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

What happens if you decide to empty the Trash Bin on Mac?

When you emptied the Trash Bin on Mac (secure emptying is not included), what you deleted was still stored on your Mac. You just lost the access to 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 only be 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 files from emptied trash on Mac. In the below content, we will tell ho to get emptied trash back on Mac.

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

To recover deleted file from Mac trash bin, you can try a Mac recovery software. Here we recommend Recoverit for Mac, an easy-to-use Data Recovery Software for Mac users, which is compatible with Mac OS X El Capitan, Mac OS X Yosemite, Mac OS X Mavericks, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Mac OS X Lion etc. With its friendly interface, you can recover deleted files from trash on mac with just several clicks. If the storage space isn't overwritten, deleted files can definitely be recovered.

mac trash bin recovery software

Your Safe & Reliable Data Recovery Software

Easily and flexibly recover deleted or lost data from Mac Trash.

  • Recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from any storage device effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from Mac trash, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera and camcorders.
  • Supports Mac OS X (Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan, 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra) on iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro etc.

Note: Never download or install any programs in the place where you lost your files, because it could overwrite your lost data. Download and install it on another partition.


Free download Recoverit on your Mac, and launch it.

  1. Select the Recovery Scenario
  2. Select the scenario:"Trash Recovery" and click "Start" to search for your deleted files.

    select recovery scenario-how to recover deleted files from emptied trash on mac

  3. Quick Scan results
  4. It will start a quick scan automatically, and you can go to "All-Around Recovery" mode if you can't find any file.

    Quick scan-recover delted files from trash bin on mac

  5. Preview and recover files from the Mac Trash
  6. When the scan finished, files you`ve deleted will be listed with the original path, regardless of where they were deleted directly from (Library, Desktop, or Trash, etc.). Undoubtedly, files you emptied from Trash are in the "Trash" folder. You can search the file's name in the search bar on the top to retrieve it quickly.

    Before recover files from trash mac, you can preview the file to confirm the files or quantity. Common image formats, documents and archives are allowed to be previewed directly.

    Preview and recover deleted files from trash mac

  7. Save recovered files on another partition or disk

When checking files for recovery, click "Recover" to retrieve them. Remember not to save recovered files in the same place as where you lost them, lest you overwrite them. If you don't find all the files, the deleted files will be overwritten for your new files' storage.

Tips: Before selecting "Empty Trash", please check the Trash Bin carefully. If you find anything valuable, you can highlight the ones that were mistakenly deleted and drag them out of Trash to avoid this data-loss headache.

Note: Recover Lost Mac Data under Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)

Due to macOS High Sierra (macOS 10.13) requirement, Mac users are not allowed an access to the built-in system drive from any apps. Therefore, if you need to restore lost data from the system disk under macOS 10.13, please "disable System Integrity Protection" first.

How to disable "disable System Integrity Protection"? Please follow the steps below.

Step 1Reboot the Mac and hold down"Command + R" keys simultaneously after you hear the startup chime, this will boot OS X into Recovery Mode.

Step 2When the "OS X Utilities" screen appears, pull down the "Utilities" menu at the top of the screen instead, and choose "Terminal".

Step 3In the "Terminal" window, type in "csrutil disable" and press "Enter" then restart your Mac.

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