Partition Recovery™
An expert tool for recovering lost partitions
An expert tool for recovering lost partitions
Last updated: Sep 21, 2023

Step-by-Step Guide: Recovering Deleted Files in Windows 10/11 Without Backup

It's a scenario we all dread: that sinking feeling when you realize you've accidentally deleted an important file, and there's no backup in sight. Whether it's a critical work document, a cherished photo, or a piece of media you just can't replace, data loss can be daunting. Fortunately, Windows 10 and 11 come equipped with a set of tools and features that can often help you recover those seemingly lost files. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process step by step, giving you the best chance to retrieve your deleted data without resorting to backups. Read on to discover how to turn a potential digital tragedy into a mere hiccup!

Recover Permanently Deleted Files Without Backup via Data Recovery Software

We've all been there — a misclick or an oversight and a vital file is gone. If you're a Windows 10 or 11 user and don't have a backup, there's no need to panic. DiskInternals Partition Recovery is a potent tool designed to help you recover deleted or corrupted files, even from formatted drives. In this guide, we will delve into how to utilize this software to its fullest, ensuring that you can retrieve your valuable data in the most efficient way possible. From installing the software to navigating its interface, we've got you covered!

NOTE: Before proceeding with any recovery operation, always make sure to stop using the affected drive to prevent overwriting the deleted files, which can make them unrecoverable.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using DiskInternals Partition Recovery:

1. Download and Install:

  • Download the Partition Recovery software.
  • Follow the installation prompts to install the software on your system.

2. Launch the Application:

  • Once installed, open DiskInternals Partition Recovery. You'll be greeted with a user-friendly interface.

3. Select the Target Drive:

  • From the list of available drives, choose the one where your deleted files were located.

4. Choose a Recovery Mode:

DiskInternals offers several recovery modes such as:

  • Reader Mode: To view files from the partition.
  • Uneraser Mode: Suitable for recently deleted files.
  • Full Recovery Mode: For deep scanning and retrieving files from formatted or damaged partitions.

For the best results, it's recommended to start with the "Full Recovery" mode.

5. Scan the Drive:

  • After selecting the recovery mode, click the "Next" button. The software will start scanning the selected drive. Depending on the drive's size and the mode selected, this process might take some time.

6. Preview the Recoverable Files:

  • Once the scan completes, you'll see a list of recoverable files. You can preview these files to ensure they're intact and are the ones you wish to retrieve.

7. Save the Recovered Files:

  • Select the files you want to recover, right-click, and choose "Recover."
  • Choose a destination folder (preferably on a different drive) where you want to save the recovered files.
  • Follow the prompts to recover and save the files to the selected destination.

8. Purchase a License:

  • Note that the free version of DiskInternals Partition Recovery allows you to scan and preview lost files, but you'll need to purchase a license to save the recovered data.

9. Safety Tip:
Once you've successfully recovered your files, consider creating regular backups of your essential data to avoid such incidents in the future.

Restore Deleted Files Without Backup in Windows from Recycle Bin

Restoring deleted files from the Recycle Bin is one of the easiest ways to recover files if they haven't been permanently deleted. Here's a step-by-step guide to restore deleted files without backup in Windows 10/11 from the Recycle Bin:

1. Locate the Recycle Bin Icon:

  • On your desktop, you'll find an icon labeled "Recycle Bin" which resembles a waste basket.

2. Open the Recycle Bin:

  • Double-click on the "Recycle Bin" icon to open it.

3. Search for Your Deleted Files:

  • Inside the Recycle Bin, you'll see a list of files and folders that you've deleted. Browse through the list or use the search bar at the top-right corner to find the specific file or folder you want to restore.

4. Select the Files to Restore:

  • Once you've located the file or folder you want to recover, click on it to select it. If you need to restore multiple files or folders, hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and click on each item you wish to restore.

5. Restore the Selected Files:

  • With the files or folders selected, right-click on one of them. From the dropdown menu that appears, select the "Restore" option. This will move the selected files/folders back to their original location before they were deleted.

6. Verify the Restoration:

  • Navigate to the original location of the files or folders to ensure they've been successfully restored. If you don’t remember the original location, the "Date deleted" column in the Recycle Bin can give you a hint as to when you deleted it, which might jog your memory.

7. Emptying the Recycle Bin (Optional):

  • If you're sure you don't need any of the remaining files in the Recycle Bin, you can empty it to free up disk space. Right-click on the "Recycle Bin" icon on your desktop and select "Empty Recycle Bin." Confirm the action, but remember, this will permanently delete those files, making them harder to recover.

Retrieve Deleted Files Without Backup Using Ctrl + Z

Using the "Ctrl + Z" shortcut is one of the quickest methods to undo a recent action in Windows, including the accidental deletion of files or folders. Here's how you can retrieve deleted files without backup using "Ctrl + Z":

1. Navigate to the Original Location:

  • First, ensure you're in the location (e.g., a specific folder or the desktop) where the file or folder was deleted.

2. Use the Undo Shortcut:

  • Simply press "Ctrl + Z" on your keyboard. This command will undo the last action taken.

3. Verify the Retrieval:

  • Check to see if the deleted file or folder has been restored to its original location.

Important Points to Consider:

  • Immediate Action: The "Ctrl + Z" shortcut is effective for undoing the most recent action. If you've performed other tasks after deleting the file, such as creating new files, moving other files around, etc., "Ctrl + Z" might undo those subsequent actions first. Therefore, it's essential to use this shortcut immediately after realizing you've mistakenly deleted something.
  • Limitation: The undo stack (the list of recent actions that can be undone) has a limit. It's not infinite. If you've done many operations after the deletion, the chance to undo the delete operation might be lost.
  • Not a Recovery Solution: Keep in mind that "Ctrl + Z" is not a file recovery solution. It's an undo command that works within the context of recent actions. If you shut down your computer, or a significant amount of time has passed, or too many operations have been done post-deletion, this method might not be effective.

For scenarios where "Ctrl + Z" doesn't work, you might have to look into other methods like checking the Recycle Bin or using file recovery software.

Recover Deleted Files Without Backup Using Windows File Recovery

1. Install Windows File Recovery:

  • Before you can use it, you'll need to install the Windows File Recovery tool from the Microsoft Store. Just search for "Windows File Recovery" in the store and install it.

2. Open Command Prompt as Administrator:

  • Type "cmd" into the Windows search bar.
  • Right-click on the "Command Prompt" result and choose "Run as administrator."

3. Familiarize Yourself with the Tool:

  • Type winfr in the command prompt to see available options and understand the tool's syntax.

4. Choose a Recovery Mode:

  • Default Mode: Use this mode first, as it's faster and will recover files without overwriting file names. Syntax: winfr source-drive: destination-folder /n

Example: winfr C: D:\RecoveredFiles /n \Users\Username\Documents\*

  • Segment Mode: Use this if Default mode doesn't work. It's designed for files deleted a while ago or after formatting a drive. Syntax: winfr source-drive: destination-folder /r /n

Example: winfr C: D:\RecoveredFiles /r /n \Users\Username\Documents\*

  • Signature Mode: Best for specific file types and when the file system type is unknown, such as with external drives. Syntax: winfr source-drive: destination-folder /x /y:

Example (to recover JPG and PNG images): winfr C: D:\RecoveredFiles /x /y:JPG,PNG

5. Run the Recovery Command:

  • Based on the mode and your requirements, run the desired command. The tool will start the recovery process.

6. Check the Destination Folder:

  • Once the process is complete, navigate to the destination folder you specified in the command to see the recovered files.

Points to Note:

  • Always recover files to a different drive than the source to prevent potential overwriting.
  • The tool can't guarantee the recovery of every deleted file. The chances are higher if you try to recover shortly after deletion.
  • The earlier you try to recover a file after its deletion, the better the chances of a successful recovery.
  • Regular backups are the best defense against data loss.


Recovering deleted files in Windows 10/11 has become more accessible than ever with a variety of built-in and third-party tools available to users. From the simple "Ctrl + Z" undo command to the handy Recycle Bin and advanced utilities like Windows File Recovery and DiskInternals Partition Recovery, there are multiple layers of defense against accidental data loss. However, while these tools offer hope in desperate moments, they do not guarantee absolute data recovery. Thus, the importance of regular backups cannot be understated. By maintaining consistent backups, you create the most reliable safety net for your essential data. In essence, while recovery tools are invaluable in emergencies, a proactive approach to data management and backup remains the best strategy for digital peace of mind.


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