HELP! How to restore files in Trash to respective folders?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by anjii, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. anjii macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #1
    I accidentally deleted a whole lot of stuff including apps, docs and critical workflow files etc of different apps.

    BIG problem is, I am not sure which deleted stuff goes to which folders.

    So how do I restore the stuff to their respective folders? In Windows, users have the option to right click and press "Restore" to return the files to their different folders.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #2
    Sorry, your outta luck. The Trash is not a Recycle Bin so there's no restore option to place folders back. The main reason for this is Macs don't use the Windows Registry that scatters files everywhere. Each app on a Mac is self contained in it's own folder so you'd had to have grouped a whole bunch of folders together to have dumped them to the Trash. Is that what happened? Cause you'd had to have gone out of your way for this to happen.
     
  3. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the info.

    I am hoping that there's a way to work around this. I have restored those docs/apps which I know to their original folders. The rest, I'm simply clueless.

    Any idea if there is a way to see the folders which the files originally belong to, so that I can restore them manually?
     
  4. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #4
    Restore the applications back to the "applications folder". Documents should go back in users, your user name, documents. As for the critical workflow files and whatever else, why not post a sample of what they are and perhaps someone can tell you where they go.

    The way to avoid accidents like that in the future is to have a backup or clone of your hard drive. Backing up to an external drive is easy if you have a program like Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper. If you're using Leopard, you already have a good backup program: Time Machine.
     
  5. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #5
    I think I do have an answer for you but could you please explain what did you actually do and how are so many files outside of their prospective folders? It's usually not easy to do this. Could you explain so we can help you better?
     
  6. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #6
    Yes, I have restored the ones I know to their respectively folders. As for the rest, do you know if there is a way to see the folders which the files originally belong to, so that I can restore them manually?

    I just got this new Mac.. before I can backup my system with Time Machine, this has to happen. Sigh.
     
  7. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #7
    I wanted to clear the menu in my folder history (left panel when you click on Mac HDD) but ended up moving all the items/apps/workflows etc which I have utilized in the past few days directly to Trash.

    I've restored what I know, and moved the rest to a new folder on my desktop. There are now about 64 items in the folder.
     
  8. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #8
    Hmm, sorry to be confused at what you said because I teach Macs and I've never heard of clearing the menu in a folder history? What menu in the Macintosh HD and where does it mention a Folder history?

    Well at any rate you can right click or control click on the file and choose "Get Info" and a sub menu will appear and at the top it will show you what type of file it is so you will know where it came from.
     
  9. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #9
    I am using Leopard OS. Double click on HDD > "Search for" (on left side panel) > "Past Week".

    I clicked cmd-a and delete. That was how the items ended up in Trash.

    As mentioned, I've moved the files from Trash to a folder on my desktop. So when I clicked to check the info, it only states its current location (the folder on desktop) and doesn't show where it came from.
     
  10. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #10
    Oh, I see. Yeah the "Today", "Yesterday" and "Past Week" are not exactly just a history of what you interacted with on your Mac but rather those are pre-defined searches so anything you clear from those pre-defined searches will actually dump into the trash.

    There really is no easy way to restore them even with Time Machine because TM wouldn't know how to restore them their rightful places.
    The only easy option is to do an Archive and Install if you think those are system files that are required to run the Mac.
    If there are some files like letters you've typed bring those back to the desktop. Pop in your install disk and boot up to the install screen and choose "options" and choose Archive and Install.
    This will reinstall Mac OS X while preserving your settings are existing apps.
     
  11. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #11
    Thanks. I will try that and post the results. How about the critical files of the other apps (e.g. I have many .proofingtool files, very likely from MS Office)? Any way to (manually) restore them to the right folders?
     
  12. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #12
    This is pretty urgent: does anyone know how to find out the original folders of files which are removed to Trash accidentally?
     
  13. Nick T. macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    #13
    I'm afraid that you're out of luck. OS X does NOT keep track of where items in the Trash directory came from.

    When Apple and Microsoft "borrowed" the idea of having a "safe delete" from Xerox PARC back in the olden days, Apple directly used Xerox's implementation while MS, having many extra months, added several very useful functions. It's too bad that Apple's corporate pride won't allow them to copy MS's Recycle Bin restore capabilities to their Trash.

    Here's a trick that could have saved your butt, but it's too late now. But, hold it in reserve in the event that you ever do another accidental delete. (It would have been easier if Apple saw fit to ask for a confirmation before doing a delete.)

    This will work only if the deletion was the last thing you did. Press command-Z which is the OS X UNDO command, just like ctrl-Z in Windows. This will return the deleted file to its original directory.

    I've been told that OS X and Windows handle directory entries differently when files are "safe deleted", but I don't know that it's factual.
    1) In OS X when a file is moved to the Trash, the pointer to it's parent is changed to the ~/.Trash folder. No record is kept of the previous parent.
    2) In Windows when a file is moved to the Recycle Bin, a flag is set that tells Windows Explorer to display the file in a pseudo folder (Recycle Bin) instead of where it really resides.
     
  14. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    Feb 2, 2007
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    #14
    those are not aliases (shorcuts) but the actual file. its pretty much a spotlight search.

    as for the files maybe post a screenshot of the Trash and we could work out where they go? to do this press "command-shift-4", then spacebar and then click on the trash window.
     
  15. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #15
    Yes I realized too late that I should have done that :(

    Update: I reinstalled & "repaired" the programs which I think are affected by the accidental deletion.

    I'd also wanted to do an Archive and Install as advised by HLdan but aborted the op when the instructions onscreen stated that the present OS would be archived in a folder, and I would not be able to start it up again.

    Are there alternatives to performing an Archive and Install to repair critical OS files which might be deleted?
     
  16. anjii thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #16
    Do you know how I can clear the "history" of actions w/o deleting the actual files?
     
  17. richo7 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    ANJII "Do you know how I can clear the "history" of actions w/o deleting the actual files? "
    This is not possible because what you are talking about is a smart folder. It just looks for every file that has been opened or modified(depending on the folder) in the past day/week/year etc. If you click a file and do get info(command+i) you will see when it has last been modified/created. This is what it looks for. you cannot clear the "menu"
     
  18. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #18
    Two year old thread! But...

    As to the original topic, Snow Leopard revived the Put Away feature of OS9 and earlier, now called Put Back, I believe. (I still have Leopard.)
     
  19. neznyloket macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #19
    Put back in SL

    tested on 10.6.3 SL

    Finder
    File
    Put back

    or cmd+backspace in trash

    excellent :) finally!
     
  20. kindek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    #20
    Any changes to this in Lion?

    I have the same problem (accidentally trashed items) using Lion. The "Put back" option exists in the Finder menu, but it is unfortunately inactive (light grey) :confused: I am trying to use it from Trash folder of course.

    What happened to me briefly: I was adding widgets to my Dashboard, and one of them (Soduku) as soon as installed said there was an update available. I clicked and got to the developer's site. Downloaded the update and then - as far as I can recall - Tech Tracker (?) warned me that there are certain relations to the trashed old widget file and if I want to mark those files as trashed to. I have chosen the wrong answer, and now my Dashboard is not working anymore. I am not sure where to restore the trashed files.
     
  21. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #21
    Did you drag the items to the Desktop and then try Put Back? I don't know if this will work, but it's worth a try.
     
  22. kindek, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012

    kindek macrumors newbie

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    Feb 18, 2012
    #22
    No I didn't. I went back and reinstalled Lion... This solved my problem, though it took a while.
     
  23. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #23
    OK. I see that there is the put back option which is great. But I wish there was more info on the file sitting in the trash. Since there is a put back option, then there has to be "information" about the original files location. I am looking for a way to see that info, not just put a file back. I have a laptop shared with other family members. There is a bunch of photo's in the trash. I am not sure if these are duplicates, bad photo's, etc that should be deleted. If I was able to see the original location I would have a better idea. Anyone know a way to get that info? Was hoping that these was a column that could have been added to the finder. Maybe there is a 3rd party utility for this info?
     

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