How to Restore Deleted Files

Admins, did you know Google now lets you restore deleted files?

This really useful facility is now available under the Admin panel, Manage User Accounts section.

Here are the general rules …

    • You can restore files for one user at a time on each user’s page.
    • You can select a date range to restore files from up to 25 days ago.
  • If a user provides others with access to any Drive item, when you restore that item, the access is not restored. The user can re-enable access as needed.

Unfortunately, the restoration tool is a little broad, allowing you only to select a date range for each user.

GAT can help you locate the files you need, identify if they were there in the first place and not just a share and allow you to greatly narrow the date range you might need to look at.

From the day you installed GAT, it is tracking not only the files in ‘Trash’ but also all files removed from ‘Trash’. Files removed from trash were up until now, permanently deleted, however, GAT always kept their metadata records for you to search.

The metadata associated with these files is stored under the ‘Deleted’ table on the GAT ‘Drive’ audit page. Just click on the ‘Deleted’ icon so see the totality of deleted files on your domain, or if you are looking for a file for a specific user, search for files owned by that user.

Then click on the deleted icon.

GAT 'Delete' icon

Don’t be fooled by the ‘0’ file count, it is only ‘0’ because by default the search is always for ‘Docs not deleted’, which means in this positive search ‘files deleted’ is always zero. However, if you click on the deleted icon you will see the deleted files for this user which were not returned by default in the initial search.

Looking at all files deleted helps you identify who actually owned the missing files, something that is not always apparent to users of Google Drive. Last Updated date helps you identify the date they were deleted.