Undo moving a file to Trash in Mac OS X

Oct 28, 2010 - 7 Comments

send trash file to original location

You can undo a file or multiple files move to the Trash, returning them to their location prior to deletion. It’s easy:

  • Open the Trash can
  • Select the file(s) you want to put back in their original location
  • Right-click on the file(s)
  • Choose “Put Back” to send the file to its original location within the Finder.

You can also do this with a keyboard shortcut from the Trash can. Select the files within the Trash and hit Command+Delete and it will also move them back to their original location before they were sent to Trash. You may recall that Command+Delete normally sends files to the Trash from within the Finder, but within the Trash the functionality is reversed.

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Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Roberto Carlos says:

    False, I have not the option with Right-click = “Put Back”
    Mac OS X version 10.5.8
    or the option is in Snow Leopard????

    • Robin says:

      This feature has been in Mac OS for years, it may be labeled as something else like “Send to Original Location” prior to Snow Leopard.

      I’m in SL so I can’t tell you though but I recall using this even in Mac OS 9!

    • katak says:

      same. there is no “Put Back” option. my mac 10.5.8. even any word that have a same function.

  2. markux says:

    in Snow Leopard there isn’t this option

  3. deanomarr says:

    Command + Z does the same thing and you don’t need the trash open to do it.

  4. Ticino says:

    On my Snow Leopard there is no option between “Open with” and “Empty Trash” as your screen shot shows.

    Command Z has no effect.

    Is there some hidden preference we have to enable, perhaps? Does this work solely if you have only just put something in the rubbish, not discovered later that there is something there that you inadvertently deleted and you want to return to it’s original location?

  5. Rowan says:

    This only works on files deleted using finder, files deleted using itunes etc won’t have this option.

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