Crisis. I have just deleted all my Rapidweaver files by emptying trash

These go back years. Rapidweaver 5 and 8. Wondering whether to try and download the files from my server, or to try and restore them another way. My Time Machine last updated in September 2021, so that’s not much good. iCloud doesn’t seem to have documents on it, though it does have photos. I begin to regret my amateur approach as these project files matter a lot to me.

Hi @dunc,

I’ll refrain from asking what your RapidWeaver project files were doing in your trash bin. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you don’t have any reliable Time Machine backups to pull from, you might be able to download your project files from your web hosting account, but that’s only if you had the Backup Frequency option in your RapidWeaver publishing settings set to anything other than “Never”.

If your project files are no longer on your Mac, the only way you could check on that would be to log into your web hosting account’s control panel >> File Manager >> navigate to the web folder where your website files are uploaded to, and looking for a folder with a name that has a very long string of random characters. Your project file would be located in that folder.

You can also do the above via an FTP client if you are more comfortable using an FTP client to work with files/folders on your web hosting account.

One thing, I don’t know if RapidWeaver 5 had the backup feature available (it was too long ago to remember), so you might only be able to retrieve your RapidWeaver 8 project files with the above method. Fingers crossed you can find everything you need though.

Let us know how you get on.

I’ve a feeling I did have the backup Frequency at never on at least some of my websites, all of which are live and OK. However, I’ve gone into Siteground’s Site Tools and it looks as if they were all backed up this morning. The files are safely stored there and I should be able to use FileZilla (if I can download it, I can’t at the moment) to download my files from Siteground to my Mac. But I need yo do that slowly and surely.

In the meantime, I will see if I can get the files from the depths of my own computer before the storage space is overwritten. I might have to invest in some recovery program or other. Anyone got any experience of attempting this?

By the way, the files got into trash just because I was working too quickly. My desktop was getting crowded with some images I’d already dealt with and put into Photos, so I was getting them out of the way and must have accidentally dragged these enormous and vital Rapidweaver files (10 years of work) in with the crap. Not best practice I know!

Yikes, that sounds terrible. Had a few moments like that myself so know the feeling. :scream:

If you are talking about the project files, that sounds great! You shouldn’t need FileZilla to download those, you can do that directly from SiteGround’s File Manager.

If you are talking about your exported website (not the project files), then unfortunately you would not be able to reverse publish those back into RapidWeaver. Publishing is a one way action. Basically without the project file, you can’t get the exported website back into RapidWeaver. You’d have to rebuild it.

If you don’t need to get the published websites back into RapidWeaver, for example if you are just wanting to archive them for historical purposes, then downloading the exported site files would be fine as you can always put them back online in the future if you needed. You don’t even need FileZilla for that, you can do it from SiteGround’s control panel.

If you have time to join our Office Hours session this coming Friday (or any Friday), we can show you how to do that if you need.

Thanks Dang. I am going to invest in software. Either Wondershare Recoverit or Disk Drill. If anyone has any experience of either and their success with retrieving Rapidweaver project files which have been emptied from the Trash, please let me know!

I’ve had good luck with Disk Drill.


Thanks Paul.

Disk Drill is searching my Mackintosh HD. One TB of storage. So far there is no sign of .rw files. I think that’s what the Rapidweaver files made with Rapidweaver 8 will be notated as. Is that right? If the project can only be recovered in terms of CSS files and HTML files etc, that would be no use. There are too many of them. If anyone has a better idea of what I should be looking for re the Rapidweaver project files in the Disk Drill list of files, then please let me know. Thanks all.

Hi @dunc ,

You’re looking for .rw8 or .rwc files, not .rw files.


Thanks Erwin.

So I’ve found olderevelyn.rw8, about eighty pages of website, 267MB, and I’ve recovered the files to a 32GB stick so I don’t overwrite anything on the Hard drive for now. However, it won’t open and tells me Contents.plist file does not exist. Maybe if I was to find that, this project would be rescued. Any suggestions where I might find this extension? Any thoughts on whether the project would open if I can find it? Experience and expertise needed! Thanks for reading.


Hey @dunc,

That file should be inside the project file (the project file is a type of folder that contains other files, but presents itself as a file to you).

I’m not familiar with a way that restores a corrupted project file I’m afraid :frowning: