Find lost or missing files in OneDrive

Find lost or missing files in OneDrive

If you have lost files or folders on your computer, please follow the steps below. If you're looking for files on your mobile app, read about finding files in OneDrive for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.

Search for your files on OneDrive.com

If you have Files On Demand enabled, or if you choose to only sync certain folders, going online will allow you to search all your files and folders.

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

  2. Use Search everything to look for your files.

    Search everything selection in OneDrive

Look in the Recycle bin

  1. On the left side of the page, click 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 cannot find the item in a long list, you may choose to Restore all items at the top of the page.

  3. Office 365 subscribers can restore their entire OneDrive to a previous time. Go to 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.

Search for your files on another Microsoft account

It might be that you are not logged in to the correct Microsoft account and your files are safely on another OneDrive.

If you are a OneDrive for Business 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 Business, check the OneDrive for Business tab above.

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 cannot find your files

It may be that a file has not yet synced. Files saved with Office 2016 upload to OneDrive first, and then 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.

On iOS devices that have photos optimized for iCloud, the photo is not stored on the device and cannot be uploaded to OneDrive. To disable iCloud optimization on your iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos and uncheck Optimize Storage.

If the OneDrive account has been inactive for 2 years, the files may have been deleted.

Next steps

Files not found via search or in the OneDrive Recycle bin usually cannot be retrieved. To have someone from support investigate, please provide the following information:

  • The names of the files or folders you are 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.

Search for your files on OneDrive online

If you have Files On Demand enabled, or if you choose to only sync certain folders, going online will allow you to search all your files and folders.

  1. Select the blue OneDrive icon, choose More, then View online.

  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, click 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 cannot find the item in a long list, you may choose to Restore all items at the top of the page.

  3. OneDrive for Business 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 files in OneDrive.

Search for your files on another Microsoft account

It might be that you are not logged in to the correct Microsoft account and your files are 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 cannot find your files

It may be that a file has not yet synced. Files saved with Office 2016 upload to OneDrive first, and then 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.

On iOS devices that have photos optimized for iCloud, the photo is not stored on the device and cannot be uploaded to OneDrive. To disable iCloud optimization on your iOS device, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos and uncheck Optimize Storage.

Next steps

Files not found via search or in the OneDrive Recycle bin usually cannot 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 are 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 Business.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

Email Support icon

Email support
If you still need help, shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app or email the OneDrive support team. To contact One Drive for Business support from your PC or Mac, select the OneDrive icon in the notification area or menu bar, then select More > Send feedback > I don't like something.

One Drive for Business Admins can also view the OneDrive for Business Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Business Admins, or contact Office 365 for business support.

Office 365 community forums

Got feedback?
OneDrive UserVoice is your place to suggest the features you’d like to see us add to OneDrive. While we can’t guarantee any specific features or timelines, we will respond to every suggestion that gets at least 500 votes.

Go to the OneDrive UserVoice.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×