Chrome OS file manager will soon have a trash can

Users will have a second chance to restore deleted files


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The unthinkable has happened: You just accidentally deleted the wrong file, and this is a school assignment you spent days working on. If you have not saved a backup of the document to your Chromebook, unfortunately there is nothing you can do to recover this file. With Windows, the Recycle Bin gives us a second chance to restore a file or folder that you deleted from file manager, but with a Chromebook, the files are permanently erased from your device. It looks like the developers at Google have become sympathetic to us, the accidental erasers, and are working on a way to recover recently deleted files.

As spotted recently in the Chrome OS Canary channel, Google is working hard to bring a new Trash folder to your Chromebook, giving you a second chance to restore your file that you accidentally deleted from File Manager. If you are impatient to try this feature, you can copy and paste chrome: // flags / # files-trash in the URL bar and activate it in the drop-down menu. Then if you launch the file manager and click on “Show hidden files” in the overflow menu, you will see a new “.Rash” folder in the navigation pane.

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An overview of the trash can feature in Chrome OS file manager.


The concept of the trash can function is simple. When you delete the image from the file manager, Chrome OS moves it to the “files” folder inside the trash. If I decide to restore the photo, I can easily cut and paste it into my documents. There is another folder in “.Trash” called “info”, which stores information about the original location of the image and a timestamp when it is deleted.

Giving a chance to restore your files will be a huge deal for many of us. A few years ago, I accidentally deleted a five page essay I was due to submit that week for school. Several days of research, analysis and work were gone in just a few keystrokes. You could say I was careless, but if Chrome OS had given me a second chance to restore my document, I wouldn’t have spent a few more days grumbling and trying to remember the work I have. already done. On the positive side, I learned a bit more about the subject and filled in some gaps that were missing in my initial draft.

The Recycle Bin feature is still very early in its development and requires more work before it is ready for the Chrome OS Stable channel. For example, all dialog boxes indicate that the file will be deleted instead of being moved to the recycle bin. There is also no convenient restore button in the file manager, and I want the trash information data to be merged into “Get Info” so that I don’t have to leave the file. . My biggest gripe about the implementation is the lack of an easy way to access the Trash folder. Every time I open the file manager I have to bring it up, which is annoying and hard for new users to find out. To fix the usability issue, Google should always show the Recycle Bin in the Navigation Pane for quick access.

UPDATE: 1/8/2021 9:24 a.m. PST BY KENT DUKE

Recycle Bin earns a restore button, plus

Over the past few months, Google developers have rolled out several backend updates to the Recycle Bin feature to integrate it even deeper into the file manager. As noted recently by Robby Payne of Chrome Unpacked, Google added the ability to quickly restore a deleted file to where it was before it was deleted. Here’s a quick rundown.

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A “Restore from Trash” option will appear in the context menu.

If you accidentally delete a file, it will appear in the recycle bin and be temporarily renamed to the file path of its original location. Restoring is simple: right-click on the file inside the recycle bin and select the “Restore from Recycle Bin” option from the context menu to bring the file back to its original directory. You can also restore files from the recycle bin by clicking the “restore” button on the toolbar, but from now on, the button itself is invisible.


This feature will undoubtedly change the way we manage files on our Chromebooks. Providing the ability to restore files will prevent countless important documents from being accidentally deleted. I’ve been waiting for a proper recycle bin in Chrome OS for a very long time, so I’m glad Google recognized the need to improve the file management experience.


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Donald E. Hollingsworth

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