Just found something I HATE about MacOS


I just merrily sent thousands of files to trash, not realising that I was in the “All My Files” section (I hate that, too) and thinking I was just in downloads (dont ask me… I was in Downloads just a short time before). Anyway, here’s the thing… why is it that you can delete thousands of files in one fell swoop, but you CAN’T “PUT BACK” in the same way! What kind of insanity is that???

Anyone got any idea about how I can put back? Drag and drop is not an option, the files are (obviously) from different locations and in folders and subfolders. Or rather, they ought to be, if I had not been so damn quick to hit that button.

Any sensible ideas out there? Any third party tools?


You should be able to “undo” if it’s the last thing you do.

First thing I do on every new Mac I touch is set default for new window to home directory.

I have that “All my Files” crap too!


Alas it wasnt the last thing I did. I’ve also posted in Apple Discussions but generally expect to be told how stupid I am without getting an actual solution. And thanks for reminding me that we can choose a different directory for the new window. Fixed that.

Its enough to bring me to sobs. one file at a time when theres >7000 to be dealt with… sighhhh.


AHA. I did get a good suggestion in Discussions, There was a ton of stuff in Dropbox and I had no clue that they did backups on free accounts. All those are restored and that means that whats left should be manageable without toooo much sobbing on my part.


Not helpful… But you used to be able to “put away”, which would have helped… Not sure when that option was lost.


Is it not possible to just restore from a recent TM (or whatever) backup?


I dont usually bother backing up the macbook because its not my main computer. And the problem was with my very extensive Calibre Library which I store in Dropbox via the Dropbox folder. So whatever I deleted was disappearing from Dropbox proper and thence from the main computer Dropbox folder. I could have restored from the clone (I dont do TM much) but that would have been a total restore and I just didnt want to do that. REstoring in Dropbox was the easiest and most efficient way to deal with it. The rest of the deleted material, was, fortunately, not needed. I simply dragged what I needed back to where it belonged. And got rid of the rest. I had stopped the delete process before it went too far, fortunately.

The issue still remains though. I know I am not the only person who has done this. But, like the person who gave me the Dropbox info, I have also set Finder so new windows open to my User Directory, instead of to All My Files, so it ought never to happen again.


What was that? I dont remember seeing that at any time… Where did things get put, when they went away?


I’m pretty sure “Put Away” either never made it to OS X or disappeared in the early days. It was very cool and worked on anything in the Trash or on the desktop.


Itty bit of research and it appears “Put Away” indeed didn’t make it to OS X - died with OS 9.

@kyte The OS somehow kept track when you moved a file/folder to the desktop or trash, and thus you could just tell it to “Put Away” and it would move it back to where it came from… Very clever…


Oh memories of OS9 and earlier. The chooser, the control strip, the app switcher menu. Good times!


@cosmichobo aha, I didnt get past OS6 before abandoning the little 9" B&W screen in favour of a PC and the Amiga I already had. It gave me headaches. Didnt get back to mac until OSX.

IN the meantime, there is still no way to put back multiple files and that is a glaring oversight as far as I am concerned. It needs to be an option.


Ahh - I preferred the little b&w screen of my Mac Classic to the green screens of PCs… :slight_smile:

The fact they dropped the Put Away feature with the arrival of OS X makes me think that the feature was not compatible with the Unix-based file system… but - who knows. Write to Tim and ask for its return. Never know. :wink:

In your circumstance, there’s really nothing other than a Time Machine / other backup restoration… Or even just to use the backup to see where the files live…

[This comment brought to you today by someone who’s backup is almost 12 months out of date…]


I’ve recitified my similar backup lapse and now have up to date TM and Superduper clone for the main machine. I dont think there’s a cure for stupidity though and that was the reason for the deletion of almost 8k files. As I said, most were in my dropbox and that was relatively easily fixed by restoring the last backup in Dropbox on the web. Other files were either needing to be deleted or just simply moved back to where they came from. It was the potential loss of my Calibre Library that sent me into a tailspin and thats all fixed now.


Right after something like that, a quick COMMAND-Z would restore everything, but I see this wasn’t possible.

Yeah, Dropbox backs up for 1 month I think for free, which is great. I also use live backup via Crashplan which does the same thing too.