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How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac After Emptied Trash Bin



How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac After Emptied Trash Bin

Many users might think that recovering files after emptying the Trash on their Macs is impossible. That is not true and this guide provides you with three ways to recover your deleted Mac files.

When you end-up accidentally deleting an important file on your Mac, the first obvious place to look for your files in the Trash. After all, it is here that your files sit once they have been removed by you or some apps on your machine. If you empty the Trash, the default belief is that your files are gone for good. That your files can never ever be recovered to your Mac.

Luckily, that is not true. You can recover files even after you have emptied the Trash on your Mac. This is possible because of how the file deletion process works on the Mac. When you delete a file, it is not actually removed from your Mac’s memory space. Instead, it is only removed from the file manager.

When your file is in this stage, you can use a method to get your file back to the file manager. The following describes some of the ways for you to recover files on a Mac when the Trash is emptied.


3 Tips to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Even After Emptied Trash

Even though you have deleted all your files from the Trash, and there does not seem to be any hope to recover your files, you actually have three ways to get your files back.

There are multiple methods each using their own unique approach to help you get your deleted data back. You can try the first method and go down until you get to the method that actually works for you. All of these methods are pretty easy to use and you should have recovered your files at the end of this guide.


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Method 1. Restore Files via Time Machine Backup

If you do not already know, your Mac actually comes built with a backup tool that automatically backs up the files stored on your machine. It is called Time Machine, and as the name suggests, it lets you go back in time to find and recover your lost files.

It does not require you to have an existing backup or have a Time Machine data disk ready with you. All it basically requires you to do is launch the backup utility, find the version of your files that you wish to restore, and your files will be restored for you. It does even require a connection to the Internet and the entire procedure can be performed locally on your Mac.


The following shows how to use Time Machine to recover deleted files on a Mac.

Step 1. Use the “Finder” and navigate to the folder where your deleted files were previously located. You should not see your files at this point, obviously.

Step 2. Click on the Time Machine icon in your menu bar and select “Enter Time Machine”. This will launch Mac’s built-in backup tool for you.

Step 3. Use the time navigation options on the right to go back to the time when you had not deleted your files. Then, click on your file and select the “Restore” button at the bottom.

Time Machine will restore your deleted files for you.


Method 2. Restore Mac Trash Files via “Put Back” Option

It might be that you have manually deleted files from your Trash and the files that you are actually looking to recover are still there. If this is the case, then you can access the Trash on your Mac and ask it to put your deleted files back. In fact, Trash actually has this option and you can utilize it to get access to your deleted files.

This method will only work when you have partially emptied the Trash on your Mac. The following are the steps on how to perform this recovery procedure.


Step 1. Click on the “Trash” icon in your Mac’s Dock and the Trash will open.

Step 2. When the Trash launches, find the file that you would like to recover. Then, right-click on that file and choose “Put Back”.

Step 3. Once you have chosen the above option for your file or files, your files will be restored to their original locations. This means they will be available in the same folder that they existed before they got deleted.

Method 3. Recover Deleted Files with Software

While you can certainly use the above methods to recover deleted files on your Mac, there are problems with those methods. With the first method, Time Machine may or may not have a backup of your deleted files. It may only be able to restore a certain few files out of all of the files that have been deleted.

The other method does not work if your Trash is fully emptied. This is where you would need to use software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. With this tool, you do not need a backup of your files to be able to restore them, and you can even recover files when your Mac’s Trash is fully emptied.

This might sound like magic but the mac data recovery software utilizes some smart algorithms to find and recover your files for you. The following is how you use this software tool.


Step 1. Scan the Drive Where You Lost Your Files

Once you have downloaded and launched the software, you need to select the hard drive where your deleted files were located. Then, click on the “Scan” button to scan that drive to find recoverable files on it.

Step 2. View Recoverable Files

As the scan runs through your Mac’s hard disks, you see the scan results on your screen. Click on various directories and files on this screen to view more information about them. You can preview certain file types, like images, to ensure you are recovering the files that you need.

Step 3. Recover Deleted Files on a Mac

Select the files that you would like to recover in the software, and then click on the “Recover Now” button at the lower-right corner. Your files will begin to restore on your machine.

You are all set. All your chosen files should now be accessible on your Mac machine.


It is scary to know that you have emptied the Trash and it contained the files that you had accidentally deleted. Fortunately, you have multiple ways to get around it and recover your lost files. The above guide should teach you everything that you need to know to restore your files on your Mac.

Cuelogic Provide services in Software & Product Development, Cloud Computing Services, IoT, Big Data Services and Machine Learning Services. Everyone at cuelogic passionate about technology and obsessed with engineering challenges. Our rich industry expertise in Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Media, Education and many more help to solve complex challenges and provide superior experience.

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