Mobility

How to add a Windows-like recycle bin to Android

If you've ever deleted something from your Android device and wished you hadn't, check out the Dumpster app, which offers a handy recycle bin-like feature.

dumpsterhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

Android doesn't have an "undelete" function built-in, so when you delete something from your device, it's quite challenging to retrieve it. Unless (there's always an "unless") you use a tool like Dumpster.

Once you install Dumpster and give it access to your photos, media, and files, it will add a file recovery feature to your device that works quite well. Instead of files being immediately deleted, those files are sent to Dumpster, where you can either recover them or permanently delete them. Let's install Dumpster and see how reliably it works.

SEE: Google's new Android rules: We may soon ban non-standard USB-C fast charging (ZDNet)

Installing Dumpster

Dumpster is free, but it does contain ads. (There is an in-app paid version that enables more features.) The ads will appear as if they are files within the app, but don't be fooled into thinking they are otherwise—they'll be clearly marked as Sponsored.

Follow these steps to install Dumpster.

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for Dumpster.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Baloota.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. If prompted, tap Accept.
  6. Allow the installation to complete.

Once Dumpster is installed, you'll find a launcher on your home screen, within your App Drawer, or in both spots. Tap the launcher to start using the tool.

Using Dumpster

The first time you open Dumpster you'll have to give it permission to access your photos, media, and files. Once you tap ALLOW, you'll be greeted by welcome screens that you can swipe through. In the end, you'll find yourself in the Dumpster main window (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Dumpster running on the Nextbit Robin.

A nice aspect of this app is that files can be deleted from just about anywhere, including Google Photos or a file manager; it can even recover uninstalled apps or roll back to the previous app releases.

To use Dumpster, open the app and then, from the file-type drop-down menu, select the file type you want to recover (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Looking for images to recover from Dumpster.

If you have more than one file of this particular file type, tap the entry to reveal the listing of individual files that can be recovered. Locate the file you want to recover, tap the checkbox associated with the file you want to recover, and then tap Restore (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Recovering specific images files from Dumpster.

If you want to permanently delete a file or an app, tap its associated checkbox and then tap Delete.

Customizing Dumpster

To get to the Settings window, open Dumpster and tap the menu button in the upper left hand corner. For instance, you can go to Settings | Protect Settings and enable/disable different file types for Dumpster to restore (Figure D). You can even enable/disable App Updates so that when an app updates, if something goes wrong, you can easily roll back to the previous iteration.

Figure D

Figure D

Enabling Dumpster to roll back apps to previous releases.

If you want to enable a lock screen for Dumpster as well as a cloud backup, you can opt for the paid version, which will set you back either $0.99 cents (USD) monthly or $9.99 yearly (USD). If you're only looking to add an app lock to Dumpster, you can always opt for a third-party solution from the Google Play Store such as AppLock. If, however, you want to add recovery for cloud files, you'll have to pony up for the in-app purchase.

A solid file recovery solution

You won't find an easier solution for file recovery on the Android platform than Dumpster. If you're prone to accidentally deleting files from your mobile device, and regret that action more often than not, this is the app for you.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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