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How to Instantly Recover Deleted Files, Contacts, Calendar and Reminders in iCloud

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After the release of iOS 8, many iOS users lost all or some of very their important documents stored in iCloud Drive due to a particular bug. That issue was fixed by Apple, but there are still some unusual issues that arise unexpectedly. Such issues can completely erase the content in iCloud either through the bugs in the OS or through some kind of user error.

After the hype of the iOS 8 iCloud Drive deletion, the tech giant Apple silently introduced some tools to recover or restore the deleted files from iCloud. Moreover, the company recently also added a method to restore contacts, calendars and reminders in iCloud, providing iOS 8 users a way to recover their lost content. Although it’s a pretty not-so-well-known feature, it is good for the users to know about it if they suddenly experience a problem of their content being wiped out on their iOS 8 devices.

Therefore, we can say that Apple has introduced some “stealth” tools in iCloud and these recovery tools are only available through the web-based home page of Apple’s iCloud, iCloud.com. These tools aren’t available in the iCloud Settings app on iOS 8 or even in the iCloud Drive app on iOS 9.

So, our first step will be to log in to the iCloud website. After logging in to iCloud.com website, you just have to click on the account name given at the top right corner, and then go to iCloud Settings to see the list of options such as ‘Restore Files’, ‘Restore Contacts’, and ‘Restore Calendars and Reminders.’ Users can find these options within the advanced settings section of iCloud.com. Going to each individual option separately will let users make changes by restoring or recovering certain types of files along with the deleted contacts, and entries for calendar and reminders.

Restoring files

The “Restore Files” option on iCloud.com shows a list of all the files that have been deleted in the last 30 days. Files from apps that support iCloud Drive such as Napkin, Byword and Pixelmator can be found here. The list in the Restore Files tab shows the name of the files, its type, the application it uses to interact, size of the file, plus the number of days remaining until it gets permanently deleted. Deleted files in iCloud Drive remains available for 30 days before being deleted forever, and at that point they cannot be recovered. Hence, users cannot manually delete iCloud Drive files permanently until the full 30 days, as they can do with Photos on iOS.

Users can select a single file or multiple files at once in order to restore, in case the iCloud Drive have been completely wiped out accidentally. Tick the box to make your selection and click on “Restore File.” The file restoration tool will then return the selected file to iCloud Drive in its original folder where it was located earlier.

Restoring Contacts, Calendars and Reminders

The “Restore Contacts” and “Restore Calendars” option is slightly different from the “Restore Files” one. Entering into the section of “Restore Contacts” will give users an archive of the contacts list, along with a specific date and time assigned to it. Users are then allowed to restore the particular archive to any iOS device at any time.

Restoring your list of contacts from the archive will replace the contacts on all your iOS devices that are connected to the iCloud account. The new list of contacts will then be archived to make sure that nothing is lost.

Same process is performed for Calendars and Reminders through the “Restore Calendars” tab. Apple often creates a backup for the two applications, taking snapshots for over a month. Users can replace any of these archives with an existing Calendar or Reminder list.