What Is Shift+Delete and Where Do Shift Deleted Files Go

Usually, when you delete a file in Explorer by pressing the Delete key or by right-clicking and selecting Delete, it will be moved to the Recycle Bin, allowing you to quickly retrieve it if you change your mind about the deletion. But if you hold down the Shift key simultaneously, performing a Shift-Delete instead, the file table will bypass the Recycle Bin and delete it so it cannot be easily retrieved.

where is shift deleted  files

But there is some good news if you discover that you need to recover shift deleted files. While you may not be able to use the Recycle Bin to get the files back, you will be pleased to learn that the data has not actually been deleted. The file may not be visible in Windows, but it does still exist on your hard drive – Windows has just marked that section of your hard drive as available for use by other data. Until such time as that section is used to save more files, the deleted data can still be successfully recovered with the right data recovery tool.

The critical thing to do when you discover that you have deleted a file that you want to restore is that you need to stop saving data to the drive – as far as possible – to avoid overwriting recovered files. In this guide, we'll show you how to recover files that you have Shift-Deleted using various techniques. We'll start by looking at EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard suite for Windows that enables you to recover up to 2GB of data for free in just a few clicks.

🏆Data Recovery Software It suggests using data recovery tool, which can be convenient for those who prefer to handle the recovery process themselves. It may require some technical knowledge, but it offers flexibility and control.
🗃️Windows File History It can be a straightforward solution for users who have enabled this feature and regularly backed up their files. It offers an automated way to recover shift deleted files.
📦Backup and Restore It can be suitable for users who have set up regular restore backups using this tool. It provides an additional option for recovering shift-deleted files.
☁️Cloud Backups Users who have stored their files on cloud platforms can easily retrieve shift-deleted files. This fix highlights the importance of regularly backing up files to the cloud for seamless recovery.
🔧Data Recovery Service Utilizing a data recovery service can benefit users who lack the technical expertise or prefer to leave the issue to professionals. It provides a reliable option, but it may come with a cost depending on the service provider.

Fix 1. Recover Shift Deleted Files with Data Recovery Software

There is a wide range of data recovery software on the market, but we highly recommend EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. The software's advanced scanning and detection algorithms can search your hard disk to locate and restore all your deleted files that have been Shift-Deleted or recover files from the Recycle Bin after empty. The program offers the following key features:

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
  • Recover shift deleted files in Windows 11 like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, photos, and videos simultaneously.
  • Multi-Disk Drive Support - Performs FAT/NTFS, EXT2/EXT3 recovery on all IDE, EIDE, and SCSI devices.
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Install windows file recovery software using the links above, and then follow the guide below to undelete Shift-Deleted data.

Text Guides on shift delete recovery:

Step 1. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and open it.

Step 2. Select the recovery location where you have permanently deleted files using Shift delete, or you can scan the whole disk when you don't know where your deleted files go.

Select the location

Step 3. When the scan completes, select the "Deleted Files" and "Other Lost Files" folders in the left panel. Then, apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" button to find the Shift deleted files quickly.

Deleted Files

Step 4. Select the downloaded files and click "Preview". Next, click "Recover" to save them to another secure recovery location or storage device.

The highlight of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is not only that it is highly effective but also that it is straightforward to use. In just a matter of minutes, you should find how to recover permanently deleted files – so try it now! 

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

If you still have problems, watch this Windows 11 shift deleted file recovery video.

  • 00:00 - Lost Windows 11 Files
  • 01:13 - Recover Files with Recycle Bin
  • 01:59 - Restore Files with File History
  • 03:39 - Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Don't forget to share this passage to help more Windows users recover shift deleted folders!


Fix 2. How to Recover Shift Deleted Files from File History

You might wonder How to recover Shift deleted files in Windows without software. The good news is that this may well be possible. Windows 10 includes a handy feature called File History, and if you have it enabled, it can help you to get back files.

If you don't have the feature enabled yet, now is a great time to turn it on for future use. To activate File History, use the following steps:

Step 1. Click the Start button and type File History.

Step 2. Under Settings in search results, click "Restore your files with File History".

find file history

Step 3. If you are told that the feature is not enabled, click "Configure File History settings".

configure file history

Step 4. Select the drive for which you'd like to enable the feature and then click "Turn on".

turn on file history to back up files

Once enabled, Windows backs up data in a critical folder periodically. You can take advantage of this fact to recover deleted data when needed. 

Remember that Windows 10 backs up only the folders in your User folder, and it does so every hour. Once you have enabled this feature in advance, you can restore downloaded files from the copies. To restore Shift deleted files from File History:

Step 1. Click the Start button and type File History.

Step 2. Under "Settings" in search results, click "Restore your files with File History".

Step 3. Browse through the available folders and select your deleted files. Click the green arrow to restore the files.

how to restore and recover shift deleted files from file history

It is, unfortunately, not guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back using this method. Windows will display a message that reads, "There are no previous versions available," if so.

Fix 3. Recover Shift Deleted Files from Windows Backup and Restore

You can use the following steps to determine whether the backup feature is active if you're using an older version of Windows and can only access the Backup and Restore in Windows 7 feature to safeguard your files against data loss:

Step 1. In Windows 10/11, use the search box to find the control panel.

Step 2. You will find various options after clicking "System and Security".

System and Security

Step 3. Click "Back Up and Restore" to recover deleted files from Windows 7 after placing the cursor over it.

Back Up and Restore

Step 4. Select "Restore my files" and then select "Browse for folders" to look for any lost folders.

locate the deleted folder

Step 5. From there, locate the deleted folder and follow the instructions to restore it.

Fix 4. Recover Shift Deleted Files from Cloud Backups

OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud backup service, is integrated into the most recent versions of the Windows operating system. It gives users a second backup place to recover permanently deleted files from Onedrive, allowing them to protect their most crucial files. 


Of course, many additional cloud backup options exist, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Mega, etc. These services may sync files across many personal storage devices and store them securely in distant data centers, shielding you from typical causes of data loss such as theft, natural disasters, accidental shift delete, and unintentional shift delete. 

Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Dropbox

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Dropbox

Can you recover permanently deleted files from Dropbox? This page offers ways to help you recover permanently deleted files. Read more >>

Fix 5. Recover Shift Deleted Files with Data Recovery Service

If you don't want to use data recovery software to retrieve Shift-Deleted files, if it cannot find your lost data, or if you do not have a backup, you may need to call in professional data recovery services. While using a data recovery service gives a very high chance of getting back your lost data, it will usually prove to be quite expensive. So it's definitely worth trying recovery software first.

Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS and corrupted virtual disk file (.vmdk, .vhd, .vhdx, etc.)
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat hard drive and repair raw drive (BitLocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT protected partitions

When compared with a specialist data recovery service, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard has numerous advantages:

  • High data recovery rate. Most data recovery services don't even guarantee successful recovery
  • Ensure data security with advanced encryption and fraud protection
  • Instant and full support
  • Simple and cost-effective

EaseUS experts can help recover hundreds of file formats. This service can use powerful data recovery algorithms to locate files that other Windows file recovery tools couldn't find.

Simple Delete and Shift-Delete (Bonus Tip)

When any file is deleted from a computer, it can be deleted in two ways as follows:

1. You can perform a regular file deletion by pressing the Delete key or right-clicking the file and choosing Delete; this will move files to the Recycle Bin. If you want to recover the deleted files and folders, you can open the Recycle Bin and restore files from here.

2. You can permanently delete files by pressing the Shift + Delete keys simultaneously, bypassing the Recycle Bin altogether. You can, however, use the methods outlined above to get back files deleted in this way.

files are deleted using shift + delete


Although there are plenty of ways to recover shift-deleted files in Windows, EaseUS is undoubtedly the best choice. It only takes three steps to recover data, and the entire scanning process is very simple and user-friendly.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

How to Recover Shift Deleted Files FAQs

If you still have problems, read these questions and answers for additional help.

1. Can I recover files deleted by Shift Delete?

Of course, yes. When you delete a file with the Shift + Delete option, the file will bypass the Recycle Bin. You can only recover deleted files with data recovery software.

2. How do I recover a shift-deleted file in Windows 10?

  • Right-click the folder that the shift deleted file was located in.
  • From the context menu, select "Restore Previous Version". You must first click Show More Choices in Windows 11. 
  • Click the "Restore" button after selecting the version you wish to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

Remember that just the folders in your User folder are backed up by Windows 10 every hour. By selecting More choices, which are located directly under the on or off slider, you can modify these settings.

3. How do I recover shift deleted files without software?

The best 4 practical ways to recover Shift deleted files on Windows 11

  1. Check the Recycle Bin.
  2. Recover files using Windows File Recovery from Microsoft.
  3. Restore deleted files from Windows Backups or Cloud backups.
  4. Repair the corrupted file system with a Command Prompt to restore data.

4. How do I recover permanently deleted files?

In Windows 11, you have two options for recovering permanently lost files:

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Approved by Mark Sofia

Mark Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.

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