If you can’t find files in Google Drive, you can use these tips to try to recover them. If you think that someone has accessed your Google Drive without your permission, we recommend taking steps to make your account more secure.
You've deleted something and want it back
Restore from your bin
- Open your Google Drive App.
- Tap the file that you'd like to recover.
- Tap Restore.
Try these steps
Check the activity panel
- Open your Google Drive app.
- On the left, tap My Drive.
- At the top right, tap Info .
- Scroll down and look for your file.
Try an advanced search
- Open your Google Drive App.
- In the search bar, tap the icon to the far right.
- Use the advanced search options to find your file, like 'type:spreadsheets'.
If the steps above didn't help, consider these special cases:
If you created the file
If you created a file in Drive and can't find it, it may be orphaned. An orphaned file might have lost all of its parent folders. The file still exists but is harder to find.
How files lose their folder
- You create a file in someone else's folder and they delete that folder. The file isn't deleted. It's automatically moved to your My Drive.
Important: Only you can delete the files you own.
- You share a folder with someone and they remove your file from the folder. The file isn't deleted, it's automatically moved to your My Drive.
Find your orphaned files
- In the Drive search field, enter: is:unorganized owner:me
- When you find the file, move it to a folder in My Drive so it’s easier to find next time.
If someone else created the file
When someone creates a file, they can delete, rename and restore it. Contact the person who created the file and ask them to restore it or share it with you again.
If it was in a folder that someone else created
If someone has deleted that folder, you won't see the folder in your Drive any more.
To make the file easier to find in the future, drag it into a folder in 'My Drive'.
More on how to find files
Have you tried an advanced search?
To refine your search in Drive, use a search phrase with one of these options:
"Use quotes around an exact phrase"
|One or another||
tacos OR nachos
Exclude a word
Water, but not lakes:
Files owned by Dad:
|They've shared files||
Files that Mum has shared with you:
|You've shared files||
Files that you've shared with Mum:
Spreadsheet file type:
Before or after 18 January 2015.
title:"The title goes here"
Files opened in Google Drive:
Which files can be recovered?
We can help you recover recently deleted files for a limited time if you use Google Drive with a consumer account (and not a work, school or other group account) AND one of these is true:
- You created the file.
- You uploaded the file to Google Drive.
- You accepted ownership of the file from someone.
If you use an account through your work, school or other group, contact your administrator for help.
If your Google Account has been deleted, you might not be able to recover your files.
If you think that someone has accessed your Google Drive without your permission, we recommend taking steps to make your account more secure.
If you need to recover mails from Gmail
To contact us, sign in to your Google Account.
Drive support is not available in all languages. If you speak English, you can change your language and contact a Drive specialist.
- On your computer, go to the Google Drive Help Centre.
- At the bottom of the page, click your language.
- Choose English.
- In the top left, click Menu Contact us.
- Choose your issue and how you'd like to contact us.
Note: When you've finished, you can change your language back to your preferred language.