As in, right after you empty the Trash on your Mac and realize you just deleted some files you didn’t want to delete? That’s more common than you may think.
Accidentally deleting files is a way of life, Mac or Windows PC user. It’s a disease we’ve all had, and there is no cure. But there are two things you can do to help prevent accidental file loss.
One Is Free, One Works Better
The free way to make sure you don’t delete important files is to never, ever empty the Mac’s trash until after you’ve scanned through the contents.
That’s a bit mess, more than tedious, and definitely time consuming, but adding that bit of discipline to your file management routine will pay dividends.
Free isn’t bad, but TrashMagic is better.
Simply put, TrashMagic is a Mac app that protects whatever you put into the Mac’s Trash can. Automatically. All the time.
It’s even better than Time Machine. Apple’s backup and protection app backs up files every hour. TrashMagic backs up whatever you throw into the Trash immediately.
The interface gives you four basic settings. Protection, Settings, Advanced, and Recover.
The most important function is Recovery. Select the location of the backups in the drop down menu. Then select a Display filter (for example, Last 24 Hours).
TrashMagic displays the files you’ve deleted when you emptied the Trash, but that TrashMagic saved first.
Drag and drop the recovered file back to the Mac’s Finder and you’re good to go.
TrashMagic can be set up to automatically empty the Mac’s Trash. But everything you move to the Trash gets copied and backed up until you’re ready to purge the backups.
I don’t recommend TrashMagic as an alternative to Apple’s Time Machine. Both have their purpose, and Time Machine can make copies of files that never see the Trash, but still may be lost to you.
Nicely done, but not free. But also good for the paranoid. Remember, only the paranoid survive.