How to Locate Missing Google Drive Files and Folders: The Ultimate Guide

Quick and easy-to-follow guide for Google Workspace users and administrators

Some of my Google Drive files and folders are missing

Sometimes you may lose access to a file you own. You own a file if:

  • You created or uploaded it
  • Someone else made you the owner

When Google Drive files and folders you own may go missing

A file you own may go missing if:

  • You create a file in someone else’s shared folder. Then they delete the folder. Your file won’t be deleted, but you won’t see it where it used to be anymore.
  • You share a folder with someone, and they remove your file from the folder.  Your file won’t be deleted, but you won’t see it where it used to be anymore.

In both cases, the file is most likely still in your Drive. It’s just not visible in any of your folders. To find it, follow these steps:

How to find missing Google Drive files and folders step-by-step

Step 1: Check for orphaned files

How To Locate Missing Google Drive Files And Folders - Step 1

Go to your Google Drive account at and in the search bar on the top, type the following:

is:unorganized owner:me

If you couldn’t find the file or folder this way:

Step 2: Try searching

Step 3: Check your Trash

Step 4: Check your browser history

  • See if there is a link to the file or folder in your browser history.

Step 5: Try the admin restore data feature

Step 6: Google Drive audit log

Step 7: Contact Google Workspace support

If nothing helps, it’s likely that:

  • The file or folder is no longer shared with you.
  • You deleted it over 25 days ago, and you can not restore it.
  • It has been deleted by a third-party owner and no longer exists.

To be sure, it’s best to contact Google Workspace Support.

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