Troubleshoot | OneDrive Deleted My Photos. How to Recover?

Why OneDrive deleted my photos? How do I stop my OneDrive from deleting files? And how can I recover deleted OneDrive files? Check out this article.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“Why have my photos disappeared from OneDrive?”

OneDrive offers valuable features to help users keep, sync, send, and share their files. Windows users are willing to use OneDrive to store their files, cooperate with others, and sync their computer files; thus, they can access their data wherever they like.

But, as is known to all, no matter how prudent, no one can escape from data loss, whether you are using cloud storage like OneDrive, or local storage devices.

Many users are complaining about issues like “OneDrive deleted my photos”.

To your relief, this is not a rare case. Many users are now curious about why the OneDrive files are missing and wondering how to perform OneDrive photo recovery.


OMG! One Drive Deleted All My Photos and Videos!

I had some essential photos and videos saved on my One Drive from about 2 years ago and now I come back to find out that it seems to have been deleted.

I checked the recycling bin on One Drive and on my computer but can't find it. Does One Drive permanently delete files? Are all my very important videos and pictures gone for good?!!!

- Question from Microsoft Community

Some users seem to be sure that OneDrive deleted their files. Is this true?

Does OneDrive automatically delete photos?

Will OneDrive genuinely delete your files? No, and yes, in some sense.


Generally speaking, OneDrive will not delete users’ files without warning. Your data will be safe and sound as long as your account is in constant and regular use and your operations/files breach no laws.

Given this, we can find out some possible causes.

Inactivity. If you have constantly been away from OneDrive for 2 years, OneDrive will estimate your account as inactive and remove your files after warning. 
Deleted. Maybe you haven’t signed out from another device, and others deleted your data. 
Sync issue. Some users might meet the OneDrive sync pending error and get photos lost from their devices. 
Shared. If the photos were in a shared folder, maybe the owner accidentally removed this folder or removed you from the shared list. 
Virus. Antivirus will detect virus-infected files and quarantine/remove them. Viruses will delete, hide, and even encrypt your files maliciously.

Since you may be clearer about why your photos are lost from OneDrive, we can perform a better OneDrive photo recovery.

Fix: OneDrive deleted my photos

How does OneDrive restore deleted files? Check this part for multiple methods to fix this issue accordingly.

Solution 1. Check the Recycle Bin on both the desktop & website

The first action will be to check the Recycle Bin. Both the desktop Recycle Bin and the OneDrive website recycle bin are accessible.

If you found OneDrive deleting files automatically and repeatedly without warning, then perhaps files were deleted by others from another signed-in device;

You could stop it by changing your password first and then recovering deleted OneDrive files from the trash bin.

>> To restore deleted photos from the OneDrive website Recycle Bin:

Step 1. Sign in to > Click the Menu button > Recycle bin.


Step 2. Choose your removed photos > Restore.


>> To retrieve deleted photos from the desktop Recycle Bin:

Step 1. Go to the Recycle Bin on your desktop.

Step 2. Find the pictures from OneDrive > click Restore to perform OneDrive photo recovery.


If deleted files are not in the Recycle Bin, they might have been permanently removed. Check the following methods to rescue them.

Solution 2. Contact the shared folder owner to re-share

People who use OneDrive to cooperate with others always share files and folders with others.

Once the owner permanently deletes the shared folder, all participants will lose access to it. Also, if the owner accidentally removed you from the shared list, the files will be invisible.

You could go to the shared folder and check if the shared photos were there.

>> Go to Shared > Shared with you > if your shared files were lost, contact the owner and see if they can re-share the photos with you.


Solution 3. Re-sync the OneDrive

Syncing will also affect the files on your OneDrive storage. If the files were not synced properly, you are not able to view and edit the files.


>> Check if you can fix it using these solutions:

  • See if your WiFi connection is working correctly.
  • Click Pause syncing, and then click Resume syncing.
  • Try updating OneDrive.
  • Shorten the filenames (especially for long names).

Solution 4. Rollback OneDrive

If all the above fixes are not helpful, how to solve the problem “OneDrive deleted my photos”? Your files were not shared either in the OneDrive Recycle Bin. How can you get them back?

OneDrive has offered a feature that allows users to roll back the OneDrive to an earlier date. Thus, users can undo the deletion and other changes and get the photos back.

Then how does OneDrive restore previous version?

This feature requires Microsoft 365 subscription.

Step 1. Sign in > click Settings > Options > Restore your OneDrive.


Step 2. Select a previous date > click Restore.


Solution 5. Check the Windows Defender quarantined list

Computers need virus and threat defender software to protect them. Once the antivirus detects a suspicious or virus-infected file, it immediately quarantines/removes the file.

You could go and check the antivirus quarantine list and see if your photos were there. Here we will take Windows Defender as an example.

If a file loss issue occurs repeatedly, you could also add exclusions to the list to stop Windows Defender deleting files automatically.

Step 1. Press the Win+I key to start Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Protection history.


Step 2. Check the quarantined files. Choose the quarantined files > click Actions > Restore.


If there are no photos you need, then they might have been removed already. Please move on and check the efficient tool to recover them.

How to recover deleted OneDrive files effortlessly?

Users who have found “OneDrive deleted my photos” may notice that their wanted photos are not in the Recycle Bin nor in the quarantined list; what’s more, those non-Microsoft 365 users are not able to restore their OneDrive.

In this case, how to realize OneDrive photo recovery? Using professional data recovery software for Windows will be a wise and preferred choice.

MyRecover is an eligible and efficient tool. It is developed by the leading enterprise in the data recovery industry and features easy, efficient, convenient, and comprehensive features.

Choose MyRecover as your helper to solve the OneDrive photo loss issue.

Use MyRecover to recover your OneDrive photos
  • Easy: it is easy to use, requiring no expertise or experience.
  • Efficient: It supports over 200 recoverable data types, e.g., photos, videos, docs, zip files, etc.
  • Convenient. You could choose files to restore while scanning.
  • Comprehensive. It applies to data loss due to deletion, formatting, recycle bin emptying, virus, system crash, etc.
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Step 1. Download and start MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. Sort the detected files by Date modified, Type, Size, Path, etc.


Step 3. Locate the OneDrive folder under Deleted files > select the photos you need > click Recover x files.


Thus, you can easily restore deleted files and folders in OneDrive.

Wrapping up

Users wondering why “OneDrive deleted my photos” can refer to this article and get some help in OneDrive photo recovery.

In general, users can turn to the Recycle Bin on both the website and the desktop; restore the whole OneDrive; check the sync issues; restore quarantined files; and seek help from an efficient tool – MyRecover.

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.