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, go to Restore a user's permanently deleted email. If you want to restore deleted messages for your own consumer Gmail account, go to Delete or recover deleted Gmail messages. If you want to restore files for your own consumer Drive account, go to Find or recover a file.

As an administrator, you can recover deleted items from Google Drive within 25 days after a user empties their trash. After that period, Google purges the data from its systems. Depending on the amount of data that you want to restore, it might take several days for the data to reappear in the user’s account.

How do users delete items from Drive?

When a user empties their trash, they delete any files or folders that were in it from Drive. Your Drive audit log shows the name of the user and when they emptied their trash. If an item is in the trash for more than 30 days, Drive automatically deletes it. In these cases, the Drive audit log shows Google System as the user who deleted the item. For details, go to Drive audit log.

Before you begin

You can only have one restoration project running at a time. If you start another project while the first is in progress, one of them stops.

You can't restore the following items:

  • Data that Google permanently deleted more than 25 days ago
  • Google My Maps files
  • Fusion Tables
  • Data in the user's trash
  • Data for the user who met their Drive storage quota

The restoration recovers all files removed during the selected date range. You can’t restore individual files or folders. Before you begin the restoration, ask the user when they removed the file or folder, so you can restore the least amount of data necessary.

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. Find the user who needs their Drive data restored.
  4. Point to the user and click Moreand thenRestore data.

    ""

  5. Select the date range for the data you want to restore. You can only restore data that was deleted within the last 25 days.
  6. Under Application, click the Down arrow ""and thenDrive.
  7. Click Restore.

After the restoration project is done, check the user's Drive folder for restored Drive data. The 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 reshare the item for others to have access.

Restore deleted shared drives or data

You can restore data to a shared drive or restore a deleted shared drive. For details, go to Restore deleted shared drives or their files.

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, go to Get started with Vault search and export.

To prevent data from being deleted or purged before the user can access it, you can put a hold on their Drive data. For details, go to Place Drive items and Meet data on hold.

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