How to Recover Deleted Files from Google Drive

You might think your deleted Google Drive files are gone forever, but there are actually a couple of ways to restore them, even if they’re permanently deleted. Individual users may be able to get their files back from customer service, while Workspace admins have a different option.

I’m Caleb, and I’m pretty familiar with the features and capabilities of Google Drive thanks to using the service for years as a writer. In this article, I’ll talk about how you can solve a common problem: deleting some files that you later want to recover.

If you’ve deleted something important, and you’re rushing to recover it, keep reading. You might have more options at your disposal than you think.

Different Ways to Recover Deleted Files from Google Drive

There are multiple ways to get your files back after deleting them on Google Drive. While recovering the files from the trash folder is the most well-known way, there are also a couple of methods where files can be restored even if they were permanently deleted from Trash.

Method 1: Recovering Files from Trash Folder

If you haven’t permanently deleted your files yet, you can get them back by finding them in your Trash folder and using the restore option.

Step 1: Open the Trash Folder

When you access the Drive website from, you’ll see a menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen. 

Towards the bottom, there’s a folder called Trash, which is where your deleted files reside before permanent deletion.

The files in the Trash folder will be permanently deleted after 30 days. So, if you want to restore a file from here, you should do it quickly instead of waiting.

Step 2: Restore the File

Once you see the file in the Trash folder, you can right-click on it or, alternatively, click on the three dots found in the thumbnail’s corner.

This brings up two options, one to restore the file and another to delete it permanently. Obviously, the Restore option is the one we need here.

After using the Restore option, you’ll find the file in the same location as before you deleted it.

Method 2: Recovering Permanently Deleted Files Through Google Support

The Trash folder method is useful, but it only works for files that haven’t been permanently deleted. If your file was deleted permanently, your odds of getting it back are lower. However, it’s not impossible.

If you’re using an individual user account, and not a Workspace Admin one, your best bet is to contact Google’s customer support.

To ask Google for help in recovering your files, go to this page on the Google support website and use the Request File Recovery button towards the bottom.

This method will only work if you’ve deleted the files within the last 25 days, so like with the Trash folder method, it’s important to move quickly if you want to get your files back this way.

Method 3: Restoring Permanently Deleted Files as Workspace Admin

If you’re using a Google Workspace Admin account instead of an individual one, there is another method available to you for restoring files.

After logging in at, head to your Users page and find the specific user whose files you want to restore. While hovering over the user’s name in the list, you’ll find a More option. Open this dropdown menu, and select Restore data.

From there, you can select the date range of the files you want to bring back. Like with the customer support method, this one only works if the data was deleted during the past 25 days.


Here are some of the most asked questions about bringing files back with Google Drive.

Does Google Keep Deleted Drive Files?

Google keeps permanently deleted Google Drive files for 25 days. After that, you won’t be able to get them back.

How Do You Recover Permanently Deleted Google Drive Files on Mobile?

You can’t recover permanently deleted files using the Drive mobile app. Instead, you need to use your phone’s browser to access the Google customer support website, and follow the listed steps.

Does Remove Mean Delete in Google Drive?

No, these are different things. If you remove a file from your Google Drive that was shared with you by someone else, it won’t delete the file on the other user’s end.


You can recover your deleted Google Drive files through the Trash folder, by contacting Google’s customer support, or using the Users page as a Workspace administrator. However, permanently deleted files can only be recovered within 25 days.

Have any of these methods helped you with getting your files back? Let us know in the comments!

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