How To Recover Deleted Files MacOS: Step By Step Guide

By Kumari Purvi | 
Updated: 16th Nov 2022 17:45 IST

Table Of Contents

  • 1
    Where does a file goes after you have deleted it?
  • 2
    Ways to recover deleted files on macOS
  • 3
    How to recover deleted files macOS (Step by Step Guide)
    • Method 1: Using Trash Bins
    • Method 2: Command Line 
    • Method 3: External Recovery Software 
    • Method 4: Time Machine 
    • Method 5: Undo Commands
    • Summing it up:

Highlights of the Story

  • If you are frustrated after accidentally deleting the file or losing it from the system due to confusion, then you need to worry no more!
  • Read about recovering the deleted files from your macOS and restoring them using different tools and techniques.

You may be working on a critical presentation on MacBook when you suddenly realise that you have accidentally deleted an important file. Do not panic, as this article will guide you through the steps on how to recover deleted files macOS in detail.

Where does a file goes after you have deleted it?

Not always, but generally, the deleted files go into the Trash bin of your MacBook. However, you may have emptied the trash bin too and cannot understand how to recover deleted files on macOS as there may not be any way out of that. The system often deletes the file after 30 days of being left in the trash bin folder.
You can always find a way out through the new generation recovery software and using the functionalities of the operating system.

Also Read: Here’s How You Can Install macOS On Your Windows PC

Ways to recover deleted files on macOS

Trash bins which is the specialised folder in the Dock containing the deleted files on macOS
-The command line on Launchpad of the Dock on macOS assists in executing commands and running tools using the terminal.
External recovery software is the third-party software solely responsible for extracting and returning the lost file from memory.
Backup files of an external device or cloud storage connected to a MacBook may have the backup of deleted data.
Undo command on the Edit menu of the folder may also help you recover recently deleted files.

How to recover deleted files macOS (Step by Step Guide)

Method 1: Using Trash Bins

trash bins on macOS

Trash Bins may hold the deleted files for some time (30 days) before deleting them permanently from the system. If you want to recover the single or bulk file(s), Trash Bins can help you in restoring that. To understand how to recover deleted files on macOS via bins, you can follow the given steps: 

1. Go to Dock and find the Trash Bin folder to open it. (Refer to the image attached)

2. Type the file name that you have to restore. By the way, if you don’t remember the file name, navigate through the list of deleted files to get the one you are looking for. 

3. On locating the file, select it or the group you want to restore. Right-click on the file and choose the Put Back option. 

Also Read: How To Find Out Devices Connected To iCloud Via iOS/macOS

Method 2: Command Line 

command line

If you are an avid macOS user, you are well aware of the benefits of the command line. It can turn out to be a powerful and fast way to perform any task. 

Additionally, there is a sufficient way to recover deleted files on macOS using the command line if you or the OS have not permanently deleted the file from the system. Besides, you need to know the exact name of the file that you have deleted. However, the recovery of bulk files cannot be carried out using this method. 

1. Select Applications > Utilities > Terminal to open the application

2. On the command line, write cd. Trash 

3. Press Return 

4. To relocate and move the deleted file to the home folder, type mv filename ../ 

Method 3: External Recovery Software 

external recovery

You will have to spend significant bucks to get this software to recover deleted files on macOS. Still, they have advantages like- getting back multiple files in one go, supporting different file formats and previewing files. Some essential external recovery software is Drill DiscR-StudioData Rescue 6, and more. 

Different software has its process to recover deleted files on macOS, but they are easy to understand per the manual guidelines. Most of them are able to restore the files like images, videos, documents, audio files, and raw images. 

PS- Ensure you download the recovery software from an authentic website. 

Also Read: Here’s How To Fix Battery Not Charging Issue On Your MacOS

Method 4: Time Machine 

time machine How to recover deleted files macOS

Time Machine provided by Apple Support helps you to restore the lost data from the MacBook, like images, videos, songs, and much more. To make the best use of Time Machine, you must create a backup for it. This can be done by connecting external storage or memory to the laptop and going to the Time Machine menu. 

Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Time Machine > Backup Disc. Here it would help if you chose the backup disc where you want to keep the files. Lastly, select Use Disk. 

Backups will take place periodically without any further interference. To do it manually, select Time Machine > Backup Now. 

Method 5: Undo Commands

using undo command

Firstly, undo commands provides the most immediate form of rescue for any deleted file. However, you must pay attention to the fact that you must not have exited the folder where the action was performed or have performed any other task before using undo command. Also, it only helps in recovering a single file and not a heap of files that have been lost. Press Command and Z to undo the task and restore the file to its original location. 

Also Read: How To Recover Deleted Photos From WhatsApp?

Summing it up:

If you are wondering how to recover deleted files on macOS now, it may not be as tedious if you use the methods we just mentioned above. However, one must minimise manual accidents and carelessness as much as possible. There may be a possibility that the laptop has suffered physical damage in the form of breakage, water spillage, and temperature conditions. Here, you must try to take the help of a skilled technician to get the job done rather than experimenting with the same at your home. 

Cashify lets you sell old mobile phone and sell old laptop. If you are looking forward to getting the best deal for your product, then Cashify is the right place for you. 


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