Google Drive – Someone trashed my file! – UPDATE

Here’s the scenario. You are working on a project with other colleagues. You have a shared folder and several Google Docs inside – also shared to the team. Things are going great. Ideas are being shared, the project is taking shape and best of all everyone is on the same page. Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? Most times it is but let me throw you a curve ball. One team member accidentally decides to trash one of the documents. Uh oh! But they weren’t even the owner-how in the hell can this happen? Well folks, it can … kind of. Read on to see it in action and how to fix it.

Here I have a folder on my Google Drive and it is shared to a test account. It is only View Only right now.

Now I switch over to the test account and “trash” the Test Presentation #1. So just to be clear, the test account is not the owner of the document – I am, yet the test account was able to trash it

Just as you saw – the test account seems to be able to delete the file. When I go back my account (again, I own all the documents in this account) – it is gone like Keyser Söze.

Oh man – that is very scary. Imagine sharing a document with your entire school and someone can trash it at will! It sounds nightmarish but all is not lost.

You see, the file is not deleted. It is … somewhere else, but here is where it gets a little weird. If I go through my Google Drive, I cannot find it. It doesn’t seem to show up, not even in the trash, but if I search for it, I can find it. So far this is the only way I can locate the file – no matter how I sort my files or search them manually I cannot find the file, but the search does the trick.

Whew – there it is, but the real question is where exactly is it? I honestly have no idea. When you select the file there are two interesting things that happen. One is in the information that you can get from Google Drive. You can see that it does not show you where the location is in Google Drive.

Also there is a new option on the toolbar when the file is selected. It gives you the option to add it back to your Drive. This is weird, because it is not in the trash. It’s just somewhere hidden in your drive. Strange huh?

So I click that and add it back to my Testing Folder.

Now it has a location again.

The best explanation I can come up with for this weird behavior is that the folder system in Google Drive is a sham. The folders are just a fancy way of tagging files as opposed to actually organizing the files. The folders are really just filters. Kind of interesting but if you’re lost then don’t worry about it.

Just know that if someone trashes a file you own, you can find it, restore and keep on working.


There is another way to find the trashed file and this seems a bit easier. Find the folder on your Google Drive but don’t open it, just select like I did here.

Then select the “I” to bring up the information for that folder. Click on “Activity” and you will see who removed the file and when. It also gives you a way to find it by clicking on the magnifying glass I’ve pointed to in the image below.

When you click the magnifying glass it performs a search like I did before and voilà! You’ve found your trashed file. Thanks again to Urko Masse for this very helpful tip! – A unique writing platform


I like writing, I mean I do write a blog after all. A bit of a hobby of mine is to fine different writing platforms such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, GoogleDocs, Zoho Writer, ShamblesPad and so on and so on. Last year someone told me about but I didn’t really pay much attention to it. Not sure why I brushed it off, but it stuck in my mind and now here I am reviewing it tonight.

So what is It is a very lightweight writing platform that lets you write with very little distractions and without making an account. You can easily share it. These are great ways to write down ideas, do some quick collaboration and more, but is it enough to use in your class? Should you take the time to find ways to implement this with your students or just move on? Read on past the break to get my take on and then leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this unique service.

Continue reading “ – A unique writing platform”

Ideas for Expanding Web Services

Recently I looked into going with a VPS Server to expand my school’s online services. My current assignment is outside of North America, so I ran into numerous issues with the billing.

So I looked into some other options and realized that we could create what we needed using a mixture of services. The plan is to create a true media publishing platform that allows us to control versioning, backups, etc.  For that I have chosen to use the Word Press Multisite System.  However, our current hosting company limits us to the number of database TABLES we can have under one account. I found another company that limits the number of databases, but not tables. This is important because if you are running many blogs and possibly loads of plug-ins you need to have scalability.

Next was to look at media hosting. For audio and video content, a Youtube account covers almost everything for media under 15 minutes long. If we can produce enough views, we can then apply to be a Youtube partner. I believe with the size of our campus this is a reachable goal.

However, until this happens adding extra storage to a school managed Google Docs account will do the trick for larger files. Google Docs does have some limitations, and so adding an additional DropBox will round out the solution.

All together this solution is very cost effective as well. If the traffic becomes so high that the new WordPress site slows to a crawl, we can always take busy sections and turn them into their own entity. With key files and media linked in cloud-based systems, the website is truly separated from the heavy content, so making changes and expanding becomes fluid and easy to plan for.