There is arguably no worse feeling than accidentally deleting a file or folder. If this unfortunate event occurred in your Microsoft OneDrive account, you have a few recovery options.
Recover a Deleted File from OneDrive’s Recycle Bin
If you accidentally delete a file or folder from your OneDrive account, you can recover it from the Recycle Bin within 30 days. The deleted file or folder is automatically and permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin after 30 days.
You can do this from a desktop computer or a mobile device.
Restoring a Deleted File or Folder from the Desktop
- Log in to your OneDrive account on your desktop first, and then click “Recycle Bin” in the left-hand pane.
- Right-click the file or folder you want to restore in the Recycle Bin, then select “Restore” from the context menu.
- After that, the selected file or folder will be restored. If you want to restore every file and folder in the Recycle Bin at once, go to the top of the screen and select “Restore All Items.”
- There will be a confirmation window that appears. To proceed, click the blue “Restore” button.
- All of the files and folders will be restored.
Using a Mobile Device, Restore a Deleted File or Folder
- To restore a deleted OneDrive file or folder from your mobile device, download the OneDrive app for iOS or Android. To use the app, tap the app icon after it has been installed.
- When you’re in the app, go to the bottom of the screen and tap “Files.”
- Then, at the bottom of the list of folders, tap “Recycle Bin.”
- Locate the file or folder you want to restore in the Recycle Bin, tap the three dots to the right of it, and then select “Restore” from the menu that appears at the bottom of the screen.
- If you want to restore multiple files and folders at once, tap and hold the first file, then tap the other files you want to restore. A blue checkmark will appear to the left of the files that have been selected.
- Then, in the top-right corner of the screen, tap the Restore icon.
- All of your files and folders will be restored.
How to Restore a Deleted File from Your Computer’s Recycle Bin
- If you deleted a file or folder from OneDrive and it was synced to your computer, you can restore it from the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac) (Mac). This will not work if you deleted an online-only file from OneDrive.
- To begin, open your computer’s Recycle Bin or Trash. Once there, locate and right-click the file or folder you want to restore. Alternatively, if you want to restore all files and folders, press Ctrl+A (Windows) or Command+A (Mac) and then right-click any file or folder. Then, from the context menu that appears, select “Restore.”
- After that, the selected file or folder will be restored.
Restore a Previous Version of Your OneDrive Account (Microsoft 365 Only)
If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you have an additional recovery option: a full OneDrive recovery. This is useful not only for recovering deleted files, but also if one of your files becomes corrupt or if you become infected with malware.
- Log in to your OneDrive account and then click the “Gear” icon in the top-right corner of the window to restore your account to a previous version.
- The Settings menu will be displayed. Under the OneDrive Settings section, select “Options.”
- In the left-hand pane of the next screen, you’ll notice a new list of options. Here, near the bottom of the list, select “Restore Your OneDrive.”
- You must now verify your identity, so click the blue “Verify Your Identity” button.
- Your email address will be sent a one-time seven-digit code. Enter the code in the text box, then press the blue “Verify” button.
- After you’ve been verified, you’ll be taken to the “Restore Your OneDrive” screen. Click the box next to “Select a Date,” and then from the drop-down menu, select the time you want to restore your OneDrive to. You have the option of selecting yesterday, one week ago, three weeks ago, or specifying a custom date and time.
- After you’ve chosen a date, click “Restore.”
- You must now confirm that you want to restore your OneDrive to the selected date and then click the blue “Restore” button once more.
- After that, the restoration process will begin. Soon, all of your files and folders will be restored to the date and time you specify.
There are numerous methods for backing up your files and folders, ranging from cloud providers to external hard drives to another computer. The best way to protect your data is to backup your files and folders to multiple locations.