Perhaps one of the most common use cases for disaster recovery and data protection solutions is recovering a deleted file or number of files. It is commonplace to have users either accidentally delete files or intentionally delete files, only to realize it was not the file they assumed, or they performed a Save operation instead of a Save As an operation, overwriting valuable data.
With many organizations moving to public cloud storage such as G Suite, what mechanisms are in place to help recover from files that have been deleted or overwritten? We just assume that you’ve already secured your Google Drive and protected yourself from ransomware and now the main issues you have is to recover occasionally deleted file. Let’s take a look at how to recover deleted files from Google Drive to see how this can be done.
Mechanisms for Google Drive Recovery
There are native, built-in features when working from Google Drive storage that allow a safety net of sorts when thinking about how to recover deleted files from Google Drive due to the scenarios that are mentioned above.
- A user deletes a file from Google Drive – “Undo” Operation and Google Drive Trash Restore
- User overwrites a file, causing data loss – Google Drive Manage Versions functionality
Let’s take a look at both of these mechanisms for Google Drive recovery, how they work, and how a restoration of data can be performed.
Google Drive Recovery with “Undo” Operation and Google Drive Trash Restore
When a user deletes a file in a careless manner, they may unintentionally delete the wrong file, or accidentally delete a file without intending to. This can obviously lead to data loss without the means to recover. There are a couple of options for a user to recover a file that has been deleted in either of these situations.
If the user catches the delete action quick enough, there is a “bubble tip” box that pops up in the Google Drive window alerting the user to the delete operations and also gives them the option to Undo the delete operation. This essentially moves the file from the Google Drive Trash back to the original location.
Performing the UNDO operation to restore a file back to Google Drive that was just deleted
If it has been more than a few moments however since the file is deleted, this window will eventually go away. At that point, the user will have to navigate to the Google Drive Trash folder and then restore the file from there.
To restore items from the Google Drive Trash folder, navigate to Trash under My Drive and right-click on the file that was deleted. This will open a context menu with two options – Restore and Delete forever. To recover the file, choose the Restore option. This will return the file back to its original location.
Restoring files from the Google Drive Trash
Recover Google Files with Google Drive Manage Versions
There is another built-in feature for Google Drive files that allows recovering data that may have been overwritten. Accidentally overwriting data is a scenario that happens often when end users perform a Save operation unintentionally or to the wrong file. Without saving a new version of the file, a Save operation overwrites the data that may have been changed or deleted before the Save operation is performed.
When right-clicking on a file housed in Google Drive, you will see the Manage versions option in the context menu.
Manage versions allows restoring an alternate version of a file
After clicking the Manage Versions option, the Manage Versions dialog box opens showing the available versions of the file that can be restored. The date and timestamp of the file will be displayed allowing the user to see the timeframe of the version captured. When the version is decided upon, click the three “dots” next to the file and select Download. This will allow downloading the version of the file selected. This will allow accessing the data that was overwritten by an unexpected file save.
Manage versions keeps alternate file versions that can be downloaded
Third-Party Backup Still Needed for Google Drive
Is the functionality described here enough for users to recover deleted items from Google Drive in all cases? No. Any file that is permanently deleted is gone forever without a mechanism or data protection solution in place that allows recovering from a backup of the data needing to be recovered.
Spinbackup provides extraordinarily powerful Google Drive data backups with automated backups, featuring unlimited restore points of your data. With Spinbackup, even if a user permanently deletes the file or other data from Google Drive, Spinbackup can recover it. It does this quickly, securely, and intelligently.
By using the native features provided by Google as well as the protection afforded by Spinbackup, users, and organizations never again need to worry about data loss in their Google Drive environment!
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