Recover Data after Emptying the Trash Forcefully

Updated on November 27, 2018

Recover Data from the Trash

While force emptying the Trash, you might also delete important files and folders inadvertently. Losing precious data in such a way is painful. However, in this blog, we have shared methods you can use to recover files deleted by force emptying the trash.

How is the Trash Force Emptied?

Your attempts to empty the Trash normally might be thwarted due to a number of reasons. The Mac may prompt that the program is still in use when you know it’s not, the file might be locked, or the item may contain a special character that makes the macOS think it’s an important file. You can use the Terminal to force empty your Trash. Follow the below steps to successfully empty the trash.

  1. Launch the Terminal using Spotlight
  2. Enter the command sudo rm -R in Terminal, but don’t hit Enter
  3. Note: There is a space after R, so you must provide one space after R or else the command won’t work

  4. Press Control and Click on the Trash icon
  5. Select all the files and folders present in the Trash
  6. Drag those files into the Terminal Window
  7. Hit the Enter key
  8. Enter the administrator password (don’t worry if you can’t see the typed password)
  9. Once the password is entered, hit the Enter key

Depending on the size and number of files present in the Trash, the time to empty the Trash may vary. In case you need to recover data after force emptying the Trash, you can consider the following solutions.

Solution 1: Restore Deleted Files from Time Machine Backup

Time Machine is one of the most important applications in macOS that facilitates backup of files, folders, and partitions. It can be used to restore the entire macOS or specific files and folders. Follow the below steps to recover deleted files from trash:

  1. Go to menu bar shortcuts and select Enter Time Machine
  2. Once in Time Machine, open the folder with the file you wish to restore
  3. Use the dial to navigate through time and locate the file to restore
  4. Select the file and click Restore or Right-click for more options

Sometimes the Time Machine backup can also get deleted. You can use a data recovery software in such situations.

Solution 2: Recover Files using a Data Recovery Software

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a highly intuitive and easy to use data recovery software which can easily recover all the files and folders deleted from the Trash. It also recovers your precious JPEG photos, QuickTime videos, MPEG files, audios, DOCX & XLSX documents, and various other file formats. Additionally, if your files from the Time Machine backup drive are inaccessible or deleted, then this software can scan the Time Machine backup drive and bring back lost data to life. Follow the below steps to successfully recover deleted files from trash:

  1. Download the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac
  2. Install and launch the software
  3. Select Recover Everything or Customize Your Scan and click Next
  4. Select the Macintosh HD from the Select Location Interface, and toggle-on Deep Scan to perform a complete scan
  5. Click Scan and wait as the Macintosh HD is being scanned by the software
  6. After scanning, the software will list all the available recoverable files. You can also preview the recoverable files by turning-on the toggle switch near the preview option
  7. Select the files to save and click Recover
  8. After file selection, save them anywhere other than the recovery hard drive

Conclusion

It often happens with Mac users, we force empty the Trash and then realize that our important files are gone forever. In such a situation, you can refer to this blog. We have explained two methods you can use to recover deleted files from trash. While a Time Machine backup is your primary option, you can also use a third-party data recovery software if you don’t have a backup. Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a highly effective tool to recover data from any data loss scenario. The latest version of this application supports 64-Bit architecture on macOS Mojave 10.14. Free download the software now and start recovering your permanently deleted files.

 

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