I accidentally deleted 'Documents' folder and all its contents in Home folder, is there any step by step way to recover or at least recreate an empty original 'Documents' folder again? I'm using ubuntu 12.04 by the way.


To create a new Documents folder

Open home folder > right click > new folder. Name it Documents

If the icon is incorrect then right click on the new Documents folder > properties. Click on the folder icon, this will bring up a select custom icon window.

Browse to File System > usr > share > icons > Humanity > places > 48 & select the 1st folder_documents.svg. This should restore the icon to your Downloads folder

Then gedit ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs or browse to file. You'll see this line - XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/"

edit it to this & save. Then log out/in


  • 2
    If the answer helped you, please select the answer as the correct answer, that way both of you get points. – Yasser Hussain Jan 10 '13 at 5:51
  • No need to manually add the icons. Editing user-dirs.dirs with the correct paths should do that for you. This should be accepted. Worked great! – TheBat Oct 23 '16 at 3:42
  • For a more straightforward solution, see also unix.stackexchange.com/a/606950/19643 – Stéphane Gourichon Aug 29 '20 at 14:26

extundelete Install extundelete

This command line tool tries to undelete files from a hard drive. Due to the way /ext4 handles file detetions there is a high risk to loose recoverable files when there was a subsequent write access to the drive.

It is therefore strongly advisable to immediately unmount the drive (or mount it as read only) before we start recovery. As a system partition can not be unmounted during runtime we need to perform all recovery actions from a live CD session (boot from CD/USB to choose "Try out Ubuntu").

We then may install extundelete (which can be also done from a live session) and run:

sudo extundelete --restore-directory /home/<user>/Documents/ /dev/<sdxX>

Replace <user> by your username and <sdxX> by the partition your HOME resides.

See also: Extundelete User Manual

  • How do we unmount a drive?! – Vineet Kaushik Feb 1 '16 at 10:10
  • @VineetKaushik: umount or don't mount it when in a live session. – Takkat Feb 1 '16 at 10:20
  • How to know which drive my home is? <sdxx> – Baradwaj Aryasomayajula Jun 24 '16 at 0:10

have you try PhotoRec(PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs ) ?

here some turtorial video



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