Restore Files in Microsoft SharePoint and Teams


Data loss is non-negotiable. Period. Microsoft SharePoint, and by extension Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business which uses the same storage mechanism, provides site members an easy to use recycle bin to recover accidentally deleted files. Additionally, site owners have a second stage recycle bin which provides further opportunities to recover deleted files. Additional details about these recycle bins can be found in the Undelete Files Within SharePoint Online KB article. Furthermore, SharePoint supports file versioning allowing reverting individual files back to a previous version if the file is still available. See the Restore a File to a Previous Version Within SharePoint or Microsoft Teams article for additional details.

If something goes wrong, there is one additional option available which is to restore the entire document library. Document library restoration for SharePoint and Microsoft Teams is a complete self-service recovery solution that allows administrators, and site owners to restore a site's entire document library from any point in time during the last 30 days. This can be used to restore files and folders in the library you suspect have been compromised by end-user deletion, file corruption, or malware infection. This options should be considered only has a last resort, and should be done as soon as possible to minimize any potential impacts.


Currently SharePoint only allows restoration of a site's document library for the previous 30 days, so it is imperative to act promptly once an issue has been identified. As mentioned in the Undelete Files Within SharePoint Online article, it is possible to restore deleted files individually for up to 93 after date of first deletion.



This option should only be used in emergencies. Restores are blunt instruments that overwrite complete site collections to the time of the backup. It’s usually easier (and quicker) to recover deleted files from the recycle bin. Some general things to be aware of are:

  • Library restores are intended as a disaster recovery method for the entire document library, and cannot be scoped/limited to a specific folder.
  • This will cause files created after the selected restoration point/date to be deleted. Care should be take before restoring a library to backup any newly created files to some other location (e.g. a folder on a local hard drive that is not in a OneDrive synced folder) so that the files can be added back to the document library after the restoration is complete.
  • Restore operations on large document libraries can take time.

Consider trying one of the other options documented in the KB articles linked below, before trying the Site Restore option as a last resort.


What materials do I need?

  • Internet access
  • Web browser
  • Be a SharePoint site, or Teams owner


How do I use this technology?

  1. Login to Office 365 @ UA.
  2. Access the desired SharePoint site.
    1. In the upper left corner, click App launcher.

      Office 365 App Launcher icon highlighted
    2. Click SharePoint.
    3. Under the Following list, click the name of the site you want to restore files from.

      Office 365 SharePoint following site highlighted
      Microsoft Teams with multiple Channels may appear as separate groups. Hover the mouse over the group to see the full name.
  3. On the left click Documents.

    Office 365 SharePoint Site Documents Highlighted
  4. Click the Settings icon in the upper right corner.

    Office 365 SharePoint Site Settings Button Highlighted
  5. Click Restore this library.

    Office 365 SharePoint Site Restore this library button highlighted
  6. Restore <group name> - Documents page will appear.

    Office 365 SharePoint Restore Site Documents date selector prompt
    1. Click the Select a date dropdown menu. The available options will very depending upon the most recent date/time a file was modified. Typically the following options are available.
      • Yesterday
      • One week ago
      • Three weeks ago
      • Custom date and time
    2. Select Custom date and time.

      Office 365 SharePoint Site Restore Documents Custom date and time selected
    3. Adjust the date slider to the most recent available date where the files were known to be valid and/or available.

      Office 365 SharePoint Site Restore Documents date slider highlighted
    4. A list of changes will be displayed.
    5. Select a change in the list, then click Restore.

      Office 365 SharePoint Site Restore Documents select change highlighted
      When selecting a file change to restore, all changes before it are also restored.
    6. At the Are you sure you want to to restore this library? prompt, click Restore.

      Office 365 SharePoint Site Restore Library confirmation dialog window
    7. A progress dialog will be displayed.

      Office 365 SharePoint Site Documents Library Restoration Progress Window 0%
    8. Once the library has been restored, click Return to Documents.

      Office 365 SharePoint Site Documents Library Restoration Progress Window 100%
    9. Verify that the files have been successfully restored.


Is there any additional information I should know about?

If a file was simply deleted consider using the sites recycle bin to restore the file. See the Undelete Files Within SharePoint Online article for additional details. If a file is still available, but an undesirable change has been made, consider instead restoring a previous version. See the Restore a File to a Previous Version Within SharePoint or Microsoft Teams article for additional details.


Need additional help or have issues

For support, requests may be submitted anytime using the appropriate Office 365 @ UA form. Requests generate a Ticket which will be worked in order received and urgency by IT Employees with the knowledge and permissions to assist with the request.

For immediate assistance please review the Contact IT page for the appropriate support group.

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Article ID: 771
Thu 2/24/22 10:50 AM
Mon 8/15/22 1:39 PM

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Every time a file that is saved within Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business, or a SharePoint site is modified SharePoint makes note of the change in its version history. Read this article for simple directions for reverting changes made to a file.
When you delete items from a SharePoint site, they're sent to the site's Recycle Bin, where you can restore them if you need to up to 93 days from the time they were originally deleted. Read on to learn how to undelete files within SharePoint Online.