When we double-click or ⌘O a file in the Trash, we’re greeted with a message that it cannot be opened.

But there it no technical reason for this, as evidenced by the fact we can circumvent this limitation in a number of ways (such as opening it via an app’s Open dialog, or the Terminal).

But I’d rather be able to open them with ⌘O or double-click. Note I’m not interested in solutions that require an external script or a new shortcut.

Is there an option to disable the default behaviour (that leads to the dialog)? Seems like a candidate for a defaults write solution.

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    It‘s probably a rather unlikely use case, editing files which basically already have been deleted :-) – nohillside Dec 30 '18 at 7:31
  • @nohillside Nobody mentioned editing. It’s perfectly valid to want to open a file in the Trash to make sure it’s the one we want to recover. – user137369 Dec 30 '18 at 14:49
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    Why do you want to open it? That would imply potentially editing & saving the edits. If you just want to see what it is, either view Trash in Column view with Preview switched on, or tap the spacebar to QuickLook. – Tetsujin Dec 30 '18 at 16:04
  • @Tetsujin No, it doesn’t imply editing. You’re assuming. I want to, for example, open a file that QuickLook can’t natively preview (like MKV). And even if I wanted to edit the file, so what? The Trash is nothing more than a glorified directory. I can edit files in it from the Terminal just fine. I don’t want workarounds and I say as much in the question. – user137369 Dec 31 '18 at 3:01
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    It might just be easier to work with the system, not against it. Dragging a file from the trash onto the desktop takes a second or two. – nohillside Dec 31 '18 at 6:42

If you just want to verify whether it is the correct file to delete (especially with generic file names like FullSizeRender.jpg): You can still engage QuickLook on files in the trash by tapping Space.

  • No, I don’t just want to verify if it is the correct file. That was an example. Your answer also ignores file types that QuickLook can’t handle by default (like MKV). – user137369 Dec 31 '18 at 3:07

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