One of the easiest ways to avoid data loss is to store it in the cloud. Once you keep your data in the cloud, you can access it from any device and anywhere in the world. Even if your computer gets damaged, your important data will always be safe. Well, OneDrive from Microsoft is one of the most popular and easy-to-use online cloud backup services. But what if you end up losing your valuable files from OneDrive, the very cloud backup service that was supposed to keep your data safe? Is there no way to recover the files deleted from OneDrive?
Don’t worry! There are multiple ways to get your precious data back safely. In this article, we will discuss five ways to recover the deleted files from OneDrive. Let’s begin.
The Main Reasons for OneDrive File Disappearance
OneDrive is one of the most reputable cloud backup services in the world and is primarily used by those on Windows 10 computers. This application allows the users to back up any file to the cloud servers of Microsoft, and access it afterward from a device of their choice.
However, you can still lose your important files from OneDrive, even if you haven’t deleted the files personally. Here are three major reasons you might lose your files from OneDrive, apart from personally deleting them:
- User Error: Often, a simple error from the user might cause problems in data backup or worse, complete disappearance. It might happen because of an unstable internet connection. You may have also accidentally erased the files from OneDrive without noticing. These seemingly simple yet serious mistakes might lead to severe file loss.
- Attacks from Malware: The cloud backup services such as OneDrive is becoming increasingly popular among computer users with every passing day. Consequently, hackers are also creating multiple malware and viruses made only to attack these cloud backup services and steal information from them. And as an after-effect, you might lose your precious files from OneDrive.
- Conflicting Backups: Sometimes, the cloud backup just doesn’t go as smoothly as you expected it to. This is especially true for cloud backup services with almost 100% uptime and data backup in real-time, such as OneDrive. As a result, you might be missing a file or two in OneDrive.
Thankfully, there are multiple approaches to get these lost or deleted files from OneDrive back. We will now discuss the techniques of file rescue. More precisely, we will show you five methods to recover the files deleted from OneDrive.
Use the Search Feature
Before we get started, you should know if the files you’re trying to recover were deleted or not. What if the file is still in your OneDrive account, and you’re just not able to find it? Well, you can easily check that using the Search feature of OneDrive. Here’s how you can do it:
- Open OneDrive and sign in to your account.
- Next, click on the “Search Bar” which is on the top of OneDrive’s user interface.
- Now, type the name of the file you have been trying to find.
- Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard and wait a while for the results to appear.
If the file is still present in OneDrive, it will show up immediately. However, if it’s not here, it’s time to try the next method on this list.
Recover Erased Files from the OneDrive Recycle Bin
Do you know that OneDrive has a Recycle Bin with nearly identical functionality to the one for Windows 10 devices? Just like the Windows 10 operating system, once you delete a file in your OneDrive, it doesn’t disappear. Instead, it goes to its Recycle Bin. Unlike Windows 10, the file will only stay there for the next 30 days before being permanently erased. Therefore, if you have accidentally deleted an important file from your OneDrive, you can still recover it from its Trash Bin if it hasn’t crossed the 30-day deadline.
Here’s how you can retrieve it:
- Go to OneDrive and log in to your account.
- Now, in the left panel, click on the “Recycle bin” option.
- Next, in the right panel, check the boxes of all the files you want to recover from the Recycle Bin.
- After that, click on the “Restore” option on the menu bar.
Remember, once the 30 days are up, OneDrive will erase the files in the Recycle Bin automatically. However, if you have a work or school account of OneDrive, the data in the trash can will only get permanently erased after 90 days instead of the regular 30.
Use Local Copies to Restore the Erased Files
On a Windows 10 device, OneDrive generally creates a unique folder that monitors the files stored in its cloud storage in real-time. Consequently, any file that is stored in OneDrive cloud servers should also be stored in the local OneDrive folder of your computer. Hence, if you have accidentally deleted any files in the cloud storage, you can always recover them from the local folder of OneDrive.
But before you do it, you need to find where this local folder actually is. Here’s how you can find it:
- In the System Tray, right-click on the OneDrive icon.
- Next, click on the “Settings” option.
- Once the Microsoft OneDrive window pops up, click on the “Account” tab.
- Next, click on the “Choose folders” button on the left side of the “Choose Folders” area.
- Now, in the bottom-left corner of the window, the location of the local folder of OneDrive will appear. Note it down.
Once you get the folder location, you can open File Explorer and find the Microsoft OneDrive local folder. If you still don’t find the file you’re looking for, that means it might be permanently removed. If that’s the case, don’t fret — you can still get it back using the following methods.
Restore OneDrive to Its Previous State to Retrieve Permanently Deleted Files
The cybercriminals are no joke. To steal data from the cloud storage and backup services, they have created multiple malware and ransomware to target software such as OneDrive. These attacks might cause severe data loss. Therefore, Microsoft has introduced a new data shielding feature that can return the OneDrive account to a specific previous state, including the files in it.
Here’s what to do:
- Open OneDrive in your web browser and log in to your account.
- If you’re on Microsoft 365 subscription, navigate to Settings > Options. If you’re using the School or Work version of OneDrive, navigate to Settings > Restore.
- Next, click on the “Restore” option.
- After that, OneDrive will try to verify your identity. Click on the “Verify your identity” button and go through the intuitive verification process.
- After the verification is complete, pick a date from the drop-down menu and click on the “Restore” option.
With this, your OneDrive account will revert to the state it was on your selected date. If your permanently deleted file was still in your cloud storage on the selected date, you can now retrieve it.
Recover Permanently Deleted Files via Third-party Application
Although the previous method is pretty much a surefire way to restore the permanently deleted files from OneDrive, most people still prefer to use it as a last resort. That’s because once you revert your OneDrive to the state of a previous date, the files that were saved in the cloud after that date will not be there. Thus, you have to save them in the cloud again. Inconvenient and risky if you discover further data loss after the fact, too.
Thankfully, you can avoid that. In turn, you can recover your permanently erased files from OneDrive via third-party applications. Check our list of the best software for Windows data restoration from renowned companies, for instance. We have no preference or affiliation with either of them, and they all work similarly. You can use any one of these data recovery tools to restore the files deleted from OneDrive via their intuitive user interface in a flash. Happy recovering!