Cloud

How to recover deleted iCloud data

iCloud is a great place for storing data to be synced between multiple devices. However, if you lose this data, it could be devastating. Find out how to recover deleted data through iCloud.

iCloud restore

If you've ever deleted something from iCloud and thought it went into an abyss where you'll never see or be able to recover it, then think again. Just a few months ago, Apple rolled out a new feature in iCloud that lets you very easily recover deleted files from within the iCloud web interface. Let's take a look at how you can view these deleted files and recover them efficiently.

Viewing deleted iCloud data

To view deleted data, perform these steps:

  1. Open iCloud.com and sign in with your iCloud account credentials
  2. Select Settings
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings page to find Restore Files under the Advanced heading

Once you're inside this Restore Files interface (Figure A), you'll be able to see the last month's worth of files that have been deleted from your iCloud Drive (this includes apps that connect to iCloud Drive and files you've placed inside of iCloud Drive on your Mac). In each row of data, you'll find the date the file was deleted, the day that the file will be permanently removed from iCloud, plus the file name and location of the file if you want to restore.

Figure A

Figure A

The Restore Files interface.

Looking to the top of this section, you'll see tabs for Restore Contacts and Restore Calendars. Clicking on either of these tabs will present you with an interface for recovering this type of data as well.

Recovering deleted iCloud data

To recover a file, perform these steps inside of the iCloud.com interface:

  1. Select Settings
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings page and click Restore Files
  3. Locate the file you wish to restore, and place a checkmark beside of the file (repeat for as many files as you wish to recover)
  4. Click Restore File(s)

When you do this, the file will be recovered to the original location specified below the file name in your iCloud Drive account.

A note on recovering contacts, calendars and reminders: When you restore these files, you are not restoring individual contact cards, calendars, or individual reminders (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

When you restore files, you're restoring for a specific date and time.

Instead, you're restoring the entire backup of contacts, calendars, and reminders at a the specified time in the restore interface. This will include all of the changes made to your calendars, reminders, and contacts to that date, and the restore changes will propagate to all of your devices.

What other tips do you have for using iCloud Drive? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

Also see

About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox