General Question

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Is there a way to retrieve files in an emptied trash can?

Asked by toomuchcoffee911 (6928points) December 25th, 2009

Long story short, today my trash was emptied on my Mac by my [brain-lacking] sister, and it had some important stuff in it (and I don’t need a lecture about how I shouldn’t keep important things in my trash). I’m pretty pissed. Is there a way to get it back? I searched Google but I was confused by the results. Can anyone help?

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16 Answers

iwamoto's avatar

stuff like filesalvage works, also, time machine ofcourse

dpworkin's avatar

Just stop saving anything to that disk until you have run an undeleting program. (Don’t even save the program to the same drive, if you download it.)

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Download the program “Recuva” here: Recuva:“”

It will save your behind anytime you accidently delete files. The sooner you detect your mistake, the better your chance of recovering what you lost.

It is free and legal!

dpworkin's avatar

Yeah, but is it cross-platform?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar seems to specialise in software for the Windows platform. You may want to contact them for the source code and explain you would like a version for your particular platform of choice.
Since they don’t sell it, they might be very helpful in response to your interest.

jrpowell's avatar

This seems to work pretty well. I just tested it.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

I wonder if system restore would put them back?

dpworkin's avatar

The OP has a Mac.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Macs have no system restore points?

dpworkin's avatar

Macs have something called Time Machine. It’s similar.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Would time machine restore emptied trash?

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t know enough about Macs to say. That’s why I stopped answering this question.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Apparently it is possible to recover emptied trash files from mac systems if you act fast enough, before the space is overwritten with new data.

“You have the best chance of recovering your deleted files if you scan your Mac immediately after realizing that you have deleted files that you need.”

“If you aren’t using Time Machine, you are still making regular backups (right? right?) of your hard drive. But depending on how often your regular backups were, your Trashed file might or might not be available for recovery. If you Trash a file newer than your most recent backup and immediately realize you made a huge mistake, you are out of luck.

Time Machine, however, is happily working in the background making backups for you every hour for the current day. It then keeps daily backups for a month. I’ll bet you tons of money that that is alot more often than you would be making manual backups.

Now, if you Trash a file, as long as it is more than an hour old, you can just go to Time Machine and get it back.”

jerv's avatar

Back in my Mac days (we’re talking System 6 and System 7 here) there were a plethora of “undelete” utilities and I always had a floppy-based copy of them just in case.

Nowadays, I have the hard drive space that I don’t delete stuff unless I am sure that I either have a copy elsewhere or truly want the file gone.

583BLS's avatar

Yes, there are numerous classes for Emergency Service personnel on Electronic Evidence, In regards to retrieving information on text messaging,emails as well as Hard drives and phone numbers that have been deleted. Technology will eventually be the death of us all due to the fact that , we abuse our knowledge and keep pushing things forward. Things will eventually blow up in our face and go hay-wire

AaronCarter's avatar

I would suggest please do not write anything over.It is better to shut down your system and pick up a recommended Mac data recovery software which can recover your files back.I had used Stellar Phoenix Macintosh Data Recovery software last time when i lost my files and my trash bin got emptied But thanks to Stellar Phoenix i got my files back…

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