Where is Trash on iPad & How to Recover Deleted Files

Are you new to iPad? You probably have just created some files on the device, for example, new photos, videos, notes, etc. Every once in a while, you might accidentally or intentionally delete files. And you will probably ask this question: where is Recycle Bin on iPad?

Well, the truth is: there is no Recycle Bin or Trash on iPadOS, however, many apps such as Photos and Notes have a “Recently Deleted” feature that will temporarily keep your deleted items for a month or so.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to find them. And how to recover deleted files if you accidentally delete some items off your iPad.

Where is Recycle Bin on iPad?

An iPad functions differently than other common devices such as your computer.

If you are on a PC, you know Windows has Recycle Bin. And on a Mac, your deleted files will end up in Trash or Bin.

Deleted files are stored in this Trash Bin for some time and you can recover them before they get permanently removed.

iPads, however, do not have this same feature. There is no recycle bin or trash to temporarily store deleted files on your iPad so once you remove them, they can be harder to recover.

Sometimes you might delete a photo or video from your iPad because you didn’t want it only to realize later that you actually do.

Even though there is no trash on your iPad to easily recover these files (or any other files you have deleted), there is still a way to recover them.

The “Recently Deleted” Folder is Somewhat Like the Trash Bin on iPad

Even though your iPad does not have a trash bin, it might have a similar function that you can use to help recover any deleted files — that is Recently Deleted folder, which acts very similarly to a trash bin on a Mac computer.

This folder will store any recently deleted files for up to 40 days and you can access them and recover them if you want to restore the file. To access this folder you need to go through the app in which the deleted files were used.

For example, if it is a photo you are trying to recover, go to the Photos app, then Albums, and you should see the Recently Deleted folder.

iOS Recently Deleted folder

Open this folder and find the photos or videos you want to recover. Select them and tap on Recover and your file will be back on your iPad.

If you want to completely delete an item, make sure to tap on Delete All in the “Recently Deleted” folder in case someone else can access your file.

Note: pictures and videos in “Recently Deleted” will only be kept for a certain amount of time — usually 40 days. After that period, your files will be deleted automatically. If you can’t find your photos or videos here, most likely they have been removed by the OS already.

How to Recover Deleted Files on iPad

There are a few different ways to do this. I’m going to introduce them one by one below.

1. Recover from the “Recently Deleted” Folder

As I’ve shown above, the first place to look up is this folder. You can easily restore the files if they are there for less than 40 days.

If you are using an old iPad that is running iOS version 7 or earlier, there is no Recently Deleted folder to access. Once you delete a file, there is a good chance that it will be permanently deleted.

However, there are other ways to try and recover these files and we will take a look at those next.

2. Recover from iCloud Photo Library

If you have enabled iCloud backup on your iPad, it can be quite easy to retrieve your iPad files from the iCloud Photo Library. To do that, follow the steps below:

  • On your computer or iPad, open Safari (or another web browser).
  • Visit the official iCloud website: https://www.icloud.com/
  • Sign in using your Apple ID.
  • Click on the app icon and see if your deleted items are there.
You may be able to find your deleted iPad photos and videos here.

3. Recover iPad Data from Backup

If you have an iCloud backup of your iPad, it is really easy to recover any deleted files. But you need to erase everything on your tablet.

Unfortunately, you cannot simply recover one file and you must perform a complete restore. This is really not much of a big deal because if you do have a backup, your restore will be nearly identical to your current iPad.

To recover iPad files from an iCloud backup, follow these steps:

  1. Erase all data from your iPad.
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts for setting up the device until you see the Apps & Data prompt.
  3. Locate Restore from iCloud Backup and select this option.
  4. Sign in to your iCloud account.
  5. Select a backup to use for the recovery. There will most likely be multiple options listed so choose the one with a date near the time when your file was deleted but before it was removed.
  6. The iPad will now sync up with the data in the iCloud and your files will be recovered.

4. Use Data Recovery Software

If you don’t have a backup and your iPad does not have a Recently Deleted folder, your last option is to use iPad data recovery software.

Simply follow the instruction or prompts that show up when you launch such recovery program. Within a few easy steps, you will be on your way toward locating and recovering your lost iPad files.

Final Tips

It’s always a good idea to make a backup of all of the data on all of your devices. This essentially makes a copy of every important piece of data you have in the event that you accidentally delete any files or your computer, or iPad gets stolen.

There are different ways to back up the data on your iPad and you can either use an external hard drive or make a backup in iCloud.

Using iCloud to back up your iPad is easy and is recommended as it’s easy to do and you don’t need any extra accessories to accomplish the task. It also makes it possible to recover any files that you have deleted and want access to again.

You can purchase different iCloud plans that will allow you to back up all of the information on your iPad or you can choose which individual files you want to keep stored in the cloud.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for emptying Trash on iPad or recovering deleted iPad files? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Teddy

    I recently deleted some files off my iPad as I. was running out of storage space. And, it deleted all of my artwork which took me days or sometimes weeks to make. For some reason, there are no files on my recently deleted and none of the recovery software work. Please help!

  • Kelly Klemz

    I have opposite problem !! I just want my deleted trash to go away forever!!whenever I delete my trash bin of deleted gmail they go back to my all emails….just wanna empty my deleted trash. Help

  • Phyllis Keefer

    I just deleted a file on IPad and would like to restore it. Can you help??

  • Al lowe

    I deleted folder from ipad 11 1st generation. The name folder as notes.help…..

  • Spoon

    Helping an elderly friend with their new iPad Pro, who does not have a computer to connect to nor access to the iCloud. He deleted emails containing an important document. So I have to tell them the emails are gone forever.

    He deleted contracts from iAnnotate. Can’t find any way to recover those.

    Deleted emails are not recoverable? Just one more item on the growing list of why I will never buy another Apple product again.

  • Deen

    How do I reach recently deleted folder on my iPad 5gen?

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      If your iPad 5 is running iOS 7 or below, Recently Deleted will be not available.

  • AMW

    How do I recover an iMovie I deleted by accident from my iPad? I don’t have any backup set up on this device.

  • Zogo

    How can I restore Trash folder .I delet compactly this folder three years ago and now I can’t move files to Trash folder because can’t find it. Any idea?
    iPad 2 software version 9.3.6


  • alan stobart

    is there a way to restore a deleted app? my app has been removed from the app store so i can’t just download it again.

  • Sarah-Jane Ryan Mcglynn

    Thank you, you saved me! I’m so grateful to have found your article.

  • G. Cheeseman

    Hi…l have just accidentally deleted a folder in ‘my notes’ it’s not that important, but if it’s possible to retrieve l would like to do this. If anyone can suggest a way….but please keep it as simple as possible..if possible!

  • Jackie

    It was my email not trash file. But it did not go to my trash file. Was trying to move a group of files & accidentally hit delete. Now they are no where to b found.

  • Jackie

    I accidentally deleted email files from my trash. Can I recover them?

  • Steve Parks

    I only use an iPad because my work requires it. Recovering deleted files is only one reason why I do not use Apple products for person use. No trash bin? Really! What a pain to be forced to use a third party tool to recover deleted files!

  • Paul

    If you have a gmail address and look for a deleted ipad email by going to gmail on the web, you may not find the deleted email in the deleted items folder. However, if you do a search for the sender you may find that it pops up — it worked for me.

  • Georgia Schoelles

    I recently deleted a video in Facebook and want to find and restore. Help

  • Jenny Flowers

    Hi Bruce My iPad Air 2 operates on iOS 12.4 .I have accidentally deleted some photos which I had intended to add to a new album.I cannot find any recently deleted or trash album to retrieve them.

  • Frances

    My safari bookmarks have disappeared. I don’t know if I accidentally deleted to make more space. I want them back. I had tons of bookmarks and recipes. Help! I do have iCloud but don’t know if these went to the Cloud.

  • Darrell Jepson

    I have a iPad 10.3.6

    The photo was making pics look blurry so I deleted some I found out now I should not have, as other ones I knew were not looked blurry too. You state they can be restored/ recovered, but I do not see anything that will let me and I do not know about iCloud (I am retired). HELP PLEASE! Can I get them back? The Photo app tricked me. I never would have deleted them and I can never get the shot back.

  • Lisa Bilis

    I peramently deleted vdeos how do I get them back.

  • Bruce

    Ok, so I have i OS 9.3.5.

    I sent several emails to trash and deleted them. They are not in the photos>albums file.

    Have I misunderstood your suggestion to recover deleted trash?


    • Avatar photo

      Hi Bruce, the “Recently Deleted” folder only exists for certain apps including Photos and Notes. The Mail app does not have this function. When you sent emails to Trash and deleted them, they are gone. However, you could try to log into your email via a web browser, maybe you’ll find the deleted emails. If this doesn’t work out, your last option would probably be iPad data recovery software (as we introduced in the article). Good luck.