Recovering deleted files in OneDrive as an admin

Like a lot of businesses these days, Microsoft 365 with OneDrive is being used to store documents of all sorts, whether it’s for business use or personal, the storage, deletion and recovery is the same.

However, what happens when that one user within the business accidently deletes that one file which they really need? Although people can recover their own files, sometimes people are not technical and they aren’t confident enough to go through the steps to recover the files and instead ring the IT help desk or the managed service provider.

This is an article which describes how to gain access to the users OneDrive and restore the missing file(s).

OneDrive recovery: The steps

First you need to log into the Microsoft 365 admin portal as a Microsoft 365 administrator, which can be found at:

Once logged into the Admin centre, click on the ‘Show all’ menu option on the left side of the screen to list all the options and then click on the ‘SharePoint’ option to open up the SharePoint Admin Centre.

Microsoft 365


Once logged into the SharePoint admin centre, click on ‘More Features’ on the left side, then click on the Open button under the ‘User Profiles’ option.

More features

Under the User Profiles screen, select the option ‘Manage User Profiles’, then search for the user who has deleted the files.

Manage user profiles

Search user

Once the user comes up, click on the user and click on ‘Manage Personal Site’, then click on ‘Recycle Bin’ which can be found under the ‘Site Collection Administration’ group. This will then show all the files which have been deleted, select the files and then click on the Restore button.

Hope this helps and is of use to some people.  Ensuring that you can backup and recover your files is important to ensure that you don’t loose anything. Make sure that you keep backups and remember that Microsoft 365 doesn’t actually backup your files!.  Look for a third-party solution.

Also now is also a good time to ensure that everyone is using Multi-factor authentication within the environment.