Accidentally deleted files

Copper Contributor

I just accidentally deleted a file and a directory. Word used to have a place where deleted stuff went, a discard directory or trash, and we could retrieve stuff that had been deleted, but I don't see that now. 

Where did my stuff go, and how do I get it back?

4 Replies


If this was stored on or synced to OneDrive, you may be able to recover it.

In Windows, check your Trash. The files may well be there unless you emptied it.

The Mac has a similar facility as well as the Time Machine utility.


Word has never had the facility you mention but has had some restoration capabilities.

See Automatically Backup Word Documents by Graham Mayor, MVP.

Nothing Word or Office have ever done dealt with deleted directories/folders.


With hard drives and SSDs it is not a question of whether the drive will fail, but when. A good backup system is vital to maintaining your data against disk failure or accidental deletion.

If the files are not in the Trash or on OneDrive, if this is mission-critical information. Stop using your computer. Period.
Take it to a local recovery specialist who may well be able to find your files. (This will not be cheap.)



The Trash directory is what I'm looking for. This was always standard on older versions of Word until One Drive came along. How do I access Trash?

There should be an icon on your Desktop that looks like a trash can.