MS-DOS and Windows command line undelete command

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope
undelete command

The undelete command allows you to restore files that were deleted.


Undelete is an external command that is available for the following Microsoft operating systems as undelete.exe.

Undelete syntax

undelete [drive:][path][file][/DT][ /DS][//DOS]
undelete [/list][/all][/purge][/status][/load][/U][/S][/T][-entries]
/all Automatically recovers all files specified.
/list Shows all the files that can be undeleted, but they are not recovered.
/DOS Restricts the recovery to those files that meet the file specifications (filespec) in the disk directory table.
/DT Restricts recovery to files in the delete tracking file.
/DS Restricts recovery to files in the sentry directory.
/load Loads the undelete program into memory using information found in the undelete.ini.
/unload Unloads the memory resident portion of the undelete program from memory.
/purge[d] Deletes the contents of the sentry directory.
/status Displays the delete protection present on the computer.
/S[d] Enables the delete sentry level of protection and loads the memory resident portion of the undelete program.
/Tdrive[-entries] Enables the delete tracker level of protection and loads the memory-resident portion of the undelete program. The optional [-entries] allows you to specify the maximum amount of entries found in the pctracker.del file with a maximum of 999 and a minimum of 1.

Undelete examples

undelete c:\windows\system\*.* /all

Undelete all files that were deleted in the Windows system directory.

undelete /list /DOS

Lists the files that you can recover when only standard tracking is enabled.

Additional information

This program and command was designed to run only in MS-DOS versions 5.0 to 6.22. If you upgraded from MS-DOS to Windows, this command does not restore any information and can cause problems if run it. If you currently are running a different operating system, we recommend you utilize a third-party utility to recover lost data.