Recover Deleted Files from Trash on Mac Catalina Ready

It might seem impossible to recover files from Trash on Mac. But it's not! With Disk Drill data recovery app getting your lost data back is a matter of a few clicks and just several minutes. Moreover, it's free to completely scan and find your trashed data, even if your Trash was emptied (not securely, though).
How to Recover Deleted Trash on Mac
It happens all the time: you send a file to your trash and then minutes (or even days) later you realize you need that file! Don’t worry. Even if you’ve emptied your trash, there’s still a good chance you can recover deleted files from trash on Mac. Disk Drill can recover files from Trash on Mac perfectly well.

Read on for a quick overview of the steps needed to recover Recycle Bin on Mac. For detailed tutorials, see How to Install Disk Drill and How to Recover Lost Files from Your Mac Internal Hard Drive in our Knowledgebase.

Review How Efficiently You Can Recover Trash on Mac

Check out our article Variables That Impact File Recovery Chances to better understand your chances of successfully being able to recover deleted trash on Mac OS X. If you only emptied your trash a short while ago and you did NOT use the “secure empty trash” function, then your chances are good.

1. Download and Install Disk Drill

If you haven’t already, download and install the completely free Disk Drill Basic. Since you want to recover trash from your Mac’s internal hard drive, it’s better to install it on an external drive (and use Portable Mode). This way you’ll avoid the possibility of overwriting your lost files when you install the software.
  • 1Download Disk Drill
  • 2Drag to Applications Folder
  • 3Launch Disk Drill

2. Scan for Files Deleted from Trash

Launch Disk Drill and if a popup window appears, uncheck all options – you don’t want to install anything extra at this point. When the main window appears, select your hard drive and click “Recover.” This will scan your hard drive and attempt to recover files deleted from trash on Mac OS X. Scan for Files Deleted from Trash

3. Review Found Files

After the scan is complete, Disk Drill will show you the list of files it has found. Sometimes the recovered files do not have their original names preserved, so you can filter your results by date, size and type. Click the “eye” icon to preview the files right in Disk Drill.
Be sure to preview the entire file to make sure it is complete and uncorrupted. There is a good chance you will be able to recover emptied trash on Mac.

4. Recover the Deleted Trash on Mac OS X

When you find the files you need, check the box next to them and click Recover. Disk Drill will walk you through the file recovery steps. Recover the Deleted Trash on Mac OS X

5. Set Up Guaranteed Recovery

When you successfully recover the emptied trash on Mac, you will want to prevent it from happening again. The best way to do this is to use Disk Drill’s Guaranteed Recovery feature. Guaranteed Recovery monitors your Mac’s trash folder, and makes an invisible copy of any file you send to the trash.
This way you always have a copy – even after you emptied the trash. Simply install Disk Drill on your Mac’s hard drive and then follow the instructions in How to Use Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery to activate it. After that you will never have to worry about recovering deleted files from your Mac trash again. Set Up Guaranteed Recovery
So there you have it: six easy steps describing how to recover deleted trash on Mac.

Keep your files safe and well-protected

Disk Drill is an ultimate Mac Trash Recovery app that will do its best protecting your documents with its unique capabilities. The app offers Guaranteed Recovery and Recovery Vault options. Guaranteed Recovery keeps an eye on all your files and if any of them are moved to Trash the invisible copy of this file is saved to ensure its successful recovery from trash on Mac any time. Recovery Vault sketches a "map" for Disk Drill to find lost files.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

The Mac’s Recycle Bin is a special folder that temporarily holds deleted files so you can recover them easily. It’s the first place to look when you discover you are missing an important file. Simply click on the Trash to open the folder. Right-click on the selected file and choose Put Back to restore it to its original location.

You can also use the free data protection tools available in the trial version of Disk Drill. Guaranteed Recovery and Recovery Vault can quickly recover protected files and folders without the need for a full recovery process.

To recover deleted files from an emptied Mac Trash Bin:

  1. Download, install and launch Disk Drill. Don’t use the disk or partition that contains the Trash Bin.
  2. Select the disk where the Trash Bin is located.
  3. Click the Recover button to start scanning the drive for recoverable data.
  4. Choose the files to retrieve and click the Recover button.

Here’s how to recover deleted files from the Trash without software:

  1. Connect the storage media with your Time Machine backups to your Mac.
  2. Open a window that contained the deleted data.
  3. Choose Enter Time Machine from the menu bar icon.
  4. Locate the item to be recovered.
  5. Press the Space Bar to preview the file.
  6. Click Restore to recover the item.

If you have not already emptied the Trash Bin you can use the Terminal application to recover deleted files. Use this procedure:

  1. Open the utilities application.
  2. Enter the cd .Trash command.
  3. Type ls to display the files that are in the Trash Bin.
  4. Use the mv <filename> ../ command to move the designated file from the Trash to the current folder.

Follow these steps to restore files from the Trash to their original locations:

  1. Click on the Trash Bin icon to review its contents.
  2. Locate the file or files that you would like to restore.
  3. Right-click on the items to be restored.
  4. Select Put Back from the menu to return the file to its original storage location.

Disk Drill is an excellent tool for recovery from trash on Mac OS X

Use Deep Scan to be efficient even in the situations when almost no file structure is left. Even if the files were moved to Trash quite some time ago Disk Drill will apply its best knowledge of file signatures to locate the correct ones and bring them back to life. Files like XLS, DOC, AVI, MP4, JPG, and others are pretty easy to recover from emptied Trash on Mac when the needed signatures are found.

You can recover emptied Trash on Mac OS X!

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Read reviews by Disk Drill fans

  • Evgeniy aka Slingshot
    Evgeniy aka Slingshot
    I found this Mac App simply amazing. In the past I have tried various recovery software packages but Disk Drill is so simple to use, there is no great learning curve, and it works every time for me.
  • MacDirectory, October 2016
    MacDirectory, October 2016
    No manner of file recovery is a slam-dunk. But it turns out, when it comes to file recovery software, that there is a big difference in the time and energy and overall stress it takes to find out if those files can ever come back. File recovery is never a pleasant task, but CleverFiles’ Disk Drill goes a long way in making it less painful.
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