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[Solved] How to Recover Files From Emptied Trash on Mac

Updated on Friday, March 24, 2023

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Written by

Amanda Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

[Solved] How to Recover Files From Emptied Trash on Mac

Summary:  This post walks you through how to recover files from emptied Trash on Mac. You will learn different methods to retrieve permanently deleted files with or without software.

recover emptied Trash Mac


Table of Contents:

Mac Trash, anchored on the right side of the Dock, plays a role in managing deleted files on your MacBook Air/MacBook Pro/iMac. Therefore, you can click on the Trash icon to expand it, all recently deleted files display in that folder. It is a breeze to recover deleted files from the Trash and put them back to previous locations.

Maybe, you are lucky to find that MacBook Trash won't empty sometimes. Then, you have a chance to recover your deleted files. However, if you encounter any of the following situations, you will not be able to retrieve deleted files from the trash can:

permanently delete Mac files

Can I recover files from emptied Trash on Mac?

Regret to empty the Mac Trash and want to recover deleted files back? If you want to know whether it is possible, the answer is Yes without any doubt.

In this first place, we would like to explain to you what happens when you delete a file on a Mac to understand why you can recover deleted files from emptied Trash.

When you right-click a file and choose Move to Trash, the selected file will be sent to the Trash folder, which just relocates the file on your Mac. At this time, you can undo your operations on your MacBook to put back the deleted file. Once you choose to Empty Trash to permanently delete it, the sectors used to store the deleted data will be marked as accessible, ready for use. But the deleted data is physically kept on the disk until new data writes to it and takes up the space.

In a nutshell, permanently deleting files will not erase the data from your hard drive, but it will be cleared out forever when it is overwritten by new data. So, there is a chance to recover the deleted files back from the drive before overwriting.

Recover files from emptied Trash with data recovery software

Although you know that it is possible to recover files from emptied Trash on Mac, you can not find out those deleted and marked data on the drive since the macOS does not recognize them. Then there comes professional Mac file recovery software, which can scan out deleted and lost files on the drive.

Among all the data recovery software, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery stands out for its advanced file scanning algorithms, high recovery rate, fast scanning&recovery speed, etc. It is easy to use and supports the latest macOS 12 and Apple silicon Mac.

Let's see how to recover emptied Mac Trash with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

1. Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac.

2. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

3. Choose the drive or partition where you have deleted files.

select disk

  • 4. Click on the Scan button to start the scanning process.

 scan disk

  • 5. Preview the files in the searching results and choose files that you want to get back.

 preview found files

  • 6. Click Recover to recover those deleted files from Mac.

recover files

Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can excellently handle various kinds of situations to help recover data from MacBook SSDrecover data from crashed/dead MacBook Pro, rescue files when your Mac won't turn on, and so forth.

Recover files from emptied Trash without any software

The prerequisite is that you have backed up the Mac before you emptied the Trash, whether you backed up to an external hard drive or uploaded to the iCloud drive. Now check the detailed steps below to recover files from emptied Trash from a backup.

Recover files from emptied Trash with Time Machine

Time Machine, an Apple backup tool for Mac computers, is reliable and easy to use. It backs up everything on your Mac by creating images or snapshots so that you can restore a specific file or the whole system when needed. Following the steps to recover files with Time Machine.

  • 1. Connect the backup disk to the Mac, enter the password if asked.
  • 2. On your Mac, open a window of the folder where the deleted files were stored.
  • 3. Open Time Machine by clicking the Time Machine icon in the Menu Bar.

If the Time Machine icon doesn't appear in the Menu Bar, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Time Machine, then select "Show Time Machine in the menu bar."

  • 4. Use the arrows and timeline to browse the local snapshots and backups.
  • 5. Find and select the item you want to restore, then click Restore to put it back to the original folder.

restore Mac with Time Machine

Recover files from emptied Trash with iCloud drive

The iCloud drive is another Apple solution. It applies the technology of cloud storage in which the digital data is stored in logical pools, said to be on "the cloud." If you have uploaded your important files to the iCloud drive. You can download it to your Mac.

Unlike iCloud, which will sync all the operations you performed on your Apple devices with iCloud turn on, the iCloud drive will not erase the uploaded files even if you permanently delete them from the Mac.

  • 1. On your Mac, visit iCloud.com and sign in to your Apple account.
  • 2. Click on the iCloud drive from the pane.
  • 3. Search for the files you want to recover.
  • 4. Select the desired file and click the download button on the top.

Final thoughts

It is always recommended to create backups for important files on your Mac. A backup is the most reliable method to recover files from emptied Trash. If there is no backup, try professional data recovery software as soon as possible to restore deleted files before the data is overwritten.

Besides, some applications have built-in historical versions of your files, which you can resort to. If none of the above methods succeed to recover emptied trash on Mac, you can take it to a local repair store for help.

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