We store a lot of data on our Windows 11 computers like media files, critical documents, and more. We use folders to segregate the data for easy navigation. However, as our data increases, we tend to lose track of our files stored on our computer and panic when we can’t find them. While in most cases, the files are easily found using the search feature. However, in some cases, they are nowhere to be found.
This could happen in case of accidental deletion and that too after using SHIFT + DELETE key combination or emptying the Recycle Bin. We become even more anxious when the missing files are extremely important in nature.
However, there is a good news. If you have accidentally deleted some files permanently, you should not worry as there are ways to get them back.
In this post, we will take a look at some methods to find and recover permanently deleted files on Windows 11 PC. Simultaneously, we will also look at some useful tips that we can use to avoid data loss and learn how to use a data recovery software for recovering missing files.
- 1 How Did My Files Got Permanently Deleted from My Windows 11 PC?
- 2 Methods to Recover Permanently Deleted or Lost Files on Windows 11
- 2.1 Method 1: Use Cloud/Local Backup
- 2.2 Method 2: Use Backup and Restore (Windows 7) Feature
- 2.3 Method 3: Use File History to Restore Folder
- 2.4 Method 4: Recover Missing Files from Email Attachments
- 2.5 Method 5: Sign Out from Temporary User Profile
- 2.6 Method 6: Enable Old Administrator Account
- 2.7 Method 7: Expert Data Recovery Solution
- 3 Tips to Avoid Data Loss
- 4 Final Words
How Did My Files Got Permanently Deleted from My Windows 11 PC?
File deletion has become such an instinctual task that we can even do it with our eyes shut. However, at times, mistakes do happen because of which we could accidentally delete our important files. If you have found that some files have been permanently deleted from your Windows 11 PC, it could be due to the usage of SHIFT + DELETE keystroke or you might have unknowingly emptied the Recycle Bin that had files in it. Files also go missing due to other reasons like an unexpected system crash, data corruption or malware attack.
Here are the reasons why your files got permanently deleted –
- Accidental deletion
- Malware attack
- File/data corruption
- Logged into temporary account
Methods to Recover Permanently Deleted or Lost Files on Windows 11
Permanently deleting important files could cause us to worry and panic, but if we have maintained regular data backups, then can immediately recover our data from them. Let’s look at some ways to recover permanently deleted files on Windows 11.
Method 1: Use Cloud/Local Backup
If you have created regular backup copies of your files and other data, either on cloud or locally on an external drive like HDD or SSD, use them to get your permanently deleted or lost files back on Windows 11 computer.
Method 2: Use Backup and Restore (Windows 7) Feature
The Backup and Restore feature on Windows 11 allows the Windows to automatically create data backups on an external drive, whenever it is connected. If you have setup this feature beforehand, you can use it to recover your deleted files. To use this feature –
- Type Control Panel into the Search box. Click on it to start it.
- Select Backup and restore (Windows 7) from the menu.
- Connect the external drive to your PC containing system recovery files.
- Click on the Select another backup to restore files from option and choose the location of source device.
- Follow the instructions as the wizard displays on the screen and restore your missing files.
Method 3: Use File History to Restore Folder
File History is another great feature that comes pre-built in Windows. It can help you restore the folder to its previous version from where the files were deleted permanently. However, you can restore the folder to its previous state and recover the missing files if you have enabled this feature on your system well in advance. Follow the steps given below to restore the folder –
- Open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the folder from where the files have gone missing.
- Right-click on it and select Restore previous versions option.
- In the Folder Properties window, select the version that you wish to restore.
- Click on Open to check the version.
- Click on Restore and then OK.
Method 4: Recover Missing Files from Email Attachments
Email is a great way of sending and receiving important files and other documents. Many people use emails as a way to keep their data backed up. When it comes to recovering permanently deleted files or lost files, emails tend to be overlooked and goes right under the radar. You can look for the deleted files in your email account and recover them in no time. Simply log into your email account using a web browser and search for the files that are missing on your computer. Search your mailbox by either sender’s email or name or email subject or file name.
Method 5: Sign Out from Temporary User Profile
Sometimes, Windows could log you into temporary user account after an update, which doesn’t contain data and files from your main user account. Because of this, your computer shows “You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile” alert. In this case, you can get your files back by logging out of the temporary user account and logging in back into your main account. However, Windows also uses this when your user account gets corrupted.
Method 6: Enable Old Administrator Account
Sometimes, updating from Windows 10 to Windows 11 could make it seem as if your files have been deleted. This could happen due to Windows 11’s requirement to log in using a Microsoft account. If you have recently logged in with a new Microsoft user account, there are chances that your files are now located in the disabled administrator account, which could be the user account you used previously. You can get your missing files back by enabling the disabled administrator account. To do so –
- Click on the Search icon in the Task Bar and type Computer Management. Select the desktop app.
- Choose the Local Users and Groups option in the left pane. After that, double-click on Users.
- Look for Administrator user profile. If this has icon with it, it means it has been disabled.
- Double-click it and open its Properties.
- Uncheck the Account is disabled option, click on Apply and then OK.
- Restart your PC and sign in using the old admin account credentials.
Method 7: Expert Data Recovery Solution
The above mentioned methods should get your permanently deleted files back in no time. However, if nothing works, you can take help of a free data recovery tool like Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition. You can use this versatile tool for recovering files that are missing or lost from your PC. It can help you recover any type of file from almost any storage device like HDD, SSD, SD card, etc.
This software allows you to recover files that have gone missing in numerous data loss scenarios like accidental file deletion, data/drive corruption, formatting, etc. Just launch the software on your PC and select the type of file you are looking for. Then choose the location from where the file/s went missing. Once done, simply sit back and let the software search the files for you.
Thanks to its enhanced Preview feature, you can easily check your files for their integrity before performing data recovery. You can also perform Deep scan on the affected drive and it will search every sector and bit of the drive for any recoverable data.
Tips to Avoid Data Loss
Now that we have discussed the methods to recover lost or missing files, let’s take a look at some ways to avoid data loss –
- Use the 3-2-1 data backup strategy for creating backup copies of your data and files regularly.
- Enable File History feature.
- Use a reliable antivirus to keep your computer safe from malware.
- Diversify data backups using multiple locations to create copies.
- Keep a reliable data recovery software for emergency situations.
- Avoid saving files on Desktop.
Files are important for us as they contain all kinds of data from media to important information. Hence, it becomes our duty to safeguard them from any unforeseen data loss. In this post, we discussed methods that could help you retrieve your permanently deleted or lost files. We also learned about a software that can help us easily recover permanently deleted files. We hope the methods mentioned here will help you recover permanently deleted files on your Windows 11 computer.