syscloud
In this article
  • Can you recover deleted Google Drive files?
  • How to recover deleted files from Google Drive trash
  • How to recover Google Drive files that are permanently deleted from Trash – When you do not have a backup
  • How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive – When you have a backup
  • Limitations of using Google’s native features to restore Google Drive files
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Tools
  • Google Drive Files Recovery Wizard

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive

31 Jan 2019
|
14 min read
|
Annu Palathingal
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Blog Articles

Are you looking for ways to recover deleted Google Drive files? Don’t worry, we have you covered!
This article lists all the ways you can recover your lost files and folders from Google Drive using Google’s native features and third-party online cloud applications.

Introduction to Google Drive recovery

Google Drive is a popular online file storage and synchronization service used by individuals and organisations world-wide. With over two trillion files and 800 million active users, one can imagine the number of files that need to be recovered on a daily basis due to factors such as accidental deletions and over-written documents. Understanding Google Drive Recovery is essential for business continuity.
Google Drive can be accessed via:

1. Web browser using the url https://drive.google.com

2. Google Drive mobile application available via App store
3. File Explorer on a desktop if you have installed Google Backup and Sync Client
A file deleted from any of them would be automatically deleted from all since they are synced regularly.

Can you recover deleted Google Drive files?

The answer is Yes! You can easily recover your deleted Google Drive files.
The process of retrieving lost Google Drive files can depend on two factors:
1. Having a backup of your files
2. Not having a backup of your files
Let’s look at all the different ways in which your deleted files can be recovered in no time.

How to recover deleted files from Google Drive trash

The simplest way to recover lost files and folders is to restore them from the Trash folder. The deleted files will be retained in Trash for 30 days from the date of deletion.

  1. Step 1: Open your Google Drive – click here to redirect to your Drive – and navigate to the “Trash” option on the left pane.

  2. Step 2: Locate the file(s) to be recovered and right-click on them.

  3. Step 3: Select the “Restore” option from the drop-down menu.

How to Recover Deleted Files from Google Drive Trash

How do you recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive?

I. How to recover Google Drive files that are permanently deleted from Trash – When you do not have a backup

1. For individual Google Drive users – Google Drive customer support

Individual Google Drive users have a total of 30 days to recover the files that were deleted ( Click here to know how). After this, the files and folders will be permanently deleted from the ‘Trash’ folder and cannot be recovered, unless you have already taken a backup of the files before deletion.However, in some cases, the Google Drive Customer Support can be of help. To avail this support, follow the steps below: –

1. Go to https://support.google.com/drive/answer/1716222?hl=en&ref_topic=14951&authuser=1 and click on “Contact Us”.

2. Follow the on-screen instructions to contact the customer support.

Please Note: The deleted files can be recovered through customer support only within a limited period from the date of deletion and only if the following conditions are satisfied.

  1. You created the file(s).

  2. You uploaded the file(s) to Google Drive.

  3. You accepted ownership of the file from someone.

However, if you are a G Suite user, an administrator can recover your permanently deleted files and folders from the Google Admin Console.

2. How to recover permanently deleted Google Drive files using G Suite Admin console

G Suite users can recover the Google Drive files that are permanently deleted from Trash using the G Suite Admin Console. The deleted files can be recovered by a G Suite Admin within 25 days of deletion from Trash.
G Suite administrators can recover permanently deleted files from:
a) User’s individual Google Drive account
b) Shared Drive (earlier Team Drive)   
c) Deleted user’s account

a) How can a G Suite administrator recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive?

Step 1: Log in to the Google Admin Console – click here to go to your Admin Console.

Step 2: Click on the “Users” icon from the Google Console.

How Can a G Suite Administrator Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive

Step 3: Hover over the user name whose data has to be restored and click on the ellipsis icon on the far right.

Step 4: Select the “RESTORE DATA” option from the pop-up menu.

How Can a G Suite Administrator Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive

Step 5: Specify the required date range and give the Application as “Drive” and click on “Restore”.

How Can a G Suite Administrator Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive
b) How can a G Suite administrator recover permanently deleted files from Shared Drive (Team Drive)?
  1. Step 1:  Log in to the Google Admin Console – click here to go to your Admin Console.

  2. Step 2: Navigate to “Apps → G Suite → Drive and Docs.”

  3. Step 3: Select the option “Manage Team Drives.”

  1. Step 4: Find the file to be restored and click on the restore icon at the far right of the file tab.

  2. Step 5: Choose a probable date range during which the file was deleted and click on “RESTORE DATA”.

The deleted files will now be restored to the selected Team Drive.

To know more about Shared Drive read our article, Team Drive for the Confused-Google Drive Vs Team Drive (Shared Drives).

c) How to recover Google Drive files from a deleted account

An administrator can recover Google Drive files of a deleted user with 20 days of account deletion.
Follow these steps to recover Google Drive files/folders from a deleted G Suite account:

  1. Step 2: Transfer the file ownership to another G Suite user.

  2. Step 3: Log in to Admin Console

  3. Step 4: Go to “Apps"

  4. Step 5: Click on the option “G Suite”

  5. Step 6: Select “Drive and Docs”

  6. Step 7: Select the option “Transfer ownership from the list

  7. Step 8: Provide the respective username and domain of the users in the ‘From’ and ‘To’ section

  8. Step 9: Click on ” Transfer Files”

  9. Step 10:  Delete the G Suite account again.

II. How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive – When you have a backup

If you have already taken a backup of your Google Drive files, then you can use the following methods to easily recover your permanently deleted data:
a) Recover deleted files that are backed up using Google Takeout
b) Recover permanently deleted files using Google Vault
c) Recover deleted files from Google Drive using third-party backup tools

Want to know how to backup Google Drive? Click here to know more.

a) How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive using Google Takeout backup

Google Takeout is a G Suite application to take a backup of your Google Drive files. The backup taken using Google Takeout will be available in your system as a zip file. To restore it back to your Google Drive follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Locate the file to be recovered and right-click on it.

  2. Step 2: Select the extract all option from the drop-down menu.

  3. Step 3: Log into your Google Drive

  4. Step 4: Click on the “+ New” button on the upper left of the screen and select the option “File upload/Folder upload” to upload the files back to Google Drive.

Note: Google Takeout is known to have technical issues. There has also been an incident reported where Google mistakenly shared private files saved on a company’s servers with unrelated users. Click here to know more.

b) How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive using Google Vault

Once the retention is applied, administrators can download the retained files upon request.

To know how Google Vault works click here.

Following are the steps to recover deleted files from Google Vault:

  1. Step 1: Log in to Google Vault using your admin credentials – click here to open Google Vault.

  2. Step 2: Navigate to the “Matters” option on the left pane and select a pre-existing matter where you have already held the data.

  3. Step 3: Click on the “Search” module on the left pane → Choose “Drive” as the type of application and provide the email address of the user who has lost the file.

Note: You can also filter the files based on date range and advanced terms.

  1. Step 4: Click on the “Search” button to list all the files with the specified search conditions.

  2. Step 5: Click on the “Export results” option on the menu bar to export all the files.

  1. Step 6: Click on “Download” after completing the export process or To download a specific file: open the file, click on the ellipsis icon at the top right corner and select the “Download” option.

Once the file is downloaded as a zip file, administrators can send it to the respective user and ask them to upload it back to their Google Drive.

c) How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive using third-party backup tools

A third-party application like SysCloud is an effective and reliable option to effortlessly restore deleted Google Drive files. SysCloud provides completely automated cloud to cloud backup and recovery using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Organizations can now back up and recover data for unlimited domains using SysCloud.

Why should you use third-party tools to recover permanently deleted Google Drive files?

Restore permanently deleted data: Recover Drive files even if the user account is permanently deleted.

Customized restore: Directly recover a single file, a complete folder or your entire Drive back to its actual destination.

Point in time restore: Recover file(s) with all its sharing settings and folder structure intact.

Self-user restore: Provide self-service Google Drive restore for end users, resulting in faster data recovery and reduced load on IT administrators.

Cross-user restore: Restore files to another user’s account.

Usage reports: Audit all activities performed within the application and generate reports

FOLLOWING ARE THE STEPS TO RECOVER DELETED FILES THAT ARE BACKED UP USING SYSCLOUD:

Step 1: Log in to the SysCloud application.

Step 2: Click on the “Backup” option on the menu bar and select the “Archive & Restore” option from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Search for the user whose data is lost in the search bar.

Step 4: Open the user’s folder and select the “Drive” option on the top.

Step 5: Select the required files and click on the “Restore” option on the top left of the page.

Step 6: Choose any of the options “All/Selected Folder/ Selected Items” (as per requirement) from the drop-down menu.

Your deleted Google Drive files are now restored with all the sharing permissions and folder structure intact.

Limitations of using Google’s native features to restore Google Drive files

No self- recovery for shared files: If you delete a file which was shared with you, it will not be available in your trash to restore. You will have to ask the owner to re-share the file.

Limited data recoverability time: Files that were permanently deleted from the Trash can be restored only within 25 days of deletion by the Admin and within 30 days from the Team Drive.

No granular Google Drive restore: These features do not let you select the file(s) that need to be recovered. It automatically restores everything that was deleted during the specified date range leading to a clutter of unnecessary files in your Drive, consuming storage space.

Lost sharing permissions: You cannot recover the file/folder share settings.

No recoverability: If it is a personal Google account, there is no way for you to recover the deleted file.

Data loss: The advanced search option does not let you view the missing file if you don’t own it.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I recover deleted photos from Google Drive?

Yes. You can recover deleted photos, documents, PDFs, audios, videos and any other type of file supported by Google Drive using the various Google Drive recovery methods explained in the article.

2. How long do files stay in Google Drive?

Individual Google Drive users have a total of 30 days to recover the files that were deleted ( Click here to know how ). After this, the files and folders will be permanently deleted from Trash and cannot be recovered, unless you have already taken a backup of the files before deletion.
G Suite users can contact their admins, who can recover permanently deleted items within 25 days of deletion from Trash. To know how to recover files from the G Suite Admin Console,  Click here

3. How to recover overwritten files on Google Drive?

To recover a previous version of any Google-format file (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.),
Open the file in Google Drive → Click “File” → “See Revision History” and retrieve the desired version of the file you want to restore.
To recover a previously saved version of non-Google format files,
Right click on the file in Google Drive → Click “Manage Versions” → Retrieve the desired version of the file you want to restore by clicking the ellipsis icon on the right side and click “Download”.

4. Can I recover Shared files that are deleted from Google Drive?

Yes, you can recover deleted Shared files from Google Drive.  Click here to know how.

In this article
  • Can you recover deleted Google Drive files?
  • How to recover deleted files from Google Drive trash
  • How to recover Google Drive files that are permanently deleted from Trash – When you do not have a backup
  • How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Drive – When you have a backup
  • Limitations of using Google’s native features to restore Google Drive files
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Tools
  • Google Drive Files Recovery Wizard
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