How to Recover Deleted Files from Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin Setting

Recycle Bin on your PC

The Recycle Bin on Windows is just like the "Trash" on Mac, it`s a place where deleted files are stored in case any of them had been accidently deleted from the computer. We are able to recover data from Recycle Bin if we haven`t emptied it or throw too many files into it that it exceeds the space limit.

Of course the space limit for the Recycle Bin is adjustable - the default size is 10% of the first 40GB and 5% of the any quota above 40GB (it depends on your Windows OS version), if you want to change it, you can-right click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and then select "Properties" from the menu, then you can see the options of setting Recycle Bin`s size and location (normally in Hard Disk C). Though you are free to set the size of your Recycle Bin, it`s still not recommended to make it more than 50% of your Disk C, or it`ll use up too much running space of your system and slow down your computer.

How to recover deleted files from Recyle Bin?

Normally the files you delete from your desktop or hard drive partions could still be found in the recycle bin, you just need to find and select the files you want to recover in Recycle Bin, then right-click and hit "Restore" in the menu. The files will go back to the location they were. And this is the easiest and most common way of recovering deleted files.

recover files from recycle bin

How to recover Recycle Bin deleted files

After we accidentally delete important files by hitting the "Delete" button, we may look for them in the Recycle Bin. On most occasions, we will find the deleted files in that folder, but what if the Recycle Bin was emptied after the deletion? Does it mean the files/data are permanently gone?

The answer is "NO" - with right methods and a little luck we could always get back what we lost, if the deletion was not made too long ago:

When we emptied the Recycle Bin, the files in it disappeared, but actually they were not removed from the computer yet - the data still existed on the hard disk in raw formats. They would stay there until they were overwritten by new data. Before that we always have a chance to extract and restore them. And that`s what data recovery tools help us to do.

Before performing the data recovery from an emptied recycle bin, we need:

An effective data recovery software
Stop throwing any new file into the Recycle Bin
Do it as soon as possible to increase the chance of a full recovery

Solution 1: Free tools to recover files after delete from Recycle Bin

1 Recuva

Recuva is a lightweight and free file recovery tool for windows. It will scan the disks on your computer and then display the recently deleted files in a list. You will able to check the previews of the files if they are marked as recoverable.

The scanning process runs really fast, which impressed me when I`m doing my first test. But results of the scanning turns out to be somewhat disappointing - not many files were found and only 1/3 of them could be recovered. Each of the disks could be selected for an individual scan process, but there is no option for a Recycle Bin scan (you need to type in "\$Recycle.Bin" in the search bar to make it scan the Recycle Bin only)

In a word, Recuva is fast, lightweight and easy to use, but lack of more advanced functions and relatively mediocre recovery-qualtiy makes it less reliable. You can still have a try if you are looking for a freeware with a reasonable performance.


2PC Inspector file recovery

PC Inspector file recovery is also a freeware for recovering lost files. It can recover your data even when the hard drive is slightly damaged and no more recoginised in BIOS. In my tests, it shows acceptable succes rate of recovering deleted files from Recycle Bin and other parts of the hard drive. It`s special recovery function also supports DOC, XLS, HTML, EXE, JPG, MP3 etc - altogether 25 common file types on Windows, which should be enough for a freeware. In spite of all the good features, the scanning process lasted much longer than I expected (sometimes more than half an hour where there are much to scan).

Conclusion: Comparing to other free tools, PC inspector has somewhat better recovery quality and provides support for more data formates, while the slow scanning process brings it back to the average level.

pc inspector file recovery 

Solution 2: Effective way to recover files after delete from Recycle Bin

If one is looking for a effecitive software with more file types support, faster scanning speed, deeper scanning depth and better recovery qualtiy. Wondershare Data Recovery should be a good choice. It provides three recovery mode (Lost file Recovey, Raw Recovery and Partition Recovery) to more than 550 formats of data, which includes almost all the file types (including documents, photos, videos, audios messages&email and archives etc) on the computer.

Except from the Recycle bin, it can also restore data from memory cards, hard drives, removable redrives, flash drives, digital camera/camcorder and cellphones.

To retrieve lost documents, images, videos, audios, archives and any other types of files from Recycle Bin, you can follow the steps below with the help of Wondershare Data Recovery:

Download win version Download mac version

Step 1 Select the file type for recovery

Here you can select the file type that you are going to get bacl, such as photos, audio files, videos, documents and email. And you also can choose all if you want to recover all files you've lost. Just check the one.

How to recover deleted files from recycle bin 

Step 2 Choose to recover Recycle Bin

To recover files deleted from recycle bin, you can check "Recycle Bin" here, which can help to search all deleted files from Recycle Bin.

Recover files deleted from recycle bin 

Step 3 Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin

When the scanning finishes, you will be able to preview the scan result, which have been classified into types. Check those files you want to recover and hit on "Recover" to get them back.

When you didn't find your desired data back, you can choose the deep scan or another recovery mode to retrieve them again.

Download win version Download mac version

Recover files deleted from recycle bin 

Further tips after the data recovery

No matter how you recovered your files from the Recycle Bin, follow these tips to ensure your important data`s security:

  • Back up your important files carefully
  • Save the recovered files on another partition different from the source partition to avoid data overwriting.

Product-related questions? Speak directly to our Support Team >>

I second to that. Wish I found it sooner!
Love it! It's simple and effective! :)
Love the video you guys made! Easy to understand instruction and a great solution. Now I don't have to worry about losing any of my work ever again. Thanks!
Agree with Sean. I doubted it will work, but I'm totally satisfied.
Great software! I tried it and it worked. Thumbs up!
I tried using the deep scan to recover my data but I still couldn't get it back. Is there any other way to find them back or is it lost forever?
so glad to know there's a way to recover my deleted file in recycle bin. Great articles. Thanks.
Good and firm software. Much faster and more reliable than others. For example, I tried PC inspesctor, but it couldn't restore some datas I needed.
i have lost some pics of my friend as she has saved them all in my pc but accidently i have deleted them all n also from recycle bin. It happened almost 3-4 weeks ago can i restore them and if yes how ??? i need them urgently plz help me !!!
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