Do you accidentally delete some of your photos? Can you not find some videos of your college days? Maybe you are working on a word or excel file for 5 hours, and then somehow it is deleted? Now you wanted to know How to recover deleted files on mac?
Now you became so frustrated to recover those deleted files that you can do anything. Well, it is a problem everyone phase sometime in their life. Then you did some Google search to collect some information on How to recover deleted files on mac? But, after that, you became more frustrated as well as furious because you cannot be able to find the right information. Most Google results talk about 2-3 steps, and most often, none of them works.
If you click this page because you are optimistic about finding some meaningful result, then you made the right decision. In this article, I talk about five different methods which you can try. If one way does not work for you, then try others.
You are in the right place where you will find the most truthful information which you can trust.
Every file, pictures, videos, documents, presentations are some data that is stored on your Laptop or PC. These data do not erase even after you deleted a file permanently. There are plenty of ways you can try, as I said earlier.
- Keep Backups
- Check the trash
- Check the other trash
- Use disk drill
- Recover deleted file with the UNDO option
Keeping backups is the easiest method yet most effective to save your essential data from deleting. You can back up all your data by storing them in an external device or going for cloud storage. Both are effective.
Mac has an inbuilt system, which is called macOS Time Machine. You can use it for an automatic back up. To use this function, first, you need an external hard disk. If you already have an old one, use it unless you buy one. It is not too much costly.
After having a spare external hard drive, hook it up with your mac. Then some options will appear on your screen. Then you navigate to the option called ‘System preferences.’ Then click ‘Time Machine.’ Then select back up disk. Then you must select the external drive which you fit for backup purposes. At last, click on ‘Turn on Automatic Back up.’
In this way, you can quickly store your data, which you can easily access later. If you do not want to save data on a hard disk, you can use cloud storage services like Dropbox, AWS S3 instance, or Google Drive. They are affordable these days. Cloud storage has another benefit; you can access all of your data from anywhere and from any devises.
Check the trash
Sometimes you open your mac and found that some of the data is not present. Well, the first thing you can try is to open your Trash folder. After you accidentally or consciously delete some files, it does not permanently erase from Laptop. Instead, it is stored in the trash folder.
The Trash folder temporally stores all the data which is deleted from your Laptop. You must manually delete data from the trash to get rid of them. If you cannot find some critical data, you can first search them in the trash folder. Hopefully, if you are lucky, you can find them in the trash folder easily. The process of recovery a file from the trash folder is elementary and straightforward. You must click on the Recover file.
The trash folder is generally situated at the end of your Dock. First, right-click it, then click on the ‘open’ command. Then it will show you the files which are get deleted from your Laptop recently. From there, you can recover the deleted files very quickly.
Check the Other Trash
Have you stored your file on an external device? These external devices, such as pen drives, hard disk, or memory card, have their trash folder. Though you cannot exceed this trash folder easily. If you want to access these files to recover your data, then at first, you have to learn how you can use this function.
These trash cans are generally hidden, and you cannot access them easily. MacOS has a system that made some hidden files in your Laptop or PC if you connect an external hard drive to your system. One of these hidden files is called ‘Trashes,’ which holds the recently deleted files.
For Sierra or Later Versions of macOS
If you are currently using a sierra or any later macOS versions, the process is very simple and straightforward. You click SHIFT+CMD+. Hotkey (that’s the period key) on your keyboard.
In this way, you can easily access the files which are hidden in Finder. By using this method, you can recover your important files that have been deleted by mistake.
For Older Versions
If you are using an older version, then you must do some more digging. Because in older versions, the process is not so simple. But no worry. I will guide your step-by-step process. You follow the steps of the following method. These steps are as follows—
Step 1: To find the hidden files and access the Finder, you must first run some Terminal commands. Press Command +Space simultaneously and type ‘Terminal’ with the keyboard. Then past the following lines at the same time on the prompts. The two lines are—
- defaults write com. apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
- killall Finder
Press enter after pasting each line. The folder called ‘. Trashes’ will appear on the laptops or PC’s screen after running these two lines of commands. These ‘. Trashes’ files hold all the deleted files. If you have ever used a USB external hard drive, you may know that you can’t utilize a USB drive’s full disk size.
These are because of the deleted files, which remain in the ‘. Trashes’ folder if. If you do not clear it, then the file will be there. Even though the USB drive shows nothing, but still in some corner of the driver, the deleted files are secured.
If you do not need them, you can quickly delete them, and in this way, you can also free up some space from the USB. You can also quickly recover the files which you need from the ‘—Trashes’ folder.
Step 2: After step one is completed, you can see many deleted files (which remain hidden) started to appear, and trust me, there will be a lot of them. You can restore the ones you needed. After that, you want to clean the drive and delete all the unnecessary files.
To do that, follow the same procedure again. Just replace the “TRUE” with “FALSE” in the command.
- defaults write com. apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
- killall Finder
If you recently delete some file and later remember that you need the file or accidentally delete anything, you can quickly recover it using an app called “Disk Drill.” You can get back the deleted files if another deleted data do not overwrite the deleted data means you do not delete any other files after deleting the file that wants to get back.
This is because the last deleted file is get replaced by the recently deleted file. Even though you delete something from your system having a macOS, the file is still there as available space and does not get erased permanently right away.
The tool “Disk drill” scans your macOS operating system inside out, and thus it can easily find a file you are searching for. If it finds the file, it can quickly restore it because it will be waiting there to be overwritten by another file or for recovery. You can do either one. You have both the option at hand. In this way, you can recover things, literally from the grave.
But there is a problem with the tool ‘Disk Drill.’ If you already have that in your macOS, then there is no problem, but if you do not have it, most probably you also do not have it right now in your system. To use it, at first, you have to install ‘Disk Drill’ in your system.
But this is the problem because installing a new file in the hard drive could overwrite the deleted file, thus delete it permanently. Sometimes, the deleted file does not get overwritten by another file even after installing a new file. But there may be 50/50 chances to get the deleted. Now it’s your decision if you want to risk. If your data is very much essential and you are extra cautious, you can download ‘Disk Drill’ in another macOS. Then put that file in a flash drive. Then insert the flash drive in the mac from which you want to recover your data.
How to Use Disk Drill?
Now I will discuss briefly how to use ‘Disk Drill’. After opening the application ‘Disk Drill’ for the first time, it will ask you to choose the drive you want to scan. Then click scan. If your data get erased from the main drive, select OS X. If you want to choose another option, click accordingly. But, one practical suggestion is that, before doing anything, gather appropriate knowledge.
The scan will take some time, maybe some minutes, depending on the specification, version of your mac. After the scan gets completed, you can see the files which are deleted recently. You can open them as well. You can recover each of them if you want. But most of the files, which were there, are junk files. There no point in recovering all of them. You must search for the file which you are looking for, from there. Maybe you are looking for an image or videos. Then look for .jpg or .png or MP4 from the list.
Once you found them right-click it, then click on the ‘Recover’ option. Select the disk where you want to save it and give it a name. But saving the file may cause difficulty. Saving the file in your hard disk may overwrite another file. So, recommended is, use an external hard disk to save the data. If everything goes right, then you can now easily access your recovered data directly from the disk where you stored it.
But the older the data is, the more difficult it will become to recover it because as time passes, you delete and install several files, which overwrites your data. Hence it will better if you act as soon as possible. Earlier, you use “disk Drill,” the greater the chances of recovery. But the free version of ‘Disk Drill’ does not recover your data. The free version only shows you the deleted data, and you can use it to verify that the data is there. Then you can buy the paid version and recover deleted data quickly.
But if you have ‘Disk Drill’ already installed on your mac, then you can directly use the option called ‘Recovery Vault.’ With this option, you can track all the deleted data. It also gives you an option to save a copy of your file. By using this, you can always recover a deleted file. However, it has some advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is, it is entirely free. You can use it without paying a penny. The disadvantage is, it uses some space from the hard drive to store information.
Recover Deleted File With the UNDO Option
You can recover a deleted file with the help of the UNDO option as well. But it is useful if you apply it immediately after you delete a file accidentally. To use it, you can go to the edit section then click ‘Undo Move.’
Or you can also click the Command+ Z button simultaneously. This way, you can also recover the file by the UNDO function.
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How to recover deleted files on mac? —Final thought
Finally, I am optimistic that one of these works for you and you can recover the necessary file, which gets deleted by mistake. If one method does not work, then try another.
There are plenty of them. I am pretty sure that if one does not work, others will. But still, if you can’t figure it out, How to you recover deleted files on mac? Then you can go to your nearby service center. They will do the task for you.