Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Data from OneDrive

Megha Sharma
Megha Sharma | Published On - 23 Feb 2021 |

Read time 6 min

It is well-known that Cloud data is vulnerable to human errors like accidental or intentional deletion, which affects both the cloud data and its synchronized local copy. The data deleted from one place will also get deleted from the other. Such is the case of Microsoft OneDrive. So, data deletion and subsequent data loss is a major concern for all OneDrive users.

But there is good news to the users that this deleted data can be restored using the inbuilt options in the OneDrive application. The blog highlights those native ways to retrieve deleted data from the OneDrive, including the permanently purged ones.

Restore From Your OneDrive Recycle Bin

OneDrive web portal includes a common Recycle Bin that stores the files deleted from the OneDrive storage. The data in the Recycle Bin is available for 30 days in the Microsoft personal account. But it is available for 93 days in the Business/School account. Administrators or users can check the data availability in the Recycle Bin and restore from there.

  1. Click on the synchronized OneDrive folder on your system and click the “View online” option or go to “Help & Settings > View online” or directly visit the website at https://onedrive.live.com/ and sign in with the login credentials.
    synchronized OneDrive folder
  2. On the left panel, click on the “Recycle Bin” option. The deleted items will be displayed on the right panel.
    Click on Recycle Bin
  3. Now select those items which you want to restore and click the “Restore” option. The items will be restored to their original location.
    Click on Restore
  4. If you want to restore all the Recycle Bin items, select the check box against the Name section. It will select all the items and then click the “Restore” option to restore them to their respective original locations.
    Restore all Recycle Bin items

Restore from OneDrive Second Stage Recycle Bin

If the data retention period of 30 days or 93 days depending upon the account type is over or the user has emptied the Recycle Bin, users can also restore the data using the Second-stage Recycle Bin, also known as Site collection Recycle Bin integrated with the OneDrive portal.

  1. As an administrator, sign in to the OneDrive website and click on the Recycle Bin option.
  2. If the items are unavailable to restore here, click on the Second-stage Recycle Bin link at the bottom of the page.
    Second-stage Recycle Bin
  3. Now select desired items or all and click Restore to restore them.

Note: The files or items in the Second stage Recycle Bin will automatically get purged or deleted after the total data retention period of 93 days.

Restore from your System Recycle Bin

As the cloud OneDrive application can be synchronized with the local system creating an OneDrive folder on the local system, any data deleted from this local folder can be retrieved from the Recycle Bin of the system. So, check the simple process to recover files from the Recycle Bin.

Go to the Recycle Bin of your system and open it. Select those items deleted from your OneDrive folder on your system, right-click and select the “Restore” option from the drop-down list to restore the times to the original location.
Restore from the Recycle Bin
Note: The data is not recoverable if deleted from the Recycle Bin or purged using Shift and Del keys together.

Restore your OneDrive Previous Version

If the said data retention periods are over for OneDrive and the version history was ON, Microsoft 365 subscribers can restore their OneDrive to the selected version. Check out the procedure.

  1. Sign in to your OneDrive account online as administrator.
  2. Click on the “Gear” icon and select the “Restore your OneDrive” option.
    Restore your OneDrive
  3. Click the arrow against the “Select date” option to open the drop-down list and select the desired date range or add a custom date as per your need.
    Select date range
  4. After selecting the date range, click the “Restore” option to restore the selected date range version of your OneDrive.
    restore the selected date range version of your OneDrive

Note: Restoring the previous version will not restore Albums.

Backup OneDrive Data to be Secure Against Data Deletion Issues

Considering the vulnerability data, it is recommended to backup up OneDrive data. Though there are some manual methods to backup OneDrive data, they do not support selective backup or provide advanced features. So, a professional OneDrive backup tool like Kernel OneDrive Migration tool is the best option for OneDrive users. With its advanced filters, it offers selective backup of OneDrive data. Moreover, this tool can be used for migration involving OneDrive for business.

Download Software


The deletion of files from the OneDrive cloud and local storage platforms is a matter of concern for any organization if there is critical data. With some default data retention policies and recycle bins, the restoration of data is possible in OneDrive. We have explained these processes here. Also, we have recommended a tool for quick and easy OneDrive backup.