Recover deleted files and folders for Drive users

This article is for administrators. If you’re an admin looking to recover deleted Gmail messages for your users, see Restore a user's permanently deleted email. If you want to restore deleted messages for your own consumer Gmail account, see Delete or recover deleted Gmail messages. If you want to restore files for your own consumer Drive account, see Find or recover a file.

Overview

If files or folders are deleted, you may be able to recover the items for your users. This can happen if a user empties their Trash in Drive, or when files and folders in the Trash are automatically deleted after 30 days. As an administrator, you can recover the data within 25 days after the Trash was emptied. After that period, the data is purged from Google systems.

If your organization uses Google Vault: You might be able to retrieve data older than 25 days if it was subject to retention rules or holds. A Vault user can search for retained data and export it. However, you can’t directly restore this data to the user’s Drive. For details, see Get started with Vault search and export.

Restore Drive data

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Users.
  3. In the Users list, find the user. If you need help, see Find a user account.
  4. Hover over the user and click More and then Restore data.

    ""

      You can also find this option at the top-left of the user's account page, under More "".
  5. Select the date range for the data you want to restore, from within the last 25 days.
  6. Select the type of data you want to restore: Drive.
  7. Click Restore.

Note: Depending on the amount of data you’re restoring, it might take several days for restored data to reappear in the user's account. If your organization uses Google Vault, ask a Vault user to place the user's Drive data on hold. A hold prevents the data from being deleted or purged before the user can access it.

Confirm data was restored

Check the user's Drive folder for restored Drive data.

The Drive data is restored to the user's Drive folder in the same location as before it was deleted.

Note: After you restore an item in Drive, the user needs to re-share the item for others to have access.

Limited time to restore files

You have 25 days from when the data was permanently deleted to restore files and folders. After that, the data can't be recovered and is gone forever.

What you can do

  • Restore data that was permanently deleted within the past 25 days.
  • Select a date range to restore data that was deleted within that range. 
  • Check a user’s Drive folder to confirm the data is restored.
  • Restore data to a shared drive, or restore a deleted shared drive. Learn more

What you can’t do

  • Restore data that was permanently deleted more than 25 days ago.
  • In Drive, restore deleted Google My Maps files or Fusion Tables.
  • From the user’s Trash, restore data.
  • If a user met their Drive storage quota, restore their Drive data. 
  • In Drive, have more than 1 ongoing restore. If you start a restore while another one is in progress, one of them is canceled.

Restore deleted shared drives or data

See Restore deleted shared drives or their files.

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