Google Docs: Document deletion and recovery

If a doc or file has been permanently deleted from the Documents List, it’s not possible to recover the item. It’s also impossible to recover docs or files after a Google Apps domain administrator deletes a user's account.

If the owner of a doc or file moved it to the trash, the owner can follow these steps to move the item back into their Documents List. Keep in mind that viewers, commenters, and editors only have the ability to unsubscribe from an item, not to permanently delete it.

  1. Sign in to Google Docs. You’ll land on your Documents List.
  2. Click Trash along the left side of your Documents List.
  3. Locate the item you'd like to move back to your Documents List, and check the box next to the title.
  4. Click the More drop-down menu.
  5. Select Restore from trash. This will restore the item back to the owner’s Documents List, as well as to any collaborator’s Documents List.

Tips to find items in your Documents List

If you can't find an item in the Documents List, it doesn't necessarily mean that the owner deleted it. Here are some helpful suggestions to find an item:

Document and file recovery policy

If you can't find your item(s) in All items, Trash, or by performing a search, then they've been permanently removed from Google Docs, possibly deleted by someone else. If you don’t own the item, it’s also possible that you unsubscribed from the item, in which case you should contact the owner to regain access.

If the doc or file has been deleted by the owner, or if the owner's account was deleted, we regret that we're unable to recover documents that have been permanently deleted.