How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without/With Software for Free

Updated to macOS Data Recovery Tips by Robert on May 29, 2022 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

It's very easy to mistakenly delete files while you're cleaning your macOS, editing, or managing files. Actually, there are a few ways available to recover (permanently) deleted files on Mac for free. To help you find the most suitable method for your situation, in this article, we are going to introduce you to 5 ways how to recover deleted files on Mac without/with software for free. The software we're going to use is iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. You can download it and be ready to do the recovery.

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Accidentally deleted a file on Mac or emptied trash? Do you have encountered this issue and tried to find a way to find files deleted on Mac free? Whether you remove it intentionally or unintentionally, there are still chances for you to look for and get back deleted files. The sooner the better.

In general, the deleted files from the Mac drive are put into the trash can, from where you can get them back easily. If you have emptied the trash, you can restore deleted files on Mac without software by time machine backup, undo options, and terminal command. If these 4 ways are invalid, don't panic! you can also try an effective way to undelete files from Mac free. Check out the details below!

Quick Navigation
Part 1. Recover Deleted Files on Mac from Trash (Not Emptied yet)
Part 2. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac with Data Recovery Software (100% Effective)
Part 3. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac via Time Machine Backup
Part 4. Recover Deleted Files with Undo Options
Part 5. Retrieve Deleted Files on Mac using Terminal Command

Part 1. Recover Deleted Files on Mac from Trash

Whether you deleted the files by dragging them to the trash can or right-click on the files and click "Delete", all the data are put into the trash can. If you haven’t emptied the trash can yet and deleted the items recently, then you can recover files from trash. Move the mouse over the icon of the trash can in Finder, and you can see the deleted files are listed there. When finding the target files, drag them to the desktop, or right-click on them and select "put back" to get deleted files back from the trash.

Please note that you have only 30 days to retrieve files on Mac from the day you deleted them. After then, the files will be removed by Mac automatically and permanently.

Part 2. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac with Data Recovery Software

If you using "command + del" or emptying the trash, you can try iBeesoft Data Recovery to recover permanently deleted files on Mac free. This is the easiest and most effective way to recover deleted file on Mac, no matter whether you have a backup or not.

More importantly, the software has read-only features, so you don't have to worry about data being corrupted or overwritten, causing undo deleted files on Mac failure.

The best application specially developed for users to completely and free recover deleted photos, documents, videos, emails, music files, and more on macOS. It works extremely fast and supports almost all data loss scenarios. The interface of the recover deleted files Mac program is both intuitive and well-organized. Overall, iBeesoft is one of the best choices in this software category if you accidentally removed some important files on Mac or external devices. With its help, you can undelete files on Mac with simple steps.

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  • This professional freeware can get back file from Mac, USB drive, memory card, and other removable storage devices in simple clicks.
  • It provides two powerful scanning mode (quick scan and deep scan), to a better to recover lost files on Mac for free.
  • It can preview the deleted/lost files before recovery, easily search and filter file types to help you quickly to recovering deleted files on Mac.
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Video Tutorial: Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac for Free

Step-by-step Guide: Recover Deleted Files on Mac Free

  1. Download the application on your macOS
  2. It is virus-free, so you can install it without worrying about the security issue. It is fully compatible with the latest versions. Check out the steps for how to recover permanently deleted files on Mac.

  3. Launch the recover deleted files Mac free tool.
  4. From the main window, you can see all supported file types are selected. Please uncheck the unwanted ones. It will save you time for finding the target files. If you don’t want to uncheck them, please be patient for the scanning process. The time it takes depends on how many files it scans. Click "Start" to next.

  5. Select a drive to next
  6. In the next window, all drives on your Mac are displayed there. You need to select the disk/volume where the target files used to exist and click the "Scan" button to analyzing the drive.

  7. Preview and recover deleted files on Mac with software
  8. After the scanning process, you can see all found files are displayed in the main window. From there, you need to click the file category in the left side, then preview the files on the right side. After then, find the target one(s) and click "Recover" to save them to your Mac.

Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac via Time Machine Backup

If you don't use the Time Machine to backup your files, please use the part 1 to begin the recovery of your deleted files on Mac OS X.

Some people like to empty the trash can after they deleted files on Mac which of course will result in the permanent deletion. Luckily, you can still free retrieve deleted files on Mac without software by the Time Machine Backup.

  1. Click the "Spotlight" icon on the top right of Mac.
  2. After then, type in "Time Machine" in the search box and search for it.
  3. Find Time Machine in the search result and click to open it.
  4. Click the folder where your target files used to be.
  5. Click the upward arrow to the right of the Time Machine window, scroll through backup files until you see the deleted files appear.
  6. Hold the Command button to select the target files and click "Restore" to save the deleted items on Mac.

If the target files are in different folders, then you need to Mac restore deleted files by repeating the up-mentioned process.

Part 4. Recover Deleted Files with Undo Options

Most Mac users will delete unnecessary files to keep the driver clean while using the computer. Sometimes we lose important files because of this action. When it happens, if you don't do anything else, you can easily get back deleted files on Mac by the "Undo" option. This method is suitable for use immediately after deleting a file or folder and it is not valid after emptying the trash or permanently clearing it. If you wan to recover permanently deleted files on Mac free, please use part 1. Follow this method now!

Part 5. Retrieve Deleted Files on Mac using Terminal Command

Apple's terminal application is the direct interface to OS X's bash shell. So you can do many things using command prompt, like restore files, change process priority, delete files, view driver status, create new directories, change file permissions and more. So, you can use the terminal command to free recover deleted files on Mac without software.

  1. Please go to "Applications" > "Utilities" > to open terminal.app
  2. Type Unix command: "cd .Trash", and then hit the "Return" key on your Mac.
  3. Type "mv name ../" and hit the "Return" key. Please note, please replace the "name" with the full name of the file you deleted.
  4. Type "Quit" in the Terminal application.

If you complete these steps, you can enter the deleted file name in the search bar to check it.

The above mentioned ways are workable to recover deleted files on Mac without/with software. To prevent your data from being lost, the best way is backing up your Mac. That's the reason why Apple officially built-in Time Machine. Anyway, if you haven't had any backup yet, then the most efficient way to retrieve your data back is by using the best free Mac data recovery software. It is developed specially for recover deleted file on Mac.