How To Recover Deleted Photos & Files On Chromebook

Chromebooks are slowly making their mark in the world which is dominated by MacBooks and Windows computers. However, in this article, I am not going to share the Chromebook sales figures with you rather I want to tell you how to recover deleted photos and files on Chromebook. Because that is what most people are interested in knowing. So without wasting any more time let’s start the article.

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Where Are My Deleted Photos Or Files On Chromebook?

chromebook data recovery

Unlike Windows or MacBook, there is no recycle bin on ChromeOS devices. It is because all the data in Chromebook is stored on cloud servers such as Google Drive and Google Photos. However, Google has announced that it will offer a Recycle Bin in Chromebooks as well. But currently, you have to enable it because it is not enabled by default on your computer.

So basically if recycle bin is not enabled on your Chromebook then deleted files and photos are gone for good. But don’t worry you can still do something to find the deleted photos on your Chromebook, keep reading the article to know more.

How To Recover Deleted Photos On Chromebook?

Have you deleted your photos on your ChromeOS device and now looking for a solution on how to recover deleted pictures on Chromebook? Well, if you have already enabled the Recycle Bin on your Chromebook then you can access recently deleted photos on Chromebook from there.

However, if the photos were deleted prior to the activation of the recycle bin then there’s no way to find deleted photos on Chromebook unless you have a copy of it in Google Photos.

In case you have a copy of the photo on Google Photos then you can easily recover the picture from Google Photos. All you have to do is go to Google Photos and download the file from there. If the photo is also deleted from Google Photos then it may be there in the Trash folder.

recover deleted photos from Chromebook

If it has been more than 30 days since the file was deleted then you cannot find it in the trash as well. In that case, there’s no way to recover deleted photos on Chromebook.

How To Recover Deleted Files From Chromebooks?

If you have enabled Google Sync then there’s no need to worry because you can easily recover deleted files such as word documents, videos, pdf, etc. from Google Drive. However, if you have not enabled the sync or the Google Drive space is not enough to backup your files then you may never be able to recover the deleted files on your Chromebook again.

Similar to Google Photos once your files are deleted from Google Drive they can be found in the Trash folder. However, they only remain there for 30 days maximum. After that, they will be permanently deleted and you may never recover them.

Recover Deleted Photos & Files On Chromebook Using Data Recovery Software

Chromebook has inbuilt memory but it is not sufficient for most users. Therefore they use an SD card to boost the storage space of their Chromebook. In case the photos or files you have lost on the Chromebook were stored on the external SD card then there’s a chance that you may recover them using data recovery software.

Since you may not be able to run data recovery software on a Chromebook, you will need a Windows or Mac device with a suitable data recovery tool installed on it.

Next, you need to connect the SD card to the device using an adapter and run a scan on it with the help of the data recovery software. It may take some time but the data recovery software will certainly help you recover deleted files from SD cards if they are not overwritten.

recover deleted files from chromebook

The software I recommend for recovering music files from SD cards or even photos or documents is Stellar Data Recovery. In case the SD card is corrupt, you need to first repair the corrupted SD card and then recover the deleted photos or files from it.

How To Enable Recycle Bin On Chromebook?

If you haven’t already enabled Recycle Bin on your Chromebook then you should immediately do that. Because this will help you recover deleted photos and files from your Chromebook in the future. Here’s how to enable Trash Bin on Chromebook.

  • Launch Chrome browser on your Chromebook.
  • Type chrome://flags in the address bar.
  • Now from various flags listed on the page, look for a flag by the name of  Enable Files Trash.
  • Enable that flag and then restart the Chromebook.
  • Now the next time you open the Files folder you will be able to see the Trash Bin icon on the left side panel.

With this, you have enabled the Trash Bin on your Chromebook. Now whenever a file is deleted from your computer it will first go to the Trash Bin from where you can easily recover that file. However, the file will only stay in the trash folder for 30 days so be quick to recover the files or you may not be able to recover anything.

Final Verdict

Unlike Windows and MacBook, there is no trash bin in Chromebooks. Hence once the file is deleted from the local storage it is gone for good. But don’t worry, if you have enabled the auto sync then you will find a copy of that file in Google Drive. From there you can easily recover the desired file on your Chromebook. Also, I would recommend you enable the Trash Bin using the method I have shared above. This will ensure that you don’t lose any of your important files from your Chromebook in the future.


Does Chromebook Permanently Delete Files?

Yes, if you have not enabled the Trash Bin then Chromebook will permanently delete the locally stored files.

Where Are Chromebook Files Stored?

Chromebook files are basically stored on local storage. If you have enabled the auto sync then a copy of the file will be stored on Google Drive as well.

Is There A Recycle Bin On A Chromebook?

By default, there’s no recycle bin on the Chromebook, you have to manually enable it.

About Me

I’m Satyam Pandey, a fellow data hoarder who keeps accidentally deleting files from time to time. I decided to start this blog after recovering all of my deleted high school photos from my old hard drive. With a knack to test data recovery software and see how well they perform I decided to create this blog.

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