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How to delete and undelete files

Written by Super User 14 December 2012

Deleting files

Windows let you delete the unwanted file of folder to recycle bin when you no longer want or need. To kill a file, select it and choose File-->Delete. Or, you can press the Delete key on your key board to delete any selected files. Or if you can see the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop, drag the files with the mouse and drop them right on the Recycle Bin icon. Then, the file is gone. Note the following:

  • Windows may warn you about deleting a file. Are you ready sure? You probably are, so click Yes to delete the file.(Windows is just being utterly cautious.)
  • You can delete folders just like files, but keep in mind that you delete the folder’s contents – which can be dozens of icons, files, folders, jewelry, small children, widows, and refugees. Better be careful with that one.
  • Never delete any file or folder unless you created it yourself.
  • Programs aren’t deleted in Windows, they’re uninstalled. See Chapter 23.

Undeleting files

If you just deleted the file – and I mean just deleted it – you can choose the Edit Undo command (Ctrl+Z). That gets it back. If EditUndo doesn’t do it, or undo it(or whatever), take these steps:

  • 1. Open the Recycle Bin on the desktop.
  • 2. Select the file you want to recovered.
  • 3. Choose FileRestore from the menu.

The file is magically removed from Recycle Bin limbo and restored afresh to the folder and disk from which it was so brutally seized.

  • 4. Close the Recycle Bin window.

Windows has no definite time limit on how long you can restore files; they can be available in the Recycle Bin for months or even years. Even so, don’t let the convenience of the Recycle Bin lull you into a false sense of security. Never delete a file unless you’re certain that you want it gone.