In the event that you need a file restored and you have no local backup, you may be able to use Google’s cache as an alternative.
When Google crawls your website, it takes a snapshot of your page. That snapshot shows what your site looked like when Google crawled it, and is available to see using the “Cached” link in Google’s search results. Restoring a page using Google’s cache, in short, is using the html Google saved when crawling your site to rebuild the file you need restored.
The steps outlined below are not guaranteed to work. This method is only recommended to be used as a last resort. Google’s cache will not work on php or other pages using server side scripting as Google cannot see your php code, only the html that is generated.
- Search Google for site:example.com. Be sure to replace example.com with your domain name and do not insert any spaces between site: and example.com.
- You will see a listing of all pages that Google has crawled that are in example.com. Click theCached link next to the page you need to restore.
- At the top of the page, Google will display a message similar to:
- Test the new file in your browser. In this example, you would want to test example.com/index_test.html. If this version of your page in Google’s cache will work for you, move the original file out of the way and instead put the test file in place. In this example, you would rename index.html to anything else, like index.html.bak, and then rename the test file index_test.html to index.html.
This is Google’s cache of https://www.example.com/. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Dec 14, 2009 22:29:21 GMT.
The snapshot date listed is the date that Google crawled your site. If your page shows correctly below this message, then you should be able to use the html code in Google’s cache to attempt to restore the file.
View the source code of the page. In most browser’s, you can right-click and choose View Page Source. The source code is the html code that is used to render your website. Select all the code in the page source and copy/paste it into a test file in your account. For example, if you are trying to restore index.html, place the code in a file named index_test.html. Google adds a few lines to the top of the page, so you’ll want to remove the first few lines of code at the top. Those first few lines is what Google uses to display the information at the top of the cached page, for example, the snapshot date.