10 Ways for How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Free

Updated to macOS Data Recovery Tips by Robert on Apr 26, 2023 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

When you are a Mac user and accidentally lose your hands at any critical information, it can be a bitter experience. Such a situation does not necessarily mean a complete loss. Depending on how you deleted the files, there are several ways that you can use to recover deleted files on Mac with/without software. Keep reading to find out more.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. What Situations Cause Data Loss on Mac?
Part 2. Tips to Keep in Mind for Deleted File Recovery on Mac
Part 3. 7 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software
Part 4. 3 Free Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac With Software
Part 5. Tips for Preventing Data Loss on Mac in the Future
Part 6. Frequently Asked Questions

Part 1. What Situations Cause Data Loss on Mac?

Like any other device, you can face data loss even on your Mac, such as:

If you are in this situation, this guide is just what you need. Several techniques help recover deleted files on Mac without software and do not involve sending your disk to the center for data recovery. You can also use software to retrieve permanently deleted files on Mac for free. You also get some brownie information that will help you gauge the situation in a better way.

Part 2. Tips to Keep in Mind for Deleted File Recovery on Mac

We have chalked a few tips to remember when accidental deletion of files on your Mac device. These are:

Part 2. 7 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software

The methods we are discussing are suitable for you haven't emptied the trash bin or have backups of files in advance.

Method 1. Get Deleted Files from the Trash Can

The recycle bin is often called "Trash Bin" in Mac devices and is a temporary space to save deleted files. You can restore them to their original folder if you need them again.

  1. Locate the icon for Trash in the right section of the Mac, often known as Dock. If you are not finding it, go for resetting the settings of Dock.
  2. Now, you have to thoroughly see through the Trash files and make a selection of files you want to recover. You can look into the file names manually or use the search feature to find a specific file that has a particular file extension.
  3. Now, on the selected files, right-click and choose the option to "Put Back". It will move the files to their respective locations. If you need the files to shift to a specific location, you can opt for dragging and dropping the files to a different Finder Window.

This is the most prominent and easy method that you can use to recover deleted files on Mac without software. But, these files only remain for 30 days. If you do not want to save them to the original location, the easiest thing to do is drag the file from the Trash Can and drop it in the folder of your choosing.

Method 2. Restore Deleted Files on Mac Using Time Machine

Any Mac running OS 10.5 or above has a built-in recovery/backup tool called Time Machine. It allows Mac users to create backups of their files or operating system on a separate hard drive. All your data will have a copy stored on a different disk. Therefore, after you delete files and want to get them back, you would need to use the Time Machine to extract your backup files.

  1. Open the Finder app and enter the folder where your deleted files were initially present.
  2. Now locate the menu bar and tap on the clock icon to open "Time Machine". Alternatively, you can also open it by using Launchpad or System Preferences.
  3. Next, you must browse for backups and snapshots stored locally using a timeline and arrows.
  4. Finally, make a selection of the items you want to create a restoration of and proceed with tapping the "Restore" option. You can find the restored data in its original location.

Method 3. Make Use of Software App’s Built-in Auto Recover Feature

If you are wondering if it is possible to recover deleted files on Mac without any additional tools, you would be delighted to hear that the answer is yes. While you cannot do this for every file, most commonly used apps offer a built-in recovery tool for their users. Some famous examples include MS Office applications with the option to save files on the cloud, Adobe's complete suite of apps with the Autosave feature, and any other app with a local or cloud-based active saving feature.

As an example of this process, we will look at how the Auto Recovery feature works on Mac and how you can benefit from it to recover unsaved MS Word files; all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Open the Finder and select your entire Mac as the location.
  2. In the search bar, type "autorecovery" and press enter. The computer will show you all the recovery files it has created for your lost MS Word documents.
  3. Please select the one you want to save and open it.
  4. Once the file is open in MS Word, save it on your computer using the Save option under the File menu.

It only works if the AutoRecovery feature is active on your MS Word or any other Office app.

Method 4. Check Deleted Files by iCloud

Apple offers its users a native cloud storage solution in the form of iCloud, which can also use to recover deleted items on a Mac. You can easily access them using your iCloud account and save them to your computer without any issues.

  1. Open iCloud.com on the web browser and log in using your iCloud credentials.
  2. Open iCloud drive from the options on your screen.
  3. In the drive folder, you will find an option called "Recently Deleted" on the bottom right corner of the window. Click on it to see your deleted files.
  4. Find the files you want and click the "Recover" button. You may also use the "Recover All option" if you wish to save all the removed files in this section.

Whether you want to recover deleted files on MacBook Air 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

Some alternatives can help you recover deleted files on Mac without software. But they are more demanding.

Suppose all the above methods do not work. Don't worry. You can also try the software to help you solve your data loss troubles.

Part 4. 3 Free Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac With Software

Many people also wonder if recovering deleted files on Mac is possible using third-party freeware. Thankfully, the answer to that question is yes! In the market, many apps also do it spectacularly. Of course, each option has its limitations, but all you need to do is find the best one that offers the most features and reliability. You are lucky since we saved you the hassle of performing that search as we have the best recommendation for you.

Method 1. Retrieve Permanently Deleted Files on Mac Free Using iBeesoft Data Recovery

The best software to recover deleted files on Mac is iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac, and it has everything you will ever need for data recovery. It supports hundreds of file formats, so rarely used files can be recognized. You can also recover deleted files from a USB drive, external hard disk, memory card, and more for free.

To find out how you can use the best freeware to recover permanently deleted files on Mac, follow these steps carefully:

  1. Download and install iBeesoft Data Recovery Software for your Mac device.
  2. You can see the file types supported in the main window on the main screen. You can uncheck the options you do not require to save extra time searching the needed files. If you keep all options ticked, be prepared for the scanning process to take a few more minutes to complete. Now tap on the "Start" button.
  3. 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.
  4. Once you've completed the scanning, you'll be able to see the files found in the main window. You have to tap on the file category from the left side, and from the right side, you can find the preview category option. Then you can move towards finding the target files and tap the "Recover" option for saving the files on your device.

If your target files don't appear in the initial scan, you can also click on the Deep Scan button on top to analyze each sector thoroughly. This may take longer than usual, but it will show every file you can recover.

Method 2. Restore Permanently Deleted Files on Mac Free by PhotoRec

PhotoRec is an open-source data recovery software. Unfortunately, it has excellent file recovery capabilities but no graphical interface. So it is a challenge for many users.

  1. After downloading PhotoRec, you must start it.
  2. Select the disk > partition > drive's file system. > save a destination save files.
  3. Check found files

Method 3. Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac with Local Data Recovery Service

If nothing works for you, this method may be the last to try an option that can help you recover deleted files on your Mac. In addition, you can go to a reliable data recovery service center with a good reputation and share the details of the issue you are facing with your Mac.

  1. Talk to the recovery service and consult them on how to deal with your specific recovery case. Explain your problem in detail to find out what the best course of action would be.
  2. If you need to send your drive to them for recovery, figure out the safest shipping method and then send them your drive.
  3. The recovery center personnel will inspect your drive and provide details on the possibility of recovery, the method required, and the price you need to pay. Agree with them to start the recovery process.
  4. Once the data have been recovered, they will send you the fixed drive back.

Part 6. 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.

Summing Up

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to recover deleted files from a Mac. Each of them comes with its own set of rules that you need to follow. One thing that is quite clear is that short of needing professional recovery services, your best option by far is a good recovery tool like iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac.

It can recover data on all kinds of damaged and corrupted drives, find even the most obscure formats, and offer free recovery space, meaning that you could recover permanently deleted files on Mac free via the software option! The critical lesson to be learned here is that you need to be careful with your essential data, protect it from accidental deletions, make regular backups, and give it the respect it deserves to avoid losing it permanently.