How to Recover Deleted Files from Emptied Trash in Mac OS X

Part 1. What happens if you decide to empty the Trash Bin on Mac?

When you emptied the Trash Bin on Mac (secure emptying is not included), what you deleted was actually not the file. You just lose access of the file from the system. The space occupied by deleted files is marked as "available to reuse", so the deleted files remain physically intact on the drive until they are overwritten by other files. The files will only be deleted when they are overwritten by new files. To prevent overwriting we need to stop using the Mac immediately if we want to recover deleted data from Mac Trash.

Part 2. How to recover deleted files from mac trash

To undo emptied Trash on Mac OS, you can try a recovery program - Mac Trash Recovery. Here we humbly recommend Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac, an easy-to-use Data Recovery Software for Mac users, which is compatible with Mac OS X El Capitan, Mac OS X Yosemite, Mac OS X Mavericks, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Mac OS X Lion etc. With its friendly interface, you can recover Mac trash with just several clicks. If the storage space isn't overwritten, your deleted files can definitely be recovered.

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Keep in mind: Never download or install any program in the place where you lost your files, for this could overwrite your lost data. Download and install it on another partition.

Part 3. Steps of recovering trash on mac

Step 1 Choose Lost File Recovery mode

"Lost File Recovery" can undelete files from a partition or removable media, no matter if it was deleted by Command + Delete or emptied from the Trash.

This recovery option is recommended at first, for it takes only a few minutes to retrieve deleted files from the Mac trash. If you can't recover deleted file in this mode, you can try "Raw Recovery" later, which can recover tons of files including those lost long time ago, but it is more time consuming.

 recover trash

Step 2 Scan the location of trash on Mac

Select the logical drive where you deleted your files, if you have more than one drive on your Mac. Then click "Scan" to search for your deleted files.

 recover trash mac

Step 3 Preview and recover files from the Mac trash

When the scan finishes, files you`ve deleted are listed with the original path, regardless of where they were deleted directly from (Library, Desktop, or Trash, etc.). Undoubtedly, files you emptied from Trash are in the "Trash" folder. You can search the file's name in the search bar on the top to retrieve it quickly.

Before recovery, you can preview the file to confirm the files or quantity. Common image formats, documents and archives are allowed to be previewed directly.

Mac trash undo

Step 4 Save recovered files on another partition or disk

When checking files for recovery, click "Recover" to retrieve them. Remember not to save recovered files in the same place as where you lost them, lest you overwrite them. If you don't find all the files, the deleted files will be overwritten for your new files' storage.

recovery trash mac

Tips: Before selecting "Empty Trash", please check the Trash Bin carefully. If you find anything valuable, you can highlight the ones that were mistakenly deleted and drag them out of Trash to avoid this data-loss headache.

Part 4. Video tutorial of mac trash recovery

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