How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac With/Without Software
Losing essential files on your Mac can be nerve-wracking and can happen in various ways. It could be accidental deletion, an empty trash bin, or a software malfunction. Whatever the case, the good news is that you may still have a chance to recover them. In fact, with the right tools and patience, it's possible to recover deleted files on Mac with/without software. Whether you're a seasoned Mac user or just getting started, knowing how to do this can be a lifesaver. So, let's explore how to undelete files in a Mac.
- Quick Navigation
- Part 1. Are files permanently deleted from Mac?
- Part 2. 7 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software
- Part 3. 3 Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac With Software [Free and Paid]
- Part 4. Tips for Preventing Data Loss on Mac in the Future
- Part 5. Frequently Asked Questions
Are files permanently deleted from Mac?
When removing files from a Mac, many users believe that once a file is gone, it's gone for good. But the truth is, deleting a file from a Mac doesn't necessarily mean it's permanently gone. Whether you empty the trash bar or permanently delete it, the file doesn't disappear immediately. The macOS only marks the space previously occupied by the deleted files as available for reuse. However, the actual data of those files may still exist on the storage device until new data overwrites it. So, when you accidentally delete files on Mac, take remedial measures immediately; you still have a chance to get the deleted files back on Mac. For that, read on to know more details.
7 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software
Have you ever accidentally deleted an important file on your Mac? Don't panic! Actually, you can restore deleted files on a Mac without software. But these methods only work if you have yet to empty the trash or have a backup in advance. If you fit these options, then you can take the following approach. If not, then please go to the third part.
Method 1. Check your Trash Bin
The macOS has a built-in "Trash" feature where all deleted items are placed until the user manually empties the Trash. Therefore, you can try the following steps to find recently deleted files on Mac:
- Open the Trash at the bottom right of the screen.
- Find your recently deleted item and select it in the list.
- Right-click and choose the option to "Put Back."
- Go to the location where the file disappeared to access it.
It is the most prominent and easy method that you can use to recover deleted files on Mac free. But, these files only remain for 30 days. If you don't want to save it to its original location, drag it to where you want to keep it.
Method 2. Use Time Machine
Any Mac running OS 10.5 or above has a built-in recovery/backup tool called Time Machine. It allows you to create data backups to avoid data loss issues. So, after accidentally deleting a file you once backed up, you can use Time Machine to restore lost files on your Mac.
- Connect your external drive as the item's backup to your Mac using a USB.
- Locate the menu bar and tap the clock icon to open "Time Machine."
- Next, you must browse for snapshots stored using a timeline and arrows.
- Select the deleted files and click the "Restore" option to save them.
Method 3. Make Use of the Apps Built-in Auto Recovery Feature
With the development of technology, many applications now have auto-save options to prevent emergencies, such as MS Office, Adobe, SketchUp, etc. Therefore, you can use the following steps to retrieve accidentally deleted particular files on Mac.
- Open the Finder and select your entire Mac as the location.
- In the search bar, type "Autorecovery" and press enter.
- Copy the one you need to a new location.
- Open it with the appropriate application and save it again.
Tip: This method only applies to the App with an auto-save option.
Method 4. Check Deleted Items by iCloud
iCloud is a cloud storage solution provided by Apple for its users, which allows users to synchronize essential data for use on different devices. So when file loss occurs, you can also recover permanently deleted files from iCloud.
- Open iCloud.com on the browser and log in using your iCloud credentials.
- Click iCloud Drive from the options on your screen.
- Find an option called "Recently Deleted" in the bottom right corner of the window. Click on it to see your deleted files.
- Choose the files you want and click the "Recover" button.
Tip: Whether you want to retrieve deleted files on MacBook Pro or any other Mac device, the critical thing to remember is that this will only work if you have iCloud backup active on your Mac. If your files are not getting backed up regularly, then you will not be able to find anything.
Method 5. Other Ways to Find Recently Deleted Files on Mac
Here are some uncommon methods that can help you recover deleted files on Mac without software. Although they are more demanding, you can still try them.
- 💡 Using the "Recently Deleted" option for Photos App: As a built-in app for macOS, it allows you to organize and edit the photos you take. When you delete pictures, it puts them into the recently deleted option. After opening this program, you can find it in its left panel and recover deleted photos on Mac.
- 💡 Using Undo Options: The macOS can track your actions, allowing you to undo recent file changes. When you accidentally remove a file, select the "Edit" menu from the top section of your Mac screen and click the "Undo option." You can also hit the Command-Z option from the keypad of your Mac device.
- 💡 Using Terminal: Open Terminal app > cd .Trash > mv [filename] ../ > Go to the lost file's folder to view the resaved file. This method is just a command line alternative to going to the Trash folder.
If all the above Mac undelete methods do not work. Don't worry. You can also try the software to help you solve your data loss troubles.
3 Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac With Software [Free and Paid]
Losing essential files on a Mac can be a nightmare, especially if you don't have a backup. But what if we told you that you could retrieve permanently deleted files on Mac with the right software? It might sound too good to be true, but it's possible. There are a variety of programs out there that are specifically designed to help with data recovery. For this, you can check out the following three options to save you hours of searching.
Method 1. Using iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac
With its advanced algorithms, you can get deleted or lost photos, videos, documents, and more from various devices, such as SSD/HDD, external hard drives, flash drives, memory cards, and even emptied trash bins for free. Its user-friendly interface and straightforward recovery process make it an excellent choice for those who are not tech-savvy but still need to find precious data. Overall, it is a lifesaver for anyone looking to undelete files on Mac.
To find out how you can use the iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover deleted files on Mac free, follow these steps carefully:
- Download and install iBeesoft data recovery freeware on your Mac.
- After running it, you can uncheck the options you do not require to save extra time searching the needed files and click the "Start" button to next.
- On the next screen, you will see a list of all the storage devices you can scan. Select the hard drive where you lost your files, and then click on the blue "Scan" button on the top left of the screen to begin the scanning process.
- Once you've completed the scanning, you can see the files found in the main window. You can click the type option to locate the files you accidentally deleted quickly.
- Select target files and tap the "Recover" option to save them on your disk.
Tip: If your deleted files don't appear in the initial scan, click the Deep Scan button to analyze each sector thoroughly. This may take longer than usual, but it will find more data.
Method 2. Restore deleted files on Mac free by PhotoRec
PhotoRec is an open-source recovery tool that can retrieve data even from damaged or formatted disks. Unfortunately, while powerful, it doesn't have a graphical interface, which can be a challenge for many users. However, don't worry; you can follow the steps below to help recover permanently deleted files on Mac free.
- Visit the official PhotoRec website and download the appropriate version for your operating system.
- Open the Terminal, navigate to the folder where PhotoRec is installed, and run the "./photorec" command.
- Select the Storage Device > Partition Type > Filesystem Type > Recovery Options > Output Directory.
- It will begin the Mac undelete process, scanning the selected storage device for recoverable files.
- Navigate to the selected output directory to find the recovered files.
Method 3. Using Data Recovery Service
If nothing works for you, this method may be the last to try an option to help you retrieve permanently deleted files on Mac. For this, you can go through the following steps to find a reputable and reliable data recovery service center.
- Find a service provider near you by searching.
- Tell the service personnel the detailed process of your essential data loss by phone and wait for the service center's feedback.
- Send your hard drive to a service center for a technician to check it and provide a report.
- Select a recovery plan and make payment.
- Complete the delete file recovery and send the drive back to you.
With the above methods, you should be able to recover deleted files on Mac with/without software. However, to avoid such a situation from happening again, you also follow the tips below to keep your important data safe.
Tips for Preventing Data Loss on Mac in the Future
If you are looking to prevent any data loss on your Mac device in the future, there are specific points you should bear in mind.
- 📤 Regularly Back Up Your Data: Use Time Machine or other backup software to automatically back up your data to an external hard disk or cloud storage. A reliable backup ensures you can restore your data even during data loss.
- 🔒 Enable FileVault: FileVault is a built-in encryption feature in macOS that encrypts the data on your Mac's startup disk. It protects your files if your Mac is lost or stolen.
- ⚙️ Be Cautious with OS/Software Updates: Back up your important data before installing updates or system upgrades. While rare, there can be instances where macOS or tool updates can cause data loss.
- 🛡️ Protect Against Malware: Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your Mac to protect against malicious software that could cause data to be deleted or compromise security.
- 💻 Handle Your Mac with Care: Protect it from liquids, extreme temperatures, and other hazards. Physical damage can lead to disk failure and possible data loss.
- 📋 Practice Safe Usage Habits: Avoid sudden shutdowns by adequately shutting down or restarting your Mac. Avoid forcefully powering off your Mac by holding down the power button, as it can lead to data corruption. Also, avoid force quitting applications unless necessary.
By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of data loss and enhance the overall security and reliability of your Mac.
Generally, using the delete key or right-click menu, deleted items will be put in the trash can. It is a temporary storage location for deleted files and allows you to return them if needed. If you use Shift+Delete, then it will simply disappear. However, the system hides them, and the data remains in its original location. Therefore, you can recover deleted files on Mac for free by iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac.
It depends on what kind of "permanently deleted" it is. If you use Shift + Delete keys (Command + Delete), you can restore them easily with data recovery software. However, if you use a erase tool, then you can't recover permanently deleted files on Mac.
After emptying the Trash on a Mac, the files are permanently deleted. However, you may still have a chance to recover files after emptying trash on Mac if you haven't used the Mac extensively or if you haven't overwritten the deleted files. You can try using Mac data recovery software to scan the storage device and look for traces of the deleted files.
A: The success of recovering deleted files on a Mac depends on several factors, including the time since deletion, usage of the storage device, and the effectiveness of the recovery method used. If you act quickly, stop using the affected drive, and use reliable data recovery software, you have a higher chance of successful recovery. However, there is no guarantee of 100% recovery, especially if a significant amount of time has passed or the files have been overwritten by new data.
Which may be because of the damage done to the file itself. For example, after losing files, you continue to use the device, causing it to be overwritten with new data.
Unlike deleting files from your Mac's internal hard drive, they don't end up in the Trash. Therefore, you can only use professional recovery software to help you get them back. But, remember that the sooner you act to recover deleted files from USB drive on Mac, the higher the chance of successful recovery.
If you have a backup, then you guys can easily get back lost files from iCloud or Time Machine. If not, you can only resort to the help of third-party software. Although Apple has many built-in applications, there is no file recovery tool.
We've all been there - accidentally deleting an important file or document from our Mac. The heart-sinking feeling that comes with realizing what has happened can be overwhelming. But fear not; several methods exist to recover deleted files on Mac with/without software. Acting fast and avoiding overwriting the deleted files using the drive is essential, whichever way you choose. With some effort, you should successfully regain your lost data and sigh in relief.