4 Ways to Restore Files From the Recycle Bin in Windows 10

We all delete things; an old email, a text message, an app, and so on. You may have deleted certain files from your PC either because they were no longer needed or because they took up too much space.

You may even have accidentally deleted an important folder and wish you could undo it. Thankfully Windows temporarily stores files and folders in the Recycle Bin from where they may be restored or permanently deleted.

In this article, you’ll learn about some lesser-known but equally effective ways to restore files from the Recycle Bin in Windows 10.

Setting the Recycle Bin to Ask Before Deleting a File

Provided you did not Shift + Delete a file, it should be somewhere in your Recycle Bin. However, you can set up Windows 10 to warn you when you’re about to send a file to the Recycle Bin. That way, you can double-check that nothing important is going into the bin before you continue.

To set up this feature:

  1. Go to your Desktop (or wherever you have your Recycle Bin) and right-click on Recycle Bin.
  2. Click on Properties.
    Click on Properties
  3. Click on Custom size to change the setting from “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted.”
  4. Check the Display delete confirmation dialog box.
    Click Apply then OK

Henceforth, you’ll get a warning when trying to delete a file.


This and the following methods won’t work if you used the Shift + Delete shortcut to get rid of the file, or if you emptied the Recycle Bin while the important file was inside. However, there’s still a way to get them back even if you performed either of those actions.

There are apps and programs out there that can restore files, even if you told your PC to get rid of them for good. For example, we previously covered iBeesoft which does a great job at recovering deleted files.

Related: iBeesoft Data Recovery Makes Finding Lost Files a Breeze

4 Ways to Restore Files From the Recycle Bin in Windows 10

Some methods of restoring files from the Recycle Bin aren’t well-known. However, not only are they easy to perform, but they can be lifesavers if you accidentally send a file to the Recycle Bin and want to send it back to whence it came.

1. Restore Deleted Files Using the Recycle Bin Tools

The Recycle Bin Tools tab is a hidden gem that can help you manage deleted files. While it’s relatively unknown, don’t be fooled; this backroom boy can help you bring back your files and folders from the Recycle Bin.

  1. Open your Recycle Bin and locate the file or folder you want to restore. You can also select multiple files or folders.
  2. Go to the top of the Recycle Bin folder and click on Recycle Bin Tools under the purple “Manage” tab.
    Click Recycle Bin Tools
  3. Click on Restore the selected items. This will move the selected items from the Recycle Bin to their original locations on your computer.
  4. To restore all the files in your Recycle Bin, simply click on Restore all items, and voilà, you’ll have them all back.

If you love this feature and will like to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar, simply right-click on either Restore the selected items or Restore all items, then click on Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Click Add to QAT

Bonus Tip:

When using this method, ensure that you remember the original location of the files you want to restore, otherwise, they may get lost among other files on your computer. If this happens, simply press Ctrl + Z to undo Restore, then right-click and click Refresh.

Click on Refresh

Hover your mouse pointer over the file or folder and take note of the original location before restoring it using this method.

Related: How to Restore Deleted Apps and In-App Purchases on Your iPhone

2. Restore Deleted Files Using Cut and Paste

Just like Ctrl + Z or undo, the cut-and-paste function is super popular with computer users worldwide. But have you ever for a second thought of using this feature to restore deleted files or folders from the Recycle Bin?

We did, and here’s how you can do it too:

  1. Open your Recycle Bin and locate the items you want to restore. If your Recycle Bin is full, you can search for the item using the “Search bar” provided you know the filename or keywords in it.
  2. Select all the items you want to restore.
  3. Either right-click on it/them and click on Cut or press Ctrl + X on your keyboard.
    Click on Cut then Paste elsewhere
  4. Go to any location or folder of your choice where you want to paste the cut items, right-click and click Paste, or press Ctrl + V.
  5. This will restore the deleted item to your chosen location.

Using this cut-and-paste method, you need not remember the original file location or worry about your restored file getting lost in the mix. It’s another easy way to restore your deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

3. Restore Deleted Files Using the Move To Function

Like the Recycle Bin Tools, this is another lesser-known method of restoring deleted files from the Recycle Bin in Windows 10. And like the cut-and-paste method, it allows you to move deleted items to any location of your choice.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open your Recycle Bin as usual and select the items you want to restore.
  2. Go to the top of the Recycle Bin folder and click on the Home tab. This will open up a ribbon.
  3. Click on Move to and select a destination from the dropdown menu.
    Click on Home then Move to new location

    Your files will be automatically restored to your chosen location.

  4. If you want a different location from the ones shown, simply drill down and click on Choose Location, then click on Move, or click on Make New Folder if you like.
    Click Make New Folder
  5. Go to the destination folder, and your restored files will be waiting for you.

Using the “Move to” method allows you to move deleted files to a custom new folder. If you do not want to ever delete the items in this folder, you can simply rename it as “Do Not Delete.”

Related: How to Use Windows File Recovery Tool to Restore Your Lost Data

4. Restore Deleted Files Using Drag and Drop

Using the drag and drop method, you can restore deleted files to any location of your choosing. You may know that you can simply drag and drop files back onto the desktop, but did you know there are plenty of little shortcuts you can take to get the files back home ASAP?

Here’s how:

  1. Open your Recycle Bin and select the files you want to be restored.
  2. Drag and drop them in any folder or location shown in the “Quick Access” pane on the left.
    Drag and drop in Quick Access Toolbar
  3. If you can’t find your preferred location in the Quick Access pane, simply click on the Restore Down button in the top-right corner, next to the “Minimize” button, to resize the Recycle Bin window.
    Click on Restore Down
  4. Open the destination folder, click the Restore Down button, and drag the selected files from the Recycle Bin into it.

The drag and drop method is as effective in restoring deleted files from the Recycle Bin as are the other methods described.

Related: How to Recover Deleted Files on Linux Using TestDisk

Easily Restore Recycle Bin Files In Windows 10

When next you accidentally delete something on your Windows 10 computer, you can simply use any of the above methods to restore your files or data.

One of the most important tips to remember is to reconfigure your Recycle Bin settings so that it doesn’t permanently delete files. This is one of the ways any files you accidentally delete can be restored.

windows 10 data recovery feature
5 Ways to Restore Your Deleted Files in Windows 10

Permanently deleted a file by accident? You might be able to recover it if you act fast!

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