How to restore deleted Azure Storage Blobs

Oct 04, 2019 · 2 mins read · Post a comment
How to restore deleted Azure Storage Blobs

Accidental deletion of files can happen to anyone working either on-premise or in the cloud. As a DevOps engineer who is responsible for managing access permissions to resources, the principle of least privilege is a must, which means limiting people and services access to bare minimum so they can perform their work. But, sometimes even if we want to protect the files as much as possible, a human error could happen. That’s where Soft delete can be useful.

What is Soft delete

Soft delete is an Azure Storage blob feature which can help you recover your accidental deleted blob objects by an application or storage account users. Currently, it’s available to blob storage only including hot, cool and archive storage tiers.

How it works

When data is deleted, the blob object transition to a soft deleted state instead of being permanently removed. And everytime when object is overwritten, a soft delete snapshot is generated in order to save the state of the overwritten object.
Blob Service diagram
The recoverable time is configurable with maximum of one year. It is backward compatible which means you don’t have to make any changes in the application code in order yo user it. It is billed at the same rate as active data.


  • Azure account
  • Azure storage account

Enable Soft delete feature

Step 1. Login to the Azure Portal and go to the Storage account.

Step 2. Open the Blobs services and create a storage container.

Step 3. Under Blob service click Soft delete.
Blob Service options

Step 4. Turn on the Soft delete feature.
Soft delete

Note: There is a retention policies that indicates the period of time that soft deleted data could be stored and available for recovery from 1 day to maximum 365 days. Also, when you create new storage account the soft delete feature is off by default.

Step 5. Leave the default retention policy to 7 days, and click Save.

Step 6. Go to the blob container and upload a test file.

Test Soft delete feature

Step 7. Select the file and remove it. Remove blob object

Step 8. Now check the Show deleted blobs option. It will list the deleted file with a status Deleted. List deleted blob object

Step 9. Click on the file. It will open a new window, click the Undelete button. List deleted blob object

Step 10. Go back to the blob container, it will list the file with status Active. List deleted blob object


Enabling Soft delete will save you a lot of time, instead of recovering from backups. I think it’s a nice feature to have in development environment. And for staging and production environments, make sure you configure the proper data redundancy option and backup strategy.

Official documentation: Soft delete for Azure Storage Blobs.