How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin

How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin


A few days ago I was trying to create some extra space on my PC by deleting previous projects that I had already backed up externally when I accidentally deleted the files to a project that I was currently working on. To make things worse, I realized this when I had already emptied the recycle bin and this meant that I had lost around three days of work on the project (Three days of sitting in front of a computer is a very long time). I was depressed at the same time frustrated and so I decided to shut down my laptop because there was no way I was going to start again ‘coz even if I did, chances are that I wasn’t going to do the same exact thing this time around.

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This was taken immediately after I had deleted the project files from the recycle bin. Image via: Giphy

The following day, after cooling down a bit I decided to do some little research so that I could find out if there was a chance of recovering my lost data. After a few minutes of digging around the Internet I discovered something that I didn’t know before – I discovered that when you delete a file on Windows and empty the recycle bin, the file is never deleted immediately. Instead Windows takes note that the space that was occupied by that file is available for storing new information and so unless something new is written to that part of your hard drive where the file was stored, your file is still there and can be easily recovered using data recovery software. It’s like giving notice to vacate a premise – Your landlord takes note that someone new should move in but he doesn’t kick you out immediately. Okay. That must have been the worst example.

There are several data recovery software for Windows but I decided to try EaseUS Data Recovery because it’s very popular. The free version of EaseUS allows you to check the deleted data that you are able to recover but you’ll have to get a license to recover the actual data. If you are looking for a complete free data recovery software then you can try out Recuva but I haven’t tried that yet.

After completing the recovery process, I managed to recover the files that I deleted using EaseUs. I was surprised that I could even recover some files that I deleted at the beginning of the year. This basically means that a file can exist in your hard drive for a very long time after being ‘deleted completely’ depending on how many sectors of the hard drive it occupies/d.

The procedure below will guide you on how to recover your deleted data.


Download the EaseUS installer from their website and open it to follow the installation prompts. Note that when you are installing EaseUS to a PC that has multiple/partitioned drives, it’s safer to download and install the software to a different drive to the file that needs to be recovered to reduce the chances of your ‘deleted’ file being accidentally overwritten.

After the installation, launch the software and select the type of files that you want to recover.

How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin

Select the drive your file was deleted from by clicking it and then proceed to “Scan”.

How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin

After the scan has completed, you should see all the recoverable files. If you cannot see the files you are looking for then you can select “Deep Scan” for a more thorough scan. If you still can’t find the files you are looking for then chances are that it has been overwritten by something else. (A new tenant has moved in)

How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin

Deep Scan will find more deleted files but it takes longer

How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin

If you found the files you were looking for, select “Recover” to get them back. (Make sure that your recovered file is saved on another disk that’s not the one where the file was originally located to avoid overwriting)

How to recover your deleted files after emptying the Recycle Bin

Congratulations! You have just recovered your lost data.

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Have you ever been in a similar scenario where you deleted your files and emptied the recycle bin before you realized what you did? let me know in the comments section below