I’ve trashed a file that I re­ally needed to keep!

Trashed files are not com­pletely shred­ded; they can be re­cov­ered

Mac Format - - TO THE RESCUE -

Have you lost an im­por­tant doc­u­ment? Did your Mac crash while you have a doc­u­ment open? Don’t worry: most soft­ware tools are able to re­cover doc­u­ments au­to­mat­i­cally if this oc­curs.

If you’ve trashed a file and then re­alised you need it, you can re­cover it if you haven’t emp­tied the Trash since you dragged the file there; just click the Trash icon in the Dock, and drag the file from the Trash folder to the Desk­top.

If you’ve emp­tied the trash and are us­ing Time Ma­chine to make reg­u­lar back­ups, open Time Ma­chine, use the ar­rows at the bot­tom-right of the screen to ‘go back’ to a point when you know you had the file. Click on the file and hit Re­store. For other back-up soft­ware, re­fer to that app’s man­ual to find out how to re­cover a file. Not run­ning reg­u­lar back-ups? Set up a reg­u­lar sched­ule now. At least two: both on and off-site.

It’s not time to panic yet. Trashed files aren’t deleted from your disk, but their en­try in the di­rec­tory is re­moved and the space made avail­able to be over-writ­ten. So as soon as you re­alise you need the trashed file, stop us­ing your Mac for any­thing that’s not nec­es­sary to re­cover the file.

There are a num­ber of soft­ware tools that can help re­cover trashed files. ProSoft’s Data Res­cue is one; Clever Files’ Disk Drill an­other. Both apps have free demo ver­sions that al­low you to scan a drive for trashed files. Start a scan; if it ‘finds’ your trashed file, you might be in luck. De­pend­ing on the size of the file and the tool you use, you might be able to use the demo ver­sion to re­cover it. If not, you’ll have to pay for the full ver­sion. If nei­ther tool can find your file, the next step is to take your Mac to a spe­cial­ist data re­cov­ery firm. (This is ex­pen­sive.) If the doc­u­ment hasn’t been trashed but has been changed and you need an ear­lier ver­sion, OS X’s ver­sion­ing may be able to help. The app you use to work on the doc­u­ment must sup­port it, though. With the cur­rent ver­sion open, click on the File menu, then go to ‘Re­vert to’ and se­lect ‘Browse all ver­sions’. Use the check­marks on the right to nav­i­gate to the ver­sion you want, and click Re­store. Or, hold down å and hit ‘Re­store a Copy’ to open the old ver­sion in a new doc­u­ment.

Once a file has been sent to the Trash, you can still re­trieve it.

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