Windows Recycle Bin has been a part of the operating system since its early days. The bin is a special folder that temporarily holds deleted files and folders. It has helped millions of users over the years by making it possible to quickly restore a file that was mistakenly deleted.
How to Recover Deleted Files From the Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin is the first place to look when searching for deleted files. It is a special folder that the operating system uses to temporarily store recently deleted files and folders. Here are the easy steps to follow to attempt this data recovery method.
Step 1. Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking on its icon.
Step 2. Locate the items you want to recover from the list displayed in the Bin.
Step 3. Right-click on the item you want to retrieve and choose the Restore option. This will recover the deleted item to its original storage location.
Recovering Deleted Files From the Recycle Bin in Windows 11
While the next generation of Windows, called rather unimaginatively Windows 11, has yet to be officially released, we’ve had the opportunity to test a leaked work-in-progress version and thoroughly test its implementation of the Recycle Bin.
Instead of featuring a radically different user interface design, Windows 11 is best described as a gradual evolution of the same user interface Windows 10 users know and love. The biggest changes you’ll immediately notice when you open the Recycle Bin are the new icons and the rounded corners of the Recycle Bin window itself.
Besides these two changes, the Windows 11 Recycle Bin looks, at least in the leaked work-in-progress version, identical to the Recycle bin in Windows 10. But does it also function the same way? Yes, it does.
Here’s how to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11:
Step 1. Open the Windows 11 Recycle Bin by double-clicking its desktop icon (notice that the icon has been slightly redesigned).
Step 2. Select the files you want to recover. Just like in Windows 10, you can hold the CTRL button on your keyboard and click on individual files to add them to your selection. If you want to select all files, you can press the CTRL + A key combination.
Step 3. Right-click any of the selected files and click Restore. The files will return back to their original locations. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the selected files to any location you want.
As you can see, you don’t have to learn anything new to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11 if you’re already familiar with how the Recycle Bin works in previous versions of the Windows operating system.
Why is it Possible to Recover Files from an Emptied Recycle Bin?
The Windows Recycle Bin is just a folder that is essentially the same as any other folder on your machine. When a file or folder is deleted from your computer, it is logically moved from its original location to the Recycle Bin. When the Bin is emptied either automatically or manually, the logical links to the data are deleted by the operating system.
This makes the data inaccessible by any applications but does not immediately physically remove it. The space that had been occupied by the items in the emptied Recycle Bin is now available to the operating system to store new information. Until the OS uses this space and overwrites the previous data, files can be retrieved with data recovery software.
How to Recover Deleted Files from an Emptied Recycle Bin
A data recovery application can restore files that have been permanently deleted from your computer, an option that is not offered by the operating system. Follow steps below in order to use Disk Drill to recover deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin.
Download and Install Disk Drill
Launch Disk Drill and Select the Disk
Scan for Deleted Data
Preview Recoverable Files
Perform the Recovery
Basic Windows Tools
Ability to recover files from an emptied Recycle Bin.
Yes. Disk Drill can recover files and folders that have been permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin.
You cannot recover files from an empty Recycle Bin with native Windows tools. You might be able to recover a previous version of the file.
Recover deleted files that are larger than the Recycle Bin.
Yes. Disk Drill can recover files that are deleted without going to the Recycle Bin.
No. You will not be able to use basic Windows tools to recover a file that is too large for the Recycle Bin.
Recover the most recent version of a deleted file.
Yes. Disk Drill scans your drive and recovers the most recent versions of a lost file.
No. The best that native Windows tools can do is recover a previous version of a deleted file.
Recover recently deleted photos.
Yes. If they are still resident in the Recycle Bin, they are easily recoverable.
Why Deleted Files May Not be in the Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin can be extremely useful for recovering recently deleted files. There are, however, several conditions that can result in a deleted item not appearing in the Recycle Bin. Configurable limitations regarding storage space and elapsed time instruct the operating system to permanently remove items from the Bin. You can also permanently delete files using a specific keystroke combination. Here are the factors you need to keep in mind concerning the Window Recycle Bin and why your deleted file cannot be found.
The Recycle Bin is sensitive to storage space in two ways. By default, the Recycle Bin takes up about 5% of your main disk space. You can configure this as you wish to allow more space to be used. This can be beneficial to address the potential issues that can be caused by limited Recycle Bin space.
Space is kept available in the Recycle Bins by rolling off the oldest files to make room for newly deleted items. This can result in files being deleted much sooner than expected if the space allocation is too low. Similarly, a file will not be sent to the Recycle Bin if it exceeds the Bin’s size. This can also lead to files that are not available in the Bin when that is where you expect them to be located.
Windows automatically removes items from the Recycle Bin after a designated number of days. By default, data is retained in the Bin for 30 days. This number can be modified as you wish and you can opt for files to never be automatically deleted from the Bin. In this case, you need to manually empty the Bin periodically or risk running out of space for newly deleted items.
Permanent File Deletion
Using the Shift-Delete keystroke combination bypasses the Recycle Bin and essentially permanently deletes the item. Data recovery software may be able to restore files and folders that have been deleted in this way.