How to restore files and folders accidentally deleted in Windows Vista or Windows 7 13

Few people actually know that they can restore files and folders that were accidentally deleted in Windows  Vista or Windows  7 by default, at least in the Enterprise version.

If you ever deleted a file or folder and emptied the Recycle Bin by mistake and thought it was gone, think again, because in Windows Vista and Windows  7, you can restore it with just few clicks

In this short tutorial, I’ll show you how to restore your data you thought were missing and gone after emptying your deleted items folder.

1) First, verify if the feature is enabled on your computer. If not, enable it.


                       Click Start –> right-click on Computer, then click Properties




2) Then click System protection on the left and continue.





3) Windows Vista users, make sure the box is checked next to the Local Disk (C:). Windows 7 users, it should say On





4) Once you have verified and enable system protection, you’re then ready to restore accidentally deleted files and folders.


5) To restore files or folders that was deleted, you click on the parent folder (folder that had the deleted items) and click Restore previous versions. For instance, in my Documents folder, I deleted stuff, so I am going to restore the contents of my Documents folder.





6) Now you select the date and time of the to restore to. Remember, all the contents in that folder will be overwritten to the date and time you selected. To view the contents before you restore, click the Open button. To restore the contents to a different location, click the Copy button.

The restore button will obviously restore and overwrite all contents to the selected date and time.





Windows Vista and Windows 7 by default allow you to do this but do it with care or you might wipe the entire contents of a folder.

The best option is to select a previous version and copy it to another location other then where it was originally created. Then move the restored version to where you want it.


That’s all to it.

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13 thoughts on “How to restore files and folders accidentally deleted in Windows Vista or Windows 7

  • Guest

    I have Vista and don’t have under file path – documents -”restore previous versions.” Nor do I have a “Previous Versions” button under documents properties. So…. how do I restore a previous version of the whole folder “DOCUMENTS?”
    Thanks, Lela

  • Pat N

    I deleted Documents because of a big problem with Thunderbird saving current emails to Documents and it kept happening even though I looked for every possible reason for this. So deleted Documents not realizing it emptied My Documents at the same time.

    You are a life saver to me. Neither I nor others I talked with had any clue we could do this restoring. Of course, I had never been in this
    position before so never paid any attention to Restore Previous Versions before this happened.

    Thank you so much.

  • Sanaya

    Thanks for the tips but my folder was on an sd card and when i right click there is no option for restore previous version what do i do/ it’s just one picture I really really want, I managed to get a thumb nail and I know the name of the file will that help in any way?

  • Rathin

    Thanks a lot for this information… I had a tough time trying to restore a folder that i accidentally deleted. None of the data recovery programs were able to detect it… This technique did the job…

  • Frangito

    It all went well till i got to the restore part and there was no option of “Today” only past one week, and i needed the “today” part. Any tricks on that? Thanks though, today wasn’t a total waste, i learnt something.