How to Restore Desktop Files from OneDrive?

How to restore desktop files from OneDrive? This article gathers methods to help you recover lost or deleted desktop files from OneDrive.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I get my files back on my desktop from OneDrive?

As a versatile cloud service, OneDrive is prevalent and welcomed around the world. Many Windows users utilize OneDrive to store and sync their vital files for easy access to the files on different devices.

But data loss seems to always be on time. Some users have reported that they met the OneDrive files missing issue. Many users complained that their data, especially desktop files, was lost after sync/deletion/backup, etc.


How do I restore files OneDrive deleted from my desktop but did not save online?


The OneDrive synch deleted my files on my computer but did not save them online. They are not in the online or desktop recovery folders either. How can I get these files back?


- Question from Microsoft Community


Those users who have run into the same plight thought about backups. As is known to all, backups are made in advance to prepare for a sudden data loss.

If there are backups available, users can easily retrieve lost data. So, will OneDrive back up desktop files?

Does OneDrive backup desktop files?

Yes. OneDrive offers a backup feature to facilitate users to back up PC to Onedrive, including Desktop, Documents, and Pictures.


However, if someone hasn’t subscribed storage plan, there are only 5 GB of free storage space for users to store and sync their data, which is often far away from enough for people to back up their desktop.

What’s more, this feature is more like syncing desktop to OneDrive. When you activate the desktop backup, the desktop folder will be moved from C:\Users\username\Desktop to C:\Users\username\OneDrive\Desktop.

No wonder many users are crying that “OneDrive backup deleted my files”. But rest assured; if you have desktop files disappeared, keep reading.

This article can help you figure out “How do I restore files from OneDrive to my computer” even if there are no backups or if files were permanently removed.

How to restore desktop files from OneDrive backup?

If you found desktop files disappeared after you backed up the desktop, don’t worry; your files are still available on the OneDrive cloud.

You can recover files from Onedrive to PC in two ways. Check out the following detailed steps.

Method 1. Download from the OneDrive website

Firstly, since the desktop files are kept on the OneDrive cloud, you can try downloading them from the OneDrive website.

>> Go to the OneDrive website > sign in with your Microsoft account > navigate to the Desktop folder > choose the “disappeared” files > click the menu icon > Download.


Thus, you can restore OneDrive files to your computer. If you have synced any local folders to OneDrive, you can also download them from the cloud to your local storage device.

Method 2. Move the wanted files from the OneDrive folder

How to restore desktop files from OneDrive locally? If you cannot sign in with your account right now, you can directly head over to the OneDrive local folder as well.

Step 1. Press the Win+E key to open This PC or File Explorer > find OneDrive – Personal in the sidebar > click Desktop. Or:

This PC > click the C: drive > Users > username > OneDrive > Desktop.

Step 2. Select all files you need > drag them to your preferred place or folder. Or drag them to the original location (desktop).


How to restore deleted desktop files without OneDrive backup?

These two methods are suitable for users who have found desktop files disappeared after enabling desktop backup, which means that their files were not genuinely lost but moved to the OneDrive cloud.

Then, how to restore desktop files from OneDrive after deletion?

As you know, OneDrive only keeps deleted files temporarily for 30 days. Before they get removed, you can restore deleted files or folders in OneDrive. But, if they were permanently deleted, you would lose access.

Given this, you might as well turn to an efficient data recovery tool for help. A professional data rescue app can easily recover deleted and missing files even after permanent deletion.

MyRecover is one of the eligible apps. It features comprehensiveness, convenience, competence, and also compatibility.

Comprehensive. It supports data recovery after deletion, recycle bin emptying, formatting, system crash, virus attack, etc. 
Convenient. It is user-friendly, allowing all users to operate it without difficulties. 
Competent. It is developed by a sophisticated team with over 10 years of development experience. 
Compatible. It is available on Windows 11/10/8/7/Server, NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, ReFS, etc. 
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

This efficient tool can help users recover 200+ types of data, including photos, videos, documents, etc., from HDD, SSD, SD card, and USB flash drive.

Now, rather than asking “how do I restore files from OneDrive to my computer”, just take advantage of this tool and easily get your data back.

This app is specially designed for Windows users. Windows Server users can also utilize it to recover deleted data from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.
This software automatically scans your hard drive with Quick Scan & Deep Scan. The former detects deleted files from your storage device, while the latter searches for missing files. 

Step 1. Install and run this app > Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. While scanning, you can sort the files by Date modified, Type, Size, Path, etc. If you can still recall the filenames, it is also feasible to input the names or extensions to target your wanted files faster.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files or Recycle Bin > navigate to the Onedrive folder > select your desktop files > click Recover x files.


You will be prompted to choose a target place; it is suggested to store them in another drive than the C: drive to avoid data overwriting.

Wrapping up

Users who have desktop files disappeared can read this article and learn how to restore desktop files from Onedrive. No matter whether your files were lost after activating the OneDrive desktop backup or after deletion, you can get some help in this post.

If your desktop files were lost after backup, they were not really gone but stayed in the OneDrive cloud. You can download the files from the website or navigate to the local OneDrive folder.

Suppose the desktop data were deleted accidentally or intentionally. In that case, you could head over to the Recycle Bin or find an easier way – seeking help from the professional data recovery app for help.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.