Find your files

Google Drive houses all documents and files that you’ve created in or uploaded to Google Docs, as well as those items shared with you by other people. Here are some tips to help you find your file.

Make sure that the file hasn’t been deleted

Do you see the following error message?

Sorry, the page (or document) you have requested does not exist. Make sure that you have the correct URL and that the owner of the document hasn't deleted it.

If you see this error message, it’s likely that:

  • The owner of a document or file has permanently deleted it from their trash. When this happens, the owner and every collaborator loses access.
  • You navigated to the wrong URL.
  • The file owner’s Google account has been deleted. When this happens, all of the files and documents in that person’s Google Drive are permanently deleted.
Learn more about our file deletion and recovery policy.

Check the trash

If you don’t see the file or document you’re looking for when you browse or search your Google Drive, it’s possible that you’ve moved it to Trash. Here’s how to find and recover something that you own from the trash:

  1. Go to the Trash view of Google Drive on the web.
  2. Select the file you’d like to recover.
  3. Click the Restore button.

If you’re a collaborator (view, comment or edit access), learn more about how to recover something from the trash.

If the item is in a folder, you’ll need to restore the entire folder to recover any individual items inside of it.

Search for your document

Type a word or phrase into the search box in Google Drive on the web to find a specific file or document.

Learn more about narrowing your search and using search operators to help you more easily find a missing file.

Check revision history

If you’re missing content within a specific document, you can check its revision history (File > See revision history) to see if you or a collaborator deleted something from it. If you find the version that contains the content you were missing, click Restore this revision.

Find an orphaned file

If an item in Google Drive loses all of its parent folders, it becomes an orphan. The item still exists, but it may be a little harder to find.

How does a file become orphaned?

Files are orphaned due to situations related to sharing and permissions. For example:

  1. User A creates folder X in his Drive.
  2. User A shares folder X with user B.
  3. User B creates item Y inside folder X.
  4. User A trashes folder X, and empties his trash.

    At this point, item Y becomes orphaned. It was never created inside of user B's My Drive, and its parent folder (folder X) is now gone. Note that item Y is not deleted along with with folder X because user A can't delete user B's file.

To find an orphaned item, do one of the following:

  • Search for the item in the search box at the top of Google Drive on the web.
  • If you own the orphaned item, you can get a list of everything you own and look for the item in that list. Click the down arrow in the Google Drive search box and select Ownership > Owned by me.
  • If you've accessed the file recently, click Recent in the left navigation and then browse for the file.
  • To browse everything in Google Drive on the web, click More in the left navigation, and then click All Items (Classic Google Drive only).
Once you find the orphaned file, you'll probably want to move it into My Drive (or another folder), to give it a home and make it easier to find in the future.

Check the Apps Status Dashboard and Known issues page

Visit the Apps Status Dashboard or Known Issues page to check on the status of an issue.

An error message says You need permission to access this item or Sorry, the page (or document) you have requested does not exist

If you see one of these error messages, it’s likely that:

  • The owner removed your access to the file. Click Request access to contact the owner.
  • The owner of a document or file has permanently deleted it from their trash. When this happens, the owner and every collaborator loses access.
  • You navigated to the wrong URL.
  • The file owner’s Google account has been deleted. When this happens, all of the files and documents in that person’s Documents List are permanently deleted.

The most common reason most people can't find an item in their Google Drive is that the owner of the file or folder deleted it.

Contact us

We highly recommend that you use phone or chat support so that we can better assist you in finding your files.

Phone or chat support: If you’d like to speak or chat with a person about your issue, please visit our live support page and click either Phone or Chat. Live support is available in English only.

Email support: For help with your issue via email, please fill out our missing items contact form. Email support is available in English only.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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