Find or recover a file

If you can’t find files in Google Drive, you can use these tips to try to recover them. If you think that someone accessed your Google Drive without your permission, we recommend taking steps to make your account more secure.

Restore files you deleted

If you deleted something recently using Google Drive or the Google Drive desktop app, you might be able to restore the file yourself.

Restore from your Trash

  1. On a computer, go to drive.google.com/drive/trash.
    • Tip: You can sort your trashed files by trashed date to find the oldest or newest files trashed. 
  2. Right-click the file you want to recover.
  3. Click Restore.

Find a file you don't think you deleted

Try these steps

Check the activity panel

  1. On a computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the left, click My Drive.
  3. At the top right, click Info Info.
  4. Scroll down and look for your file.

Use an advanced search

  1. On a computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the top, in the search bar  click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  3. Use the advanced search options to find your file. For example, to see spreadsheets, next to 'Type,' click the down arrow, then click 'Spreadsheets.'

Learn why files go missing

If you created the file

If you can’t find a file that you created in Drive, it might have lost the folder it was in. 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. Your file isn't deleted, but isn't in a folder.
    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, but it's no longer in a folder.

Find unorganized files

  1. On a computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. In the search bar, enter: is:unorganized owner:me
  3. When you find the file, move it to a folder in My Drive so it’s easier to find next time.

Search now

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 someone else created

If someone deleted that folder, you won't see that folder in your Drive anymore.

Find files you created in deleted folders

Find all files that are in deleted folders

To make that file easier to find in the future, move it into a folder in "My Drive."

More on how to find files 

Try advanced search

To refine your search in Drive, use a search phrase on your computer with one of these options:

Search for Example
Exact phrase

"Use quotes around an exact phrase"

One or another

tacos OR nachos

Exclude a word

Water but not lakes:

water -lakes

File owner

Files Dad owns:

owner:dad@gmail.com

Files shared by others

Files Mom shared with you:

from:mom@gmail.com

You shared files

Files you shared with Mom:

to:mom@gmail.com

Starred items

is:starred

Deleted items

is:trashed

File type

Spreadsheet file type:

type:spreadsheet

Time frame

Before or after January 18, 2015. 

before:2015-01-18

after:2015-01-18

Title

title:"The title goes here"

App

Files opened in Google Drive:

app:"Drive"

Recovered file types

For personal accounts: We can help you recover recently deleted files for a limited time after they’re deleted if you use Google Drive with a consumer account (and not an account through your work, school, or other group) 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 your Google Account was deleted, you might not be able to recover your files.


 

If you still can't find your file

Learn what your file needs for recovery.

If you need to recover emails from Gmail

Learn how to recover emails from Gmail.

 

Contact us

To contact us, sign in to your Google Account.

 

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