6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2013 7:16 AM by Linc Davis
Jonathan Renouf1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

I've rashly emptied my Trash, and suspect that some files had been accidentally dumped there (by young child). So I want to use Time Machine to find an old version of the Trash folder. I've used Cocktail to make invisible files visible, and can find my Trash folder in my user directory. But when I then open Time Machine, as soon as I move back in time, this folder disappears. Furthermore, there's nowhere else that I can find a Trash folder in these old "snapshots". Where can I find my old Trash folder?



  • ecpa Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    Unfortunately the trash folder is excluded from TM backups, so you won't find your (lost) files there. But you can look into the original folders, where the files have been stored. There you should find them in your backup and be able to restore them.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (30,190 points)

    Have you considered using Time Machine to recover files in the context they were used before you trashed them?


    If you don't miss them in that context, perhaps you don't need them recovered.

  • Jonathan Renouf1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    The trouble is that the nature of a random delete from a child pressing keys is that you have no idea what has gone. Archived data that I might not need for years might have gone. It's rather a flaw not to be able to search or see the folder in TM, given that it exists on the hard drive somewhere. But thanks for the quick responses anyway.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7 (30,190 points)

    Ah yes, I've seen your sentiment often expressed during my (software development) career. We used to call it the "golden bit" - bit referring to a binary digit - that was precious and might be lost.


    But really the concept is like clutter in a drawer or a closet. If you haven't used it in (some amount of time), you won't need or miss it, and might as well toss it.


    Just my opinion, for what it's worth.

  • Jonathan Renouf1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Each is entitled to their own approach, but if you intend your computer to be an archive, then the nature of an archive is that it should store things for an unlimited time, until they might be useful. Some files on my computer are "live" but an awful lot are stored. I don't look at all my hundred thousand plus photos on a regular basis, but I need to know that they're all there, for when I do need them. So the analogy isn't with clutter in a drawer, but with a carefully assembled filing system, that someone may have randomly removed the odd page from.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (177,680 points)

    Restore your whole system from the last snapshot taken before the unwanted deletion.