How to Recover Files From Emptied Trash on Mac


The Trash on your Mac stores deleted files until they are emptied. This can be a great feature in case you accidentally delete a file and then want to recover it. Luckily, there are several ways to undelete files on a Mac after they are emptied from Trash. The most reliable method is to use a data recovery software application.

Time Machine

By default, deleted files on a Mac go to Trash. But when Trash is emptied, these files aren’t immediately erased from the Mac. They are still physically present on the hard drive until the space they take is overwritten with new data. This makes them recoverable if you have a backup.

There are a few ways to find and recover deleted files from a Mac Trash that’s been emptied. One way is to use the Mac’s built-in Time Machine feature. Then, you can access your previous backups and restore them.

Another way to recover deleted files from a Mac Trash is to use a third-party data recovery software. The best Mac data recovery programs can scan your system drive and locate deleted files. They can also restore them to the location you choose. Make sure to back up these recovered files on a different device, like an external hard drive or USB flash drive. This will protect your data from future loss.


When you delete a file on your Mac, it doesn’t immediately disappear forever. Instead, it’s marked as available space that new data can overwrite. This is why it’s important to take regular backups of your files and to be careful when emptying Trash.

If you’re a heavy iCloud user, you have another option to recover files that have been deleted from Trash: Apple’s iCloud Drive service. However, this solution is only helpful if you’ve manually backed up your files to iCloud instead of relying on automatic file synchronization.

You can also try using a third-party recovery software program to recover files that have been emptied from Trash. One example is the freeware PhotoRec, which can recover many different types of files. It’s best to use this program as soon as possible after the files are deleted, as the sooner you do, the higher your chances of recovering the data. It’s also recommended to limit your usage of your computer until you’ve finished the recovery process, as doing so will minimize the chance of overwriting your files.

Mac Data Recovery Software

It’s always a good idea to use macOS’ built-in backup tool Time Machine and save regular backups of your computer. These backups can help you recover files from the Trash bin even if it has been emptied.

But if you haven’t been using Time Machine or if your backup isn’t available, there are still ways to undelete deleted files on a Mac. Mac data recovery software can retrieve files from an emptied Trash, allowing you to restore them back to their original locations.

The most popular and effective of these is Disk Drill, which recovers a variety of file types with their original names and date timestamps. However, it’s important not to install Disk Drill on the same drive where the files were originally stored; this could overwrite them, thereby making them permanently lost. You can also try, which has a more traditional command line interface and supports more file signatures.

Third-Party Software

When you delete files on your Mac, they don’t immediately disappear forever. Instead, they’re moved to the Trash bin. Trashed files still exist on your hard drive, but they’re marked as available space that new data can overwrite. Luckily, that means you can recover deleted files from the Trash on your Mac if you act fast enough.

If you’re not able to recover your files from the Trash or iCloud, you can use third-party software to get them back. These programs can scan your hard drive for any traces of deleted files and restore them to your computer.

While it’s not ideal to rely on third-party software, it can be the only way to recover deleted files from emptied Trash on your Mac. And it’s the safest option if you want to avoid overwriting your data. Just be sure to use a trusted program with a high recovery rate. If you don’t have a backup, it may be best to contact a data recovery service center.

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