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How to Recover Shift Deleted Files from Windows 11?

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    Summary: Have you mistakenly deleted your data by using Shift + Delete keys on your Windows 11 system? This blog mentions some effective methods to recover shift deleted files from Windows 11 system. The best way to recover deleted files from Windows system is by using a file recovery software.

    When you delete a file on Windows system using the Delete key, it usually goes to Recycle Bin, offering you a second chance to restore it. But when you delete files using the Shift + Delete key, the system removes the file pointers (entries) from their location and allocates the space available for new data. It means that only the files pointers get deleted, but the files remain at the location until overwritten. You can get back such deleted files. Read on to know how to recover the shift deleted files from Windows 11 system.

    Immediately Stop Using the Hard Drive

    When you experience file loss, stop using the hard drive immediately. If you keep using the drive and adding data to it, the deleted files in the allocated space will be overwritten by the new data. And once overwritten, the files won’t be recovered even with the help of a data recovery software.

    Methods to Recover Shift Deleted Files from Windows 11?

    We’ve provided below the best possible methods to recover permanently deleted files from Windows 11 system. These easy-to-follow DIY methods include:

    File Recovery using Windows Backup Options

    Many users create a backup of system data and store it on an external hard drive. If you too have a backup drive on which you’ve kept a copy of your files, you can connect it to your system and retrieve the files from it.

    Additionally, if you’ve enabled any of the following Windows backup utilities to create backup of your system data, you can easily recover the deleted files.

    A. Recover Files using File History Feature

    If you’ve enabled File History feature on your Windows 11 system, you’ll have the saved copies of your files. You can get them back in case of file deletion, damage, or loss.  Follow the given steps to recover permanently deleted files using the File History feature:

    • Go to Start. In the Search bar, type Control Panel to open it.
    Open Control Panel
    • Now, go to System and Security.
    Open System & Security
    • Now, click File History or Restore your files with File History.
    Click on File History
    • Locate the backup and open it.
    • Select the files or folders you want to recover and click ‘Restore’.
    Restore Files and Folder from File History
    • Now, choose the location where you want to store data.
    • Once done, close the window.

    B. Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

    You can also recover the shift deleted files using the Backup and Restore feature on Windows. Follow these steps:

    • Open Control Panel and click System and Security. Then, click Backup and Restore (Windows 7) or Restore files from the backup mentioned under it.
    Backup and Restore
    • Now, click Restore my files or Restore all users’ files.
    Restore all User files
    • Choose all the files you want to retrieve from the available list.
    Select Files you want to restore
    • Select either Browse for files or Browse for folder, and then click Next.
    Browse for Files
    • Finally, choose the desired location and click Restore to save the recoverable files.

    File Recovery using Free Data Recovery Software

    A. Microsoft’s File Recovery Tool

    If you don’t have a backup, then you can restore the shift deleted files using Microsoft’s Windows File Recovery tool. It is a command-line tool that supports recovery of all kinds of data, including files, documents, photos, etc. It comes with three different modes of operation: Default, Segment, and Signature.

    Microsoft File Recovery Tool

    However, the tool is primarily designed for file recovery from NTFS drives, for which you may use Default and Segment modes. However, you’d need to switch to Signature mode to recover files from hard drives with FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

    There are a few limitations with this software, such as:

    • It’s a command-line tool that requires you to run several commands to recover deleted files, which makes it a bit complicated for non-technical users.
    • This software is available for only Windows 10, version 2004 and above. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support recovery from older versions.
    • Additionally, the recovery results could be incomplete or corrupted.

    B. Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition

    You can use a powerful data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition to recover shift deleted files from Windows 11 system. It’s a DIY data recovery software that retrieves all types of data, including documents, PDF, Excel files, emails, photos, videos, audio files, and more.

    You can get back your files in all common data loss situations, such as accidental or permanent data deletion, drive formatting, malware attack, or corruption. The software can recover data in just a few steps. Recover shift deleted files for free by following the given instructions:

    • Download and launch Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition on your Windows 11 system.
    • Choose the type of data you want to recover on the main software interface and click ‘Next’.
    Select What to Recover
    • Select the drive/location on the Recover From screen and click Scan.
    Choose the Drive Recover From
    • The scanning process will initiate. After scanning is done, the results will show up on the screen.
    • Select the files you want to restore and click ‘Recover’.
    See Preview Before Recovery
    • Now, click Browse to choose a different storage location or external hard drive to store the recovered files to prevent data overwriting.
    • Finally, click Start Saving to save the files.

    Note: The software recovers up to 1 GB of data absolutely free. For unlimited data recovery, you need to upgrade to a higher software version.

    How to Prevent Data Loss in Future?

    Recovering permanently deleted files is not a complex task until new or other data overwrite the files. You may try the above methods to recover shift-deleted files for free. However, safeguarding your essential files should be your first approach. To avoid losing files in the future, follow the given preventive measures.

    • Regularly back up your files and other data on Cloud Storage or external storage media.
    • Keep at least three copies of your data backup.
    • Be attentive while cleaning up the folders or entire hard drives.
    • Keep the latest antivirus program installed on your system to prevent malware attack.
    • Don’t attempt any hit or trial method to get rid of unwanted data.
    • Keep a good data recovery software handy.


    In case of data deletion or loss, the first thing you need to do is to immediately stop using the drive to prevent data overwriting. Then, you can try all the possible methods to recover shift deleted files. If you’ve taken a backup of your system data on an external hard drive or enabled the File History or Backup & Restore (Windows 7) feature on Windows, follow the given instructions to recover your data. If you don’t have the backup, you can opt for free file recovery software, such as Microsoft’s Windows File Recovery or Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition.

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    About The Author

    Mansi Verma linkdin

    Mansi Verma is a Senior Technology Writer at Stellar®. She is a Tech enthusiast, holding over a decade of experience in technical writing. She writes guides, articles, blogs and tips on Data Recovery, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics. She loves providing DIY solutions to solve various Windows system related issues. In her spare time, she likes reading her favorite novels, and writing poetry. She is also an avid traveller.

    1 comment

    1. I have used this software the software recovers up to 1 GB of data absolutely free. For unlimited data recovery, one needs to upgrade to a higher software version.

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