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Undelete from trash to original locations Desktop
If you've ever trashed some items and then wanted them returned to their original folders, Apple has a counterintuitive way to do so. It is rather odd, but neat!

To return the items from the Trash to their original locations, open the Trash folder, select the item or items to be returned and hit the delete button (red circle with line through it on the folders toolbar).

Your items will disappear from the Trash and reappear in their original folders. If you don't have the delete button, you can add it to all folders using the Customize Toolbar command under View.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I'm not sure who at Apple thought this was a good idea, but I don't think using 'Delete' as 'Undo' is the cleverest UI choice.]
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Undelete from trash to original locations | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: arcticmac on Apr 21, '11 07:36:26AM

The command is also available as "Put back" (cmd-backspace) in the "Edit" menu. I believe it works similar to the "put away" (apple-R) command that used to be in Mac OS 9, although that command had a myriad of other functions as well (eject disks, etc).

Unfortunately, it requires that you deleted the file with the finder, so deleting something by dragging it from my downloads folder in the dock onto the Trash icon in the Dock usually leaves the "put back" command grayed out. Hopefully this will be fixed in the future.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: ferret-slayer on Apr 21, '11 08:23:33AM

'Put Back' seems to work fine for me, with items dragged to Trash icon in Dock, in 10.6.7.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: arcticmac on Apr 22, '11 08:59:53AM

Sorry, should've clarified. It seems to work okay for items dragged to the trash icon from the finder, but if you drag an item from a stack in the dock onto the trash icon in the dock, then "Put Back" doesn't work.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: afingal on Apr 21, '11 08:42:47AM

A couple of picky comments:

"Put away" was cmd-Y not cmd-R. Cmd-R was "find original," same as it is today.

Apple keyboards do not have any key labeled "backspace." They have left delete and right delete. The one in the same position as backspace on other keyboards is the left delete and does the same thing as backspace in Windows. The one marked "delete" with a forward arrow does what delete does in Windows. I think that the Windows terminology is counterintuitive because you wouldn't expect backspace to delete anything (it didn't on a typewriter.) You would expect it to be the same as the left-arrow key. So, what you're referring to as cmd-backspace is what most of us would refer to as cmd-delete and that is somewhat counterintuitive because it's the same command you use to put something in the trash in the first place.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: daybrother on Apr 21, '11 08:45:20AM

Yes. Highlighting the file in the trash and then pressing cmd+delete returned it to the original folder on my macbook pro. I like this hint.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: luckie_reubs on Apr 21, '11 07:46:46AM

Thanks; good tip. Re: the 'Put Back' option, I didn't realize it had to be deleted from the Finder in order to be used; I thought it was just a fickle feature that didn't always work.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: mkhaw on Apr 21, '11 08:31:31AM

There's also a 1-level "undo". If you put something in the Trash (by dragging or by cmd+delete), cmd+Z will bring it back out of the Trash.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: matt_strange on Apr 21, '11 08:59:26AM

I didin't see it mentioned anywhere in this thread, but this 'put back' feature is new (revived from Classic, actually) in 10.6.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: cleanhead on Apr 21, '11 10:03:37AM
Users with long memories may remember this hint.

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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: ademsemir on Apr 21, '11 02:14:59PM

You could also hit Cmd+z to put back a file that you just deleted. e.g. if you are in a finder window and you deleted a folder my mistake, you can undo that by pressing cmd+z and it will be brought back from the trash.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: everkleer80 on Apr 21, '11 02:54:44PM

Heh this has confused me a few times when I've tried to open my trash and hit cmd-delete to permanently delete certain items. It's kind of anoying sometimes when I have items in the trash that I'm not ready to permanently remove but I do want to get rid of some large files to free up disk space. As far as I know, I have to open up terminal to do this (or use a third-party solution.) Anyone know of any easy way to do this through Finder? In Windows, I can selectively delete from the Recycle Bin and I can also hold shift when deleting items to bypass the Bin.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: tbucks on Apr 21, '11 04:55:20PM

To utilize the Put Back feature of the Trash, just right click on the item in Trash.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: conundrum on Apr 22, '11 07:20:34AM

Has anyone been able to get this to work in 10.5? I can only get it to work in 10.6



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: everkleer80 on Apr 22, '11 08:23:29AM

As matt_strange mentions above, this is a new feature in 10.6.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: rpaege on Apr 24, '11 09:58:38AM

Command-delete from the trash will also work.



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: MacUser06 on Apr 27, '11 09:14:46AM

Great nag saver.

I must have overlooked this tip the first time it was posted. I was really annoyed - until recently with restoring files from the trashcan. :)

Agrees totally with Carko: the UI is counter intuitive should really have been named restore and have an "undo-icon" when the finder window is displaying the trash. The trash is something of its own when it comes to containers anyway.

This should be implemented in Time machine as well. -with a dialog asking if you are sure … and an undo…


Thanks for a great hint!



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Undelete from trash to original locations
Authored by: tcris52 on Jun 04, '11 05:39:01AM

I'm not sure what's wrong with my Macbook (10.6.7) but I'm not finding any way to restore a file from the trash to its original location. There's no "Restore" in the context menu or in the Edit menu. Does anything have to be enabled or installed to get this? I have a bunch of files in the trash that have the same names but were deleted from different directories. I'd like to restore them to their correct directories.

Thanks.



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