How to recover a file from Google Docs

How to recover a file from Google Docs

Have you ever deleted an important Google docs file accidentally which was supposed to stay in your Google drive forever? Worry not! Recovery is possible when you accidentally delete one or more Google Docs documents. You can restore the original google docs document along with all the associated content from the trash. Learn here how to recover a file from Google Docs?

To recover deleted files in Google Docs (just 2 simple steps),

  1. Navigate to the Trash folder
  2. Right-click on your Google Docs document –> click the Restore option.

Where is the trash folder in Google Docs?

There is no trash folder in Google Docs. Whatever you delete in your Google Docs, you can see it in the trash folder of Google Drive. The trash folder consists of all the google docs files you deleted within 25 days.

So where is Google Docs Bin?

You can delete your google docs file by using the option “Move to trash”.

  • Click File > Move to trash
trash folder in Google Docs

This trash folder which acts as a “Google Docs bin” can be seen only in Google Drive.

How to recover permanently deleted files from Google Docs?

Is your google docs file missing?

Sometimes you can delete google docs files by mistake or you can delete them consciously without knowing that we are going to use it in the future. Fortunately, you can easily recover your permanently deleted files from Google Docs.

How To Recover Deleted Google Docs

You just need to follow only a few steps and procedures to easily retrieve your deleted Google docs files.

All the data is usually saved in Google Drive, the cloud space when you store any documents in Google Docs.

How to restore the Google Drive folder?

Once your Gmail account is synced with Google Drive, google drive gets a backup of your existing data including photos, documents, and video. Even though you are deleting google docs files from your PC or mobile phone, it is saved in Google Drive for eternity.

Trash never automatically gets emptied. So you have the option to restore your files from the “Trash” folder using Google Drive unless you permanently delete it.

How to recover a file from Google docs through Google Drive?

You can recover the Google Docs files, through the Trash of Google drive. Google Drive never empties its trash automatically so it is easy to recover any google docs even after you delete them permanently from your system or mobile phone.

There are two cases when you attempt to retrieve deleted Google Docs:

• Are you trying to restore your google docs files within 25 days after deleting them?

• Are you trying to get back your google docs file that was deleted long back?

If you belong to the first category then retrieving the deleted file is as easy as clapping. All you need to do is simply follow these steps:

  • Login to your Google Drive account.
  • Go to Menu and click “Trash” 
Where is the trash folder in Google Docs
  • You can search the Google Doc that you want to restore by using the “search bar” at the top of your Google drive layout.
how to recover unsaved google docs
  • Right-click on your google docs file. You will get two options visible on your screen — “Restore” and “Delete forever”
recover a file from Google docs

Click “Restore” to retrieve your deleted file.

Recover permanently deleted files from Google Docs using “Drag and Drop”

You can also simply drag the desired google docs file from Trash to any non-trash folder to retrieve your file over there.

 To do this:

  • Just click on your desired google docs file and press the left button on your mouse.
  • All the folders are listed on the extreme left panel of your Google Drive.
  • Choose the folder where you want to restore your google docs file and release the cursor over it.
  • You can see the file will get disappeared from the Trash folder.
  • For confirming the restoration, open the folder and you will notice that your deleted file is right there.

If you are not sure about your file location, click on the “Locate” option that shows off as soon as you restore your file. This will help you to find your retrieved google docs new location

The above-mentioned instructions will help you only if you are trying to retrieve your deleted documents within a span of 25 days of deletion.

If you are not the owner of the file and want to use it,

  • Make a copy of the file.
  • Contact the owner to have them restore it.

Recover permanently deleted docs files a while ago

If you have crossed the time limit of 25 days means, you have to take the help of the Google support team to retrieve your files.

You can simply google “File recovery — Google support” and fill out the recovery form.

To contact the Google support team,

  • Click the “support’ icon and click the “Help” option.
how to recover permanently deleted google docs

You can see the “Find or recover a file” and “Delete or restore files in Google Drive” support team answers. Click them to find the support google form.

Google Docs Bin

Here is an example of the Google form.

how to recover deleted documents on google docs

Just fill out the required details and wait for the response. Keep on checking your mailbox regarding the update of the recovery process of your google docs files.

Google will recover your google docs files only if you are the owner of the google docs file or the lost data.

Once Google completes the process, you can see your files in your Google drive.

Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Google Drive Using Third-Party Backup Applications

There are various third-party software applications available in the market that helps you to recover your permanently deleted google docs files easily. You can make use of these third-party apps for restoring your deleted files quickly.

Recover Permanently Deleted Google Docs Files Using G Suite Admin Console

You can recover the permanently deleted Google docs files with the help of a G Suite administrator within 25 days from the deletion date.

A G Suite administrator has permission for recovering a Google Docs file that is permanently deleted from:

  • Google Drive account of the user
  • Shared Drive 
  • Deleted user account

How a Google Suite Administrator can recover deleted google docs files from Google Drive?

  • The first step is, to log in to the Admin Console of Google.
  • Click the “Users” option from Google Admin Console
  • Hover over your user name and then click on the ellipsis icon from the right side.
  • From the menu, choose “Restore Data”.
  • Mention the date range that is needed to restore google docs files.
  • Specify “Drive” as the Application and then click on the “Restore” option.

How a Google Suite Administrator can recover deleted google docs files from Shared Drive?

  • Firstly, log in to the Admin Console of Google.
  • Click on Apps > select G Suite > choose Drive and Docs option.
  • Click on the “Manage Team Drives.” option.
  • Find the google docs file that you wish to restore and then click on the restore icon from the right side of the file tab.
  • Select a date range for the google docs to restore and then click on the “Restore Data” button.
  • You can restore the deleted Google docs files to the Team Drive that you have selected.

How to recover permanently deleted Google Docs files from Google Drive with Backup

If you do have your own Google Drive files backup with you, in that case, you use the below approaches to recover your google docs files that you have actually deleted permanently.

  • By using Google Takeout.
  • With the help of Google Vault
  • With the help of third-party tools for backup

How To Recover Unsaved Google Docs

One of the excellent features of Google Docs is the autosave option. Once you start writing anything on the Google Docs document, it saves your file and content in Google Drive automatically, You should connect to the Internet or you should be online.

How to fix Google Docs not saving changes?

No need to worry even if you are offline, you should enable offline access so that your content should get saved.

But, there are a few Google Docs users, who are claiming that some of their contents are missing or didn’t save, autosave in Google Docs didn’t work properly, etc.

In those cases, the possible reason might be

  • The internet connection or network connection for you might not be proper.
  • There could be a chance that the antivirus installed on your machine is creating some issues.
  • Might be some issue with Google Docs, etc.

To  get rid of this problem, you can find the below suggestions

Make Sure To Enable Offline Access

Check out, How to make Google docs available offline for the complete information.

Ensure Google Drive Server Is Working Properly

You can cross-check the Google Drive Server Status. There might be a chance the server has some temporary issue and your Google Docs is not connected to the server. So it didn’t save your work properly. Cross-Check if the status is green.

How To Recover Unsaved Google Docs

Make Sure To Verify At Trash Folder

There might be a chance, unknowingly, you have deleted your unsaved Google Docs, So just cross-check the Trash folder on your Google drive to ensure the file is available there.

  1. Navigate to the Trash folder in Google Drive.
  2. Click on Trash –> Right-click on the File –> Select the Restore option.
Why did my Google docs not save

Contact Google Support Team

If still, you didn’t get your unsaved Google Docs file, now time to contact the Google Support Team. They will assist you more with this.

  1. Go to the Google Support page.
  2. If you will scroll a bit down, you will see the two options below. Click on the Contact us option.
How To Recover Unsaved file Google Docs

3. Search for missing file –> Click Next step –> Select Others –> Click Next step –> Choose your preferred contact options.

Recover Unsaved file Google Docs

How long Does Google Drive Keep Deleted Files?

Individual Google Drive users usually have a total of 30 days to recover the google docs files they deleted. After this time span, google docs files will be permanently deleted from the ‘Trash’ folder and cannot be recovered, unless you have already taken a backup of the google docs files before deletion.

Limitation of restoring files:

Restoring or recovering your deleted google docs files from google docs is not possible if you have deleted the folder structure and its main folder. You can not recover the deleted google docs files that are in the “Spam” folder.


I hope you learned how to recover a file from Google Docs and we saw how easy to recover deleted Google Docs by following the above instructions.