There are multiple ways to recover a lost or deleted folder. We are going to demonstrate four different methods you can use to recover deleted folders on Windows computers. Two of the methods make use of native Windows features and may not always work. Recovering from a backup requires that you have previously created a backup. Data recovery software is the most flexible way to undelete your data.
Method: Recover a Deleted Folder Using Data Recovery Software
Disk Drill for Windows is a versatile data recovery tool that can quickly and effectively restore accidentally deleted folders. Follow these steps to retrieve a deleted folder with Disk Drill.
- Download and install Disk Drill on a different disk than the one that had stored the lost folders. This protects them from inadvertently being overwritten during recovery.
- Launch the application and select the recovery disk from the displayed list.
- Click the Search for lost data button.
- Preview the folders and files that can be recovered.
- Click the Recover button.
- Access your recovered data in the location you select.
Try to Restore Deleted Folder Without Software
While data recovery software is the most reliable and effective way to recover deleted folders on a Windows 10 system, there are other methods available to you. Whenever you can’t find a folder or some files, here’s something you should always do first.
Method: Check the Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin is where the Windows operating system temporarily stores files that have been deleted from your computer or laptop. Data is not permanently deleted until you empty the Bin, and even then it can be recovered with software.
To restore a deleted folder from the Recycle Bin, you need to:
- Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking its icon.
- Find and select the folders or files you want to restore.
- Take note of the original location of the data so you can find it after recovery.
- Right-click on the selection and choose Restore.
- Wait for the process to complete and verify the files are in the expected location.
Method: Try Restoring from a previous version of the Folder
You may be able to restore a previous version of a folder from a Windows restore point.
To restore a lost folder from the previous version you need to:
- Open My Computer.
- Navigate to the folder that previously contained the sub-folder you want to recover.
- Right-click and select Restore previous versions.
- You will be presented with a list of previous versions of the folder that includes those made with Windows backup or saved as restore points.
- Click the Restore button to recover your folder.
Method: You Can Also Use a Backup to Retrieve a Deleted Folder
If one’s available, a backup is another way to restore deleted folders on your Windows machine. The difference with this technique when compared with the solutions previously discussed is that you need to have planned for this eventuality by creating a backup. Assuming that has been done, these are the general steps to follow when using a backup to recover a deleted folder.
- Locate the storage media that contains the backup and connect it to your computer.
- Fire up the backup and recovery application that was used to create the backup.
- Locate the folders to be recovered in the app’s interface and restore the data.
What Cause Accidental Deletion of Folders
Accidental data loss usually occurs for one of three reasons.
- Human error is the primary cause of data deletion. Totally preventing it is impossible as long as people are involved with computer operations. Taking your time to double-checking before deleting data provides some defense against this type of data loss.
- Environmental factors like heat and moisture can wreck your storage devices and lead to data loss. Keep your devices cool and dry to preserve the pictures and other data taking up space on them.
- Viruses and malware can cause unexpected data loss. Maintain vigorous antivirus defense with a quality software tool. Avoid plugging in unverified flash drives into your computer as they can often carry malware.