Top 3 Ways to Recover Deleted Files in Windows 8/8.1

Accidently deleted files from Windows 8 PC/Laptop and failed to retrieve them from Recycle Bin? Don't worry! Here I'd like to share 3 workable and useful ways with you in the following 3 parts to recover deleted files in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 PC.


If you have neither backed up Windows 8 data nor turned on File History feature, you'd better skip to Part 3 and download the software below to learn how to restore files on Windows 8/8.1.

Part 1: Utilize Windows 7 File Recovery in Windows 8.1 to Recover Windows 8 Files

Confused at "Windows 7 file recovery in Windows 8.1"? It is Windows 8.1's hidden function of System Image that allows you to undelete files on Windows 8.1. The following are the specific steps.

  1. 1. Navigate to Control Panel >> System and Security >> File History and click "Windows 7 File Recovery" on the bottom left.

    windows 7 file recovery in windows 8.1
  2. TIPS

    This is the only way to get to old System Image since searching the operating system for "System Image" turns out zero result. And if you search "backup" or "file history", you'll get to Windows 8 File History feature.

  3. 2. Then you'll get an interface as the picture shows, click "Restore my files" and follow the prompts to recover deleted files in Window 8.1.

    restore files in windows 8.1

Note that restoring Windows 8.1 files from System Image is an all-or-nothing proposition, there's no saying of restoring individual files and it doesn't work if you've never backed up Windows 8.1 files with Windows 7 File Recovery before. In that case, you can refer to Part 3

Part 2: Recover deleted files in Windows 8 via File History

File History is a new backup tool in Windows 8.1 that automatically backs up files to a network drive or external hard drive every 10 minutes. In other words, with File History, you can easily recover deleted files from Windows 8.1 as long as you've set up a File History drive or turned File History on.

  1. 1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap "Search" and enter "restore your files" in the search box. Then choose "Restore" your files with File History.

    windows 8.1 file history
  2. TIPS

    If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner and move the mouse pointer down, then click "Search")

  3. 2. Enter the file name directly or use the left and right arrows to browse all the folders and files in File History to find the files you want to retrieve from Windows 8/8.1.
  4. 3. Select your target files and click "Restore" to recover deleted Windows 8.1 files to their original location.
  5. TIPS

    If you want to recover deleted files to another location, right-click "Restore" and choose "Restore to" to specify a new path.

However, File History is not complete backup tool as it only backs up files (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Desktop folders and the OneDrive files included) available offline on your PC. To ensure the 100% of Windows 8.1 file recovery, you can take the following way as alternative.

Part 3: Perform Windows 8 File Recovery with Windows 8 Data Recovery Software

Taking everything into consideration, I think Windows 8 data recovery software would be your best choice to recover deleted files in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8. It empowers you to selectively recover deleted files, excel files, folders, emails, apps, etc. from Windows 8 without backup as Part I and Part 2 require. The detailed steps are laid out as below.

Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP Secure Download Free Download For macOS 10.15 and below Secure Download

Step by Step Guide to Recover Deleted Files Windows 8

  • Step 1 Download and install this Windows data recovery software to your computer. Run it and select a lcoation. It supports to recover files from both local drive and external drives.

    select location
  • Step 2 After you select the location, click Scan button to start scanning lost files from the selected target location. The results will be displayed in file view by default.

    scan windows 8 local drive
  • NOTE

    If you can't find your lost files in the scan results. Please try the deep scan mode which can scan deeply to find more files. Please note that the deep scan will take more time.

  • Step 3 Find your lost files and mart them. Click Recover button and select a path to save the files. Please do not save the data to the place where you lost them in case of disk overwritten and permanent data loss.

    recover files windows 8

Furthermore, this Windows 8 data recovery software supports recovering shift deleted files in Windows 8.1. Namely, you can also use it to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 8!

Wrapping It Up

These are all the 3 ways you can make use of to restore Windows 8 files after system crash or accidental deletion. If you have a backup beforehand, you can try the methods without third-party software. Whereas, if you do not have a backup, then a Windows 8 data recovery software is must-have. It not only helps to recover data from Windows 8, but also recover deleted files from Windows 10 as well.

Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP Secure Download Free Download For macOS 10.15 and below Secure Download