Find lost or missing files in OneDrive

Note: If you're looking for files on your mobile app, you can read about finding files in OneDrive for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.

If you've lost files or folders on your computer, there are several ways to search for, or restore, your files. 

Select your version of OneDrive from one of the tabs below:

How to find files

You'll find help below in these sections:

Search for your files on OneDrive.com

If you need to search all files and folders, but you have Files On Demand enabled or you're only syncing certain folders, you can do your search online.

  1. Sign in to the OneDrive website at https://www.onedrive.com.

  2. Use Search everything to look for your files. You can either search for a file by name or you can scroll through the list of files that display.

    Search everything selection in OneDrive

    Note: Files in your Personal Vault don't appear in search results. Your Personal Vault is a location in the cloud that's protected by identity verification, and it's available only for home and personal plans. If you have it, you'll see it in the OneDrive My files folder.

Look in the Recycle bin

  1. On the left side of the page, select Recycle bin.

    Recycle Bin selection in OneDrive

  2. If you find the item you're looking for, select it and choose Restore at the top of the page. If you can't find the item in a long list, you can choose to Restore all items at the top of the page.

    Note: Files deleted from your Personal Vault only show up in your recycling bin if your Personal Vault is unlocked before you check the recycle bin. You can unlock the Personal Vault and see those items if you select Show Personal Vault items in the recycle bin. If you don't see this option, your Personal Vault may already be unlocked.

    OneDrive Recycle Bin view showing the 'Show personal vault items' option

  3. Microsoft 365 subscribers can restore their entire OneDrive to a previous time. You can use Files Restore to undo all the actions that occurred on both files and folders within the last 30 days. Learn more about Restoring your OneDrive.

If you delete something from the recycle bin, your admin may be able to restore it. See Manage the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site.

Check for files in your Personal Vault

Files from your Personal Vault don't show up in your search results so you may want to confirm that your missing files are not in your Personal Vault.

To unlock the Personal Vault and see the items there, select Show Personal Vault items in the recycle bin. If you don't see the command, your Personal Vault is already unlocked.

OneDrive Recycle Bin view showing the 'Show personal vault items' option

Search for your files on another Microsoft account

If you can't find files you deleted, check whether you're logged in to the correct Microsoft account—your files might be safely on another OneDrive.

If you are a OneDrive for work or school user, you might have accidentally saved your files to your business account instead of your personal account. To check for the files in OneDrive for work or school, review the OneDrive for work or school tab near the top of this article.

Did you use someone else's computer or account when saving the file? If so, sign out of your OneDrive and sign in again using the other account.

If you still can't find your files

Your file might not have synced yet. Files saved with Office 2016 upload to OneDrive first, and then they sync with your local PC. If you’re having trouble syncing Office files, the Office Upload cache system may be interfering with OneDrive sync. Your file might not have synced yet. To learn how to fix sync issues, see Fix OneDrive sync problems.

If you have an iOS device that has photos optimized for iCloud, the photos aren't stored on the device and can't be uploaded to OneDrive. To disable iCloud optimization on your iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos and clear Optimize Storage.

Note: If the OneDrive account has been inactive for two years, the files may have been deleted.

Next steps

If files aren't found in a search or in the OneDrive Recycle bin, they usually can't be retrieved. To have someone from support investigate, please provide the following information:

  • The names of the files or folders you're trying to find. If the files are photos/videos, tell us the date you took them.

  • Approximately when you last accessed the files, and on which device (e.g., PC, Android, iPhone).

  • Consent that we can search your file history for you.

If you’ve followed the steps in this article and still need help, email the OneDrive support team.

How to find files

You'll find help below in these sections:

Search for your files on OneDrive online

If you need to search all files and folders, but you have Files On Demand enabled, or you're only syncing certain folders, you can do your search online.

  1. Sign in to OneDrive with your work or school account.

  2. Use Search OneDrive to look for your files.

    OneDrive for Business online with search bar at the top

Look in the Recycle bin

  1. On the left side of the page, select Recycle bin.

    OneDrive for Business online showing the recycle bin in the left menu

  2. If you find the item you're looking for, select it and choose Restore at the top of the page. If you can't find the item in a long list, you may choose to Restore all items at the top of the page.

  3. OneDrive for work or school users can restore their entire OneDrive to a previous time. Go to your OneDrive online Settings to undo all the actions that occurred on both files and folders within the last 30 days.

    Settings menu for OneDrive for Business online with Restore highlighted

Learn more about Restoring your OneDrive.

Find your SharePoint files in OneDrive

To learn more, see Find your SharePoint and Teams files in OneDrive for work and school.

Search for your files on another Microsoft account

If you can't find files you deleted, check whether you're logged in to the correct Microsoft account—your files might be safely on another OneDrive, such as your personal OneDrive account. To check, sign out of your OneDrive and sign in again using the other account.

If you still can't find your files

Your file might not have synced yet. Files saved with Office 2016 upload to OneDrive first, and then they sync with your local PC. If you’re having trouble syncing Office files, the Office Upload cache system may be interfering with OneDrive sync. Try turning off the related setting in OneDrive settings.

If you have an iOS device that has photos optimized for iCloud, the photos aren't stored on the device and can't be uploaded to OneDrive. To disable iCloud optimization on your iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos and clear Optimize Storage.

Next steps

If files aren't found in a search or in the OneDrive Recycle bin, they usually can't be retrieved. To have your IT administrator or someone from support investigate, please provide the following information.

  • The names of the files or folders you're trying to find. If the files are photos/videos, the date you took them.

  • Approximately when you last accessed the files, and on which device (e.g., PC, Android, iPhone).

  • Consent that we can search your file history for you.

Need more help?

Online

Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for work or school.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

OneDrive Admins can also view the OneDrive Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Admins.

Microsoft virtual support agent icon

Contact Support
If you still need help, contact support through your browser or shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app.

OneDrive Admins can contact Microsoft 365 for business support.

Office 365 community forums

Got feedback?
You can suggest features you’d like to see us add to OneDrive. Go to How do I give feedback on Microsoft Office? for more information.

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