How to Restore Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11: A Comprehensive Guide

Restoring permanently deleted files in Windows 11 might seem like an impossible task, but with the right tools and techniques, you can often recover your lost data. This guide will walk you through a simple process to retrieve those files using various methods.

How to Restore Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

Sometimes, we accidentally delete important files, and then empty the Recycle Bin, assuming they’re gone forever. But fear not! There are ways to recover these ‘permanently’ deleted files using built-in Windows features and third-party software. Let’s dive into the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Use Windows File Recovery Tool

The first step is to download and install the Windows File Recovery tool from the Microsoft Store.

Windows File Recovery is a command-line app, which might seem intimidating, but it’s quite straightforward once you get the hang of it.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt as Administrator

Next, open Command Prompt with administrative privileges by searching ‘cmd’ in the Start menu, then right-clicking on it and selecting ‘Run as administrator’.

Running Command Prompt as an administrator is crucial because it ensures you have the necessary permissions to recover deleted files.

Step 3: Enter the Recovery Command

Type the recovery command: winfr C: D: /n pathtodeletedfile where ‘C:’ is the drive where the file was deleted from and ‘D:’ is the drive where you want to save the recovered files.

Inputting this command correctly is vital, as it specifies the source and destination drives for the recovery process.

Step 4: Follow the On-Screen Prompts

The tool will ask for confirmation to proceed. Follow the on-screen prompts to initiate the recovery process.

Carefully following the prompts will help ensure the recovery tool runs smoothly and effectively.

Step 5: Check the Recovery Folder

Once the process is complete, navigate to the destination drive and check the recovery folder for your files.

It’s essential to check the recovery folder thoroughly to ensure all desired files have been restored.

After completing these steps, your deleted files should be restored to the specified location. If the Windows File Recovery tool doesn’t retrieve your files, you might need to consider using professional data recovery software.

Tips for Restoring Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 11

  • Stop Using the Disk: If you realize you’ve deleted important files, stop using the disk immediately to prevent new data from overwriting the deleted files.
  • Regular Backups: Always keep regular backups of important files to avoid data loss.
  • Use Reliable Software: If you opt for third-party software, choose reputable programs like Recuva or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.
  • Check File History: Windows File History or Restore Previous Versions might have a backup of your deleted files.
  • Seek Professional Help: For critical data, consider seeking help from professional data recovery services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover files deleted from the Recycle Bin?

Yes, using tools like Windows File Recovery or third-party software, files deleted from the Recycle Bin can often be recovered.

How long do I have to recover deleted files?

The sooner you try to recover the files, the better. The more you use the disk, the higher the chance of the data being overwritten.

Is Windows File Recovery free?

Yes, the Windows File Recovery tool is free and available from the Microsoft Store.

Can I recover files from an external drive?

Yes, you can use the same methods to recover files from external drives, USB sticks, or memory cards.

What file types can be recovered?

Most file types including documents, photos, videos, and other media files can be recovered using recovery tools.


  1. Download and install Windows File Recovery.
  2. Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
  3. Enter the recovery command.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts.
  5. Check the recovery folder.


Restoring permanently deleted files in Windows 11 doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the steps outlined above, you can effectively recover lost data using the Windows File Recovery tool. Remember to act quickly to maximize your chances of success and always keep regular backups of important files. If these methods don’t work, don’t hesitate to try professional data recovery software or services. Data recovery is like finding a needle in a haystack, but with the right tools and a bit of patience, you can retrieve your lost treasures. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle file recovery on your own. Happy recovering!

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