Deleted file, can't restore it no matter how hard I try

  • I had a Notepad++ text document with some important content, which I didn’t ever save (it had a red icon).
    But recently, I accidentally opened up the save menu and pressed ‘no’. This file is now gone and I can’t restore it.
    I tried checking the backup folder - not there. Used file recovery software - couldn’t find anything.
    Is the file lost forever or is there another way to recover it?

  • @Gediminas-Klingenschmitt ,

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but when you told Notepad++ that no, you didn’t want to save the file, it believed you, and it deleted its periodic save in the backups folder. That’s exactly what that dialog is meant to do. There’s nothing Notepad++ can do to help you recover a file that you told it to delete. If file recovery software cannot recover that file (make sure you are pointing it at the backup folder, because that’s where Notepad++ had been keeping it while it was red), then there’s not anything we can do to help. Sorry.

    To prevent this in the future, you might want to read our FAQ on Periodic Backup vs the AutoSave plugin

  • Hello, @gediminas-klingenschmitt and All,

    The behavior of some people will always amaze me!

    You said :

    “I had a Notepad++ text document with some important content, which I didn’t ever save”

    The enormity of the contradiction is obvious and you are, unfortunately, the only one responsible for this situation !

    Sorry that no recovery software could identify your file. Usually, these programs work properly only if they are run very quickly after the unfortunate deletion ! Indeed, some new files must have certainly used part of the space previously allocated to the deleted file :-(

    Personally, I do not like the option of periodic backups and each time when I download a new version, the first thing I do is to uncheck the Settings > Preferences... > Backup > Enable session snapshot and periodic backup option !

    You may think I’m paranoid, but when I’m creating a new file, it doesn’t take 3 minutes before I use the Ctrl+S shortcut ;-))

    In the future, follow @peterjones’s advices and, possibly, use the AutoSave plugin !

    Best Regards,


  • @PeterJones Interesting info on backups. I stumble on Notepad++, loved it and thought the auto backup was a feature. Had about 12 tabs [Win 10 NP 8.1.5] Had a pause about 3k characters, looking at features and suddenly the tab labelled Z disappeared, can’t find hide nor hair of it. So at least I’m learning more about the program, however, the backup path C:\Users\61413\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\backup\ doesn’t exist, nor does any variation of it including a directory labelled AppData [there are some AppData under old Windows files] so I don’t know where NP is storing the auto backups [and hopefully my missing tab &contents]
    Lu []

  • @Lu-Ber ,

    I am sorry you have lost a file.

    If you have a normal installation, then Notepad++ settings are stored in %AppData%\Notepad++ , and the periodic backups would be in %AppData%\Notepad++\backup\. For a normal Windows 10 setup, %AppData% 🛈 expands to C:\users\username\AppData\Roaming, so %AppData%\Notepad++\backup\ would be C:\users\username\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\backupbut it is possible to configure Windows differently, and we cannot know how your Windows OS is set up, so can only tell you default location. If you paste %AppData% in the location bar of your Windows Explorer, Windows will take you to the right place, and you will see a Notepad++\ directory, and that Notepad++ directory should have a backup\ subdirectory. But this paragraph assumes you have a normal installation.

    See for more on Config file location. But in brief, to find out if you have a “normal” installation, look at Notepad++'s ?-menu, Debug Info entry. The Debug Info will look something like:

    Notepad++ v8.1.5   (64-bit)
    Build time : Sep 26 2021 - 15:23:23
    Path : C:\usr\local\apps\notepad++\notepad++.exe
    Command Line : 
    Admin mode : OFF
    Local Conf mode : ON
    Cloud Config : OFF
    OS Name : Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit) 
    OS Version : 2009
    OS Build : 19042.1237
    Current ANSI codepage : 1252
    Plugins : AutoSave.dll mimeTools.dll NppConverter.dll NppExport.dll

    If it says Cloud Config : ON, then some of your settings are in your defined Cloud folder.
    If it says Local Conf mode : ON (like mine shows), then it’s a “portable” installation, and your backup folder will be in a backup directory immediately below notepad++.exe
    If it says Local Conf mode : OFF and Cloud Config : OFF, then you have a normal installation, and Notepad++ will put periodic backups in the AppData directory described above.

    So in my example, my backup directory is C:\usr\local\apps\notepad++\backup\, because I use portable/local-config.

    The other part, as described in both the FAQ and in the online usermanual, is that you have to have the “session snapshot and periodic backup” enabled, otherwise, you won’t have files there. (But it would have also prompted you for saves every time you exited notepad++, so it would have been obvious.)

    And as the FAQ describes, if you accidentally closed the unsaved files, the periodic-backup files were deleted and thus wouldn’t exist.

  • Thank you for a great and extensive reply - I’m not used to using explorer [I use Free CommanderXE donor ], however I did try find C:…AppData without success. The %AppData% worked a treat and I found the back ups. Unfortunately this was 0030 Melbourne Australia time and I switched off. Today [0911 Melbourne Australia] I fired up again and, of course the backups were over written but all the other tab contents were there but not Z, title of missing one]. My fault entirely, I tend to use and resort to manuals if necessary- pain in the posterior, I write manuals for sport so I’m used to read ^%$&#manual.

    My system is a Raid 5 and should be bog standard, The ? I didn’t realise had this debug info, viz
    Notepad++ v8.1.5 (32-bit)
    Build time : Sep 26 2021 - 15:15:32
    Path : C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe
    Command Line :
    Admin mode : OFF
    Local Conf mode : OFF
    Cloud Config : OFF
    OS Name : Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit)
    OS Version : 2004
    OS Build : 19041.1237
    Current ANSI codepage : 1252
    Plugins : mimeTools.dll NppConverter.dll NppExport.dll

    Although I notice your version is 2009, mine is 2004 on auto upgrade. So far Notepad++ is a great program and should come standard with all MS systems, all it needs is a smack system for people like me who don’t save manually. I think I was thinking does <save> save the doc on which I’m working only or the whole lot.

    Thanks again for your excellent reply. Lu

Log in to reply