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How to Recover Files after Reinstalling Windows 11/10

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Apr 20, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

Windows is the most widely used operating system for PCs and Laptops all over the world. The latest version of Windows 11/10, has a lot to offer to its users. Windows OS is regularly updated, and you can expect a major update almost once each year. However, at times, there can be issues while reinstalling or configuring Windows. This is where the need for lost data recovery comes in.

While Windows is a very stable operating system, and interrupted installation, corrupt setup, or improper configuration are among the few reasons that can cause loss of your files. However- do not worry, for as you read ahead, you will come across the best file recovery software that can help you recover a lost file after reinstalling Windows 11/10.

Why reinstall Windows OS on your PC?

When in doubt, you restart your device. And the issues might resolve themselves. So, reinstalling your Operating System can help you in many ways. Now, you want to know ‘why this matters’ in more details. Is it worth your time? Let’s look at these cases, where you must rely on a Reinstallation.

Method 1. Recover Files after Reinstalling Windows 11/10 with Recoverit

When it comes to lost data after reinstalling Windows 11/10, you need a tool backed up with an efficient algorithm for searching and recovering lost files. Recoverit Data Recovery is an effective and safe lost file recovery software to help you retrieve lost files in simple steps.

select a location

Recoverit - The Best Deleted Files Recovery Software

  • Recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from any storage device effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • Supports to recover data for sudden deletion, formatting, lost partition, virus attack, system crash under different situations.

Download and install Recoverit data recovery on your computer. Follow the next steps to perform deleted file recovery.

Select a location where your lost files were. Click the "Start" button to process.


Recoverit will start an all-around scan. Usually, it will take a few minutes to finish the scanning. Sometimes, a few hours are required if many large-sized files are present.


Depending on the size of the memory to be scanned, whether the Deep Scan Mode is selected or not, and the lost file recovery mode, the scan may take some time. Once it completes, you can preview and select the files you need. Click on the "Recover" button to get the selected files back, and ensure that you do not save them in the same location they were recovered from.


A few tips for successful and efficient Recovery

When you recovering files after installing Windows 11/10, here are a few tips that you can follow:

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Video Tutorial on How to Recover Deleted Files on Windows 11/10/8/7 Easily?

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Method 2: Using your Built-In Windows ‘File History’

You can setup your Data Backup routines in Windows. If you have a Backup, you can use File History option for recovery. Otherwise, you should consider a good Data Recovery Tool.

Assuming you have a Backup Setting, let’s see how you can us File History. The following step-wise guide aims to help you in this.

Step 1. In the ‘Settings’ of your PC, visit your ‘Update and Security’ section.
Step 2. You should find an option with a label of Backup.

Step 3. There is a sub-section about your File History. You should see the ‘Back up using File History’ sub-section. Click ‘More Options’ link.
Step 4.  As you scroll down, a section titled as ‘Related Settings’ will appear. Then, you should select ‘Restore files from a current backup’ option.
Step 5. Locate your target files in the appearing window. Also, you can see the different versions of your files. To move between them, you should use the arrows.


Step 6. Once you find the desired versions of your data, hit ‘Restore’ button. Thus, your files go to their original location. If you want to restore your files to another place, right-click Restore option. So, you can choose your destination using the ‘Restore To’ option.

Method 3 for you: System Restore for getting your Lost Files

A restore point helps you recover your files and your OS. Yes, this means that your Windows Reinstallation will be undone. That is true if your Restore Point is older than OS Reinstallation. But remember, it also means that your files – lost after the reinstall – will return.

So, you can determine if OS Reinstall Reversal is okay for you. If not, you should focus on earlier two methods.

But, are you willing to reinstall your OS one more time? If so, the next steps are for you and your recovery efforts.

Step 1. You should access Run app. You can find it using Start menu Search option. But the key combo of Windows key and R key is your shortcut.
Step 2. After the Run box appears, enter “rstrui.exe” and press enter.
Step 3. Welcome to your System Restore window. Of course, you have the option ‘Choose a different restore point’ which you select. Then, click Next.
Step 4. You will see the feature ‘Scan for affected programs’ that you should select.


Step 5. Here, you find which drives are part of the Restore changes. If you confirm that your Data drives are safe, hit Next. But if your drives are going to change, backup them. And repeat the process as per the On-screen Guidelines. In short, even if your drives change due to a restore; your data remains accessible in your backups. 

Thus, wait for the restoration operation to end. You should not try to interrupt this operation.

Note: Windows.old folder and your data recovery

Did you format your Hard-drive before installing your OS? If your answer is no, then your personal files have a Windows.old folder. And this folder keeps a copy of your data for twenty-eight days. So, even after a Reset or Reinstall of your OS, you can get back any lost files.
If you want them back, follow the guide below.

Get back your files from Windows.old folder

People Also Ask

Q1: I want to reinstall my current installation of Windows. Also, I want to keep my files safe. So, what should I do?

Thanks for asking. See, you have two possible solutions in your case. Yes, that’s right. You get to keep your files even during a Windows 11/10 reinstall.

Yet, there can be a situation which needs Clean Install. If you wish to go for a Clean Install, you can learn about it here: Windows 11/10 Clean Install. 

Q2: Will I lose my file due to a Windows Reinstallation?

Yes, you guessed it right. The word ‘re-install’ does exactly that. So, everything on a drive will change into newer fresh data. For example, you might have your current OS installed on C: drive. So, as you reinstall your OS, you lose your folders such as Documents and Music, etc. 
You can tick ‘Keep all my files’ in the installation setup. Still, some files can go missing. Thus, backing up your data is your best bet. To learn about USB flash drive backups, visit this guide: USB Flash Drive backup guide. 

Question 3: Can I recover my data after using Windows 11/10 Reset?

Yes. And No. It depends. During your Reset setup, you get a choice to keep your files. So, if you select a suitable option, your Non-OS drives remain the same. And only your C: drive (OS / System drive) is going to lose all files.
So, what is the trick here? Your files have no pointers. But if there is no new data on that drive, your files can come back to you.
You refer these suggestions:

System Restore can help you reverse any changes to your drives. So, it can undo your Reset. But you will get back your fi

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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