How to Recover Files from Formatted External Hard Drive on Mac

facebook twitter linkedin Updated on Sep 10, 2020

"Accidentally formatted external hard drive on Mac, how to recover the data? I’ve checked out the trash can, no data at all. Please help me!!!"

The formatting external hard drive is a great way to fix the problems of the device. However, you have to face the fact that all data on the external hard drive will be deleted either temporarily or permanently. In this case, if you do not recover files from formatted external hard drive on Mac, then it is a pity since you’ll lose them forever. Here in the following, we’re going to talk about how to recover data from formatted external hard drive on Mac.

Where are the files on the external hard drive after formatting?

If you format the external hard drive, it is empty, right, as a brand new device. 100% for sure, after the formatting, all files on the device disappeared right away. Do they disappear permanently? It depends. All files are still on the external hard drive if you stop using the device right after the formatting and perform the data recovery on the external hard drive. If you have not stopped using it, then it is very likely all these files be overwritten or replaced by new data. Please note than if you format the external hard drive on Mac, you can’t find any files in the trash can. The reason is simple, you had not deleted them manually. Formatting never puts any files into the trash can.

How to Recover Data from formatted external hard drive on Mac

See, though I've told you that the files are still on the external hard drive after the formatting, you can’t see them as well. Only with the help of format recovery software, it is possible for you to retrieve the data from the formatted external hard drive on Mac. You can search on the internet for this program. Here, I’d like to recommend you try iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac. It’s a professional software tool specially designed for users to recover all types of files from different hard drives on Mac, external hard drives, flash drives, other storage devices, etc. Take a glimpse of its main features:

Your Safe & Effective Formatted External Hard Drive Recovery Mac Tool

formatted external hard drive recovery mac
  • Fully compatible with all versions of macOS, making it easy for you to recover files from formatted external hard drive on Mac.
  • Supports over 1000 file types, covering all the commonly used files, including videos, pictures, photos, documents, email attachments, emails, voice memos, and more.
  • Perform external hard drive data recovery on Mac or Windows in different scenarios: formatting, deletion, virus attack, system crash, etc.
accidentally formatted external hard drive how to recover

In the following, we’re going to walk through the whole process of how to recover files from external hard drive on Mac. If you’re using a Windows PC, you need to download the Windows version and the steps are similar.

Step 1. Download Data Recovery for Mac

Click the download button to download the latest installation package of the recover formatted external hard drive Mac App. Install it the same as you install other software. Please note that please set up your Mac system preferences as "install apps from trusted sources and App Store" since this type of software is not allowed to download from App Store itself.

Step 2. Select File Types to Scan

In the next window, please select the file types you want to recover from a formatted external hard drive. By default, all supported file types are selected. By unchecking the unwanted ones, it will save you time from the whole scanning process. After then, click "Start" to begin the process.

recover data from formatted external hard drive mac

Step 3. Select the Formatted External Hard Drive to Scan

In the next step, you can see all hard drives on Mac as well the connected formatted external hard drives. If you haven’t connected the hard drive with your Mac, please connect it first and confirm the firm connection until you finish recovering data from the formatted external hard drive. After then, click "Scan" letting the software work for you.

recover formatted external hard drive mac

Step 4. Recover Data from Formatted External Hard Drive on Mac

Last, please check out the whole found files on the external hard drive on Mac. By default, all found files are sorted into categories, saving you time to filter files. You can even type in the file extension to filter the files you want. When finding the needed files, select them and click "Recover" to save them on your Mac.

recover files from formatted external hard drive mac

By default, the scanning mode in the first place is "Quick Scan". And in the result window, you can see the "Deep Scan". It’s more powerful but needs longer for the whole scanning process. You can try it to recover more files from the formatted external hard drive on Mac.

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