How to Recover Files Deleted from Trash on Mac?

Updated on April 14, 2022

macOS Trash folder can holds deleted files from the computer but only for limited period. What if you have deleted files and trying to find it in trash some days later? You might think you have lost files permanently. Though files are permanently deleted from Trash, with the help of SFWare Deleted File Recovery software you can easily get back emptied Trash data on Mac.

Reasons behind files deleted from Trash

Usually, you delete files from Mac Trash folder when you want to free up the hard drive space occupied with deleted documents that reside in the Trash Bin.

How to Recover Deleted Files from Trash?

When you lose data, first thing that enters your mind is Trash. As the deleted files or folders will be stored temporarily on trash. To recover files from Mac Trash before emptying it, all you have to do is-

Then you can directly get them back. What if the trash doesn’t have the files you wanted? or deleted files permanently? Is it possible to recover emptied trash on Mac?

Is it possible to recover files from emptied Trash on Mac?

Trash on Mac is similar to Windows Recycle Bin, it stores deleted files temporarily. When you empty Trash the files will be permanently gone. However, that is how just the user perception, but the files deleted will not be completely gone. As long the new data is being overwritten, the old files exist on the computer drives. The disk space of the deleted files will be marked for reuse. Therefore, yes, you can recover files/ folders from emptied Trash on Mac.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from Trash Folder on Mac?

You can recover emptied Mac Trash files using any of the below mentioned methods.

1. Recover files from Trash using Mac Terminal

2. Retrieve Emptied Trash on a Mac with Time Machine

2. With an Efficient SFWare Deleted File Recovery Software

Use Mac Terminal to Recover Emptied files from Trash

The Mac terminal is the in-built program on Mac that uses Unix command line for various tasks (in Windows, the function is carried by Command Prompt). With the help of this Terminal, deleted files from trash on Mac can be recovered. The effectiveness of this method lies on data being over written.

Therefore, it is recommended not to use the computer until the data is recovered. If the deleted files are removed from Trash or the Mac trash is emptied for long time, it would be impossible to recover them using the command line.

Step 1: At first, Press CMD + spacebar together to launch Spotlight -> type Terminal.

Step 2: Next, Type cd. Trash -> then press the Return button.

Step 3: Now, Input mv H../ and hit Return. (H means the name of deleted file)

Step 4: Type Quit -> go to the Finder window.

Step 5: Enter the name of the deleted file and hit Return.

Finally, the deleted file will appear on Mac Window, select it and save it to a safe location.

Method 2: Recover Emptied Trash on a Mac with Time Machine

You can easily recover files from the emptied trash using built in back up tool- Time Machine backup. However, this method works if you have enabled the backup before the file was permanently deleted from the machine.

Step 1: To launch Time Machine on your Mac, click on the clock icon located on the Mac’s menu bar.

Step 2: Once you launch Time Machine, you will be able to navigate through the backups made of your file system.

Step 3: Identify the files that were unintentionally deleted from a trash, select the deleted files that was backed up prior to the deletion date.

Step 4: Click on restore to recover deleted files from trash to your hard drive.

As it is mentioned earlier, the chances of this method recovering deleted files from emptied Trash on Mac is not guaranteed. In such situations, you can always rely on the most recommended SFWare deleted file recovery tool.

Recover Emptied Trash files using SFWare File Recovery Software

To recover files from Mac Trash, download the SFWare Deleted File Recovery Software and install it on Mac machine. Run the tool.

1. From the Main screen, choose Recover Files -> Deleted File Recovery

recover deleted Mac Trash files

2. Next screen requests to select the drive from where you need to recover files and then click on Next. Select the Volume on which Data as stored

select the Mac hard disc where files were stored

3. Software will start scanning and recovering process, once it is completed you will be able to view files in Data View and File Type View by clicking on Preview option

select files to recover from macOS

4. You've recovered files successfully!! Click on Save option to save recovered files to any desired location

Features of SFWare Deleted File Recovery Application on Mac


Be it Windows or Mac, once data deleted from Trash/ Recycle bin cannot be recovered. This would be similar to permanent deleting of files. Therefore, it is always rewarding to keep backup of files and avoid over writing of files when data is lost from the drive. however, with the help of SFWare Data Recovery software, you can recover permanently deleted files within no time.

Recover Deleted Files