Recover lost or deleted files

If you can't find a file you are looking for, it might have been saved in or moved to a different folder than the one you expected, or the file might have been sent to the Recycle Bin.

You can start looking for the file by using the Search folder, though you can also look for the file by inspecting folders where you think the file is likely to be. Try one of these options:

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Look for the file by using the Search folder

  • Open Search by pressing Windows logo key Picture of Windows logo key +F.

Search using all or part of the file name, if you can remember it, or using any tag or file property that will help distinguish it from other files on your computer. For more information, see Find a file or folder.

Look in folders where the file is likely to be

These are the most likely places to look for lost or deleted files:

Documents

  • Open Documents by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Documents.

Pictures

  • Open the Pictures folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Pictures.

Recycle Bin

  • Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking the Recycle Bin on the desktop.

The default save location of the program you used to create the file

  1. Open the program you used to create the file.

  2. Click the File menu, and then click Save As.

    This opens the location where the file was probably saved.