Accidentally Moved Desktop into Trash

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mirrorchild, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. mirrorchild macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2006
    I somehow managed to do something really silly, I don't know how exactly I did it, but I had moved my desktop to the trash.

    So now it's sitting there in the trash. I don't dare do anything until I get some proper advice. Can I just drag it back to my home folder and clear the trash?
  2. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    Yes it can be recovered from the trash, just open the trash and drag it out .. :)
  3. 119576 Guest


    Aug 6, 2007
    You're going to have to reinstall the OS and lose all your data.

    Not really.

    Just drag it back! :)
  4. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    remember the "oh crap!" shortcut: command z :)apple: z) it's an undo of the last action. It's my favourite command for my clumsiness.

    yes, you should be able to move it back out to it's rightful place without incident.
  5. mirrorchild thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2006
    Thanks for the replies. I just dragged it back, but now the icon for my desktop is that of the generic blue folder, instead of the usual desktop icon. How can I restore this?

    Edited: Solved that problem. A log-out and log-in again resolves the issue.

    Thanks again, everyone.
  6. bridgesmj macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2008
    I have done the same thing... I was developing an applescript that got the current (i.e. default) file path of an application, did stuff, and then deleted a temporary file that was created. Turns out the default location happened to be my desktop, and this got sent to the trash. I have learnt my lesson!

    Anyway, I managed to go into the trash and recover my documents and have now backed them up. But it won't allow me to recover the desktop to my home folder by drag and drop. Stuff can download to the desktop, but when I try to open it gives me an error message along the lines of:

    "The document "Document.jpg" could not be opened because it is in the Trash."

    In the "Where" of the Info, it gives the the file path as "/Users/bridgesmj/.Trash/Desktop"

    Does anyone know how I can recover this? Bear in mind drag and drop doesn't work. This article says that I'll need to re-install the OS. I'm hoping this isn't so.

    Unfortunately I'm not in my sixties, and used to consider myself tech-savvy until this event.

    Looking forward to responses!


  7. killwill169 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    I did that too, but then I fixed it. If you just made the mistake, don't touch anything. Don't empty your trash. Don't drag the folder out. My experience is that if you drag the desktop folder out of the trash back to the home folder, it will copy instead of move the files. Also, many of the invisible files will be lost in the process. The solution is to open Terminal, and type in the following:
    mv /Users/yourhomefoldername/.Trash/Desktop/ /Users/yourhomefoldername/
    "yourhomefoldername" stands for the name of your home folder. Substitute it with your home folder name. Note that spelling and capitalization count, and there are spaces after "mv" and after "Desktop/". This should move your desktop back without copying the files. Log in and log out to get the desktop icon on the sidebar, or get info of the desktop and it should revert back to original.

  8. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008

    NICE I need that, they made Macs "Jim proof" lol
  9. dtwalter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2009
    Bay Area, N.CA
    I did this (thank you!). It reverted and I was again able to access the items on the desktop, however, I still have a folder in the trash named desktop. I am afraid to empty the trash for fear the whole thing will happen again and I'll lose even more files. I bought a recovery program that was less then helpful. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  10. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    The trash should show as empty if you log out and then back in.

    Thanks for searching before posting, by the way. ;)
  11. gwengillespie macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2012
    desktop in trach

    I also accidentally trashed my desktop . Dragged the desktop 'folder' back into mac HD. but can neither get the folder to reinstate on the desktop nor the items on the desktop to go back onto the desktop . what do i do?
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Don't drag it back to Mac HD. That's probably not where it came from. Drag it back to your Home folder, which probably is where it came from.

    Open a window to your Home folder by choosing the Home menu item from the Go menu in Finder.

    Or see if "Put Back" works. Example:
  13. 3dogdesign macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2012
    Another Method

    Just recently trashed my desktop for the second time and had to figure out how to do it again. In my trial and error I found another method of restoring the "desktop" to the left column of the finder window. Right click anywhere in the left column and open Sidebar Preferences. On the window that pops up, select the checkbox next to "desktop" and voila!

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