How to Recover Files Deleted after Emptying Trash on macOS

Updated on November 28, 2019

Often, we move our files to trash on macOS by one of the following ways: 

  1. Right-clicking a file and sending the file to the trash
  2. Dragging a video, photo or document and dropping it to trash
  3. Selecting a file and pressing Command + Delete keys
  4. Using Command + Shift + Option + Delete operations
  5. By using Delete Immediately option

Usually, the above five operations are applied for more than one file or bulk data.

Let’s say an entire folder containing photos, videos or word, excel, powerpoint files are moved to trash. You might have selected the data for deletion carefully; however, moments after emptying the trash, you realize that some important videos, photos and documents etc. have been deleted via emptying the trash.

Recovery of Files after Emptying Mac’s Trash

Leverage Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover permanently deleted files from Trash on macOS after an irreversible empty trash debacle. This file recovery tool scans your start-up disk i.e. Macintosh HD including the trash bin to recover deleted files such as the – Documents, Videos, Photos, Emails, Audio and many more.

Empty Trash Recovery with Stellar Data Recovery Software

But, before we begin the data recovery process via software; it is advisable:

  1. To avoid writing any new data to the start-up disk
  2. If you are using a Mac with an SSD as a start-disk then data recovery process must be done immediately. Or, try to avoid delaying data recovery.

Now, download & install the Stellar Data Recovery Professional Software for macOS trash recovery.


Follow the Steps to Recover Deleted Files from Trash

1. Run the software and select the desired option from the ‘Select What to Recover’ interface.

Customize the scan or Recover all files

2. Select the hard drive i.e. Macintosh HD since Trash is located on the start-up disk and data needs to be recovered from here. Toggle Deep Scan to start scanning. Note: You can recover trash emptied files from an external hard drive by using this Mac data recovery tool. Simply connect your external hard drive and launch Stellar’s tool for file recovery.

Select the drive from where your files were lost or deleted

Allow the Scanning process to complete successfully.

Scan in progress

3. After successful completion of scanning, the software lists all the recoverable files and folders present in the Macintosh HD in a Tabbed view of scanned Tree – Classic List / File List / Deleted List

Preview files from Classic, File or Deleted list

4. Choose a desired file or folder to launch Preview Select preferred files or folders

Preview Recoverable Photos

Similarly, preview videos and documents:-

Preview Recoverable Documents

5. Click Recover and state a Destination to start saving the recoverable files to another drive.

Recover your Files

This completes the Mac Trash files recovering process.

You need to activate the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to save the recoverable files to another destination. Watch the below video to register the Stellar Data Recovery Professional on Mac:

Watch the Stellar Data Recovery Professional software in Action: