How to Recover Lost/Deleted Photos on Mac – 5 Ways for 2022

|by Dodson, Updated on Jan 4, 2022

Have you lost or deleted photos on your Mac? Trust me you are not alone. We all have been in such situations where we accidentally deleted photos. What if I tell you, it's not the end of the world? One can easily get back lost photos on Mac. Yeah, it is possible and there are not just one, but five possible ways one can recover deleted photos from Macbook. You might be curious how the heck it is possible.

The reason is very simple: when we delete any photo on our Mac the system starts showing the space that is released after deleting the file. But the system keeps the file in a state that it can be recovered. It is only possible when you haven't added new files on the deleted space to override the deleted ones. I would recommend don't adding any new files to the system when you accidentally deleted photos and want to get them back.

If you have already overridden by adding new files, chances are less that you will get the pictures back. Here In this article, I have explained all those five ways. I have not just explained the ways but also provided steps needed for them. Go ahead, try the ways to follow the steps, and most probably you will restore the deleted pictures on Mac.

Recover Lost/Deleted Photos on Mac

Part 1. Find Photos from Mac Photo App Recently Deleted Folder

Apple devices come with a built-in Photos app. The app comes preloaded on every Apple device be it iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. You might have used the Photos app on your Mac to see the pictures that are synced from your iPhone or iPad. In case you accidentally deleted photos from Mac, you can retrieve them from a Recently Deleted folder of the Photos app. Follow the below steps to get the deleted photos back.

  1. First, open the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Head Over to the Recently Deleted folder located under the Photos section. You will see all the recently deleted pictures in this folder.
  3. Select a picture that you want to recover and right-click on it. A pop box will appear having the option restore, tap on it. The picture will be recovered, and you can find it in the library.

Note: Keep in mind the pictures deleted from the Photos app can be recovered within 40 days. Once the 40 days period is elapsed, they will be removed permanently to free up the storage space on Mac. If you look closely in the Recently Deleted folder, It is clearly written that deleted photos will be available for up to 40 days. Also, each deleted photo is showing the date after which they will be deleted permanently.

Part 2. Restore Pictures from Trash Mac

Mac default file manager is Finder. We all use it to manage all different sorts of files including Pictures, Videos, PDFs, etc. Whenever we delete a picture whether intentionally or accidentally it gets sent to the Trash folder. Let's suppose you deleted a picture and then realized you should not have done that. In that situation, Trash comes in handy. All you need to do is open Trash and find that picture. Follow the steps mentioned below to retrieve pictures from Trash on Mac.

  1. Open Dock on your Mac and tap on the Bin Box.
  2. All the pictures that you have deleted recently will be there in the Bin folder.
  3. Select a particular picture or multipicture and right-click on it. A pop-up box will appear having all the options tap on the Put Back to get the pictures back.

This is how you can restore deleted pictures from Trash on Mac. It is so simple just open the trash bin, select the picture you want to restore, and click on the Put Back option.

Part 3. How to Get Back Photos from Mac Backup

Apple introduced its proprietary backup system Time Machine. It is the default backup mechanism on Mac. It works equally well for local devices as well as network-attached devices. Most Time Machine is used with Hard Drives. If you have taken a backup of your Mac using Time Machine and accidentally deleted photos, then you can easily restore the deleted picture. Just follow the below steps and you will be good to go.

  1. Open the folder in which the deleted photos were available.
  2. Tap on the Time Machine icon from the menu bar. In case you didn't see the time machine icon in the menu bar you can open Time Machine from the System Preferences.
  3. You will see all the Time Machine backups you might have on your Mac. Use the sliders on the right side to scroll between different backups. You can also tap on Arrow icons to go through the past backups.
  4. When you find the deleted pictures in a backup. Select the pictures and tap on the Restore button to get the images back.

Part 4. How to Retrieve Deleted Pictures on Mac from iCloud

To use Apple devices at their full potential creating Apple ID is a must-have requirement. The Apple ID is used across all Apple devices to not sync them but also to store important data like messages, mail, contacts, files, and much more. All this data is stored on iCloud, a cloud storage subscription service from Apple.

Each user gets free 5GB storage for the lifetime and if someone needs more there are paid plans available. In case you have stored all your pictures on iCloud and accidentally deleted a few pictures then it is possible to find them from iCloud. Follow the below steps to recover deleted pictures on Mac from iCloud.

  1. Open your favorite browser on Mac and Visit
  2. Enter your Apple ID and tap on the arrow icon to sign in to iCloud.
  3. Once you are logged in to iCloud tap on Photos.
  4. After opening iCloud Photos head over to the Recently Deleted section. All the pictures you might have deleted recently will show up there. Pick the one you want to retrieve and tap on the Recover option on the top right corner to get back the picture in the library. This is how you can retrieve deleted pictures from Mac on iCloud.

Note: The deleted pictures appear only up to 40 days in the Recently Deleted section. After the 40 days’ time period, the pictures get permanently deleted. As you can see each picture in the Recently Deleted section is showing the left days after which they will be deleted forever to clear iCloud storage.

Part 5. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac with Data Recovery Software

The last way to restore permanently deleted photos on Mac is by using Data recovery software. The market is filled with so many recovery software each of them claiming to be the best. But as the question here is of our important photos it is not worth to take the risk.

After testing each Mac photo recovery software that is available in the market I have come to a conclusion the best data recovery software is iBatsoft Data Recovery for Mac. It is simple yet Professional and allows users to recover permanently deleted files from Mac and other storage devices they might have.

It's not just me praising iBatsoft, some of the renowned media houses such as CNET, MacUpdate have rated it the best in business. It works in every situation whether you have deleted files permanently by pressing Command+Delete, Emptied Trash, Formatted System Drive, or just any other scenario. Although you just want to restore photos iBatsoft supports as well. Most importantly iBatsoft is compatible with the latest version of Mac OS.

Enough praising iBatsoft now it's time to explain the exact steps needed to recover deleted photos on Mac using it. Follow the below steps to use iBatsoft.

  1. Click on the download to get iBatsoft Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac. Once the installation file is downloaded double click on it to install on your Mac.
  2. When the data recovery is successfully installed on your Mac open it. You will get an interface like the one you are seeing in the below image. Select the file in which the deleted file was located early on to scan that specific disk. Tap on the "Scan" button to start the scanning process.
  3. iBatsoft Data Recovery software will take a few minutes to scan the disk. The time will depend on the data you might have on that disk. Once the scan is completed it will show all the deleted photos from. Go through the photos and select the ones you want to recover. Right-click on the photos and tap on the "Save" button on top of the screen. It will recover all the deleted photos.

Now you have seen how easy it is to recover deleted photos from Mac using the iBatsoft Data recovery software. Install the software, start the scan, select the disk, select the photos you want to restore, and tap on the recovery option. It's that easy. I don't think you will find a better and easier option than this one.

So, these are the five ways by which you can find lost photos on Mac. The list includes options such as recovering photos from the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app, Put Back photos from Trash, Using Time Machine backup to find the photos, retrieving photos from iCloud, and lastly getting back the photos by using iBatsoft Data Recovery software for Mac. If you ask personally, I will recommend using iBatsoft without thinking twice. Which way will you pick? Do let me know in the comments section.

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