Windows user here. How am I supposed to recover file without using a command line? I run Mac OS X 10.8.5


  • 1
    It is grayed out because to original location does not longer exist.
    – Ruskes
    Sep 21, 2013 at 8:22
  • 3
    Why do you fear the command line? Sep 21, 2013 at 19:40
  • What if you dont know where to put it? Using disksweep, it isn't clear where they are from....
    – user78719
    May 21, 2014 at 14:55
  • @Ruskes it is not grayed out, it is missing.
    – greatvovan
    Jan 9, 2022 at 0:25

4 Answers 4


It depends on how you trashed the file. Unfortunately there is no simple restore to original place. It only works if you trashed the file by using Finder or if the app used the correct API call (although reading the github issues for various command line utilities which try to use this, Apple have broken that API). Just moving the file to trash is not enough which is what a lot of programs do. I suspect this Finder behaviour was added in some version of OSX so old ones won't have it - or else I never trashed anything correctly.)

If you used the Finder to trash it see this other answer

If not :

What you do is copy the file from trash (Copy is on the pop up menu you show) and then navigate in Finder to where you want it to go and then paste it. If you have two Finder windows open you can drag and drop the file from Trash to where you want it.


I always thought that MacOSX had a Restore Option for individual files. The screenshot shows how to "undelete" a file. It will be moved back to its original location.

Put Back Trash

  • How do you get that option on the menu?
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 21, 2013 at 8:02
  • I have this menu item on the very top, but it is greyed
    – Overdose
    Sep 21, 2013 at 8:11
  • @Mark I didn't do anything special. I simply put a file into the trash.
    – Chrisii
    Sep 21, 2013 at 9:01
  • 5
    It will not be there if the original location does not exist anymore.
    – Matteo
    Sep 21, 2013 at 9:22
  • Maybe this is available only for single files? I have accidentally deleted a complete folder structure (more than 30k files over 1k folders) which I would like to "Put Back"
    – Daniel
    Sep 30, 2014 at 21:29

Option 1

  1. With the item still in the Trash, right-click on it with your mouse and select Put Back. This will restore the item to where it was before you deleted it.

Note: If the original location no longer exists, then this will be greyed out!

put back item from Trash OS X

Option 2

  1. Right-click the item in the Trash and select "Copy muCommander"

    copy item in Trash OS X

  2. Once the item is copied, navigate in Finder to where you want to put it, and right-click in the background of the folder or your Desktop and select Paste Item.

    paste item in OS X

Using Keyboard

Keyboard commands for OS X are:

Copy Command ⌘+C
Paste Command ⌘+V

The Cut command is a little bit of a bitch when it comes to files. Don't rely on it


Why simple when you can do it complicated.

You can just drag'n'drop it from Trash to where you wana have it (probably the Applications Folder cause it is an Application).


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