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I'm not sure why you got no warning message. My machine prompts me with the typical Windows message of "Are you sure you want to delete this? Yes/No" if I use the delete key on anything. In fact if I delete a folder (not a geodatabase or any kind of individual file, feature class, etc.) using the key, it does send it to the Recycle Bin. I'm on 10.2 on Win 7 ...


Unfortunately, I think pulling out a backup is your only hope but you can also vote for an ArcGIS Idea entitled ArcCatalog Recycle Bin.


Right-click anywhere in the gray area where menus or buttons would be at the top, or even on a button if you have any toolbars showing. Choose the Customize option, and in the resulting box you should be able to turn the Main Menu back on, from which as jbchurchill notes you can turn the Catalog Tree back on from the Windows dropdown menu. If for some ...


Go to the "Windows" menu. They are in there.


You can recover items deleted via ArcCatalog if they are backed up/synced on Google Drive. I ran a test on a folder called "temp_test_ajp" with a shapefile called "temp_ajp_polyline". Data was safe and sound after I restored it. Open Google Drive > Trash > Restore from trash (see screen shot).

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