted files and tries to restore them to a usable state.

Is it safe to use free data recovery software?

Yes, but only if you download it from a reputable source. Be wary of potential malware.

What if my hard drive is physically damaged?

In cases of physical damage, professional data recovery services are your best bet for file recovery.

Can I recover files from an SSD?

Yes, but it’s more difficult due to how SSDs store and delete data. Use specialized software or consult a professional.


  1. Check OneDrive or other cloud backups.
  2. Use Windows File History.
  3. Utilize Backup and Restore.
  4. Try third-party data recovery software.
  5. Consult a data recovery professional.


Losing important files can be stressful, but knowing how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11 can make a huge difference. While there’s no guarantee of success, following these steps improves your chances. Regular backups and using reliable software are key strategies to protect against data loss. If you’re serious about safeguarding your files, consider setting up automated backups and staying informed about the latest recovery tools and techniques. Now that you have the knowledge, you’re better prepared to tackle data loss head-on. For further reading, check out articles on data protection and advanced recovery methods. Remember, prevention is better than cure!