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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 [1] 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.

    restore-deleted-file-1 [2]

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

    restore-deleted-file-2 [3]

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.

    restore-deleted-file-2 [3]

  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.

    restore-deleted-file-2 [3]

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

    restore-deleted-file-3 [4]

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.

    restore-deleted-file-2 [3]

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

    restore-deleted-file-4 [5]

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 [6].