Recover Accidentally Deleted Useful Files on Mac in Few Simple Steps

Recover Deleted Files on Mac

Losing data accidentally can produce grievous results sometimes. It becomes trickier when you don’t know how to recover this accidentally deleted data. To help you find a solution to it we can discuss few methods here to recover your accidentally deleted data. These methods include manual basic steps to using advanced data recovery tools.

Recover Mac Files

Check into Trash Can: Once you have deleted something from your system it directly goes to system Trash Can. You can lose files accidentally or while managing (removing and rearranging) them to speed up your Mac.  It holds your items until you set them to be permanently deleted. To recover data from Trash Can follow these simple steps.

  • Open the Trash Can from the desktop.
  • Now scroll through the Trash Can to find the item you have accidently deleted and want to recover.
  • Right-click on the item and select Put Back. It will restore the item to a destination where it was before you deleted it.

Check the Time Machine: Time Machine is the built-in backup feature of your Mac it helps you take backup of all files to an external drive so that you can retrieve this data (if needed) in future. To retrieve the data using Time Machine you need to follow these steps.

  • Open the window that originally contained the file which you have deleted. For example, you have deleted a file from Documents folder then you need to open Documents folder.
  • Connect the external drive on which you have backup data.
  • Now open the Time Machine by going to Menu bar. Now select and enter Time Machine. Your system will take few moments to connect to Time Machine.
  • Use timeline on the right side of the screen to go to specific backup or use the arrow keys to move back and forth between snapshots of that folder to find a specific file. You can also use the search bar to find any specific file in the snapshot.
  • Now double-click on the file to open it. Then select it and click on Restore option to recover the file to its original location.

You can select multiple items to restore them all at once. If the file was in multiple folders, then you can recreate the folder so that the file can be restored.

Recover files using Data Recovery Program

The first and most important step to recovering data using recovery programs is to refrain from system usage further once you have deleted some file. When you delete some file it is set to be overwritten by fresh data. It will increase the chances of data recovery as the files have not been overwritten yet. In fact, do not open, save, create or delete any file or program. Turn your system off, if the file is on your startup drive.

  • Now download a data recovery program on another computer or drive so that you don’t overwrite the file you are trying to recover.
  • If possible, download data recovery program on a portable drive like USB flash drive. It will help you connect to the Mac and run the program easily, preventing any task performing on your disk.


  • Next is to scan the drive. Select the drive that originally contained the file you accidentally deleted. To narrow the search, you may require mentioning the type of files you want the program to look for. You may find quick or full scan option. Try quick scan first if it can help you find the file as the full scan may take a significant amount of time. Certain data recovery programs come with an image that you can boot from.
  • In the scanning results, you will find the list of files that can be recovered. Select the file(s) you want to recover and save it. Try to save the file to an external drive and then transfer it to any drive. Always prefer to recover most important files first as the recovery process itself can overwrite the files.

You can follow these simple steps to recover your deleted files smoothly on your Mac. Using data recovery tools can help you recover files more accurately and instantly. In fact, these tools can save a lot of your time and efforts.

Summary: You can lose files accidentally or while managing them to speed up your Mac. Recovering these files include some manual efforts else you can use data recovery tools to recover them instantly.


This is a guest post written by Apoorv Bhatnagar

Apoorv Bhatnagar is working at Systweak Software , as an SEO analyst and  technical Content Writer. His potential of writing is PC  tips ,Android  and Mac tricks and he is anxious in writing other technical blogs. You can also find Apoorv on Facebook and LinkedIn.