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Published on 10.05.09 by Brent Trahan

Restore Deleted Files or Folders in Windows 7

Learn how to restore deleted files or folders in Windows 7.

Note: Restoring a deleted file or folder will only work if Backup and Restore is set up and has backed up the file you’re trying to restore.

Recover Deleted Files or Folders

  1. Open the Recycle Bin and check for the deleted file or folder just to make sure it’s not there. It’s worth a shot.
  2. Navigate to the folder the deleted file or folder was located in Windows Explorer.
  3. Right-click an empty space in Windows Explorer and choose Properties.
  4. Select the Previous Versions tab in the folder’s properties window.


  5. Notice the different versions of the folder you’re in and the date they were created.


Here are the options you have when restoring deleted files or folders:

Restoring Selected Files or Folders Only

In this section I’ll show you how to browse the older versions of the folder you’re currently in so that you can open and restore deleted files or folders.

  1. Select a snapshot of the folder at a previous point in time and then click Open.


  2. Windows Explorer will open and contain the contents of the folder at the previous point in time you selected. You can navigate throughout the folder and open documents in it.
  3. You can restore a deleted file or folder by dragging it out of the Windows Explorer window to a location on your computer or you can restore a document by opening the it and then choosing File, Save as and save it on your computer.

Make a Copy of the Previous Version of the Folder

In this section I’ll show you how to make a copy of the folder you’re currently in as it was at a previous point in time.

  1. Select a snapshot of the folder at a previous point in time and then click Copy.


  2. Select the location to save the folder and then click Copy.


Restoring the Entire Folder and All Folders and Documents in It

In this section I’ll show you how to restore the entire folder you’re currently in including all of the folders and files contained in it as it was at a previous point in time.

  1. Select a snapshot of the folder at a previous point in time and then click Restore.


  2. If you’re sure you want to the current folder you’re in and all of the files contained in it click Restore.


Note: If you work with documents and want versions of them to be backed up hourly, check out my guide on setting Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore to back up your computer hourly.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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16 Responses to “Restore Deleted Files or Folders in Windows 7”

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  1. atomchoco says:

    I don’t know how to thank you enough but huge


  2. stupidperson deleted folder ona ccident says:


  3. ch says:

    Best reference to solving a windows issue, if microsoft explained things as straight forward as your web page Apple would not exist. Thanks Alot i saved my outlook file after dealing with 3 different Data Recovery Software which never solve my issue & I invested over 8hrs with them(yours took me 15 min due to the size of my file)

    Thank again!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Rajkumar says:

    Thx it just worked GREAT …………

    • Brent Trahan says:

      Glad I could help Rajkumar.

      • Rajkumar says:

        Hi Brent your site is just great . I have already started mailing my friends about your site and they also like your site very much.One of my friend replied me regarding the site here is his message.

        Hi Raj,
        This is karthick the site which u told maximum pc guides is really good and contents are simple ad easy to understand…Thx again for recommending the site .Call u later..Bye:-)


        This is the message i got from him..I think the windows people should recognize your site and make it a approved one…

        All THE BEST

  5. Tabish Wasim says:

    Thanks sir, you r a great person, you know everything well about system. thanks.

  6. shawn says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH , it is so great to get back pics of my daughter i almost cryed when i lost them thank you thank you

    a very happy dad

  7. rajat says:

    thank you very very much …………this help me alloott i got all my data back.:)

  8. Akshay says:

    Thanks…………..I can’t tell how sad i was earlier…used all sorts of recovery softwares…but couldn’t get d desired folder…d step at d top did it for me….

  9. Maryam says:

    Really Really thanks. You are great. I have missed all my files on my master thesis, programming, everything. You are My Hero.
    However I still could not understand what happened to my folders. I had
    15 or more folders in a main folder. Today morning all of the folders vanished and just one remained in a main folder. Is this any fantom lives in windows 7, moving or deleting folders?

  10. NikB says:

    God Bless You!!! OMG! You’re a lifesaver!!1

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