How to Recover Deleted PDF in Windows 11 Using Windows File Recovery

Losing essential files by accidentally deleting them can be an aggravating ordeal, particularly when it involves crucial documents like PDFs. Fortunately, Windows 11 offers a powerful tool called Windows File Recovery that can help you retrieve deleted PDF files and restore them to their original location. In this article, we will guide you through the process of recovering deleted PDFs using Windows File Recovery.

What is Windows 11 File Recovery?

Windows File Recovery is a command-line tool specifically designed for recovering deleted or formatted files from various storage devices, including HDDs, SSDs, USB flash drives, memory cards, and SD cards. It’s available at Windows 10 version and above including Windows 11. Also there is no need of using any 3rd party data recovery tools for restoring the deleted files.It’s important to note that this tool may not be able to recover all file types, and it’s crucial to initiate the recovery process as soon as possible after the files have been deleted.

Common Reasons for PDF File Deletion In Windows 11 10

Accidental deletion of PDF files can happen due to various reasons, and it’s essential to be aware of these situations to prevent data loss in the first place. Here are some common scenarios where PDF files might get deleted :

1. Human Error: Accidentally deleting PDF files can occur when users mistakenly select the wrong files or folders for deletion.

2. Unintentional Formatting: Formatting a storage device like a hard drive or memory card without backing up its contents can result in permanent deletion of all the data, including Portable Document Format files.

3. Virus or Malware Attacks: Malicious software can corrupt or delete files on your system, including PDFs. It’s highly recommended to update your antivirus up to date.

4. System Crashes or Errors: System crashes, hardware failures, or software errors can lead to unexpected data loss, including Portable Document Format files.

5. Improper File Transfer: If files are not transferred correctly from one device to another, they may become corrupted or go missing.

Recover all Deleted PDF in Windows 11 system by using Windows File Recovery

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Windows File Recovery to recover your deleted PDF files in Windows 11:

Step 1: Type Command Prompt in the start menu and select “Command Prompt” with Administrator privileges from the listed results.

Step 2: Type “winfr C: E: /regular /n \Users\<username>\Documents\” into the command prompt and press Enter.

With this command, you may get a list of all the possible parameters for the Windows File Recovery tool.

Step 3: Configure the source and destination drives. Identify the drive from which the Portable Document Format files were deleted and specify the location where you want the recovered files to be saved. It is recommended to use an external storage device as the destination to avoid overwriting any recoverable data.

To recover files from a specific drive, use the following command format:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: /n file-type /r /f filename

Please provide the drive letter or path of the drive where the files were deleted instead of “source-drive.” Similarly, replace “destination-drive” with the drive letter or path of the external storage device where you would like to store the recovered files. Instead of “file-type,” specify the file extension of the PDF files (e.g., .pdf). If you remembered the exact pdf filename that was deleted, replace “filename” with its name. If you don’t recall the exact filename, you can omit this part from the command.

Step 4: To initiate the command, simply press Enter and patiently await the completion of the recovery process. Please note that the duration of this process may vary depending on factors such as the size of the files and the overall condition of the disk.

Once the recovery process is finished, you should be able to find the recovered PDF files in the specified destination drive or folder. It is advisable to double-check the recovered files to ensure they are intact and accessible.


It’s worth mentioning that Windows File Recovery employs various recovery modes, including default, segment, and signature modes, each with its own capabilities and limitations. The default mode is recommended for most general recovery scenarios, but if the deleted PDF files are not found using the default mode, you can experiment with other modes like segment or signature to improve the chances of recovery.


Windows File Recovery is a valuable tool for retrieving deleted PDF files in Windows 11. By following the steps outlined in this article and considering the different recovery modes, you can increase your chances of successfully recovering your deleted PDFs and restoring them to their original state. Remember to act promptly, avoid using the affected drive for any new data, and use an external storage device as the destination for recovered files. With Windows File Recovery, you have a reliable solution at your disposal to recover your important PDF files and minimize data loss in Windows 11.

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