Missing iCloud content? Here’s how to recover lost iCloud Drive documents and files

Whether you accidentally deleted content or it’s unexpectedly missing from iCloud, follow along for how to recover lost iCloud Drive documents and files.

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

Just like the Photos app, deleted files from iCloud remain recoverable for 30 days. You’ll need to use a Mac, iPad, or another device with a desktop browser to see the most iCloud files that are able to be recovered.

However, with the Files app on iPhone and iPad, you can also recover files from the “Recently Deleted” location but you may not see all files that appear when using iCloud.com.

How to recover lost iCloud Drive documents

  1. Head to iCloud.com on the web (works on Mac, iPad, and other desktops)
  2. Log in and click Account Settings (under your name or click the arrow in the top right corner)
  3. In the very bottom left-hand corner under Advanced, click Restore Files
  4. Wait for files to populate, click individual files or use the Select All checkbox
  5. Click Restore, then Done when finished
  6. The restored file(s) will be on your Mac’s Desktop (even if you did it from iPad)

Alternately, head to the Recently Deleted location in the Files app on iOS and iPadOS.

Here’s how the process looks:

How to recover lost iCloud Drive documents

Now scroll or swipe to the bottom and look for Advanced in the left corner. Click Restore Files.

How to recover lost iCloud Drive documents walkthrough 2

It may take a few moments to populate the list of deleted files that can be recovered. iCloud Drive files are saved in the deleted cache for 30 days.

Select the files you’d like to recover and click Restore.

How to recover lost iCloud Drive documents walkthrough 3

As shown above, Apple notes that if you’re not seeing a file, try looking in the Files app on iPhone or iPad under the “Recently Deleted” location.

When complete, you’ll see a confirmation of the files that were restored. Head to your Mac’s desktop to see them.

You can look for deleted Bookmarks, Contacts, and Calendars, and restore them by heading back to the Advanced section on iCloud.com.

Read more 9to5Mac tutorials: 

macOS Catalina:

iPhone & iPad:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

totallee clear case iphone 11
You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel