When looking for a specific folder on the computer, sometimes we may accidentally and unintentionally delete some files. The reason could be a wrong keyboard key or an accidental mouse press. Or it may be due to virus attacks, accidental formatting, corrupted hard drives, etc.
Losing or deleting important document folders can be a frustrating experience and it may cause a lot of trouble, but fortunately, it is possible to recover document folders on Windows. In this article, we provide several methods for how to restore deleted folders on Windows effortlessly, you can try them in turn.
Common Factors for Document Folder Deletion
Before introducing how to recover deleted folders, let’s try to explain and understand why folders are deleted. The following are the factors that cause folders to be deleted or lost:
- Use a damaged hard drive
- Virus infection
- Software conflict
- Power failures
- Accidental deletions
- Accidental formatting
How to Recover a Deleted Folder on a Windows PC
There are many methods available for the deleted folder recovery, and you can use both the built-in tools as well as third-party software. This part will offer you several different solutions on how to retrieve a deleted folder.
Method 1. How to Undelete a Folder by Undoing the Operation
If you deleted a document folder by mistake a few seconds ago, you can undo your deletion and retrieve the recently deleted folder by pressing Ctrl + Z. It works in most cases. If there is a problem with the keyboard shortcut, you can also right-click the mouse and select “Undo Delete”.
But it’s worth noting that this method is only helpful when you delete the folder using the Delete key. However, if you delete the folders by pressing “Shift + Delete” on your keyboard, this method is not available. In this situation, the folders are deleted permanently so you need to resort to a powerful third-party PC data recovery software to restore your recently deleted folder.
Method 2. How to Retrieve a Deleted Folder from the Recycle Bin
The deleted folders will be kept in the Recycle Bin for 30 days before you delete them permanently. It provides you with a chance to restore the deleted folders directly from the Recycle Bin with several simple clicks.
How to retrieve deleted folder from Recycle Bin:
Step 1. Double-click the Recycle Bin on the desktop and find your document folder.
Step 2. Then right-click on each document folder and choose “Restore” to put them back to the original location.
🔔 Note: This method is only available when the data of the deleted folder is not overwritten. Otherwise, you need to use Recycle Bin data recovery software to get back the folder you need. ONERECOVERY will recover deleted file not in recycle bin without much effort.
Method 3. How to Recover Lost Folder from the Previous Versions
There is a built-in function that is called “File History” on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. This function offers users a good solution to recover files/folders from previous versions. It’s extremely practical in the situation where you delete an essential file or folder by mistake.
The following tutorial will offer you the solution on how to undelete a folder on Windows 10/11 using the File History function:
Step 1. Open File Explorer on your Windows PC. You can do that by pressing “Win + E” to open the File Explorer.
Step 2. Find the folder you want to retrieve, then right-click on your selected folder, and click “Properties”.
Step 3. Select the “Restore previous versions” option in the drop-down menu, and you can choose a folder version from the list. Then click the “Restore” button.
Step 4. Click “OK” to complete the process.
🔔 Note: The “File History” is a built-in tool, but it’s not enabled by default. If you want to use this function, it’s necessary to turn on it manually.
Method 4. How to Retrieve Deleted Folder from the Windows Backup
Just like the “File History” tool, you also need to turn on the “Backup and Restore” on your own in advance for the deleted folder recovery. The steps to retrieve the recently deleted folder in this way are also very straightforward. Follow the tutorial to get your folder back.
How to restore deleted folder with Windows Backup:
Step 1. Enter “Control Panel” in the search bar and open it.
Step 2. Click System and Security > Backup and Restore.
Step 3. Select the backup folder.
Step 4. Click “Restore” and confirm.
Step 5. Click “OK” to complete the process.
Tip: This method requires you to manually open File History and Backup and Restore. Otherwise, Previous Versions will not be able to recover the accidentally deleted documents folder.
Method 5. How to Get Deleted Folder Back by Creating a New Folder
If you still can’t find your documents folder, try creating a new documents folder in the Registry Editor and updating the Windows 11 documents folder location. Read the following tutorial for details.
How to recover deleted folder from desktop by creating a new document folder in the Registry:
Step 1. Open the Registry Editor on your Windows PC. You can do that by pressing “Win + R” and typing “Regedit” in the window to open the registry.
Step 2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft \Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders.
Step 3. Select the Value Name-Personal, and under the data column, the value you should see is “%USERPROFILE%\Documents”, then click the “OK” button.
Step 4. When you’re done, close the Registry Editor and open the Command Prompt as an administrator. To do this, you need to type cmd into Windows search, then right-click on the application displayed and select the Run as Administrator option.
Step 5. In the open command prompt window, type “attrib + r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Documents /S /D” and press Enter.
Step 6. After completing the process, we recommend that you restart your computer to ensure that the folder has been recovered.
If you don’t have a backup, here is the easiest way to recover deleted documents folder on your PC. Use the professional file recovery software ONERECOVERY for Windows.
Method 6. How to Recover Deleted Folders with Data Recovery Software
ONERECOVERY is an efficient and professional software to get back your valuable files in data loss scenes. This tool offers comprehensive data recovery solutions for laptops as well as desktop PCs.
You can use the software without any complicated steps, making you experience the satisfaction of regaining. More importantly, the free trial is available, wherein you can try all its unique features as you need. The following tutorial will show you how to recover deleted folder in Windows 10/11 as well as in other versions of operating systems.
how to recover a deleted folder using ONERECOVERY on Windows:
Step 1. Launch ONERECOVERY software on the PC. Double-click the ONERECOVERY on the desktop or enter “ONERECOVERY” in the search bar and open it.
Step 2. Select the hard disk to start scanning. There are 2 types of scan modes for you to search for the file you need.
Step 3. After the scanning, you are able to preview the files. You only need to choose the one you need and click on the “Recover” button to get your file back.
Backing up your data in your business is much easier than recovering data after data loss, and it is recommended to back up files regularly on Windows to avoid data loss again. If you have not backed up deleted files, don’t worry, Windows offers you some built-in tools and functions to retrieve your folders.
This blog mentioned many efficient methods to help you restore deleted folders on Windows. But in some special situations, like when the data has been overwritten, a powerful desktop data recovery software is necessary.
FAQs About Missing Documents Folder
It’s really annoying if a very important document folder disappears. Therefore, it would be better to know more about this issue. The answers below may help you solve many problems.
- In most cases, anti-virus software is necessary, and the best anti-virus software can protect multiple devices at the same time. At the same time, keep your anti-virus software up to date.
- You can back up the important files on your PC with OneDrive or another backup, which can protect your document folder from losing.
- Do not open malicious sites on your system. Free software is often infected with a malicious virus that can damage your system and compromise your data.
- Use a surge protector.
There are many reasons that may lead to the accidental deletion of folders on your desktop. Sometimes the folders will also be hidden or moved due to the operating system update or cleanup. If you need to get the folders back, it’s a good choice to check the Recycle Bin, reveal hidden files, or search for the files on your device.
There is a post that will guide you through retrieving the disappeared folder: >> How to Restore Disappeared My Pictures Folder on Windows
Vanessa is a professional editor with a strong foundation in computer information technology. Since graduating, she has dedicated her career to create content in IT fields. In the past three year, she has accumulated sufficient knowledge in data recovery, computer problems troubleshooting and application of multimedia software.
She has been trying her best to bridge the gap between complex technical concepts and accessible, reader-friendly content.