How to Recover a Deleted Sheet/Tab in Google Sheets

You don’t have to lose hope if you’ve accidentally deleted a tab, or even an entire spreadsheet on Google Sheets. You can reverse any edit through the history menu, recover a deleted Sheet from the trash folder, or even get back permanently deleted data through Google’s support site.

I’m Caleb, and I work with the Google Drive family of services on a regular basis as a writer. I’m familiar with many of the quirks of the system, including how to get back files that you may have lost accidentally.

In this article, I’ll break down recovering both deleted files and tabs in Google Sheets, including a way to recover a totally deleted spreadsheet. If you need your file back, and you’re looking for the quickest method, read ahead for the full summary.

Guide to Recover a Deleted Sheet/Tab in Google Sheets

There’s more than one way to get back a lost Google Sheet or tab. The first method I’ll explain is the most straightforward one. However, I’ll also dive into a couple of other ways, that can get your data back even if you’ve deleted the entire file.

1. Recovering a Tab From the History Menu

If you’ve accidentally deleted a tab from a Google Sheet, you don’t have to worry about losing the data for good. Sheets, like Google Docs, automatically records each edit. If you want to undo a specific edit, you can do so using the edit history menu.

To find this menu, look towards the upper right corner of the screen, and select the history option. From there, you’ll see a list of edits, and the name of every editor.

If you want to get rid of a specific edit, such as one that deleted a tab, all you have to do is click on a previous version of the file in the history menu.

Then use the Restore this version button.

However, this method only works for reversing changes made inside a Sheet. If you deleted the file itself, you’ll have to use another method to restore it to your Drive. 

2. Recovering a File from the Trash Folder

Much of the time, it’s possible to recover a deleted Sheet from the trash folder. To find this, head to the Google Drive home page and find the Trash icon on the sidebar. There, you’ll find a list of files that haven’t been permanently deleted yet.

After you’ve picked out the file you want to restore, right-click on it and pick the option that says Restore. Alternatively, if you don’t want the file anymore, the same menu allows you to Delete forever.

When you’ve restored the file through this method, you’ll be able to find it in the same location it was in before you deleted it.

3. Recovering a File Using Google Support

You have fewer options if the Sheet you want to recover was already deleted permanently, but you shouldn’t lose all hope just yet. There is one method that can get back a permanently deleted Sheet, and that’s contacting Google Support through the designated form.

Google doesn’t make any guarantees that this method will work, but you can request a file recovery by heading to the Find or recover a file page on the Google support website.

Towards the bottom of the page, there’s a Request file recovery button. After clicking this, you’ll have to sign in with your Google account, and then you can follow the listed steps to complete the request.

Keep in mind that Google only keeps your files around for 25 days after permanent deletion. Even using the support site, you won’t be able to restore a file beyond that timeframe. So, if you need to restore a file with this method, make sure to move quickly.


Here are some of the most common questions to pop up around this topic.

How Do You Recover a Google Sheet After 30 Days?

If your Sheet was permanently deleted for longer than 25 days, there’s no way to get it back. If it’s been less than 25 days, you can recover it through Google’s support website.

Is There an Undo Button in Google Sheets?

Yes, the undo button can be found on the upper left side of the menu bar, or used through the Ctrl + Z shortcut. Also, the revision history menu can reverse any edits made to the file, just like an undo button.

Does Google Sheets Have Version History?

Google Sheets does have a version history feature, which can be found in the upper right corner of the window.


Getting back your lost Sheet or tab in Google Sheets is a lot easier than you might think. If the revision history menu or the trash folder fails to help you, Google Support may be able to restore the file instead.

In any case, make sure to get your files back before they’ve been permanently deleted for 25 days since this is the point of no return.

Have these methods helped you in saving a spreadsheet or tab? Let us know in the comments!

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