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Difference in Delete and Shift+Delete keys in Microsoft Windows

Hello Everyone,


Today’s tip is about the difference in using Delete and Shift+Delete (Holding Shift key down while pressing Delete key) keys in Microsoft Windows.

The use of Delete key is to delete the selected item/s (file/s or/and folder/s). After selecting, the item/s, through Explorer or some other interface, when you press Delete, Windows offers a confirmation dialog prompting you to click on either Yes or No. The same is shown in next two pictures pasted next.

Confirm File Delete Recycle Bin Dialog Box After Using Delete Key For Deletion Difference in Delete and Shift+Delete keys in Microsoft Windows

Confirm Folder Delete Recycle Bin Dialog Box After Using Delete Key For Deletion Difference in Delete and Shift+Delete keys in Microsoft Windows

It clearly shows that the item/s will be moved to the Recycle Bin. Clicking on Yes deletes the selected file/s or/and folders. But, it’s not permanent deletion as the deleted file/s or/and folder/s goes to Recycle Bin and can be recovered by restoring it/them from the Recycle Bin. It’s highly useful in the cases where there is accidental press of Delete key.

Now, coming to Shift+Delete key, it should be used for permanently deleting of the files or/and folders that you don’t want to be moved to the Recycle bin. For example – Some very confidential files and folders that mustn’t be accessed by anyone else (You already have it on CD or printouts etc.). The next two screen shots shows the File and Folder deletion dialog boxes after using Shift+Delete keys.

No Recycle Bin Msg Using Shift Delete Keys For File Deletion Difference in Delete and Shift+Delete keys in Microsoft Windows

No Recycle Bin Msg Using Shift Delete For Folder Deletion Difference in Delete and Shift+Delete keys in Microsoft Windows

Hence, be very cautious about using Shift+Delete keys combination in Microsoft Windows OS’s, as the selected items (file/s or/and folder/s) will be lost forever and can only be recovered by buying some data recovery software. Also, the recovery has to be done at the earliest otherwise these files and folders deleted by Shift+Delete are gone forever.


So, use Shift+Delete with utmost care next time.

Take care,

Rajesh Mago

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Tags: Difference in Delete and Shift+Delete keys in Microsoft, Permanent file and folder erase using Shift+Delete keys

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2008 at 8:42 am and is filed under MS Windows XP, System SW. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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