Recover those deleted files from iCloud webpage


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You are working on the iCloud webpage and realize that you have just deleted the wrong file, contact, or calendar entry. You immediately go into panic mode because iCloud does not have the equivalent of the Trash folder. All of the work that entered this file is gone, or all of the details for that contact or calendar entry. Law? Thanks to a new feature that Apple quietly added to the iCloud webpage, you don’t have as many problems as you might think.

Find deleted items

Apple has unfortunately done a very good job of hiding the ability to restore these items. The new “Restore Files”, “Restore Contacts” and “Restore Calendars” features are hidden at the bottom of the iCloud webpage in the Advanced Settings pane.

Undo the deletion of your files

The features seem to be completely independent of iCloud backup and show snapshots of your recently deleted items, along with the ability to put them back to where they were. You can select individual files or multiple files and send them back to iCloud Drive in the folder they were previously in.

iCloud_Settings_Files

Recover your contacts

If you accidentally deleted a contact, you can now recover it. When you do this, all changes made since the backup date are rolled back. Unlike files, you can’t just individually restore individual contacts. When you restore the previous version of your contacts database, iCloud warns you that the contacts archive you select will overwrite all of your contacts on all of your devices. The feature also archives your current contacts so that you can retrieve them if needed. Personally, I wish there was a way to restore individual contacts instead.

iCloud_Settings_Contacts

Restore your calendars

Recovering your calendars works much the same as restoring contacts. When you restore your calendar, you revert it to a previous time. There are also a few drawbacks here. The sharing information is deleted and the invitations are resent. Again, your current calendars and reminders are backed up and I still wish I could just restore individual deleted events.

iCloud_Settings_Calendar

Coming to OS X and iOS?

I guess even though the option is so well hidden on the iCloud webpage, it will be more accessible when the feature hits native OS X and iOS apps. However, Apple hasn’t said one way or the other and may still be testing the functionality. We’ll just have to wait and see.

My minds

I’m happy to see Apple bringing some semblance of a Trash folder to iCloud’s webpage, and I hate looking at a gift horse in the mouth. Restoring files works great, but recovering contacts and calendars requires a full rollback to the date you deleted that particular item. I’d be much happier with a list of deleted contact snapshots and calendar events like we have for files.

If you want to learn more about how you can use your iOS device to manage your iCloud files, check out this article.

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