Chrome OS is set to gain a new “Trash” folder that will make it easy to undelete a file you may have accidentally deleted.

Most operating systems have the ability to undelete files by stashing them into a temporary holding folder — Trash on macOS, Recycle Bin on Windows — which you’ll want to periodically empty or it can be cleared automatically. Chrome OS, however, has never offered anything like this. Instead, any deleted files are simply gone forever.

In the last two weeks, work has begun on bringing a Trash folder to Chrome OS, starting with a new flag in chrome://flags.

Enable Files Trash.

Enable trash for My files volume in Files App. — Chrome OS

#files-trash

As an interesting side note, the work had initially been contributed — and since deleted — from a Gmail.com email address rather than one from Google.com or Chromium.org. This initially led us to believe that this was potentially being contributed by a Chrome OS fan rather than being an official Google feature. Since then, the work has been re-uploaded from a proper Chromium account.

As of the latest Chrome OS Canary, this flag creates a new hidden folder called “.Trash” located in “My files.” In the coming days though, the folder is being relocated to Downloads/.Trash, which should make the process of putting a file in the trash much faster — under the hood, Downloads and “My files” are two separate “volumes.”

Beyond that, Google is actually working to create multiple Trash folders for Chrome OS. The second Trash folder is dedicated to and located within the “Linux files” folder used by Linux apps support. According to the work-in-progress code change, the plan is for this particular Trash folder to work seamlessly with traditional Linux file managers.

Regardless of where they’re located, to be able to see the Trash folders for now, you’ll need to use the “Ctrl + .” hotkey to show hidden files and folders in Chrome OS. Presumably, Google will make the Trash folders easier to access in the future, possibly with a dedicated entry on the sidebar of the Files app that shows the combined contents of the various Trash folders.

As for the official ways of undeleting a file from out of the Trash, we find that Google is preparing an undo button for the Chrome OS Files app to show when you delete files or folders. The undo button will appear in a new “toast” that should appear at the bottom of the app. We’ve created a small mockup of what this could possibly look like, based on what we’ve seen in the code.

Considering only the latest Chrome OS Canary, currently version 88.0.4296.0, has support for the Trash folders, we likely will not see them launch officially until Chrome OS 88 or 89, slated for January and March 2021, respectively.

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