How to Recover Deleted Files from Trash on Mac

mac book

Most Mac users are well aquainted with the Trash bin. It is the temporary resting place where files deleted from your computer reside for a period of time. The files will remain in the Trash bin until you decide to permanently delete them by emptying the Trash.

This is a great feature that has been critically important in allowing users to continue their work after inadvertently deleting a file. When you delete a file on your Mac, the operating system no longer recognizes it in its original location. But it does still see it in the Trash bin, and you can easily recover it by opening up the Trash folder.

Once you have identified the file you wish to restore, you right click on it and select the ‘Put Back’ option. The file is then restored to the folder where it was stored before it was deleted. The Trash bin offers the Mac user a security blanket to be used in the case of accidental file deletion.

Over the course of time, you may perform housekeeping duties on your computer to keep it operating at peak levels of performance. One of the tasks critical to keeping your machine running efficiently is to clear out unneeded files to preserve the computer’s storage for new functions. Part of this cleanup involves emptying the Trash bin. Once the Trash has been emptied, you can no longer recover the deleted files on your Mac that were previously held in the Trash.

Recover Emptied Trash on a Mac

While the files are no longer visible to your operating system after you empty the Trash, they may still be physically resident on your computer and available to be restored using a data recovery application such as Disk Drill for the Mac. Until the files have been overwritten, they can be recovered. Here’s how you can get that done.

Before proceeding you should stop using the computer and, specifically, the disk where the Trash resided. This is usually your main hard disk, so you want to stop using your machine for anything except the data recovery that we will outline below. You can find more information here. To recover deleted files on your Mac that have been removed from the Trash bin, follow these easy steps.

  1. Download the free version of Disk Drill for the Mac and install it on your Computer. We suggest that you download and install it on a USB drive to avoid any chance that the files you want to recover will be overwritten by the install.
  2. Launch the app and select your main disk from the list of disks presented by the tool.
  3. Click the ‘Recover’ button to have the application scan your drive for recoverable files.
  4. Preview the files that can be recovered. If you desire to perform the recovery, upgrade to the Pro version of Disk Drill.
  5. Click the ‘Recover’ button again and select a new location on your computer where the files will be restored. Don’t use the original location of the files to prevent accidental overwriting.

Disk Drill for the Mac is an essential tool for recovering deleted files on your computer.