How to Find Previously Deleted Files

By Lysis

When you delete files in a Microsoft Windows system, the files are not actually deleted just yet. Instead, the Windows operating system saves them to the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin holds several files at once, so you can go back after accidentally deleting an important file and restore it to the original location. You can also free up some taken disk space by deleting the files located in the Recycle Bin. Once files are deleted in the Recycle Bin, they are permanently removed from the computer's hard drive.

Right-click the desktop and select "Personalization" if you are using Windows Vista. Click the "Change desktop icons" link in the dialog window and then check the box labeled "Recycle Bin." This displays the "Recycle Bin" icon if it is hidden in Vista.

Double-click the "Recycle Bin" icon on the Windows desktop. This opens an Explorer window with a list of previously deleted files.

Click a column header in the Recycle Bin window to sort the files. They are automatically listed alphabetically. If you want to find a file deleted on a specific date, click the "Date Deleted" header.

Click the file name you want to restore and click "Restore this item." The file is restored to its previous location. You can also click "Restore all items" to restore all the files in the Recycle Bin.

Click the "Empty the Recycle Bin" to permanently remove all the previously deleted files. If you choose to delete all the items, they can no longer be restored.