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A Complete Guide On How To Recover Permanently Deleted Files From Windows And Mac

We’ve all been there once. You hit the “Shift + Delete” button or the trash can or the trash can to free up the mess to regret later. Now you need those files back. Here is a complete guide on how to recover permanently deleted files.

This guide goes into depth on the deleted file recovery process and both software and manual recovery procedures.

It happened to most of us, and it could happen to you. The file that you thought was deleted forever could be somewhere on your PC. So, be sure to look for it first.

Open the recycle bin and find the file or folder you want. If you haven’t visited this part of PC in a long time, you may see a pile of files lying there. If you can easily find this method, use the search box to search the file or sort all files by “date”.

Warning: Programs like C Cleaner automatically delete the mess from the trash in the background. So if you use programs like this, your files may have disappeared from the Recycle Bin by now.

It is also possible that the file you are looking for is not displayed. So you can imagine:

Windows 10

  1. Enter a folder in the search box on the taskbar and then select “Show hidden files and folders” from the search results.
  2. Select “Show hidden files, folders and drives “under “Advanced Settings” and click “OK “.

Windows 8.1

  1. Hover the mouse over the top right end of the screen, place the mouse pointer down, and then click “Search “.
  2. Enter the folder in the search box and then select “Folder “from the search results.
  3. Click the “View ” tab.
  4. Select “Show hidden files, folders and drives “under” Advanced Settings” and click” OK “.

Windows 7

  1. Select the Start button, then click Control Panel, select Appearance and Personalization.
  2. Select “Folder Options” and then click the “View ” tab.
  3. Select “Show hidden files, folders and drives “under” Advanced Settings” and click” OK “.

If you’re using a cloud service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or One, it’s good that the file is still there. Make sure you visit your account with your cloud service provider and check the trash folder there.

If you are not sure whether or not you deleted the file, you can use Windows Explorer or the File Explorer window to quickly browse the file. There are times when you moved the file to another location and forgot. Once you are sure that the file has been deleted and is not somewhere else or hidden, let me go through what happens when a file is permanently deleted.

When a File is “Permanently Deleted”

A file is permanently deleted when the OS file system clears information related to the files from memory. Whether you used Shift + Delete or removed files in the Recycle Bin, the same process follows. The space or area of ​​the hard drive that previously held the file is only marked as free for rewriting.

Is it possible to restore permanently deleted files?


Because the operating system is designed to be high performing and responsive, the deleted files will remain until you fill those blank bits with another file. Let’s go through the file structure and understand the science behind it:

A file usually consists of 2 parts:

  • A directory index that registers the file name and also contains a list of the section on the disk that contains the contents of a data file. The operating system then recognizes that these sections are in use.
  • The actual section contains the contents of the data file.

When a file is permanently deleted, only the link to the file is deleted and not the file itself. Since the link is deleted, the operating system believes the file has been deleted and the drive area is shown as “free”. The actual area is left untouched, so the contents of the data file remain intact until a new file overwrites it.

So you can Restore Permanently Deleted Files and Folders

If you haven’t found the deleted file in any of the above storage locations, your last resort is to look for the backup built into your system. Let’s see how to restore them manually on Windows and Mac.

If you are looking for software to recover permanently deleted files, please go over it.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10

You can recover deleted files from “previous versions” or “shadow copies” in Windows if you have them enabled. The previous version is duplicate copies of folders and files that Windows automatically saves as part of a recovery point.

Follow the step-by-step guide to permanently recover deleted files from Windows:

  1. Click Start, and then click This PC or Computer.
  2. Go to the folder where the file is saved and right-click. Then click on “Restore Previous Versions”.
  3. A list of previous versions of the folder or file is displayed.
  4. Select the files you want to retrieve and click “Recover”. It will be restored to its original location.

Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac

If you use Time Machine for your backup, you might be able to recover the deleted files by following these simple steps:

  1. Open the folder with the files.
  2. Select “Enter Time Machine” after opening Time Machine.
  3. Use the arrows to move up and down between the snapshots of the folder. You can use the timeline on the right side of the screen to go straight to the specific folder.
  4. Select and open the file by double-clicking it. Preview the file version that matches the file you want.
  5. After finding the file you are looking for, select and click Recover. The file is restored to its original destination.

If the Above Methods Fail…

If you haven’t had a lot of luck with the methods above, using recovery software is your last resort. Remo Recover will help you recover permanently deleted files. The software is available in two different versions for Windows and Mac. It has a powerful built-in scanning mechanism to find deleted files like photos, text documents, videos, and much more. The built-in advanced algorithm searches and locates the deleted files and helps you find them back in just a few minutes. The interactive graphical user interface makes the software even easier to use. Overall, it is a one-stop solution to get back all of your permanently deleted files.