File deletion and recovery policy

Anything permanently deleted from Google Drive can't be recovered.

Document and file recovery policy

If you can't find an item in All items, Trash, or by searching, it may have been permanently removed from Google Drive or deleted by someone else.

Anything that has been permanently deleted from Google Drive by the owner, or if the owner's account was deleted, can't be recovered. It’s also not possible to recover anything in Google Drive after a Google Apps domain administrator deletes someone's account.

If you're concerned that someone may have gained unauthorized access to your docs, we suggest that you take these measures to protect your account.

Tips to find items in your Google Drive

If you can't find an item in your Google Drive, it doesn't necessarily mean that the owner deleted it. Try searching for an item in the following ways:

  • Check different Google Drive sorting options, such as Last modified, Last opened by me and Title.
  • Search your Google Drive. Try this option if you're confident that you know a good search phrase since Google Drive search doesn't allow partial matches and won't show results if a word is misspelled or if the search terms are too specific and doesn't allow partial matches.
  • Check your email history for a sharing notification or link to the item, if you don’t own the doc or file. It's possible that you unsubscribed from that item in your Google Drive.
  • Complete the Missing Documents Troubleshooter.

Restore items from the Trash that haven't been permanently deleted

If the owner of a doc or file moved it to the trash, and the trash hasn't been emptied, it's possible for the owner to recover the doc or file.

  1. Go to
  2. Click Trash in the left navigation.
  3. Locate the item you'd like to move back to Google Drive, and check the box next to the title.
  4. Click the More drop-down menu.
  5. Select Restore from trash. This will restore the item back to the owner’s Google Drive, as well as to any collaborator’s Google Drive.

Viewers, commenters, and editors aren't able to recover anything, as they don't have the ability to trash or permanently delete items that they don't own. Contact the owner to regain access to an item or to ask them if they're able to recover an item from the trash.

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