Recover Emptied Trash Mac – Best Methods to Retrieve Deleted Files

Lisa OuUpdated by Lisa Ou / Jan 29, 2021 09:00

How to recover emptied trash on Mac? When you deleted the files on your Mac, you can still retrieve them from trash with the “Put Back” option. If you just emptied trash on Mac, the deleted files are invisible and recoverable until new files overwritten.

Do not take it for granted that you can recover emptied trash on Mac. Here are scenarios that you can retrieve the deleted files with Terminal or Time Machine.

  1. Clean up the Trash on Mac with the “Empty Trash…” option in the Finder.
  2. Context menu option with Option + Shift + Command + Delete keys.
  3. Click "Delete Immediately" to bypass Trash and directly delete a file.
  4. Select the files from Trash and choose the “Empty Trash” option.
Recover Emptied Trash Mac

Guide List

1. Professional method to recover deleted files from emptied trash

Is there a method to retrieve emptied trash on Mac for all scenarios with ease? FoneLab Data Retriever is the recommended method you have to take into consideration. It not only recovering files from emptied trash on Mac, but also a lost hard drive, deleted partition, digital camera, flash drive and more.

launch mac file recovery
  1. Restore deleted files from Mac hard drive, memory card, USB cable, etc.
  2. Retrieve photos, videos, documents and other emptied trash files on Mac.
  3. Provide both Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes to retrieve files with ease.
  4. Keep the recovered data in the original status without saving or modifying.
FoneLab Data Retriever
FoneLab Data Retriever

FoneLab Data Retriever - recover the lost/deleted data from computer, hard drive, flash drive, memory card, digital camera and more.

  • Recover photos, videos, documents and more data with ease.
  • Preview data before recovery.

Step 1Download and install the emptied trash recovery on Mac. After that, launch the program and choose the Mac Data Recovery option. If you need to retrieve files from external hard drive, you should connect the removable device to Mac first.

launch mac recovery

Step 2Choose the different data type, such as Image, Audio, Video, Email, Document and Others if you need to retrieve all the file types. In order to retrieve files from emptied trash on Mac with ease, you can check the Trash option instead.

recover emptied trash

Step 3Click the Scan button to retrieve files with Quick Scan. You can find the retrieved files in different categories. Moreover, you can also search for the desired file type, created date and modified date to get back the deleted files from Trash on Mac.

filter any file

Step 4Once you get the desired files, you can preview the files before restoring them to your Mac. After that click the Recover button to restore deleted files from emptied trash on Mac. You can search for the desired file on your Mac accordingly.

2. 2 methods to restore deleted files from emptied trash on Mac

If you do not want to use extra program to retrieve the emptied trash on Mac, you can learn more about how to restore the files with Mac Terminal and Time Machine as below.

1: Restore deleted files from emptied trash on Mac with Mac Terminal

Step 1Click the Finder icon in the Dock, choose the Applications > Utilities > Terminal. Double click the icon to launch the program.

Step 2Enter the cd.Trash command line and press the Return button. Now you can input mv [Filename]../. Then hit the Return window.

Step 3After that you can type the Quit and go to the Finder window, you can enter the name of the deleted files and hit Return.

Step 4You can retrieve the emptied trash on Mac, select the files and save them to another location for security.


2: Retrieve deleted files from emptied trash on Mac with Time Machine

Step 1If you had a backup of the deleted files in the Trash, you can launch Time Machine on your Mac. Make sure the Time Machine backup disk is connected and turned on.

Step 2Choose and open the folder that contains the deleted files that you want to restore. You can open the Trash folder in order to get back removed files from emptied trash on Mac.

Step 3Select the Enter Time Machine from the Time Machine menu. Select the item and press the Space bar to preview the file and make sure the files are the ones you want.

Step 4Click the Restore button to retrieve the selected file from emptied trash on Mac. You can also double click the icon and save the files to another location.

recover mac file with time machine


When you want to recover emptied trash on Mac, FoneLab Data Retriever for Mac should be the ultimate and easy solution, which provides a direct method to retrieve deleted trash files directly. Of course, you can also get back the files with Time Machine or Mac Terminal on Mac.

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