How to Check Google Docs Trash: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Lost a document in Google Docs and need to get it back? No worries! It’s easy to check your Google Docs trash and recover any files you may have accidentally deleted. Follow these quick steps and you’ll have your document back in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Check Google Docs Trash

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Following these steps will help you access the Google Docs trash folder, where you’ll find all your deleted documents. These files stay in the trash for 30 days before they’re permanently erased, so time is of the essence!

Step 1: Open Google Docs

Start by going to the Google Docs website.

Once you’re on the Google Docs homepage, make sure you’re logged into the correct Google account – the one you were using when you deleted the document you’re looking to recover.

Step 2: Go to the Trash Folder

On your Google Docs homepage, find and click on the ‘Trash’ folder.

The ‘Trash’ folder is usually found on the left-hand side menu. If you’re using a mobile device, you might need to tap the menu icon (it looks like three lines) to see the full list of folders.

Step 3: Locate Your Document

Look through the trash folder to find the document you want to recover.

You can scroll through the list or use the search bar at the top to quickly find the document you’re looking for. Remember, files are only kept here for 30 days, so if it’s been longer than that, it may have been permanently deleted.

Step 4: Restore the Document

Right-click on the document and select ‘Restore’ to move it back to your main Google Docs folder.

Once you click ‘Restore,’ the document will immediately disappear from the trash and reappear in your main ‘My Drive’ or ‘Shared with me’ folders. You can then open and edit it as usual.

After completing these steps, your document should now be back in your Google Docs folder, safe and sound. Now you can get back to work without skipping a beat!

Tips for Managing Google Docs Trash

  • Always double-check before permanently deleting a document; you never know when you might need it again.
  • Regularly clean out your trash folder to keep your Google Docs organized.
  • If you’re working in a shared document, communicate with your collaborators before restoring or permanently deleting any files.
  • Remember that once a document is permanently deleted, it cannot be recovered.
  • Use Google Drive’s ‘Storage’ view to see how much space your trashed documents are taking up – you might be surprised!

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t recover a document within 30 days?

If you don’t recover a document within 30 days of deleting it, Google will permanently erase it, and it can’t be recovered.

Can I recover a document that I didn’t personally delete?

Yes, if you have editing rights to a document that someone else deleted, you can recover it from the trash as long as it’s within the 30-day period.

Is there a way to recover documents after they’ve been permanently deleted?

Once a document is permanently deleted from Google Docs trash, it’s gone for good. This is why it’s important to restore any needed documents within the 30-day window.

Can I empty the trash in Google Docs?

Yes, you can manually empty the trash by going to the trash folder, selecting all documents (there’s a checkbox at the top), and then clicking on the ‘Delete forever’ option.

How can I avoid accidentally deleting important documents?

To avoid accidental deletions, you can create backups of your documents or use the ‘Star’ feature in Google Docs to mark important files for easy access.


  1. Open Google Docs.
  2. Go to the Trash folder.
  3. Locate your document.
  4. Restore the document.


So there you have it! Checking your Google Docs trash and recovering deleted documents is a simple process that can save you from losing important work. Whether you deleted a file by accident or on purpose, you have a 30-day safety net to retrieve it. Just follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be a pro at managing your Google Docs trash in no time. Always remember to act quickly, communicate with your collaborators, and regularly back up important documents to prevent any data loss. Happy writing, and may your Google Docs trash always be easy to manage!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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