Learn how to recover deleted files from the recycle bin

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Learn how to recover deleted files from the recycle bin in certain cases, as well as what to do when you can’t get them back.

If you are looking for how to recover deleted files from the recycle bin, then you have probably deleted something you couldn’t or didn’t want to, right? If that happens, stay calm, because you are not the first – and not the last – to experience this situation.

According to a 2020 survey by CleverFiles, accidental file deletion is the third most common cause of data loss (19%), ahead of device loss (13%), disk formatting (8%) and viruses or malware (7%).

In another survey, carried out by StorageCraft in January 2017, 41 IT professionals indicated what they thought were the main reasons for data loss. For 29% of respondents, it was human error, a percentage close to those who attributed the problem to system and hardware failures (31%).

It is true that deleting files from the recycle bin is one step further than accidental deletion, but no one is immune from this. This deletion can cause a lot of damage, whether personal, organizational or even financial.

If you are in this situation, stay calm, as it can probably be resolved. If the simplest procedures don’t work, the files can still be recovered most of the time. Bot, for example, has more than 100,000 resolved cases and a 95% success rate in the cases it receives.

To find out whether you will be able to recover deleted files from the recycle bin on your own or whether you will need our help, read on and find out about the possible solutions to your problem.

How to restore files deleted from the recycle bin

Restoring deleted files from the Recycle Bin is not as simple as recovering them from the Recycle Bin itself. If you have deleted just one file, just go to the recycle bin and click on “Restore” and it will go back to its original folder. This is quite common, because we often delete a file by accident and can recover it quickly.

However, if you have permanently deleted a file, you need to follow certain procedures. This can happen when you delete a file directly from the Recycle Bin, but also when you click Shift + Del or delete a lot of heavy files that don’t fit in the Recycle Bin.

When this happens, the files don’t disappear completely, which is why we can recover them most of the time. In a moment, you’ll understand why this is possible.

Why is it possible to recover deleted files from the recycle bin?

When files are deleted from the recycle bin or otherwise permanently erased, you only lose access to them from the system index. In fact, they are still stored on the disk, but in fragmented form. So you need to take measures to regain access – and that’s what we will look at later.

However, you can only get these files back if you don’t save any other data on top of them. By deleting files from the recycle bin, you are telling the operating system that it can use that space to save other data. Then, if you save new files, the system can overwrite those deleted files – in which case, it becomes more difficult to recover them.

So, the first step to recovering your data is to stop using the computer, to prevent new files from being saved on the disk. Then start taking the steps below.

How do I restore files deleted from the Recycle Bin in Windows?

As we saw earlier, deleting files from the Recycle Bin is a common situation that can fortunately be reversed. Now, if you want to know how to restore files deleted from the Recycle Bin in Windows, let’s look at some possibilities.

Program to recover deleted files from the Windows Recycle Bin

There is software capable of carrying out a range of activities on our computers. That’s why there is no shortage of programs for recovering files deleted from the recycle bin, and fortunately they can be found with a wide variety of options, such as the following:

  • Disk Drill Data Recovery: with this software, you can recover up to 500 MB for free. It also has data loss prevention features and allows users to create ISO, IMG or DMG image files.
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard: with a very practical and intuitive interface, the software also allows you to recover up to 500 MB for free (the limit increases to 2 GB when you share the product on social networks) and works on internal disks (HDDs, SSDs) and external disks (external disks, USB flash drives, memory cards and others).
  • Minitool Power Data Recovery: here, we have simple and efficient software that allows you to recover up to 1 GB for free, supports more than 100 file types and even has technical support to assist users.
  • Recuva: developed by Piriform, the same company responsible for CCleaner, the software allows unlimited file recovery in the standard version and has 32-bit and 64-bit versions, as well as a portable version.
  • TestDisk Data Recovery: finally, this is a solution aimed only at recovering partitions, bootable sectors and file tables. Usability is a little more complicated, as it uses command lines, and can cause serious damage to files when used by inexperienced users.

It should be noted that each program for recovering files from the recycle bin that we have mentioned needs to be used with knowledge, by experienced users or data recovery professionals. Otherwise, the damage could be even worse, such as the permanent loss of deleted files and others that were safe.

Recovering files with Windows backup and restore

If you don’t want to use any additional programs on your computer, you can recover deleted files from the recycle bin using the operating system itself, which helps a lot.

Several versions of the operating system have a backup and restore feature. However, it was with Windows 7 that the solution became more efficient, with greater control over what was backed up and a simplified operation.

In any case, this is a possibility that doesn’t always work for all users, as Windows needs to have made a previous backup in order to recover it. If you don’t already use this solution, it is worth activating the backup feature on your computer.

But if you already have a previous backup, here are the steps for restoring Windows. They vary for different versions of Windows, with some terms varying according to the version or language used. Check them out:

Windows 7 backup and restore

  1. Go to the “Start” menu;
  2. Go to “Control Panel”;
  3. Go to “System and Security”;
  4. Select the “Backup and Restore” option;
  5. On the next screen, choose the “Restore my files” option. If no backup is detected, then the option will not be available to click. In this case, choose the “Select another backup to restore files” option;
  6. Browse to locate the backup file. You can limit the search by selecting the “Select another backup to restore files” option;
  7. Click on “Next”;
  8. Select the location where you want to restore the backup file;
  9. Click on “Restore”;
  10. Restore process will start. It may take a while depending on the size of the file or the configuration of your computer;
  11. When the process has finished, click on “Finish”.

Backing up and restoring Windows 10

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type “Restore files” and choose the option “Restore files with File History”;
  2. Search for the file you want and use the arrows to view all its versions;
  3. When you find the version you want, click the “Restore” button to save it in its original location. If you want to save it elsewhere, right-click on “Restore”, select “Restore to” and choose the desired location.

How do I recover deleted files from my Mac’s Recycle Bin?

You can also recover deleted files from the recycle bin on your Mac using a few different procedures. Let’s take a look at some solutions.

Program to recover deleted files from Mac Recycle Bin

Some of the software mentioned for Windows also has a Mac version, while others are exclusive to this operating system. The following stand out:

  • Disk Drill for Mac: the free software allows you to recover files, as well as having a number of other features, such as partition restoration, data backup, data protection and recovery vault, which adds an extra layer to the Trash folder to keep a reference to the deleted data.
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac: in its free version, allows you to recover up to 2 GB of files. It is specially designed to recover files lost due to disk formatting or accidental deletion.
  • MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac: software that allows you to recover photos, videos, music, emails, documents and other files. However, the free version can only be used on one computer and has a maximum restore capacity of 1 MB – we didn’t type it wrong, it is 1 MB (megabyte).
  • PhotoRec for Mac: Although not the most powerful software, it is free and has the advantage of being open-source. It can recover the main types of files, such as photos, music, PDFs, ZIPs and Office files, for example.
  • Softtote Mac Data Recovery: is able to recover lost files from internal and external disks. A highlight is that the software allows you to preview some file details before recovery, such as the size of images and the date of creation. It offers free technical support.

The same tip we gave you about Windows software also applies here: only use deleted data recovery programs if you know what you are doing. Otherwise, the damage could be greater, such as permanently losing access to your files.

Restore your Mac from a backup

If you know how to make a backup on your MacBook or Mac and have already made one, you can use the Migration Assistant, which restores the system to the way it was at the time. This way, you will have your apps, personal files and all the content in your user account again. The steps are as follows:

  1. Confirm that the Time Machine backup disk is activated and connected to the Mac;
  2. Open the “Applications” folder, then “Utilities” and then the “Migration Wizard”;
  3. The system will ask you where you want to transfer the information from. Choose the option “from a Mac, Time
  4. Machine backup or startup disk” and click “Continue”;Next, choose the Time Machine backup and click “Continue”;
  5. Select the backup you prefer and click “Continue”;
  6. Choose which information you want to transfer and click “Continue”;
  7. Now just wait until the transfer is complete. The larger the volume of data, the longer the process should take.

How to avoid monthly Trash removal on Mac?

The Mac has a feature that automatically empties the Recycle Bin after 30 days. While this can be useful for freeing up storage space after deleting items that would actually be deleted, you may also end up deleting files that you deleted unintentionally.

To turn the feature off, follow the steps below. Some terms may change depending on the language and version of the operating system:

  1. Open Finder and then choose “System Preferences”;
  2. In the “Advanced” tab, uncheck the “Empty Trash Automatically” option.

However, whenever you want to permanently delete a file, simply go to the Trash and choose which files you want to delete once and for all.

Read also: Is it possible to recover data from a mobile phone?

How to repair a corrupted recycle bin and recover data?

In some cases, when you try to access the recycle bin to recover your data, the system tells you that it is damaged or corrupted. This means that there is a problem, which is not allowing you to delete new files, access deleted data or empty the recycle bin.

This can happen when the hard disk is corrupted and sometimes crashes, when there isn’t enough space, the drivers are configured incorrectly, updates are unsuccessful, among other reasons.

So, if you want to access the recycle bin and get it working again, there are a few solutions. Let’s see how to solve it with the Windows Command Prompt or by reinstalling the recycle bin.

Repair recycling via Command Prompt

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type “Command Prompt”;
  2. Click on “Run as administrator”;
  3. Type the command “rd /s /q C: $Recycle.bin” and click “Enter”;
  4. Restart your computer and check that recycling is working again.

If this procedure doesn’t work, try using the command “sfc /scannow” in the Command Prompt. This will make the system file checker solve your problems.

Reinstalling recycling

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type “File Explorer”;
  2. Click on File > Change folder and search options;
  3. Click on “Display mode”;
  4. Uncheck the option “Hide protected operating system files” and select the option “Show hidden files, folders and drives”;
  5. Close the settings and go to each folder or drive to delete the “Reclycle.bin” files that now appear;
  6. Restart your computer to reinstall Reclycle;
  7. Right-click on the Desktop and select “Customize”
  8. Click on Themes > Desktop icon settings;
  9. Select the “Recycle Bin” checkbox and click “Apply”.

After that, click on the recycle bin icon on the desktop and check that everything is correct.

In the process, you may have lost some files that were stored in the recycle bin. Then you can use the data recovery programs we mentioned earlier to recover these files.

I couldn’t recover deleted files from the recycle bin. Now what?

Although there are a number of tricks you can follow, even if you know how to recover permanently deleted files from the recycle bin, there are situations in which only a professional service is capable of restoring this data.

In this case, you can count on Bot. We have more than a decade’s experience and have handled more than 60,000 cases, with 99% customer satisfaction and a 95% success rate. We have more than 20 units distributed between Brazil and Portugal, with 24-hour service in both countries.

If you don’t have much experience in recovering deleted files from the recycle bin or want to be sure that your device is in the best hands, you can count on our data recovery service and get back to it with all the security and practicality you deserve!


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