How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files From Recycle Bin

Written by j. johnson
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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files From Recycle Bin
You need to use software programs to recover permanently deleted computer files. (laptop image by Jorge Figueiredo from

When you delete files from your computer, they move to your recycle bin. After they are no longer visible in the recycle bin, you can consider them permanently deleted. However, this term can be misleading. You can recover a file for a period of time after deleting it from your computer. Recovering permanently deleted files does require the use of recovery, or undelete, software. No other way exists to recover permanently deleted files. The sooner you attempt to recover your files, the higher your chances of success.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open your Recycle Bin. This can be done by clicking "Recycle Bin" from your computer's desktop.

  2. 2

    Scroll through all of the deleted items in the Recycle Bin. If you find the deleted item you're looking for, right click it and select the "Restore" option. This will undelete the item.

  3. 3

    Download a third party undelete software program. Many different undelete programs exist, and you can locate and download many of them from the Internet. Be sure the program you choose is compatible with your operating system.

  4. 4

    Open the software program after you download it onto your computer and choose the file recovery option. Each software program will be a bit different, but you should be able to locate and scroll through a list of files for possible recovery. After you find the file you're looking for, click "Recover" or "Undelete" to recover the permanently deleted files.

Tips and warnings

  • Some examples of undelete software programs include Uneraser, Data Recovery Wizard, Data Rescue 3 and File Recovery for Mac.

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