How to Recover Shift Deleted Files on Windows

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Recover shift deleted filesNo 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.

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. File History

Fortunately for Windows users, the OS has embedded in it, a powerful backup utility known as the File History which comes with all the recent versions of Windows. File history saves copies of your files in case you may require access to them in the future. With this feature, you can try to restore shift deleted files in the unlucky event that you lose your files.

The downside is that this feature must be enabled before the occurrence of data loss as it will not help to recover your data files if it hasn’t previously been enabled. It’s common knowledge that the vast majority of Windows users are either unaware of this feature of having failed to enable it before losing data files. For added security of your data, we recommend enabling this feature (if you haven’t done so already) to mitigate potential data loss in the future. For users who already have file history enabled and would want to restore shift deleted files, follow these steps.

Step 1. Launch the Settings app.

Step 2. Go to Update & Security.Go to Update & Security

Step 3. Select Backup.

Step 4. Under backup using File History, add a backup drive by clicking on the Add a drive option.add drive for backups

Step 5. Choose whether to back up files manually or automatically but turning on/off the slider under Automatically back up my files.automatically back up files

Should you need to recover your shift deleted file(s) in the future, click Restore my files and choose which files you want to restore. It’s also worth mentioning that this feature is free.

restore files with file history

Method 2. 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 3. Windows File Recovery Tool

If you are looking to recover accidentally deleted files, Windows file recovery can help you recover your videos, photos, documents and many other files types to help ensure that you don’t lose all your data permanently. While the app is free, it’s only available on Windows 10 therefore if you are using an older version of windows, you should consider upgrading.

Also, the average individual may encounter discomfort navigating the app as it’s not user-friendly and requires some technical prowess. Follow the step-by-step guide to download, install & run Windows file recovery.

Step 1. You can download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store.

Step 2. In the Start menu, search for File Recovery.

Step 3. Launch the Windows File Recovery app and select “Yes” when the user account control (UAC) prompt appears.

Windows File Recovery

Method 4. Professional Assistance

Your last resort after possibly attempting any of the above options is to seek professional assistance from an authorized IT service provider. While that might come at an additional cost, it’s the alternative means to recover your lost data if you are unable to find your way around data recovery software. There’s also the possibility of your data falling into wrong hands. If you need to recover very sensitive data, we recommend that you use a data recovery software like Disk Drill instead of risking the integrity of your files.


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.