How to Recover Shift Deleted Files on Windows: Best Methods

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Recover shift deleted files

Encountering data loss could potentially leave you at your wits’ end. Whether you permanently lose your data through an accident or conscientiously, there are several ways you can recover shift deleted files in Windows.

How Does Shift+Delete Combination Work?

Before going ahead to share with you some ways on how you can restore shift deleted files, it’s important to explain how the shift+delete keystroke combination really works.

Recycle bin

When you select a file on your Windows PC and hit the delete key, your files are moved to the recycle bin which stores your files temporarily. In contrast, when you delete a file using the shift+delete combination, your files bypass the recycle bin and become inaccessible. This is because Windows removes those files from your storage drive’s index and so your files cannot be displayed.

Can You Recover Shift Deleted Files?

Yes, you can recover shift-deleted files. Shift-delete recovery is possible because Windows simply marks the storage area occupied by the file as being available for use by modifying the file table. In essence, your files are still available, they’re just not accessible through traditional means like File Explorer as their references have been removed.

However, you must be aware that your files will not remain in this state forever. Once the location of your files is marked as available to the operating system, new data can be written to that location, which will overwrite it. Once overwritten, you won’t be able to recover the files.

Therefore, you must act with haste in order to restore your shift-deleted files before they’re gone for good.

5 Methods to Recover Shift Deleted Files

There are plenty of ways in recovering shift deleted files as you might already be aware. It’s recommended that in deciding to recover shift deleted files, you must avoid making changes to your drive as that can potentially render your data recovery efforts futile.

Method 1: Disk Drill Data Recovery Software

Disk Drill Data Recovery is one of the most popular and effective data recovery tools on the market which you can use to recover shift deleted files.

  1. Download Disk Drill for Windows.
  2. Open the downloaded file and install Disk Drill.install disk drill shift delete recovery tool
  3. Launch Disk Drill and click the Search for lost data option next to the storage device from which you want to recover shift deleted files.recover shift deleted files with disk drill
  4. Wait a few moments until Disk Drill finishes a full scan the storage device.
  5. Using the preview feature from Disk Drill, select which files you want to recover and choose your preferred recovery location.shift delete recovery via disk drill
  6. Finally, click the Recover to gain access to your lost files.restore shift deleted files in disk drill

Unlike many other data recovery apps which promise to do many things but fall short of their primary objective, Disk Drill stands tall. Not only do you get to restore shift deleted files using Disk Drill, but you can also recover data from very complex situations such as drive failure and corruption. You can learn more about Disk Drill and its accompanying features.

Method 2: Restore Using File History

File History is a backup utility that was introduced with Windows 8. Created to be the replacement of Backup and Restore, it is designed with usability in mind so that it’s easy for users to back up their data. If you had File History configured before the files were deleted, you can quickly and easily restore a copy of them.

File History is the preferred backup method for both Windows 10 and Windows 11. But, the process of restoring files looks a little different on each version of Windows. Therefore, we’ll show you how to use File History on each.

Restore Using File History on Windows 10

  1. Navigate to the folder that previously housed the permanently deleted files.
  2. Click History (located in the Home tab at the top).Opening File History on Windows 10.
  3. Select the file(s) you want to restore and click the green Restore button.Restoring a document from File History.

Once you click Restore, the file(s) will return to their original location. To save the files to a new location instead, right-click the Restore button and click Restore to.

Restore Using File History on Windows 11

  1. Open Start and search Control Panel. Open the first result.Opening Control Panel on Windows 11.
  2. Click System and Security.Opening System and Security in Control Panel.
  3. Click Restore your files with File History.Choosing to restore data with File History on Windows 11.
  4. Select the file(s) you want to restore, then click the green Restore button.Restoring a folder from File History.

Once again, if you want to restore the files to a different location, be sure to right-click the Restore button and click Restore to.

Method 3: Restore Using Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore was introduced with Windows 7. Although File History is the backup solution in Windows 10, Backup and Restore is still used by many as it’s still a reliable method of backing up files. If you’ve made a backup using the Backup and Restore feature included with Windows, you can restore a copy of every file that was shift deleted straight from the backup.

  1. Press Windows Key + S and search Backup settings. Open the first Backup settings
  2. Click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).Click Go to Backup and Restore
  3. Click Restore my files.Click Restore my files
  4. Click Browse for files. Search for and select the shift deleted files you want to restore.Click Browse for files
  5. Click Next.choose file and click next
  6. Choose whether you want to restore the files to their original location, or to a specific folder. When done, click Restore.choose location and restore

Method 4: Windows File Recovery Tool

Windows File Recovery is Microsoft’s official data recovery tool that’s available on Windows 10 and 11. It is completely free. Using CMD, you are able to use various commands to customize what you want to recover. You will need another physical partition to recover the shift deleted files, as Windows File Recovery will not recover to the same partition at the risk of corrupting your data. If you don’t have one, use a USB or external drive.

  1. Install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store by clicking Get.Install Windows File Recovery
  2. Press Windows Key + S and search Windows File Recovery. Open the first result. If prompted to allow permission, click Windows File Recovery and run
  3. Enter
    winfr C: E:\DataRecovery /regular

    Replace C: with the drive you want to recover from, and E:\Data Recovery with where you want the data recovered to. Press Enter. If prompted to continue, press Y to confirm. This command will recover whatever Windows Recovery Tool finds in its scan, including any shift deleted files.

    recover files with windows file recovery

  4. When the scan is finished, press Y to view the recovered files.view the recovered files

Method 5: Turn to Professional Assistance

Data recovery software works, but there are some cases where it’s not enough to recover your shift deleted files. This doesn’t mean they’re unrecoverable, just that you may not be able to recover them yourself. In instances where your files are too important to lose, you need to enlist the services of a data recovery professional.

Using a professional service does come at a cost, but it’s the only viable option left if you’ve exhausted all others. A data recovery specialist can use industry-grade equipment to inspect your drive and recover its contents. One such service is the Data Recovery Center by Clever Files. Essentially, you create a work order with all the necessary information, send your device in, then wait for recovery to be done and your files returned. Let’s look at the process:

  1. Go to the Data Recovery Center and click Start Recovery.Go to the Data Recovery Center and click Start Recovery
  2. Complete the work order with all the necessary information. This will include your information, the level of service, as well as information pertaining to the device and what issues you’re facing.
  3. When the form is complete and you’ve reviewed the Terms and Conditions, click Complete my work Complete my work order


Losing access to your files can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences you can have as an individual. To prevent the hassle of trying different options to recover your lost data, it’s in your best interest that you back up your files in a separate and secure location to make access in the future easy.


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Michael is a Content Writer who has been writing Technology-focused articles for close to a decade. He brings over 6 years’ experience in Artificial Intelligence, IOT, RegTech, Futuretech, Cybersecurity. His passion for technology has seen him take up freelance content writing roles for several software development organizations.
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Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation.