How to recover files deleted from macOS Catalina/Mojave Trash?

Posted by Molly to Mac Data Recovery on July 12th, 2018

The Trash on a Mac is a sort of buffer that allows you to easily "Put Back" mistakenly deleted files, or files deleted intentionally but you regretted to do so later. It could be another story however if the Trash got emptied. In this tutorial we will walk you through the reasons why deleted files can be recovered even emptied from Trash, and step-by-step guide on how to recover files deleted from Trash on macOS Mojave, Catalina, or other Mac operating systems.

Why files deleted from Trash can be recovered?

More precisely, files deleted from Trash are recoverable on Mac as long as they haven't been overwritten. When you deleting a file, it isn't really erased. It continues existing on your hard drive, but the space it takes has been marked as available for new data. So, until being overwritten, the deleted file is recoverable even emptied from Trash.

How to recover files deleted from Trash on macOS Mojave/Catalina?

After deleting files from Trash, you'd better stop any operation on the Mac to avoid unwanted data loss. Then, you can try to recover files through the two methods.

Method 1: Restore deleted files on macOS Mojave with Time Machine

Method 2: Recover files deleted from Trash with free Mac Trash data recovery software

Method 1: Restore files deleted from Trash with Time Machine

If you have been using the Time Machine Backup on macOS Mojave, congratulations, data recovery from Trash will be easier for you. Follow the steps as below.

Step 1: Connect the backup drive to the Mac computer.

Step 2: Open the folder that once contained your deleted files.

Step 3: Click the Time Machine icon in the top left menu bar and select Enter Time Machine.

Tips: Did you know how to show Time Machine icon on the menu bar?

  1. Click Apple icon at the top-right corner.
  2. Select System Preferences… and then click on Time Machine.
  3. Check Show Time Machine in menu bar.

Step 4: Browse the items in the backup folder by using on screen up/down arrows or using the timeline at the edge of the screen. If you want to find files of older version, using timeline to navigate the files is faster. You will be able to see a lot of snapshots of this whole folder and how the folder changes.

Step 5: Select an item and prese Space bar or double-click it to preview it.

Step 6: Select the file you want to restore, and then click Restore.

Method 2: Recover files from Mac Trash

If unfortunately you haven't made a backup with Time Machine, you still have a chance to recover the files deleted from Trash with free Mac data recovery software, like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is able to recover deleted files even emptied from Trash, recover files deleted immediately from Trash, recover deleted photos, videos, documents and music files from external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, Pen Drives and other storage devices.

Besides, it also recovers deleted APFS partitions, recovers deleted files from encrypted APFS hard drives, recovers lost data from formatted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible, corrupted drive on macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 and OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

How to recover files deleted from macOS Mojave Trash with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on our Mac.

Step 2: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, and choose Mac system hard drive.

Recover files deleted immediately from Trash or Finder

Step 3: Click "Next" to scan for lost files.

Step 4: Preview the results and choose files you want to recover, then click "Recover" button.

Still have questions?