How to Recover Emptied Trash on Mac without Software?

Summary: Recover Emptied Trash on Mac without Software, check the Trash Bin folder and use the “Put Back” option, check Time Machine backup, use Terminal commands, and check app-specific recovery features. If none of these methods works, use a data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery for Mac, which is compatible with all Mac models and supports different drive formats, providing advanced features and efficient data recovery.

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The big question: Is There a Way to Recover Emptied Trash on a Mac?

While software makes it easy, it’s understandable you want to try even simpler solutions first.

Most files are easily recoverable within 30 days of being deleted. After you cross the 30-day mark, you might have to use data recovery software.

In the article, we will tell you:


4 Ways to Recover Emptied Trash on Mac without Software:

These 4 methods have detailed steps that tell you how to recover deleted Mac files without software.

1. Check the Trash Bin

The Trash Bin (also known as the Trash or the Recycle Bin) is a special folder. You can temporarily store files and folders here before permanently deleting them.

All detected files first go to the trash. No file is permanently deleted for the first 30 days. So, if you realize that a file is missing within that period, use these steps to recover it.

Here’s how to recover deleted Mac files without software.

Also Read: Mac Documents Folder Emptied Suddenly – How to Recover Data?

1. Open the Trash Bin folder – You can open the Trash Bin folder by clicking on the Trash icon in the Dock, or by using the Terminal command “open .trash”.


2. Select the deleted files: Go through the contents of the Trash Bin folder. Select the files you want to recover by pressing and holding the command key and clicking on them.


3. Use the Put Back option: Right-click on any of the selected files and select the “Put Back” option. This will move the files back to their original location. If you want to move them to a different location, you can drag and drop them into another Finder window.

If you’re wondering ‘How to recover an empty trash on Mac?’, you can refer to step 2.

2. Check Time Machine Backup

You can try this if you have Time Machine backup enabled on your Mac. However, Time Machine only keeps backups for the last month.

This is how you can recover empty trash on Mac. However, if you don’t have Time Machine enabled, you can try the other methods listed below. Or take the help of software, scroll down to the 1st FAQ to know more.

How to recover deleted Mac files without software.

1. Open the Time Machine app. You can do this by clicking on the Time Machine icon in the menu bar or by searching for it in Spotlight.


2. Browse through the backups to find the version of the file you want to restore. You can use the timeline on the right-hand side of the screen to navigate through different backups.


3. Select the file you want to restore and click on the Restore button. The file will be restored to its original location.

4, If you want to restore the file to a different location, hold down the Option key while clicking on the Restore button. This will give you the option to select a different location to restore the file to.

3. Check Terminal

If the file hasn’t been permanently deleted, and is still present in the system, you can follow the following steps to recover it.

How to recover deleted Mac files without software.

1. Launch Terminal. You can do this by using Spotlight to look for Terminal or by finding it in the Applications/Utilities folder.

Recover Emptied Trash on Mac

2. Go to the folder that contains the deleted file’s original location. The “cd” command can be used to switch to a different directory. For instance, you can use the command “cd” to switch to your home directory.

3. To view a directory’s contents, use the “ls” command. The deleted file will appear in the list if it is still in the directory.

4. To recover deleted Mac files without software, relocate the file back to its original location, using the “mv” command. For instance, you would type “mv.example.txt example.txt” if the file’s name was “example.txt”. The “.” in front of the file name indicates that it’s a hidden file.

4. App-Specific Recovery- Recover Emptied Trash on Mac

Many apps have their own recovery features. For example, if you have accidentally deleted a photo you can recover it within 30 days.

Here’s how to recover deleted Mac files without software.

1. Open the Photos app.

2. Click on the Albums tab in the sidebar.

3. Scroll down to the Recently Deleted album and click on it.

Recover Emptied Trash on Mac

4. Select the photos you want to restore by clicking on them. You can also select multiple photos by holding down the Command key while clicking on them.

5. To recover deleted Mac files without software, click on the Recover button in the top right corner of the window.

Recover Emptied Trash on Mac

If none of these methods works it means that the file is permanently deleted. If you’re wondering ‘how can I recover permanently deleted files from Mac without software?’, refer to the 1st FAQ.

Also Read: Comprehensive Guide on How to use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac?


1. How can I recover permanently deleted files from Mac without software?

If none of these methods worked, you most likely need the help of top data recovery software for mac. The software is designed to recover lost, deleted, or inaccessible data from Mac computers.

  • You can recover various file types and formats, including documents, emails, videos, audio, photos, and archives.
  • It can recover data from a variety of data loss scenarios, including emptied trash, crashed Mac, volume loss, and drive corruption.
  • The software is compatible with all Mac models, including MacBook, iMac, and Mac Pro, as well as different drive formats such as APFS, HFS, HFS+, ex-FAT, and NTFS.
  • It is equipped with advanced features, such as data recovery from non-booting Mac systems and a pre-recovery preview of files.
  • It is 100% accurate and efficient in recovering data, ensuring maximum data recovery from any storage device.
  • It supports the latest macOS Ventura 13.0 and earlier versions.

This is also how you can recover files from emptied trash Mac if more than 30 days have passed.

2. Are permanently deleted files gone forever?

When you delete a file from your Mac and then empty the Trash, the file is not permanently gone from your computer’s hard drive. The operating system simply marks the space occupied by the file as available. So new data can overwrite that space. As long as the deleted file has not been overwritten by new data, you can recover it.

3. Where does data from an empty Recycle Bin go?

In macOS, the folder where your deleted files are visible, is called Trash, and not Recycle Bin (as in Windows). When you empty Trash the operating system frees up the space on the hard drive that was previously occupied by those files, making it available for new data to be stored. The files themselves are not physically deleted from the hard drive, but the space they occupied is now available for reuse.

4. Can I recover data from a formatted hard drive on Mac?

Yes, but the success rate depends on various factors such as the method of formatting and the extent of data overwriting. You can talk to a professional at Stellar Data Recovery for further clarification.

Also Read: How to Recover Data from Formatted Mac Hard Drive?

5. Is it possible to recover Shift + Deleted files on Mac?

To recover deleted Mac files without software is not possible. You need data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery for Mac.

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