Microsoft Teams: How to Recover Deleted Files

Whoops! You clicked the wrong button and suddenly your document is gone from Teams? Don’t worry: In this guide, we’ll explain how to restore deleted files from Microsoft Teams channels or chats.

Microsoft Teams: Restore Deleted Files

If you deleted a Teams file on accident, don’t panic: A lot of people don’t realize this, but Microsoft 365 includes a recycle bin just like the one on your own desktop. You can access it through the browser apps for SharePoint and OneDrive. The recycle bin stores items for 93 days before they are permanently removed. Learn more about file retention in M365.

Why SharePoint and OneDrive though? Well, Microsoft Teams actually stores files in the collaboration slash cloud storage solutions, depending on whether you share them publicly in a team tab (SharePoint) or privately via direct message in a one-on-one or group chat (OneDrive). You can learn more about the technical background of Teams file sharing in our SharePoint vs. OneDrive comparison.

Finding the Recycle Bin

To restore a deleted file, you first need to navigate to the SharePoint or OneDrive web app, either going there directly or by using the corresponding button in the Teams UI:

Teams UI with a highlight on the Open in SharePoint button.
Screenshot: Open in SharePoint.
Teams UI with a highlight on the Open in OneDrive button.
Screenshot: Open in OneDrive.

Next, navigate to the Recycle Bin to access the list of temporarily stored files. As long as it has been less than 93 days since deletion, you should be able to find your missing file there before it is permanently removed. If the Recycle Bin has been emptied, you can still recover the file from the second-stage Recycle Bin. All of this is assuming your organization hasn’t disabled the Recycle Bin or changed its settings regarding storage duration.

SharePoint Web UI for recently deleted files.
Screenshot: SharePoint Online Recycle Bin.
OneDrive Web UI for recently deleted files.
Screenshot: OneDrive Web Recycle Bin.

Keep Track of Share Permissions with IAM

Do you want to use Microsoft 365 without losing control of file sharing? No problem! As an all-in-one solution for access management, tenfold offers full integration with Microsoft services, including support for local networks, Microsoft 365 and third-party applications!

Thanks to tenfold‘s detailed reporting, it only takes admins seconds to see which files are being shared in which teams and which of them are accessible to outside users. The tenfold Dashboard even highlights potential issues, such as guest users with active licenses.

Learn more about tenfold‘s full range of features by watching our video demo. Ready to make the jump? Sign up for a free trial to see how easy access management can be with the right tool!

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About the Author: Joe Köller

Joe Köller is tenfold’s Content Manager and responsible for the IAM Blog, where he dives deep into topics like compliance, cybersecurity and digital identities. From security regulations to IT best practices, his goal is to make challenging subjects approachable for the average reader. Before joining tenfold, Joe covered games and digital media for many years.