How to recover lost data from iCloud

Many Apple customers use iCloud as the central repository for their digital lives, including everything from calendars to photos. Just like any kind of storage system, accidents happen. Maybe you accidentally deleted a document from iCloud Drive, or maybe even a favorite photo. But not to worry! iCloud actually backs up a lot of your data, and in cases where it doesn't, it keeps deleted items for a limited time in case you need to recover them.

Here's how you can recover lost data from iCloud.

How to recover deleted files from iCloud

You might think that the file you just deleted is gone forever. However, there's still time to recover it using iCloud.com.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Files under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

    Open Settings, click Restore

  4. Click to check off the boxes to the left of the files you want to restore.
  5. Or click Select All if you really need to restore everything.
  6. Click Restore Files.

Note that you'll only have 30 days to recover any files that you've deleted. After that, they're gone for good.

How to recover contacts from iCloud

You can't restore individual contacts from iCloud but you can restore one of the backup archives that iCloud makes periodically. Restoring an older backup will remove any contacts added since the snapshot was taken (iCloud will, however, snapshot the current database before it restores the old one). It's best used if your contacts are corrupted or you somehow lose a large number of them.

If you really need to restore, but also really need to save recently added contacts, export them first on your Mac so you can import them after the restore is completed.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Contacts under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

    Open Settings, click Restore

  4. Click the Restore button the right of the archive you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore to confirm.

How to recover calendars and reminders from iCloud

Just like your contacts, your calendars and reminders are also backed up every now and then. Calendars and reminders are backed up together, though, so if you're restoring one, you have to restore the other.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Calendars and Reminders under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

    Open Settings, click Restore Calendars and Reminders

  4. Click the Restore button the right of the archive you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore to confirm.

Also note, all sharing information will be lost if you restore, so you'll need to re-share afterward. Anyone invited to an event will get a cancellation and then a new invitation.

How to recover Safari bookmarks from iCloud

Your Safari bookmarks also get backed up in iCloud and can be restored as well.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Bookmarks under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

    Click on Settings in iCloud, then click on Restore Bookmarks

  4. Click the Restore button the right of the archive you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore to confirm.

    Click on a backup to restore, then click restore

How to recover photos and videos from iCloud

iCloud.com has the same Recently Deleted album in Photos that your iPhone, iPad, and Mac do. You can use it to recover photos to your iCloud Photo Library that have been deleted within the last 40 days.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Photos.
  3. Click on Albums at the top.

  4. Click the Recently Deleted album.
  5. Click on the photos you want to restore.
  6. Click on Recover.

    Click on the Recently Deleted album, then select a photo to recover, then click on Recover

Questions?

If you've got any more questions about using iCloud.com, be sure to let us know in the comments.