How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Folders From Your PC

Imagine: you’re cleaning up your desktop, dragging folders into the trash can, when the unthinkable happens. You’ve accidentally deleted something important!

Whether it’s that quarterly report your boss is waiting for, a long university essay you don’t have time to rewrite, or a list of all your relative’s birthdays, this is a disaster.

We have good news: even if you permanently deleted a file, there may still be a way to get it back! This article discusses the simplest solutions to help you recover accidentially deleted folders from your PC.

1. Restore Previous Versions of the Folder

If you are running Windows, try right-clicking the folder, then select “Restore previous versions.” You will be prompted to choose a previous version of the folder to return to; pick the one with your accidentally deleted document intact!

This only works if you are using Windows Backup or a similar service to keep a copy of your files, usually on the cloud.

2. Use Command Prompt

If you deleted the entire file, or don’t have a backup of your documents, you can try using the command prompt. To get there, type “cmd” in the Start menu and choose “Run as administrator”.

Next, type this command: “attrib -h -r -s /s /d drive letter:\*.*”, replacing the “drive letter” with the letter of the drive your lost file was saved in, then press Enter.

If you have a Mac, you can do this too. Open Terminal and type the command “cd.Trash”. Press Return. Then, type “mv name of file../”, replacing “name of file” with the name of the deleted file.

3. Return To a Previous Backup

Most computers save a backup either locally or on the cloud. If you are running Windows, go to your settings, choose “Update and Security”, then “Backup”, then “Go to Backup and Restore”. From here, you will be able to return your computer to a previous backup and save that deleted file.

On a Mac, you can go through a similar process using Time Machine. To find it, go to your applications or search for “Time Machine”. Then, find the file and click “Restore”.

4. Use the Windows File Recovery App

The Windows File Recovery App is available for free on the Microsoft app store. It runs a prompt in Command Prompt that may be able to recover those deleted files.

5. Use Recovery Software

Another option is to use data recovery software. This choice usually brings the best results because it is specifically formulated to recover lost data.

With recovery software, you are not limited to just a lost file–Stellar Data Recovery allows you to recover data from internal and external Windows storage drives, SD cards, Micro-SC cards, USB drives, and more. Additionally, data can be recovered no matter if it was deleted manually or erased by an incorrectly formatted, corrupted, or encrypted drive.

Some people worry that a third-party data recovery software may steal their information–this is not the case! Reputable software incorporates impressive privacy protection measures that ensure your recovered files are only available on your computer, and nowhere else.


Accidentally deleting a folder is a big deal, especially when it has something important in it. If this ever happens to you, the five data recovery methods explained in this article will help you get your files back in no time!