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How to manage deleted files on Windows and Android

Windows laptop against yellow background with small illustrations
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

I have a bad habit of accidentally deleting files that I suddenly need a day later. Luckily, when files are “deleted,” they are actually not fully wiped from a system — and if they’re backed up to connected cloud storage services, well, those services have their own ways of handling deleted files. So it’s a good idea to know where to look.

This is also something to keep in mind if you’re selling or giving away a system — because in that case, you’ll want to make sure your files are completely, totally wiped.

Whether you’re looking to restore previously deleted files or permanently erase them, here’s what you need to know about them on Windows (and OneDrive) and Android (and Google Drive).

Deleted files on Windows

Delete a file in the…

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