How to Recover Deleted Files From Mac Trash | Complete Guide

Recovering deleted files from Trash on Mac is as simple as performing Recycle Bin recovery on Windows. Whenever you delete a file on Mac, it is moved to the Trash Bin, from where you can restore your accidentally deleted data on Mac. However, many users have a habit of emptying the Trash or permanently deleting files using the “Command + Option + Delete” keys.

Usually, you will encounter two scenarios when you are trying to recover files from Mac Trash

  • Recovering deleted files from Trash on Mac
  • Recovering data from Emptied Mac Trash 

Fact: Annually around 32% of Mac users encounter data loss.

Caution: Stop using your computer until you recover deleted files from Mac Trash

Recover Deleted Files from Trash on Mac

Mac system temporarily stores the deleted files in the Trash before permanently deleting them or empty the Trash. You can recover the files from Mac Trash using the Put Back option.

To restore the files from Mac trash, open the trash folder and select the files you want to recover. Right-click on the files or use control + click which will give you the options.

Select Put back option to recover the files from mac trash.

However, by default, the time period of the file in the Mac Trash folder is 30 days(customizable), exceeding 30 days the file is permanently deleted from your Mac. Not only that many users are habituated to use “Command + Shift + Delete” which empties the Mac Trash folder.


In this situation, the files are no longer available in trash or visible anywhere on the Mac. To recover files from emptied Mac trash you need the help of suitable Mac Trash recovery software such as Remo Mac Data Recovery software. Click on the download button to start recovering data from emptied Mac trash.


For further explanation on how to recover data from emptied Mac Trash please move to the next section of the article.

Disclaimer: Do not install Mac Trash recovery software on the same drive where the deleted files used to exist

Fact: 11% of data loss happens due to human errors

Recover Emptied Mac Trash

To Recover Emptied Mac Trash files, download and install Remo Mac data recovery software. Launch the Remo Mac Data Recovery software and select the “Recover Files option

  • In the next screen, select Recover Deleted files option. This will load the volumes available on the Mac.

recover mac trash files

  • Select the volume and click on the Next button to initiate a scan. 

select drive while recovering files from mac trash

  • After scanning the drive Remo Mac Data recovery software will display the recovered files from emptied trash on Mac.

files recovered from mac trash can

  • Select the files and click on save to complete recovering data from emptied Mac Trash.

Quick Note: Remo Mac Data Recovery tool recovers deleted files from SD card on Mac that are not available on Trash. Moreover, this tool also supports data recovery from various file systems like exFAT, APFS, HFS, HFS+, etc.

How can I recover permanently deleted files from Mac without the Software?

Yes, you can recover data from a Mac trash can using the terminal. The terminal is a command-line interface that allows users to undo the emptying of the mac trash. 

Go to utilities and double click on the terminal 

using terminal to recover emptied mac trash

Type “cd trash” and press enter 

Next type mv (filename) and press enter (remember that the file name should be exact including the extension)

Exit the terminal and check whether the file is recovered or not.

However, using this process you can only recover one file at a time. Not only that,  you also need to enter the exact file name. If the file name is wrong, you can’t recover the file.

Bonus Tip: With Remo Recover you can not only recover data from trash but also retrieve files that are disappeared from the desktop on Mac.

Time Machine Backup

You can also use the time machine backup application to recover the data from emptied trash. However, time machine backup only works if there is an existing backup file. Without a backup file, you cannot recover data from emptied Mac trash.

using time machine backup to recover data from mac trash

Nevertheless, it is advised to make use of Time Machine backup and set up regular backup files so that you can avoid data loss situations.


When files are deleted they become hidden and inaccessible. Since the files are hidden and inaccessible, the recovery process becomes extremely complicated for a normal user.

To make the entire Mac trash recovery process simple Remo Recover is designed with a straightforward user interface. So that even a novice user can restore data from the Mac Trash folder.

Remo Mac data recovery software is a professional tool that can scan and scavenge the Mac storage sectors and undo emptied Mac trash. 

It might be Catalina, Mojave, or High Sierra, Remo Recover is one of the best apps to recover data from Mac that works seamlessly with all the Mac OS versions. Not just that you can use Remo Recover on MacBook Air, MacBook pros (all versions).

Additionally, with the help of this Mac trash recovery software, a user can also recover photos, videos or any kind of digital media from Mac trash without any fuss.

How to Recover Deleted Files From Mac Trash | Complete Guide was last modified: December 2nd, 2021 by John Harris
One comment on “How to Recover Deleted Files From Mac Trash | Complete Guide
  1. rachelbiilson says:

    Great information you have shared. I read you post and it’s really very amazing and it’s very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

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