We use Sharepoint Online/OneDrive for Business for all our users file storage. One of our team have lost a file from their personal storage in ODfB. I was hoping to search for it using the inbuilt search function.

I returned no results on the search and wanted to check of the search function encompassed the recycle bin(s). To test this I created a file with a unique name with the intention of deleting it to demonstrate if it was searching deleted files or not.

After creating the file I did an initial search to make sure that i was able to locate the file in the normal location and it turns out I was not.

This screen shot demonstrates my issue.


You can see I have created a unique file name in sharepoint, entered data into it and made sure the file is saved, however the search function fails to find the file.

The file is only one directory deep from the root of the document store.

I have two questions.

  • Why is that file not found when I do a search
  • My initial quention; does search look into the recycle bin?

1 Answer 1


The search function relies on the search index and not the actual item. When an item is created or modified the search service crawls the document and its metadata. Sometimes search function takes a while for it to crawl the document in online environment. Please give it some time and try searching for same document and it should work.

To answer your next question, the search does not look into recycle bin contents.

  • Great thanks. WRT the reason I'm asking; I've got a user who deleted ~11K files from their ODfB account and I need to see if a single file is included in that, currently I can only scroll through 200 items at a time through the browser. Is there a cleverer way to navigate users recycle bins?
    – Patrick
    Sep 6, 2018 at 10:36
  • 1
    I dont see any other way. You can however restore onedrive for business to previous point in time if that helps.
    – sssreddy
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:01

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