All it takes to delete a file in Windows is a single button press, and all it takes to delete a file permanently is a single keystroke combination: Shift + Delete . When pulling an all-nighter to finish an important school presentation or prepare important documents for a business meeting, it’s very easy to make an honest mistake and accidentally delete a file using the Shift + Delete key combination.

how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10

In this article, we explain in detail what does Shift + Delete do and provide you with several methods that you can use to recover shift deleted files.

What Does Shift + Delete Do?

To understand what does Shift + Delete do, it’s useful to first review what happens when you press the Delete key only. When you select a file and press the Delete key, the selected file is moved to the Recycle Bin, which is a temporary storage area for files that have been deleted by the user but not yet permanently erased from the file system.

what does shift delete doWhen you delete a file by pressing Shift + Delete, the file isn’t moved to the Recycle Bin. Instead, Windows simply marks the storage area occupied by the file as being available for use by modifying the file table, a complete list of source files with their various attributes, and not the file itself.

Is Shift Deleted File Recovery Possible?

As we’ve just explained, shift deleted files don’t go anywhere when they are deleted. If you start recovering shift deleted files before Windows overwrites them with new files, you can get them back. The difficult part is figuring out how to recover shift deleted files in how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10 Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP.

what does shift delete do

In the next section of this article, we present five ways how you can recover shift deleted files, starting with Disk Drill, a data recovery software suite for Windows that allows you to recover up to 500MB of data for free with a simple click of a button.

recovering shift delete files Method 1: Disk Drill

To recover shift deleted files:

  1. Download Disk Drill for how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10 Windows.
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  2. Open the downloaded file and install Disk Drill.
  3. Launch Disk Drill and click the "Search for lost data" button next to the storage device from which you want to recover shift deleted files.recover shift deleted files
  4. Wait until Disk Drill finishes scanning the storage device.recovering shift delete files
  5. Choose which files you want to recover and optionally change the recovery location.

    Disk Drill allows you to preview files before recovery. Simply right-click on a file and choose Preview from the list of options.

    how to recover shift deleted files
  6. Click the "Recover" button and enjoy your files.what does shift delete do

As you can see, anyone can recover shift deleted files using Disk Drill in just a couple of minutes and without any expert knowledge! That’s because Disk Drill is designed with the average user in mind, unlike many other data recovery software tools, which often seem incomprehensible without a lengthy manual.

recover shift deleted files Method 2: File History

All recent versions of the Windows operating system come with a handy backup feature called File History, which saves copies of your files so you can get them back if they’re lost or damaged. To activate File History:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to "Update & Security > Backup" .
  3. Add a backup drive by clicking on the Add a drive to recover shift deleted files
  4. An on/off slider will now appear under a new heading called "Automatically back up my files" . Make sure the slider is in the "On" to recover shift deleted files in windows 10

Keep in mind that Windows 10 backs up only the folders in your User folder, and it does so every hour. You can change these settings by clicking on More options right under the on/off slider. If you’re using an older version of the Windows operating system, you can follow these instructions instead:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to "System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" .
  3. Click "Set up backup" to activate File History.

    Next time you need to recover a shift deleted file, you will be able to click Restore my files and select which files you want to restore.

    recover shift deleted files

how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10 Method 3: Live File Recovery CD or USB Drive

There are many Linux-based file recovery live CDs and USB drives that you can use to safely recover deleted files from your computer. Because Linux-based file recovery live CDs and USB drives access the storage device with the deleted files only during the actual recovery process, they provide a fairly good chance of successful recovery.

recover shift deleted files

We recommend PhotoRec, which is a media data recovery tool designed to recover lost files including video, documents, and archives from a variety of storage devices. It’s beyond the scope of this article to explain how to recover shift deleted files with PhotoRec, so make sure to read this step-by-step tutorial, which explains how to use PhotoRec in great detail.

how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10 Method 4: AnyRecover

Another data recovery tool that you can use to recover shift deleted files that can’t be found in the Recycle Bin is called AnyRecover. To recover shift deleted files with AnyRecover:

  1. Download AnyRecover software
  2. Open AnyRecover.
  3. Choose "Deleted Files Recovery" to recover shift deleted files
  4. Choose the storage device where you intend to recover your lost data.recovering shift delete files
  5. Select the file extensions of the files you want to recover.
  6. Click the "Scan" button to begin the process of recovery.
  7. Wait for AnyRecover to finish scanning.recover shift deleted files
  8. Select which files you want to recover and specify the recovery location.

    Do not choose to save the files to the location from where they went lost.

  9. Click the "Recover" button to retrieve your files.recovering shift delete files

recover shift deleted files Method 5: Professional Data Service

If you don’t feel that you have what it takes to recover shift deleted files yourself, you can always take advantage of professional data recovery services. However, you should be prepared to pay quite a lot of money to get your files back, and most professional data recovery places don’t even guarantee successful recovery. There’s also the issue of privacy since you wouldn’t be the first person in the world to have his or her personal data stolen by an employee working for a professional data recovery place.

how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10Considering how simple and cost-effective it is to recover shift deleted files with Disk Drill, we highly recommend you give it a try before you spend your hard-earned money on professional data recovery services.


There are several different ways how to recover shift deleted files in how to recover shift deleted files in windows 10 Windows 11/10/8/7/XP, but the one we recommend the most is Disk Drill. This highly intuitive data recovery software solution makes data recovery a matter of simple mouse click while delivering professional results and featuring several extra free disk tools.


David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application. His interest in technology started at an ...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.