Best Proven Techniques of File Recovery on Mac

recover deleted files

Mac’s Trash bin can accumulate gigabytes of data for months until a user hits “Empty Trash” one day. The truth is, very few users check their Mac’s Trash bin before purging. Adopting a habit like this is the best way to avoid problems down the road. Deleting important data by mistake is a very regretful thing. Still, there are ways to recover lost data after hitting Empty Trash. No 100% guarantee of complete data recovery, though. Find out how to retrieve the deleted files and folders headache-free and get the purged data back from Trash.

How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac?

Is it possible to restore the recently deleted or lost files while they’re still in the Trash? Absolutely! Users can do this without software or special data recovery tool. Find the needed document, folder or app in the Trash bin, right-click on the item and select Put Back. After you retrieve the object, it will appear in its original location on your MacBook. As you might’ve guessed, OS X doesn’t remove the documents or files instantly, so you don’t have to worry as long as the purged files are still in the Trash.

What to do if you have already hit “Empty Trash?” Are the items from Trash gone for good?


Put Back Trash

If your Mac comes packed with a hard disk drive (HDD), chances of file recovery are high. When a file or folder is removed from Mac’s hard drive, only the title data is purged; the file itself still rests somewhere on the HDD. If you continue using your Mac, the vacant disk space will be written over after saving new items.

If your Mac comes packed with an internal or external solid-state drive (SSD), things may not be that easy. Recovering files from external hard drive on Mac may require using the special third-party software. SSD storage devices have a different data management system (TRIM): after the file is erased, it becomes unrecoverable. The TRIM system wipes the unused data on the SSD internally, so the chances of data recovery are slim. Making regular data backups is recommended to prevent data loss.

Before you start any cumbersome data recovery procedures, check if there are any file copies stored on different mediums. Multiple devices can sync data owing to the cloud technology. Thus, discovering the erased files on other devices synced under a single user account is possible. If you’re using iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or Google Drive, the chances of file recovery are high. It’s worth checking the iPhone gallery or SD card for erased photos and video. As for the work files, they can be saved in the sent mailbox, if you have sent them to your colleagues.

How to Perform Photo Recovery on Mac?

Is it possible to recover a mistakenly deleted image or video? In most cases retrieving deleted or lost photos from an SD card or Mac’s drive is possible even after formatting the storage medium. However, you should stop using the device immediately. To get back the accidentally deleted images or videos, use special third-party apps for photo recovery. With their help, you might recover the majority of lost pictures.

How to Recover Trash on Mac?

Mac Time Machine

What to do if you’ve already emptied the Trash bin, but suddenly remembered about the files you wanted to put back? Try using the Time Machine utility to recover the data from backup. Chances are, the items you deleted are somewhere in the previous backup. Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu to launch Time Machine. Once you access the backups, locate the files you want to restore by date and time in the utility’s timeline. To preview the specific item, press the Spacebar. To put back the deleted file, app or folder, click Restore or choose other options by Control-clicking the file.

In case you have never made any Time Machine backups, resort to special third-party programs for data recovery. Apps like this scan your Mac’s storage medium to locate the files or file remnants still lodged in the HDD clusters. Once the scan is complete, all the deleted/lost items typically display in the app’s interface. Look at the file paths, types or time of creation to select the files you need to retrieve. To launch the data retrieval process, mark the items you need to restore and click the assigned button.

Third-Party Apps as Alternative Data Recovery Solution

If manual data recovery doesn’t help much, and there are no backup files, use special third-party apps. Data recovery software has advantages like speed, efficiency, and minimal user involvement. The external apps run an in-depth hard drive scan and search the innermost corners of your data storage medium to find the erased/lost files in the drive directory. Another significant benefit is preview functionality that helps determine the data that needs recovery. 

Bottom Line

Losing important data can be as regretful as harmful to your work and personal life. Making Time Machine data backups and using external drives is recommended to keep the valuable data safe. Owners of Apple devices can purchase additional iCloud Drive space to store data backups securely. If manual recovery options don’t work, special third-party apps can help retrieve deleted or lost files and folders. Mac users are solely responsible for the possibility of data recovery, so they have to take measures against data loss or corruption.