How to Recover Shift Deleted Files on Windows

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Recover shift deleted files

No matter what you find yourself into, chances are that data plays a key role in helping you achieve your desired goals – regardless of which data type it may be.

Therefore, encountering data loss could potentially leave you at your wits’ end. Whether you permanently lose your data through an accident or conscientiously, there are a myriad of ways you can recover shift deleted files in Windows 10/7/8, which includes using the following techniques that will be outlined later in this article.

How Does Shift+Delete Combination Work?

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

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 and not permanently erased from your file system. In contrast, when you delete a file using the shift+delete combination, your files are not moved to the recycle bin as would occur with the delete key. Instead, your files bypass the recycle bin making them inaccessible. This is because Windows removes those files from your storage drive’s index and so your files cannot be displayed.

Why is It Possible to Recover Shift Deleted Files?

While it may seem immediately impossible at a glance, the shift+delete combination doesn’t delete your files beyond recovery. So long as your Windows OS hasn’t started the process of overwriting your files with new ones, the stakes of recovering your files are pretty high.

As has been mentioned already, shift delete recovery is very 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 except that they are not displayed for access.

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Best Methods to Recover Shift Deleted Files

There are plenty of ways in recovering shift deleted files as you might already be aware. Despite the ease of data recovery using effective data recovery tools such as Disk Drill, it’s also 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.

It’s also important to note that the methods outlined in this article are tailored for Windows 10, 8 & 7 and possibly other older versions of Windows.

To recover shift deleted files, you may explore the following methods.

Method 1. Disk Drill Data Recovery Software

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

Step 1. Download Disk Drill for Windows.

Step 2.  Open the downloaded file and install Disk Drill.

install disk drill shift delete recovery tool

Step 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

Step 4. Wait a few moments until Disk Drill finishes a full scan the storage device.

Step 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

Step 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 from a Backup

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.

Step 1. Press Windows Key + S and search Backup settings. Open the first result.

search Backup settings

Step 2. Click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Click Go to Backup and Restore

Step 3. Click Restore my files.

Click Restore my files

Step 4. Click Browse for files. Search for and select the shift deleted files you want to restore.

Click Browse for files

Step 5. Click Next.

choose file and click next

Step 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 3. Windows File Recovery Tool

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.

Step 1. Install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store by clicking Get.

Install Windows File Recovery

Step 2. Press Windows Key + S and search Windows File Recovery. Open the first result. If prompted to allow permission, click Yes.

search Windows File Recovery and run

Step 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

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

view the recovered files

Method 4. 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:

Step 1. Go to the Data Recovery Center and click Start Recovery.

Go to the Data Recovery Center and click Start Recovery

Step 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.

Step 3. When the form is complete and you’ve reviewed the Terms and Conditions, click Complete my work order.

click 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.

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, Blockchain & Data Recovery. His passion for technology has seen him take up freelance content writing roles for several software development organizations. Michael is an adventurous person and is inspired by worthy causes including philanthropy, music & art. As a founding partner of a music marketing startup, Michael aims to translate his passion for technology to bring innovation into the music business landscape.
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Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation.