How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files without Software?

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Whatever the story behind your desire to recover files. maybe you deleted them accidentally or got a destructive virus. you'll find yourself hunting for the best recovery options. Most of these solutions will require software but if this is a no-go for you, we've got a few ways to recover permanently deleted files without software.

1Is it Possible to Recover Permanently Deleted Files?

Deleting files is more often on purpose than not. But when it's accidental there's an instant thought of "Oops! Is it possible to get them back?".

Fortunately the answer is yes. After a file is deleted, it isn't instantly wiped from your computer. Because of how operating system store data, there's a period of time where deleted files are still available even though you can't readily access them. Until the hard drive slots used by the files are overwritten, recovery remains a possibility.

Software is an option but our key focus will be explaining how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without software.

2How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10/8/7 without Software?

1Recover Permanently Deleted Files without Software from Previous Version

The first of our three solutions is to recover permanently deleted files without software by restoring a previous version.

Step 1. Go to the directory where the folder that contained your lost data is stored.

Step 2. Right-click on the folder and click "Properties".

Step 3. Go to the "Previous Versions" tab and if there are any restorable versions shown, you can recover them.


The downside of using this method is that it won't work for all folders. Some of them don't have saves taken and therefore recovering a previous version won't be possible. For the most part though, it's worth at least checking if a previous version is available.

2Recover Permanently Deleted Files without Software from a Backup

Another way you can recover permanently deleted files without software is by simply recovering from backup. Doing this from your own backup is a simple and copy and paste, although there is a built-in Windows feature for taking backups and restoring them.

Step 1. Search "Control Panel" in the search bar and click the top result.

Step 2. From this menu select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".

Step 3. Provided you've taken a backup before, you'll see "Restore my files". Click this button and follow the on-screen instructions.


Obviously, this is reliant on the fact that you took a backup with the Windows backup feature before the files were deleted. Assuming you're like most of us and haven't been utilizing this feature, move on to the next method.

3Using Command Prompt to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 without Software

Our final solution on recovering permanently deleted files is going to focus around the Command Prompt. Initially, this appears more complex than it actually is, which is why the other solutions here will seem preferable.

Step 1. In the Windows search bar enter "Command Prompt", right-click the app, and click "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. Once the Command Prompt is open, type the command "chkdsk C: /f" then press Enter. Note that "C:" is the default drive letter so you may need to change this.

Step 3. After the disk check is complete, type the command "ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D C:*.*". Again, you may have to change the C: to another letter.


It's important that you don't stop either of these commands until they complete their processes as this usually causes widespread data corruption.

3The Benefits to Recover Permanently Deleted Files with Software

Software might seem the tedious choice considering you have to download it on your computer, but it's normally the way to achieve the best results possible. iMyFone AnyRecover is the top data recovery software for several reasons:


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of AnyRecover

  • Can easily recover files from a specific folder/destination

  • Can recover a specific file type (also recovers 1000+ file formats)

  • Higher success rate than any other data recovery software (98% recovery rate)

  • Safely restores files without overwriting the original data

  • Allows users to selectively recover data

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Time and time again we've observed the effectiveness of iMyFone AnyRecover and it's proven to be great in literally any situation. If you change your mind to recover permanently deleted files without software, direct your attention towards AnyRecover.

deleted files recovery


After reading through this article you should know how to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without software. Additionally, you can understand the benefits of taking the software route and using iMyFone AnyRecover, a fantastic program to recover any data you previously thought was gone forever.

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By  Simon Marcus , to Deleted Files Recovery

Updated on Aug 31, 2020

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