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2 ways to restore OneDrive for Business files from the Recycle Bin

Posted on June 13, 2016

With SharePoint, you never stop learning! I learn something new every single day. I wish I had all the time to share all the cool little tricks with you. But I am super excited to share this little trick I learned just recently. It is on a very exciting topic of Recycle Bins. To be precise, on how to restore OneDrive for Business files from the Recycle Bin. I never thought trash would get so much attention! I learned the trick from SharePoint guru, Mike Smith. He mentioned it in response to my other post on SharePoint Recycle Bin. And while SharePoint Recycle Bin works very similarly to OneDrive Recycle Bin, there is one cool thing that is different. Let me explain.

How to restore OneDrive for Business files

Option 1: Restore OneDrive for Business files from Online Recycle Bin

Essentially this is the same technique I described in my previous post. You can restore your deleted OneDrive files same way you would restore SharePoint files:

  1. Click on Recycle Bin restorerecyclebin1
  2. Choose the file(s) or folder(s) you need to restore, then click Restore Selection restorerecyclebin2

Option 2: Restore OneDrive for Business files from your computer’s Recycle Bin

This is the trick I learned from Mike Smith. If you are using OneDrive for Business sync client, you can also go to your computer’s Recycle Bin and restore files from there as well. So it is just like restoring your regular computer files!

  1. Click on Recycle Bin on your computer desktop restorerecyclebin3
  2. Restore files from the computer’s Recycle Bin by dragging them out of the Recycle Bin or by right-clicking on the files and choosing Restore restorerecyclebin4

Couple of very important notes related to that second option

  1. You have to sync your OneDrive for Business to your desktop (if you don’t sync files using OneDrive for Business Client, this technique won’t work)
  2. You have to use the New Generation Sync Client for this to work. If you are using an old generation client, this will not work. Moreover, this trick does not work with SharePoint just yet (since it uses an old sync client for now). I expect the same functionality for SharePoint as well down the road
  3. Deleted folders do not end up in the Computer Recycle Bin, just the files. So if you delete a folder with the files inside, the files will end up in both “online” and computer Recycle Bins (and can be restored from either location). Folder by itself will only end up in “online” Recycle Bin (from where it can be restored).

Hope you learned something new! And thank you, Mike Smith for sharing this awesome tip with the community!

About Me

I’m Greg Zelfond, a U.S. based SharePoint consultant, and I provide affordable out-of-the-box SharePoint consulting, training, and configuration assistance to small and medium-sized businesses all over the world.

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