Deleted files come back on Windows 10/11 [Technician Fix]

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • When the deleted files keep coming back in Windows 10, that is probably a problem with the Recycle Bin.
  • If the files are not being deleted, you can repair the Recycle Bin by using a command-line tool.
  • You can also solve this problem by disabling the cloud storage service.
  • A certain way to make sure that you delete a file is to use a dedicated file shredding software.
Windows 10 deleted files come back

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Some users have posted on forums about deleted files re-emerging in Windows 10. Consequently, users can’t erase some files that keep reappearing in Windows 10 no matter how many times they try.

One user reported the problem on the Microsoft Answers forum:

For some reason when I delete some of my files they insist on reappearing – generally audio files that I have ripped and then deleted but sometimes other files as well.

There are also users who claimed that a folder keeps reappearing after deletion in Windows 10. Learn how to delete persistent files with the instructions below.

What can I do if deleted files keep reappearing?

1. Fix a corrupted Recycle Bin

  1. Type cmd in the search tab and click on Run as administrator to open Control Panel with elevated permissions.
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter to run it as shown below: rd /s /q C:$Recycle.binThe rd command windows 10 deleted files come back
  3. Close the Command Prompt’s window and restart the desktop or laptop.

This command line will help empty the Recycle Bin and fix it so check if the issue still persists.

If you still have problems with Recycle Bin we have an excellent list of the best Recycle Bin cleaners for Windows 10.

2. Uninstall third-party cloud storage or turn off cloud syncing

  1. Open the Run console with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  2. Then input appwiz.cpl and click OK to open Programs and Features.Programs and Features uninstaller windows 10 deleted files come back
  3. Select the cloud storage app listed within the uninstaller.
  4. Click the Uninstall button and select the Yes option to confirm.
  5. Thereafter, restart Windows after uninstalling the cloud sync software.

Deleted files reappearing in Windows can also be due to third-party cloud syncing apps. Thus, uninstalling cloud sync software might resolve the issue.

3. Enable the Prevent Roaming Profiles

  1. Open the Run accessory.
  2. Then open Group Policy by entering gpmc.msc in the box and click OK.Group Policy windows 10 deleted files come back
  3. Then click Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, System, and User Profiles on the left of the window.
  4. Then double-click Prevent Roaming Profile changes on the right of the Group Policy Editor window.
  5. Select the Enabled radio button.
  6. Select the Apply option.
  7. Press OK to close the window.

Windows Server users who utilize RemoteApp and Remote Desktop Services have said that they’ve fixed deleted files reappearing by enabling Prevent Roaming Profiles on the RDS server.

4. Delete files using specialized software

Instead of deleting with the usual Windows options, try erasing files that reappear with third-party file deletion software.

Dedicated, file shredding software enables users to delete selected files and folders more thoroughly. So, files might not reappear after they’re deleted with that software.

When Windows 10 deletes a file, it doesn’t actually delete it, but only marks the space that was taken by the file as free. File shredding software gets rid of the file for good.

Get Easy File Shredder

Those are a few resolutions that might ensure files don’t reappear after they’re deleted. There are also deleted shortcuts that keep reappearing in Windows 10 but our solutions should work for them too.

It might also be worth running a few scans with Windows Defender or third-party antivirus utilities.

If you know any other possible solutions, share them in the comments section below.

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