Less than two weeks ago, Robby discovered a new commit that seeks to bring a proper Trash Can folder to Chrome OS. For long-time Chromebook users, the absence of a trash can may not seem like a big deal at all. Most of us live the cloud-centric life and we keep important files backed up in their proper place. Deleting a file locally only results in the file being removed on the device while safely secured in Google Drive or other cloud storage locations. That said, the countless users that are making the switch from Windows or macOS are likely to be quite perturbed when they accidentally delete a local file only to find that it is gone. Forever.
The bug attached to the unearthed commit was listed as “priority 2” which is quite low considering priority 3 is the least pressing label given to a feature request or bug. So, it was a complete surprise when the flag for the trash can showed up in a recent update to the experimental Canary channel. Nonetheless, it was there and I felt obliged to enable it. My first attempt produced no results but today, it hit me that I may need to dig a little deeper. The My Files app on Chrome OS has a few hidden files that are usually system-level items or package tools if you’re in the Linux folder. You can see these files by clicking the three-dot menu at the top right of the Files app and selecting the “Show hidden folders” option.
When enabled and unhidden, the MyFiles volume now has a nested Trash folder and it actually works. I was able to delete a saved image in my Downloads folder and immediately retrieve it from the “trash can.” For now, I had to drag the file back into my Downloads folder. Presumably, future updates will allow you to right-click and select something along the lines of “restore” or what have you. While clearly a work in progress, it’s apparent that this feature is being steadily attended to in an effort to get it ready for a promotion to the Stable channel. Recent commits point to the “Trash” folder being added to the shared files of the Linux container which means all of your deleted files will be safe from eradication no matter how you’re using your Chromebook. We’ll keep a close on this as it develops. I’m sure that the Trash Can will be a welcome addition to the Chrome OS ecosystem for many users.