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Ask Max: Recovering Documents Emptied From Mac Trash Can

Asked on 01/20/2009:

I accidentally emptied my trash on my Macbook Pro and there were some important files in there. Is there a way to recover these?


The ™Trash™ is a terrible place to keep any important files, but I assume you know this and it was an accident. Also, this would be a perfect rescue job for Time Machine coupled with an Apple Time Capsule. If you had been using Leopard’s Time Machine you could have gone back in time to when the data was not in the trash and then recovered just those files to your current system. If you are desperate to undelete, then you will need a program like Data Rescue.

With this software you can reboot your system off the CD and then use the undelete scan function to recover as much data as possible from the drive. The main thing is stop using your Apple computer. Every file you get, including this email, could be overwriting your deleted files. Even leaving your computer on could allow those files to be overwritten by system temp files.

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