Is deleted File Recovery possible after Trash gets emptied?

Yes, it is possible to recover emptied Trash on Mac.

Even when you have emptied Trash, the deleted files will remain hidden on your Mac’s hard drive, as long as new files do not overwrite them.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you avoid using your computer if you want to recover deleted Mac files or emptied Trash. Also, you must start the recovery process as soon as you empty your Trash to increase the chances of restoring deleted or lost files.

Here are some of the methods you can use to recover emptied Trash on Mac:

  • Recover emptied trash through Mac Terminal
  • Recover emptied trash through the external drive trash bin
  • Recover emptied trash through Mac files recovery software

Solution 1. Recover Deleted Files on Mac Terminal

The terminal is the in-built program on Mac, just like the Command Prompt on Windows computer. Through Terminal, you’re able to recover deleted files from trash on Mac.

1) Press CMD + spacebar together to launch Spotlight and type “Terminal”.

2) Type “cd .Trash” and then press the “Return” button.

3) Input “mv xxx../” and hit “Return”. (xxx means the name of deleted file)

4) Type “Quit” and go to the “Finder” window.

5) Enter the name of the deleted file and hit “Return”.

6) The deleted file will appear. Select it and save it to a safe location.

After the above steps, the deleted files can usually be recovered.

Solution 2. Check the External Drive Trash Bin

If you delete files from an external device, like an external hard drive or SD card, the files will go to the hidden “.Trashes” folder, rather than the Mac trash. Thus, although you have emptied the Mac trash bin, you’re able to sometimes restore the deleted files to the original location.

You can view the invisible files by pressing the CMD + Shift + .hotkey. If the shortcut fails, use the Mac Terminal. First, you need to launch Terminal and input the below commands to find the:

“.Trashes” folder.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

killall Finder

Solution 3. Recover emptied trash through Mac files recovery software

To recover emptied trash on Mac, you need a Mac Data Recovery program. Here, I recommend Recoverit Mac Files Recovery.

Free download Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac on your computer, launch it and follow the next steps to restore Trash and get your lost files back.

Step 1 Select the “Trash” location to get started.

Step 2 The Mac data recovery will start scanning the trash folder to restore your files, it will take for minutes.

Step 3 After the scan, you can check all recovered data and files. You can preview some recovered photos, videos, music, and office documents. Select your files and click the “Recover” button to get them back.

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