Steps to find out who deleted your Microsoft OneDrive file

Within Microsoft OneDrive, you may sometimes find that a file you have been using has been deleted. Of course, the steps to recover a deleted file are fairly simple, but something that adds a certain degree of complexity is trying to conclude who deleted the file.

Thankfully, similar to simply recovering a deleted file, finding out the user that initially deleted it is also pretty straightforward. In order to find out who deleted your OneDrive files, you will need to look at your Recycle Bin within OneDrive, and find the name underneath the ‘Deleted By’ subsection of options.

Not only will this be looked at, but there will then be a brief coverage on what to do when you have found the deleted file. By this, we mean that you will be shown how to either restore or delete that file, depending on what you want to do with it.

As is the case with every blog piece we write, do not worry if the above paragraph on its own is not enough for you to work with. As always, we will not only provide you with a step-by-step guide of the process, but we will then offer you a more detailed walkthrough of the method.

Step by step: How to find out who deleted your OneDrive files

  • Open Microsoft OneDrive via the Office application launcher.
  • From the OneDrive menu, click the ‘Recycle Bin’ option.
  • You will then want to find the file you wish to restore.
  • After doing this, look underneath the ‘Deleted By’ tab.
  • Here, you will be able to see who initially deleted your OneDrive file.

As was aforementioned, don’t worry if the steps are not enough for you to work with. We will now delve into the detailed walkthrough, with accompanying screenshots to help you with the process.


So, your first step will be to open Microsoft OneDrive. Of course, you can do this manually if you know how to. If not though, simply log into another Microsoft application, Outlook for example, and open OneDrive via the application launcher in the top left corner of your screen.

After opening OneDrive, you will understandably be greeted with the main menu, or desktop, of OneDrive. From here, whilst you will be offered numerous things to access, be it files or option subsections, you will want to access the Recycling Bin, an option on the left side of your screen, which has been highlighted in the screenshot below.

After opening the recycling bin, you will be shown the files you have recently deleted within your Microsoft OneDrive application, obviously. In order to find out who deleted which file, OneDrive has thankfully implemented a tab titled ‘Deleted By’, which will highlight to you the user that initially removed your file.

Now, whilst you have found out who has deleted your file, you may wish to further progress, in some way, with the status of the file. Once you have found the file you wanted to discover, you will be able to either restore or delete the file in question, all from the recycling bin. To do this, simply right click on the file and select the option of your choosing.

Now, you will have not only successfully found out who deleted your OneDrive file, but you too will have been able to delete or restore the file in question, depending on your preference!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you found it as helpful as you wanted it to be! As is the case with every piece we write, if you encounter any issues when following the walkthrough, or simply wish to share your thoughts on it, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

Below are some links to other blog posts on the site, each written about a theme or problem similar to this one. If this article did not quite answer the questions you were having, or solve the issues you were facing, then perhaps one in the list below will be of better assistance to you!

How to recover deleted OneDrive files – Business Tech Planet
(Perhaps the most similar to this article, the linked piece discusses the recovery of deleted OneDrive files through the OneDrive recycling bin).

How to recover permanently deleted files from OneDrive – Business Tech Planet
(This article is similar to the above link, but delves into a more detailed process in case your recycling bin does not possess the file(s) you are looking for).

OneDrive: Transferring file ownership for deleted users – Business Tech Planet
(Whilst not covering deleted files, this piece looks at how to transfer ownership of a file if the initial owner is deleted. The piece looks at delving into Advanced System Settings).

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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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