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Restore a Deleted File from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11 – Instructions

/ / Latest, Microsoft, Windows 11
A picture showing how to restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11.

Overview of How to Restore a Deleted File from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11:

            You can restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11 if you mistakenly delete a file from your computer’s hard drive. Windows has a file deletion safeguard called the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin holds files and folders deleted from your computer’s hard drive until you empty it. When you empty the Recycle Bin, Windows then permanently deletes the items within it.

            However, if you haven’t emptied the Recycle Bin yet, you can retrieve the file you sent there when you deleted it from your hard drive. Think of the Recycle Bin as a paper-recycling bin. The paper that you toss into the recycling bin stays there until it is taken away. If you needed to find a real piece of paper you had accidentally tossed in, you’d have to rummage through the bin to find it.

            To restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking the icon on your Windows Desktop. Then select the file or files to restore within the “Recycle Bin” window that appears. Then click the “Restore the selected items” button in the Ribbon of the Recycle Bin window to move the files back to their original locations on your hard drive. Alternatively, to restore all the items within the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, click the “Restore all items” button in the Ribbon of the Recycle Bin window.

A picture showing how to restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11.

A picture showing how to restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11.

Overview of How to Empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11:

            You will also want to periodically empty items from your Recycle Bin in Windows 11 to save space on your computer. When you delete items from the Recycle Bin, they are permanently removed from your computer. After doing this, you will not be able to retrieve them! For this reason, only empty the Recycle Bin when you are absolutely sure you will never again need any of the files in it.

            To empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, double-click its icon on the desktop to open the Recycle Bin window. Then click the “Empty Recycle Bin” button in the Ribbon of the Recycle Bin window. Windows then shows a confirmation message box that asks if you are sure you want to permanently delete the items in the Recycle Bin. Click “Yes” to delete the items or “No” if you are unsure.

Instructions on How to Restore a Deleted File from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11:

  1. To restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking its icon on your desktop.
  2. Then select the file or files to restore in the “Recycle Bin” window that opens.
  3. Then click the “Restore the selected items” button in the Ribbon of the Recycle Bin window to move the files back to their original locations on your hard drive.
  4. Alternatively, to restore all the items within the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, click the “Restore all items” button in the Ribbon of the Recycle Bin window.

Instructions on How to Empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11:

  1. To empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, double-click its icon on the desktop to open the Recycle Bin window.
  2. Then click the “Empty Recycle Bin” button in the Ribbon of the Recycle Bin window.
  3. Windows then shows a confirmation message box that asks if you are sure you want to permanently delete the items in the Recycle Bin.
  4. Click “Yes” to delete the items or “No” if you are unsure.

Video Lesson on How to Restore a Deleted File from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11:

            The following video lesson, titled “The Recycle Bin in Windows 11,” shows you how to restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11. This video also shows you how to empty the Recycle Bine in Windows 11. This video lesson is from our complete Windows tutorial, titled “Mastering Windows Made Easy v.11.”

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