By Nicky / Last Updated December 29, 2020


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My OneDrive files are missing!

“OneDrive lost my files! All of the files are missing in OneDrive. The folders and subfolders are present, but all the files in these folders and subfolders are simply gone. Trying to recover the files in the OneDrive on-line Recycle Bin but there are no deleted files. These are very important client files, and we need to recover them. How to find my missing files in OneDrive and recover them? Please give me some suggestions! Thanks!”

As mentioned in the above case, some OneDrive users find their OneDrive files are missing sometimes for unknown reasons. If your OneDrive files are missing, don’t be panic, there are some common reasons that cause this issue and some measures to find your files in OneDrive and let OneDrive recover missing files. Please read on and follow the steps below to find missing files.

How do I find missing files and get them back on OneDrive?

It's worth mentioning that Microsoft 365 subscribers can restore the entire OneDrive to a previous time. If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber and lose a huge number of files or all files at once, you can go to Files Restore to undo all the actions that occurred on both files and folders within the last 30 days.

Way 1. Search for your files on

1. Sign in to the OneDrive website.

2. Use "Search everything" to look for your files.

OneDrive Search Files

Note: Files in your "Personal Vault" don't appear in search results. So, you can also go to your Personal Vault and check if your missing files are here.

Way 2. Look in the Recycle bin

1. Sign in to the OneDrive website.

2. Click the "Recycle bin" on the left side of the page and find the files you need.

  • If you find the item you're looking for, select it, and click "Restore" at the top of the page.

Recover Files in OneDrive

  • If you cannot find the item in a long list, you may choose to "Restore all items" at the top of the page.

Restore All Items

Note: If you want to see files that were deleted from Personal Vault in the Recycle bin, you need to unlock Personal Vault first. You also need to unlock Personal Vault before you try to restore files that were deleted from Personal Vault. To unlock the Personal Vault, you can use the "Show Personal Vault items" command in the recycle bin.

Show Personal Vault Items

Way 3. Check your Microsoft account

If you have multiple Microsoft account or you are an OneDrive for work or school user, chances are that you might log in to the wrong Microsoft account and your files are safely on another OneDrive. Or, you may upload your files to another account so you can’t find the files in the account you are logging in.


Way 4. Check if the files have not yet synced

Sometimes, you may think that the files have been automatically synchronized to OneDrive but they are not for some reason. For instance, files saved with Office 2016 will be uploaded to OneDrive first, however, the Office Upload cache system may be interfering with OneDrive sync. Therefore, you should try turning off the related setting in OneDrive settings.

Automatically Sync Settings 1

Way 5. Contact OneDrive support team

If you’ve followed the methods above but still can’t find your files, you can email the OneDrive support team and commit the following information:

  • The names of the files or folders you are trying to find. If the files are photos/videos, specify the date you took them.

  • Approximately when you last accessed the files, and on which device (e.g., PC, Android, iPhone).

  • Consent that the OneDrive support team can search your file history for you.

Contact Onedrive Team

Bonus tip: Backup OneDrive files in advance with CBackupper

Actually, files in cloud storage are still facing the risk of loss and you can’t recover your files successfully sometimes. Besides OneDrive, users of other cloud storage like Google Drive and Dropbox also claim that their Dropbox files or Google Drive files are missing suddenly. Therefore, it is necessary to backup your OneDrive files just in case.

To backup OneDrive files, you are recommended to use CBackupper, which is a free and professional cloud backup service that can help you backup OneDrive files to other cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, and so on directly. In addition, it offers many useful backup settings like scheduled backup, file filter, email notification, etc. to help you save backup time and effort.

You can follow the steps below to learn how to backup OneDrive files with CBackupper:

1. Create an account and sign in. Just go to the main page of CBackupper, click “Sign up” at the upper right side, then type your email, password, and name. After that, sign in to your account.

Sign Up

2. Click “Add Clouds” under the “Clouds” tab, select your clouds and click “Add”. Then sign in your account and authorize CBackupper to access and manage your files on the cloud.

Add OneDrive

3. To backup files between cloud storage, click on the “Tasks” tab at the top of the page, then, click the “Create Task” button.

Create Task

Note: Under “Settings”, you can enjoy “File Filter” and enable “Email Notification”. You can also set automatic backup under “Schedule”.

4. Name your backup task, click the “Add Source” button to add OneDrive as the backup source, and click “Add Destination” to another cloud storage (e.g. Google Drive). Click “Start Backup” in the lower right corner to execute the backup task.

Migrate Onedrive To Google Drive

By the way, besides the free web version, CBackupper also has a PC client version for Windows PC. If you need a PC cloud backup as an OneDrive alternative, you can take CBackupper into consideration. It can help you backup your PC files to the cloud easily and quicily. It offers a 15-day free trial and 1000 GB of huge backup space.

Sign In

Final words

“OneDrive files missing” issue may happen to you unexpectedly. If you meet this issue, be relax and follow the methods above to solve this problem. But besides this issue, there are many other OneDrive issues like OneDrive Error Code 2, OneDrive Error Code 0x8004de40 that may occur from time to time. So, to prevent your data from losing in these trouble situations, you’d better backup you OneDrive data in advance with CBackupper.