How to Recover Deleted Downloads Folder on Mac – 3 Ways Available [2021]

Updated to macOS Data Recovery Tips by Harper on Sep 17, 2021

"I accidentally deleted my downloads folder in Mac. Is there any way to restore the Downloads folder on Mac? I really need them back, because there are so many important documents there. Please help!"

There are so many downloads in the Downloads folder since all the downloaded files from web browsers can be saved there. That’s why so many people delete downloads folder since it occupies too much storage, especially when these is not much space for your Mac to work properly.

Is there any way to recover downloads folder on Mac? Sure, there are. You can follow the 3 ways one by one to get the right method to solve the downloads folder loss issue.

Quick Navigation
Method 1. Restore Downloads Folder on Mac from Trash Bin
Method 2. Restore Downloads Folder on Mac from Time Machine Backup
Method 3. Recover Deleted Downloads Folder on Mac with Data Recovery Software

Method 1. Restore Downloads Folder on Mac from Trash Bin

Whether you delete the downloads folder by dragging and dropping it to the trash can, or use Command +Delete, most of times, the downloads folder is put into the trash can. In this case, if you’re lucky enough, you can check the trash can, looking for downloads folder there. Just open the trash can > find the downloads folder > right-click on it and select "Put Back". It is the same as what you do to restore a deleted folder or file from trash bin.

There are so many downloads in the Downloads folder since all the downloaded files from web browsers can be saved there. That’s why so many people delete downloads folder since it occupies too much storage, especially when there is not much space for your Mac to work properly.

It’s quite easy to recover downloads folder or files deleted from the downloads folder in the trash bin. What worse is that you have emptied trash bin without noticing the important files are there. Is it possible to restore downloads folder on Mac after you permanently deleted them since they’re nowhere, not in the trash bin, not in the hard drive?

Yes, you can still recover deleted downloads folder. It depends on how you do it. Basically, there are two ways. One is restoring the downloads folder from backup if you have a backup. Another is recovering the download folder with professional data recovery software. All deleted files and folders are not gone right after the deletion, they’re waiting to be erased permanently. Before the data disappear permanently, you can rescue it by using data recovery software to display them and recover them. Check out the details below.

Method 2. Restore Downloads Folder on Mac from Time Machine Backup

If you have backed up important items from the download folder to another drive, then you can copy and paste them on your Mac again. If you don’t have copies but have Time Machine backup, then you need to make use of Time Machine to restore downloads folder on Mac. Here are the steps.

1. Connect the disk which you have used to do Time Machine backup with your Mac.

2. Go to Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant, click Continue.

3. Select the Time Machine backup file and click Continue.

4. Go forward by choosing the needed files from the downloads folder to transfer until you complete the whole process.

5. When the transfer is finished, please restart your Mac and you will see the restored downloads folder or its items.

Method 3. Recover Deleted Downloads Folder on Mac with Data Recovery Software

If you have copies or Time Machine backup with the downloads folder content, then there is no problem with how to restore downloads folder on Mac at all. The terrible thing is you had not done any backup at all. In this case, you should use data recovery software to recover deleted downloads folder as soon as possible. Any delay may cause the downloads folder and items disappear permanently.

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is one of the best choices for Mac downloads folder recovery. It will scan your Mac, listing all the deleted, missing files where are recoverable for you. After then, you can decide which files to recover.

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1. Download and install the Mac data recovery on your Mac. If any warning pops up, don’t worry, just set it up as "install apps from App Store and identified developers" in system preference. It happens because the software is not downloaded from App Store.

2. Launch the Mac data recovery software. If there are many file types in the Downloads folder, just go ahead and click "Start". It will save you time if you filter needed files to start in the first window.

3. Next, please select the hard drive from where the downloads folder was lost. After then, click "Scan". Wait for the scanning process to finish, then you can select the found files to preview. When finding the target files deleted from the downloads folder, save them by clicking "Recover".

The above mentioned ways are for how to recover downloads folder on Mac. If you have any problem or suggestion for the downloads folder recovery on Mac, contact the support to let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: Lost my Downloads folder both from Dock and Finder. How to restore downloads folder?

A: you must want to restore downloads to Mac dock or finder, right? Here are the steps.

How to restore downloads folder to Dock on Mac

1. Open a Finder window and click Go on the top menu bar > click Home.

2. From the Home window, drag and drop the Download folder to Dock. That’s it!

How to restore Downloads folder to the Finder sidebar?

1. Go to Finder > Preferences > Sidebar

2. Check Downloads to “show these items in the sidebar.

Q: I accidentally deleted downloads in the Downloads folder. Can I get them back?

A: no matter you want to restore the downloads folder or download items, the above-mentioned 3 ways can work: restore from trash bin and Time machine backup, or recover with iBeesoft Mac data recovery. You need to find the right way for you.