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4 Tips on How to Recover an Orphaned File in Windows 10

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How do you recover an orphaned file? Orphan files, as the name implies, are files that have been separated from their “parents.” However, in this case, the parents are typically software programs that were forcefully uninstalled from a computer. Mostly, these files are unnecessary; but sometimes, you need to recover them for the previously uninstalled/faulty software to run smoothly again (when reinstalled).

Furthermore, orphaned files usually have .dll extension, and you can see them to be very unnecessary; thus, you may delete intentionally or accidentaly. Regardless, these methods shared below would help you to recover orphan files easily.

How to Recover an Orphaned File?

1. Reinstall The Software

Interestingly, the computer is really a smart system. When attempting to reinstall the software (which had the orphaned file), the program would scan through your hard disk for its pre-existing file and import them back to the right folder; thus, recovering the orphaned file(s) needed to run the software app smoothly.

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2. System Restore

recover orphan files

Running system restore is yet another way of setting back your PC to a previous state. What does this mean? The “System Restore” utility on Windows computers allows you to “undo” recent changes. More so, Windows creates a “Restore Point” whenever you install a program from your PC.

To access the system restore utility on Windows PCs, follow the detailed guide below.

  • Click on the “Search” icon on the taskbar and type “Recover.”
  • Select “Recovery” from the search results
  • Go to “Open System Restore.” You need to have admin rights to run this utility.
  • Choose a “Restore point” from the options you see; click on “Scan for affected programs” to check for the apps you’d lose/gain.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process
  • Afterward, restart the computer

3. Using A Recovery Software

Using a data recovery software solution can help you to recover an orphaned file in Windows 10, but you may need to pay. Most data recovery software apps only recover your files when you purchase a license; however, the free version can allow you to scan for the files and discover them, but you can’t recover them without a license.

The AnyRecover data recovery software is a great tool for recovering orphaned files. Also, the MiniTool Data recovery software can help you in this regard. If there’s any other data recovery software you prefer, you can use it for this purpose.

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4. Using The Built-in CHKDSK Utility

How to Recover an Orphaned File in Windows 10

This is yet another free Windows utility that can help to recover orphaned files. CHKDSK runs through “CMD” (PowerShell) and it helps to fix several Windows PC issues, including Windows update errors.

To run the CHKDSK utility and recover an orphaned file in Windows 10, follow the guide below:

  • Right-click on the “Start” icon and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” or “Command Prompt (Admin),” whichever one you see.
  • Type “CHKDSK /F” and hit the “Enter” key
  • Allow the command to run completely, close the interface and restart your PC

What does recovering an orphaned file mean?

It simply means to put back the orphaned file into the parent’s folder where it should be. There are quite many ways to recover an orphaned file in Windows 10.

How to recover orhan files CHKDSK

The “CHKDSK” utility scans your hard drive and automatically fixes any detected issues. This can help to fix orphaned file issues in Windows. CHKDSK is built-into Windows and runs through command prompt or PowerShell.


Apparently, these four methods are what you try out while looking for how to recover an orphaned file in Windows 10. The system restore option is usually the best and efficient method. Anything else? let us know through comments.

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Originally posted on December 29, 2020 @ 2:45 pm

Samuel Odamah

We wake up to new tech innovations. All I'm doing is trying to get acquainted with cutting-edge innovations, write about them, as well as deploy them in solving my everyday problems. Follow me on Twitter @fwesh_finnest for my daily updates on Tech, Bitcoin, marketing, etc.

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