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How to Recover Deleted Files from Emptied Trash in Mac OS X

What happened if we decide to empty Trash Bin?

When we emptied Trash Bin (secure emptying is not included), what we  deleted is actually not the file. You just lose the access of the file from the system. The space occupied by deleted files is marked as "available to reuse", so the deleted files remain physically intact on the drive until they are overwritten by other files. The files will be only deleted when they are overwritten by new files. To prevent overwriting we need to stop using the Mac immediately if we want to recover deleted data from Mac Trash.

How to recover deleted files from Mac Trash?

To undo emptied Trash in Mac lion, you can try a recovery program - Mac Trash Recovery. Here we humbly recommend Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac, an easy-to-use data recovery for Mac users,which enpowers you to  recover formatted, deleted and inaccessible images,  archives, documents, songs, videos, etc. from Macbook, iPod and Mac desktop, USB drives, digital camera, mobile phones and other storage media. With its friendly interface, you can recover trash Mac just with some clicks. If the space isn't overwritten, your deleted files can be recovered with 100%.

If you're using Windows OS, you need to download a Windows version of Wondershare Data Recovery

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Keep in mind: Never download and install any program in the place where you lost your files, for this could overwrite your lost data. Download and install it on another partition.

Install and run the Mac data recovery software on your computer. Then follow next steps.

Step 1 Choose Lost File Recovery mode

"Lost File Recovery" can undelete files from a partition or removable media, no matter deleted by Command + Delete or emptied from the Trash.

This recovery option is recommended at first, for it takes you only a few minutes to retrieve deleted files from Mac Trash. If you can't getdeleted file in this mode, you can try "Raw Recovery" later, which can recover tons of files including those lost long time ago, more time consumed accordingly.

 Recover Trash

Step2 Scan the location of Trash in Mac

Select the logical drive where you deleted your files, if you have more than one drives on your Mac. Then click on "Scan" to search your deleted files.

 Recover Trash Mac

Step 3 Preview and recover files from Mac Trash

You are here now. When the scan finishes, all files you deleted are listed with the original path, no matter you deleted them directly from Library, desktop, or Trash, etc. Undoubtedly, files you emptied from Trash are in the "Trash" folder. Or you can search the file's name in the search bar on the top to retrieve it fast.

Before recovery, you can preview the file to make sure the files or quantity. Common image formats, documents and archives are allowed to preview directly.

Mac trash undo

During the scanning process, you can choose to "Pause" or "Stop" the work if you have found the files you are looking for in the list or you have to leave for a while. If you pause it, you can continue it any time when you are available. If stop, you don't need to drop the current scanning result, and you can save it on your computer for next time recovery by resuming it, which can save you much time.

Step 4: Save the recovered files on another partition or disk

When checking the file for recovery, click on "Recover" to retrieve them.

What you should keep in mind is: don't save the recovered files on the same place where you lost them, in case you overwrite them. If you don't find all the files, the deleted files will be overwritten for your new files' storage.

recovery trash mac

Before "Empty Trash", please check the Trash Bin carefully. If you find some valuab, you can highlight the ones that got mistakenly sent there and drag them out of Trash Bin to avoid this data loss headache.

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