OneDrive's Recycle Bin: How to recover deleted files

Did you know that OneDrive has a Recycle Bin folder, just like Windows 10 does? That folder stores the files deleted from any of your OneDrive synchronized devices for 30 days after you removed them. You can then use the Recycle Bin to "undelete" your files and recover them when required. Here's how to access OneDrive's Recycle Bin and how to use it to restore your deleted files:

NOTE: This tutorial shows how to work with OneDrive's Recycle Bin on a PC with Windows, on a Mac, an Android smartphone or tablet, on an iPhone or iPad. Each type of device has dedicated sections with instructions to help you out. Scroll down to the sections relevant to your type of device.

What is OneDrive's Recycle Bin retention policy for deleted files?

OneDrive stores deleted files and folders in its Recycle Bin for at least three days and a maximum of 30 days. In most cases, it stores them for 30 days. If your Recycle Bin gets large enough to exceed 10% of your total OneDrive storage, the duration for which they are kept is reduced. If your Recycle Bin does not exceed 10% of your total storage, then all deleted files and folders are kept for 30 days after the date they are removed. If you're signed in with a work or school account (business account), your items are kept for 93 days in OneDrive's Recycle Bin, unless the administrator of your subscription has changed this setting.

OneDrive's Recycle Bin folder

A positive feature is that the Recycle Bin doesn't count against your OneDrive storage limit. Once a file is deleted, it no longer uses your available storage space. If you consider the limitation we mentioned earlier and how it works, the Recycle Bin is a temporary 10% extra storage space on top of your OneDrive storage plan.

Where is OneDrive's Recycle Bin on a PC or a Mac?

If you are using a Windows 10 PC or a Mac with OneDrive, there is no individual OneDrive Recycle Bin folder that you can access. When you delete a file or folder that is synced with OneDrive, it goes to the Recycle Bin found on your computer (or Bin on your Mac). Open the Recycle Bin and restore your deleted files from there.

Restore deleted files from Windows 10's Recycle Bin

However, if you have emptied the *Recycle Bin/Bin* on your Windows 10 PC or Mac, or have deleted your files from there, you can access OneDrive's *Recycle Bin* using a web browser. Here's how:

Go to the OneDrive website and sign-in using your Microsoft account (or business account). After OneDrive loads your files, click or tap the Recycle bin option on the left. If you don't see it, click or tap the burger icon, and then Recycle Bin.

How to access the Recycle bin on the OneDrive website

Then you see a list with all the files and folders that were deleted from OneDrive in the last 30 or 93 days, depending on the type of account that you have (personal or business).

How to access OneDrive's Recycle Bin on an Android smartphone or tablet

If you use the OneDrive app on an Android smartphone or tablet, open it and sign in with your account (if necessary). Tap the Me icon on the bottom, and then the Recycle Bin option.

How to access the Recycle Bin in the OneDrive app for Android

OneDrive's Recycle Bin is now loaded, showing your deleted files and folders.

How to access OneDrive's Recycle Bin on an iPhone or iPad

On your iPhone (or iPad), open the OneDrive app, and sign in with your account (if necessary). Then, tap the initials of your account, found on the top-left corner.

Tap your account initials in the OneDrive app for iPhone

In the menu that opens, tap Recycle Bin.

Tap Recycle Bin in the OneDrive app for iPhone

The OneDrive app displays your deleted files and folders from the last 30 days.

How to recover OneDrive's deleted files on a PC or a Mac

As we mentioned earlier, on a Windows 10 PC or a Mac, you can restore your deleted files from the Recycle Bin or Bin. However, if those files aren't there anymore, use the procedure described earlier to log into OneDrive's Recycle Bin using a web browser. Then, in the Recycle Bin folder, click or tap the name of the file(s) you want to recover, and then tap Restore.

Restore deleted files from the OneDrive website

The selected item(s) is restored immediately to its original OneDrive location. One aspect to keep in mind is that files deleted from your Personal Vault only show up in your Recycle Bin if the Personal Vault is unlocked before you check the Recycle Bin. You can also restore all the deleted files from OneDrive's Recycle Bin by using the Restore all items button on the top.

Restore all items from OneDrive's Recycle Bin

How to recover OneDrive's deleted files on an Android smartphone or tablet

On your Android device, tap on the name of the file(s) you want to restore from OneDrive's Recycle Bin. When you are done making your selections, click or tap the Restore icon shown on the top side of the OneDrive app.

Restore deleted files from the OneDrive app for Android

The file(s) you selected are restored immediately. Remember that files deleted from your Personal Vault only show up in the Recycle Bin if the Personal Vault is unlocked before you check the Recycle Bin.

How to recover OneDrive's deleted files, on an iPhone or iPad

When accessing the Recycle Bin in the OneDrive app on your iPhone or iPad, you see all the deleted files. First, select the files that you want to restore with a tap on their name. Then, tap the Restore icon on the top-right corner of the OneDrive app. Those files are immediately restored at their original location.

Restore deleted files from the OneDrive app for iPhone

Remember that the files deleted from your Personal Vault only show up in the Recycle Bin if the Personal Vault is unlocked before you access the Recycle Bin.

Did you recover your deleted files from OneDrive?

Now you know how to access OneDrive's Recycle Bin on a Windows 10 PC, on a Mac, on an Android device, an iPhone, or an iPad. You also know how to restore your deleted files from OneDrive to their original location, including those stored in your Personal Vault. Before you go, tell us if everything went well and whether you have successfully recovered your deleted files.