iCloud Data Recovery: How to Restore Lost Files

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Written By Michael Gilmer

Michael, a content curator at File Recovery Mac, excels at simplifying complex IT concepts into easily digestible chunks. Michael's expertise lies in IT, data recovery, and all things "techy."

iCloud is a robust cloud storage service provided by Apple, designed to facilitate seamless file synchronization across various devices.

Icloud data recovery how to restore lost files

This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of recovering recently and permanently deleted files from iCloud, ensuring the safety of your critical data.

Understanding iCloud Recovery

Before embarking on the recovery process, it’s imperative to have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of iCloud recovery. This knowledge will serve as a safeguard against any further accidental data loss.

Where Deleted iCloud Files Go

When files are deleted, whether from iCloud Drive or any Apple application, they are initially relocated to the “Recently Deleted” folder. In cases where no prior deletions have occurred, this folder is automatically generated.

Duration of Recently Deleted Files in iCloud

Recently deleted files find their home in iCloud for a period spanning 30 to 40 days. Following this timeframe, they are irrevocably removed. While the majority of files are purged after 30 days, some may persist for up to 40 days, contingent upon factors like available storage space.

Permanently Deleted iCloud Files

Once files are permanently deleted, they are expunged from the iCloud server for good. However, under specific circumstances, such as possessing a backup, there may still be avenues for recovery and subsequent re-uploading.

Types of Recoverable Files

iCloud recovery encompasses a wide spectrum of files, ranging from those generated within Apple applications to an array of formats stored in iCloud Drive. This encompasses emails, contacts, calendar events, photos (both images and videos), notes, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, as well as Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Additionally, other file types like archives, audio files, executables, disk images, vectors, web pages, bookmarks, and more, fall under the purview of recoverable files.

Recovering iCloud Files on Mac

Recovering Permanently Deleted Files (Over 30 Days)

In scenarios where files have been deleted from iCloud for over 30 days, a highly recommended approach is to employ third-party data recovery software like Cisdem Data Recovery. This sophisticated software conducts an extensive scan of your computer’s disk, identifying and facilitating the recovery of deleted files.

Steps :

  1. Download, install, and launch Cisdem Data Recovery on your computer.
  2. Select and initiate a scan of the designated storage location.
  3. Locate and preview the deleted iCloud files.
  4. Proceed to recover the selected files to either iCloud or your local drive.

Retrieving Recently Deleted Files (Within 30 Days)

iCloud provides an automated recovery feature for files that have been deleted within the last 30 days.

Steps :

  1. Sign in to iCloud on your computer.
  2. For iCloud Drive or files from iWork applications, access the “Recently Deleted” section and select the files for recovery.
  3. For files originating from other applications, navigate to the Data Recovery section and opt to “Restore Files.”

Recovering iCloud Files on iPhone or iPad

Recovering Permanently Deleted Files

To reclaim permanently deleted iCloud files, leverage the “Restore from iCloud Backup” feature on your iOS device. It is paramount to create a backup of your existing iOS data prior to executing this method, as it involves overwriting current settings and data.

Steps :

  1. On your iOS device, navigate to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  2. Select “Erase All Content and Settings” and subsequently tap “Continue.”
  3. Provide your Apple ID password to initiate the erasure process.
  4. After a few minutes, your iPhone will restart, leading you to the Apps & Data screen. From here, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and sign in.

Restoring Recently Deleted Files

For the restoration of recently deleted files, access the Files app on your iOS device. This grants you the ability to recover both iCloud Drive and local files.

Steps :

  1. Open the Files app and select “Recently Deleted.”
  2. Choose the file you wish to recover and proceed to tap “Recover.”


While the prospect of recovering permanently deleted files from iCloud after 30 days may initially seem daunting, it is entirely achievable with the right approach. Consider utilizing a reliable data recovery software like Cisdem Data Recovery for files originally stored on your computer. Additionally, always maintain backups of critical data to ensure its safety. With these strategies in place, you can navigate iCloud recovery with confidence, knowing that your valuable files are protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do recently deleted files stay in iCloud?

Recently deleted files remain in iCloud for a period of 30 to 40 days. After this timeframe, they are permanently removed.

Can permanently deleted iCloud files be recovered?

Permanently deleted files are typically removed from the iCloud server, but under specific circumstances, such as having a backup, there may still be a possibility for recovery.

What types of files can be recovered from iCloud?

iCloud recovery encompasses a wide range of files, including emails, contacts, calendars, photos (both images and videos), notes, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and various other file types.

How can I recover permanently deleted files from iCloud after 30 days?

For files deleted from iCloud for over 30 days, using third-party data recovery software like Cisdem Data Recovery is recommended. This software can effectively scan your computer disk for deleted files and assist in their recovery.

Is there an automatic recovery feature for recently deleted files in iCloud?

Yes, iCloud offers an automatic recovery feature for files deleted within the last 30 days. This feature simplifies the process of recovering recently deleted files.

How do I restore recently deleted files on my iOS device?

To restore recently deleted files on an iOS device, access the Files app, select “Recently Deleted,” choose the file you wish to recover, and tap “Recover.”

These FAQs should provide a helpful overview of the key points covered in the article. If users have further questions, they can refer to the specific sections for more detailed information.

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