Would you believe me if I said I’ve never lost a file on a Mac after using Macs since March, 1984? Don’t believe it. Despite a comprehensive backup scheme, multiple cloned drives, and Time Machine, occasionally I delete a file by emptying the Trash only to realize moments later that I shouldn’t have done that. I’m probably not alone.
For any Mac user who prizes files so much that even the thought of accidental deletion or Trash emptying is cause for paranoia and nausea, there’s TrashMagic. Think of it as digital magic (which isn’t really magic at all, but when you recover what you thought was lost, you may have newfound respect for Harry Potter).
TrashMagic protects whatever you throw into the Mac’s Trash can and empty the contents. That works as a complement to Time Machine, which backs up files only every hour and cannot recover files which have been modified or deleted within that time frame.
TrashMagic saves files for weeks after you empty the Trash, so you can go back and recover that which you thought was lost and wasn’t backed up by Time Machine or a daily cloned backup.
I think of TrashMagic as something Apple would call Smart Trash.
The app runs in the background and simply backs up every file you send to the Trash. When you need a file that’s been deleted (Trash was emptied) from your Mac, simply open TrashMagic, find the file, drag and drop back to the Finder.
In fact, TrashMagic is so useful you can set it to automatically empty the Mac’s Trash (files are still copied and stored). The Trash stays empty and worthless to prying eyes, but remains secured and restorable within seconds. The difference between Time Machine and TrashMagic is time. Time Machine backs up changed files every hour. TrashMagic does it as soon as you send it to the Trash can.
Not everyone needs the extra layer of ultimate protection, but if your files are valuable, and you’d be in a jam if one was deleted before the Time Machine backup, TrashMagic becomes a bit more magical.