How to Restore Deleted Files From iCloud

Nov 19
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For iOS, iPadOS and macOS users, iCloud plays an important part in file storage and backup. It not only syncs user files and devices backups to the cloud, it also stores photos, notes, contacts, bookmarks, and calendars. Here is how you can easily restore a photo, file, contact, bookmark or calendar, if you delete it from iCloud.

While it is easy to restore a file from 'trash' or 'recently deleted' folder, in case you delete it from your iCloud Drive on any of your devices, it is not as straight forward to restore it if you delete it permanently. Especially if you delete contacts, bookmarks or calendar, since they do not have a trash folder to recover data from. Luckily, Apple has provided recovery methods for each of these data types.

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The first step would be to login to iCloud.com in your browser. Because of the updated desktop-class Safari browser in iPadOS, you can also use it to log in to the website. Once logged, in, click on your name in the top right of the website, and click Account Settings.

How to restore deleted Files from iCloud

Deleted files can be restored from iCloud for up to 30 days. This includes files that you deleted from iCloud Drive on your Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Deleted files from third-party apps that use iCloud can also be restored from here.

  1. In iCloud Settings, go to the Advanced section at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on Restore Files.
  3. Click the checkboxes to select the files that you want to restore, and click done.

Restore Files

If you do not restore files within 30 days, they will be permanently deleted and will not be restorable anymore. You can see the days remaining for each file, within which it can be recovered.

How to restore deleted Contacts from iCloud

Unlike Files, you cannot restore individual contacts from iCloud. You can restore a backed-up archive of your contacts, which will overwrite your current contacts. iCloud will make an archive of your current contacts during the process so you can switch back if required.

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  1. In iCloud Settings, go to the Advanced section at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on Restore Contacts.
  3. Click Restore next to the contacts archive that you want to restore, and click done.

Restore Contacts

How to restore deleted Calendars from iCloud

Similar to Contacts, Calendars are archived. Restoring a calendar archive will replace your current calendar. Your current calendar will be archived. Any shared calendars will need to be re-shared again. Restoring a calendar also send a cancellation request to any event attendees, and issues them a new invite. It is a messy process so plan it well before proceeding.

  1. In iCloud Settings, go to the Advanced section at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on Restore Calendars.
  3. Click Restore next to the calendars archive that you want to restore, and click done.

Restore Calendars

Apple used to allow restoring reminders, but since the new update in iOS 13, support has been removed.

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Apple allows restoration of Safari bookmarks under this option, for up to 30 days after deletion.

  1. In iCloud Settings, go to the Advanced section at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on Restore Bookmarks.
  3. Click the checkboxes to select bookmarks that you want to restore, and click done.

Restore Bookmarks

Apple used to support restoring Reading List items, but that option is not available on iCloud anymore, even though Apple's support website still shows it.

How to restore deleted Notes from iCloud

To recover deleted notes, you can use the Recently Deleted folder in the Notes app on your Mac, iOS device or iPadOS device. Alternatively, you can go to the Notes app on iCloud.com.

  1. Click on Recently Deleted folder in the left sidebar.
  2. Select the Notes that you want to recover.
  3. Click on the Restore button on the top toolbar.

Recover deleted notes

You have 30 days to recover deleted notes, before they are permanently deleted.

How to restore deleted Photos & Videos from iCloud

If you want to recover deleted photos and videos, you can simply go to the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app on your iOS device, iPadOS device or Mac. You can also go to iCloud.com and follow the below steps:

  1. Click on Recently Deleted folder in the left sidebar.
  2. Select the photos and videos that you want to recover.
  3. Click on Recover on the top right, just next to the delete option.

Recover iCloud Photos

Photos and videos are also available in the recently deleted folder for 30 days, after which they are permanently deleted.

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