How to recover deleted OneDrive files

In OneDrive, it is not uncommon to accidentally delete a file. Sometimes though, the question arises as to where those deleted files go.

Luckily, though it may say your files are deleted, that doesn’t mean they have been completely erased from your OneDrive. More often than not, those files will be recoverable somehow, and you’re probably here to find out how those documents can be salvaged.

Thankfully, there are several means by which you can recover a permanently deleted OneDrive file. This blog will not only run through the step-by-step of these processes, but it will also offer a more detailed, thorough walkthrough afterwards with each method.


  1. Recovering OneDrive files through the Recycling Bin.
  2. Restoring a previous version of your OneDrive.
  3. Restoring files from your computer’s recycling bin.

So, the first way you can recover deleted OneDrive files is by recovering the files from the Recycling Bin.

In order to do this, you should abide by the following steps:

Step by step: recovering OneDrive files from the recycling bin

  • Open OneDrive.
  • Go to ‘Recycle Bin’.
  • Select the file(s) you wish to recover.
  • Click ‘Restore’ to recover the files.

In case you need some more detail, the following section of the blog will be a more in-depth walkthrough of the above steps.

You will first want to open OneDrive. If you are doing this from Outlook, which you might be, then you’ll want to open the App Launcher in the top left corner, and click OneDrive from there.

Once you’ve opened OneDrive, you will want to click ‘Recycle Bin’, which has been highlighted below:

After opening your Recycle Bin, you will be greeted with a menu of any and all documents that have been deleted from your OneDrive. It should look as such:

From here, you’ll want to select the file, or files, that you wish to restore. After selecting them all, an option will appear at the top of the screen titled Restore (believe it or not). Click this, and you will see your previously deleted files reinstated in their original location.

Another way through which you can recover deleted OneDrive files is by restoring a previous version of OneDrive.

In order to do this, you will need to follow these steps:

Step by step: Restoring the previous version of OneDrive

  • Open OneDrive.
  • Access your OneDrive settings.
  • Click on ‘Restore your OneDrive’.
  • Select a date for how long you want your recovery to stretch back to.
  • Once you’ve selected the files you want to restore, click ‘Restore’.

So, your first step will be to open OneDrive. Once you have done this, access your OneDrive settings by clicking the settings option in the top right side of the screen. The settings option has been highlighted below.

Once you have opened your settings, you will want to click ‘Restore your OneDrive’. This is the second of two options you will be offered (when looking down the list). Click it.

From here, you will be greeted with this menu:

From this menu, you will be able to set a date that your OneDrive will cast back to. You have the pre-set options of one week and three weeks, whilst also having the option of setting your own custom date and time.

After you have set your date, you will be able to either manually select any files you wish to be restored, or use the slider to select masses at a time.

In the below screenshot, the slider has been emphasised by the red rectangle, whilst the section in which you can manually select files to recover has been highlighted in the blue rectangle.

After you have selected the file(s) you wish to recover, click Restore, which is located just above the slider menu, and just below the select a date box. Doing this will save your changes, and your files will be restored.

A third, and final, way in which you can recover deleted OneDrive files is by finding them in the Recycling Bin of your computer, not your OneDrive.

Step by step: Recover OneDrive files from your computer’s recyling bin

  • Access your Recycling Bin.
  • Click the file you wish to restore.
  • Right click on the file, and click ‘Restore’.

A fairly simple procedure, you will first need to access your computer’s recycling bin.

Once you have opened your recycling bin you will, of course, be greeted with any and every file you have recently deleted. From here, you will want to select any file(s) you want to recover and right click on them. After doing this, you should be greeted with something like this:

Highlighted in yellow on the above screenshot is Restore, which is what you will want to click in order to return the file to its previous location. Click this, and you will have successfully restored a previously deleted file!

To recap, this blog has detailed three ways in which you can recover a previously deleted OneDrive file. These were recovering files from the OneDrive recycling bin, restoring previous versions of your OneDrive, and recovering deleted files from your computer’s recycling bin.

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you found it as helpful as you wanted it to be. As always, if you run into any issues following these steps, or simply wish to let us know your thoughts on the blog, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Below are some links to articles of a similar topic, that perhaps better serve to answer your question if this blog didn’t quite do that.

How to share OneDrive for business files with external users – Business Tech Planet

How to prevent OneDrive from syncing a specific folder – Business Tech Planet

Michael Fontana

Michael Fontana has been the managing director of telecoms and MSP Optionbox for over a decade and has worked in various telecommunication roles over the last 20 years. Michael has been involved in many exciting projects, such as co-founding telecoms and IT businesses and has now built up a team of more than 15 staff, serving over 300 clients nationwide. With a wealth of experience in IT and a passion for technology, Michael is now helping BTP to produce the highest quality guides on the internet. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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