I found a useful Google Doc online, but I accidentally deleted the document from my Google Drive, and now I can't find it anywhere. The Doc doesn't show up in Trash, it doesn't show that I ever opened it in the Drive Activity Stream (the ⓘ in the upper right corner). Can I ask my G Suite admins (the Google Account was managed, eg: [email protected]), to retrieve the document? I've already went through my browsing history, but no luck. How can I get the document back?

Additional details about the document: It was not sent directly to me. (I found it on a website) The owner of the Doc was not in our organization. My privileges were not edit. Just view-only.

2 Answers 2


When you click on a link for a Google Doc that is shared with you (e.g. from a website), the Doc will appear in your "Shared with me" tab on the left-hand side.

Only if you add the Doc to your Drive, will it appear in My Drive. If you deleted it from My Drive, it will still be in "Shared with me". This may be the answer to your question.

If you "delete" the Doc from "Shared with me", it will be removed from that list (and, to state the obvious, the Doc will not be deleted from the owner's Drive). From the wording of your question, it seems that this is what you did, in which case I do not know of any way to retrieve the document that got lost, and your question deserves more attention.


In addition to ahorn's details (which appear accurate to me), it may be possible to find documents shared with you on your Google Dashboard.

  1. Go to your Google Dashboard
  2. Select Drive
  3. Select Shared With Me

Note that as Drive does not auto-delete files, if you saved it to your Drive it may be possible to find it in your Trash folder on Google Drive, if you did in fact delete it.

Remember that shared file links are often sent in email, so if you cannot find the link in Drive you might also check your email history and trash for that link.

However, if you never added the link to your Drive and then chose to Remove it, there does not appear to be a way to recover that without contacting the link owner.

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