How to recover deleted files from Mac?

I have accidentally deleted some files from my Mac computer. I don’t have backup also. How can I restore those files from my Mac hard drive?

Mac has become an attractive and commonly used Operating System because of its unique combination of innovative technologies. Mac OS is based on open source UNIX foundation with attractive graphical user interface including all easy to use features. Latest versions of Mac provides backup application i.e. Time Machine that provides seamless backups. Although, human mistake like accidental deletion is a common problem that results in data loss. There are plenty of data recovery tools available to recover lost or deleted files from Mac hard drive. But, it is necessary to know how the files have been deleted before recovery so that it can be recovered according to the respective scenario.

How you deleted your files from your Mac machine?

1.       Deleted the files using Context Menu

  • If this is the case then have you checked the Trash?

If you have accidentally deleted the files by selecting the file and right clicking i.e. using context menu then they are moved to Trash. The files that are deleted using context menu can be restored by simply dragging them out of the Trash. The files remain in Trash until they are manually removed from it. So, first check the Trash to restore deleted files

 2.       Deleted the files using Command-Delete key

The files that are accidentally deleted using Command-Delete key can also be restored from Trash. Because, when you delete the files from Mac hard drive using Command-Delete key they are moved to Trash. If you have enabled or marked the “delete command that bypass trash” in file management preferences then deleted files bypasses the Trash instead of moving to it. So, if you delete files using Command-Delete key after enabling “Delete command that bypass Trash” then you may not find the deleted files in Trash as they bypass it.

3.       Accidentally clicked on “Empty Trash” option

If you have clicked on “Empty Trash” option then they are permanently removed from Mac Trash. But, they are not permanently removed from Mac hard drive and those files can be recovered using data recovery tools.

Note: The files that are deleted from Trash by clicking on “Secure Empty Trash” cannot be restored using any data recovery tool. Because, this option permanently deletes the files by overwriting the data with random numbers.

What actually happen when files are deleted from Mac hard drive?

Most people think that the file that is deleted using Command-Delete key or the file that has been emptied from Trash is permanently deleted from Mac hard drive. The truth is that the file is still residing exactly where it was before deletion. What actually happens is, the Operating System forgets that the file is still exists and marks the space occupied by that file is now available to store new files. The deleted file exists until any new file or data is saved on the hard drive. Thus, deleted files can be easily restored using data recovery tools only if they have not overwritten by new files.

Follow some basic precautions after data loss

  1. You must avoid usage of Mac hard drive from where you have accidentally deleted the files. This is very important because usage of drive may results in overwriting of deleted files resulting in permanent loss. If your files have been overwritten by new data then it is impossible to recover files using any data recovery tool.
  2. Do not save the recovered files on the same Mac drive on which the data recovery is being done because, this may also results in overwriting of files

Download the data recovery tool like Mac hard drive recovery software to recover accidentally deleted files from Mac hard drive. Mac hard drive recovery software can also recover files that are emptied from Trash. The software supports file recovery from HFS+, HFSX, FAT16 and FAT32 volumes. This software has free demo version. Download the free demo version to estimate recovery results.

  • After launching the software, select “Recover Files” then select “Recover Deleted Files” option in order to restore deleted or emptied files from Trash
  • Now, select the Mac hard drive to start recovery process. Once the recovery process is completed, view recovered data

Tips to avoid data loss in future

  • The best way to avoid data loss is to take full backup of each and every file that is important to you.
  • It is better to uncheck “delete command that bypass trash” option. If you uncheck this option then you can restore files that are accidentally deleted using Command-Delete key as they move to Trash when they are deleted from hard drive.