How To Recover Deleted Google Sheets Files

Recovering deleted Google Sheets is a straight-forward process – thanks to Google Drive integration.

It can be very startling when you realize you need information from a Google Sheet that you or someone else you work with deleted it.

Fortunately, restoring a deleted Google Sheet is a brief process if you know where to look.

However, the process is different depending on the device you’re using and if you were the one who deleted the file.

In this tutorial, I will show you two really simple ways to recover deleted Google Sheets files.

How to Recover Deleted Google Sheets

Google Drive stores all deleted Google Sheets files in a location called “Trash.”

It keeps the files there until you manually go to “Trash” and delete the file there. However, a workbook deleted from “Trash” is gone forever.

Restoring Google Sheets Using a Web Browser

If you’re on a computer, you can directly access Google Drive “Trash” through a web browser. This method will not work if you’re using a mobile device, which requires the Google Drive app.

This process works if you are the person who created the Google Sheets file. If someone else created the file, they’ll need to complete this process.

Follow these steps on a computer to recover a deleted Google Sheets file:

  1. Go to the “Trash” folder on Google Drive. You can either access it at the URL: https://drive.google.com/drive/trash or by clicking “Trash” from the sidebar navigation from Google Drive. This page will display all your deleted Google files.Clcik on Trash in Google Drive
  2. Right-click on the Google Sheets file you want to restore. In the example case, we’re going with the appropriately named “Important Google Sheet” file.Right click on the file that you want to restore
  3. Next, select “Restore” from the right-click menu. This will return the file to your normal Google Sheets file list.Recover the Google Sheets file

The above steps would restore this file back to where it was deleted from.

Restoring Google Sheets on Smartphone (Drive App)

If you’re using a tablet or mobile device, you can restore a deleted Google Sheets file through the Google Drive app. You’ll need to install this app on your Android or iOS device before going through this process.

Once you’ve installed and launched the Google Drive app on your device, follow these steps to recover a deleted Google Sheets file:

  1. Open the hamburger navigation.Click Hamburger icon in the app
  2. Choose the “Trash” option from the expanded navigation menu.Select Trash
  3. Click the options dots next to the file you want to recover. In the example, we’re again using “Important Google Sheet.”Click on the options dot
  4. Choose “Restore” from the pop-up menu. This will return the file to your normal Google Sheets file list.Click on Restore

How to Recover Google Sheets from Deleted Folders

It’s easy to lose track of Google Sheets files after you or a collaborator deletes the folder storing them. Fortunately, Google Drive has a method to find and restore these files.

To recover Google Sheets files from deleted folders, follow these steps in Google Drive:

  1. Run a search query for “type:spreadsheet is:unorganized” in the search window. Click the magnifying glass to run the search. This will bring back all spreadsheet files that were formerly stored in a now-deleted folder.Search in Google Drive
  2. If you have any spreadsheets lost to folder deletion, you’ll see “Chrome Syncable File System” in the search results. Open this folder to begin your search.Search result of deleted file
  3. At this point, you’ll encounter folders with nonsensical names. Search through these folders to find the missing Google Sheets file.Missing Google Sheets File

Once you have found the file,  you can then restore it.

With these methods, you can track down and recover deleted Google Sheets files easily.

Also, the methods that we have covered here will also work for other Google products such as Google Docs or Google Slides.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:

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