How to Recover Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Accidentally deleted a Google Doc? Don’t panic! Recovering your document is a simple process that can be done in just a few clicks. By following the steps in this article, you’ll be able to retrieve your lost work and get back on track in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Recover Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. In this tutorial, we will recover a Google Doc that has been mistakenly deleted or lost due to an unexpected error. This recovery process will require you to access Google Drive’s features.

Step 1: Open Google Drive

Open Google Drive in your web browser.

Google Drive is the home of all your Google Docs, so it makes sense to start the recovery process here. Once you’ve logged in to your Google account, you’ll be greeted with a list of your recent documents.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Trash’ folder

Click on the ‘Trash’ folder located on the left-hand side of the screen.

The ‘Trash’ folder is where your deleted files are temporarily stored. It’s essentially the recycle bin for Google Drive, and it’s the first place you should check for your lost document.

Step 3: Locate your document

Search for the document you wish to recover.

You can scroll through the files or use the search bar at the top to quickly find the document you’re looking for. If you remember the name of the doc, this step will be a breeze.

Step 4: Right-click the document

Right-click on the document you want to recover.

When you right-click on the document, a menu will appear with several options. This is where you’ll find the ‘Restore’ button, which is the key to bringing your document back to life.

Step 5: Click on ‘Restore’

Select ‘Restore’ from the menu to recover your document.

After clicking ‘Restore’, your document will immediately be returned to its original location in your Google Drive. It’s like it was never gone!

Once you’ve completed these steps, your document will be back in its rightful place. It’s that simple! You can now continue working on it as if nothing ever happened.

Tips for Recovering Google Docs

  • Check the Trash folder regularly, as files are only stored there for 30 days before they’re permanently deleted.
  • If you’ve shared the document with others, ask them to check their Google Drive for a copy.
  • Use the search function in Google Drive to quickly locate the document you’re looking for.
  • Regularly back up your Google Docs to avoid losing important documents in the future.
  • If you can’t find your document in the Trash, try looking in the ‘All items’ folder, as it may have been moved instead of deleted.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do deleted documents stay in Google Drive’s Trash?

Deleted documents stay in Google Drive’s Trash for 30 days before they’re permanently deleted.

Can I recover a Google Doc that’s been permanently deleted?

Unfortunately, once a document is permanently deleted from the Trash, it cannot be recovered.

Can I recover a document that I didn’t create but was shared with me?

Yes, if the original owner has deleted the document, it will be in their Trash folder. You can ask them to restore it.

What if I can’t find the document in the Trash folder?

If the document isn’t in the Trash folder, it’s possible that it was moved to a different folder. Check the ‘All items’ folder or use the search bar to locate it.

Can I prevent accidental deletion of Google Docs in the future?

To prevent accidental deletions, consider creating backup copies of important documents or using features like ‘Version History’ to revert to previous versions of a document.


  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Go to the ‘Trash’ folder.
  3. Locate your document.
  4. Right-click the document.
  5. Click on ‘Restore’.


Losing a Google Doc can be a stressful experience, but as we’ve learned, it’s usually a simple fix. With the steps outlined in this article, you can recover your documents with ease and get back to working on your projects. Remember to check the Trash folder first and act quickly, as files are only stored there for a limited time. By following the tips provided, you can minimize the risk of losing your Google Docs in the future. Keep these steps in mind, and you’ll be prepared to handle any accidental deletions like a pro. Now go forth and recover those Google Docs with confidence!

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