5 Proved Ways for How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac [2022]

|by Nitzsche, Updated on Jan 4, 2022

"Can you recover permanently deleted files on Mac?" I was asked the question frequently by my friends when they face the problem of losing data on Mac. For sure, there are several ways available to restore permanently deleted files on MacBook and iMac. Let’s learn the 5 most widely used ways.

Part 1. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac Efficiently

This is the most powerful way to restore permanently deleted files on Mac. The software iBatsoft Data Recover for Mac is needed. It’s the easiest way to get back data on Mac with simple steps. Compared with the other ways which will be mentioned below, this way is fully recommended. It never requires you any computer techniques to do the Mac deleted files recovery. Only with a few steps, you will successfully recover permanently deleted files on Mac. Here are the steps.

  1. Download and install iBatsoft Mac Data Recovery
  2. Click the download button to get the installation package of the Mac data recovery software. After then, install it on your Mac. Please note that the Mac data recovery software is fully compatible with macOS. You need to enable the system preferences as install apps from identified source and App Store.

  3. Select hard drive to scan
  4. Launch the Mac file recovery software. After then, you can see the list of all drives available on your Mac. If you want to find photos and other data from cameras, SD cards, USB flash drives, or any other external hard drive, please connect it with your Mac, letting the Mac detect it as an external hard drive. Select the hard drive from where the files you want to get back were deleted, in the left panel. Click "Scan".

  5. Preview and recover permanently deleted files on Mac
  6. In the next window, all found files are displayed after the scanning. Next, you need to select files to preview, finding the target files. Please note that not all found files are in the previous names. Some files are renamed. You know, if some file properties are removed or changed, then the name might be changed as well. In this case, you’re supposed to select file types to preview and save before ditching them. Select target files and click "Save" to recover them on your computer.

    Pros:
    It’s able to recover permanently deleted files on Mac
    It works both for Mac internal drives as well connected external hard drives
    Easy process without expert computer knowledge
    Supports Mac data recovery no matter how the files were deleted
    Cons:
    The free trial version only shows the recoverable files. To find the deleted files on Mac, the full version is needed. And it cost a few bucks.

Why I put this method in the priority place? That’s because, you know, if a file is deleted, you can get back it on Mac in the first place. However, if you do more operation on the hard drive, like installing apps and saving files, then the success rate becomes lower and lower to recover it. It will cause data overwriting issues, which will result in file damage and what’s worse, losing the file permanently. Of course, you can also try the following use ways as well. Let’s learn the details.

Part 2. How to Undo Deletion on Mac

Some people asked why there is no Ctrl+Z function to cancel a file deletion, liking typing in a Word doc. Actually, you can restore the deleted file on Mac by undo the deletion. However, you should make clear the way works only when the app, from where you have deleted file, is not quitted. And it only undo the last file deletion, not covering all the delete files in the app.

  1. Make sure the app is still launched, such as Finder.
  2. Go to the Edit menu > select the "Undo Move of (file name)"
  3. Pros:
    It’s easy and quick to undo deletion on Mac
    Works for all applications on Mac
    Cons:
    It’s limited to get the last delete files back on Mac
    only works when the app is not quitted after the file deletion

That’s it! It’s very quick to cancel the deletion. And the optional shortcut for this action is Command + Z.

Part 3. How to Restore Permanently Deleted Files on Mac with Time Machine

Time Machine is the default feature on Mac to back up Mac data. If there is any file accidentally deleted on Mac, if you have a backup file, then you can retrieve permanently deleted files on Mac with the Time Machine backup file. Here are the steps.

  1. Launch Finder and then open the folder from where the needed files were deleted.
  2. From the top menu bar, click the Time Machine icon and select Enter Time Machine.
  3. In the new window, use the timeline on the right side to find the files you want to recover.
  4. Click "Restore" to restore the permanently deleted files on Mac.
  5. Pros:
    100% success rate to find deleted files if you have backed up before.
    Cons:
    Time machine backup file is needed.

Part 4. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Data on Mac with Command

If you know some computer techniques, you can try the Command Line to get back permanently deleted files on Mac.

  1. Find the Terminal app in Utilities or you can find it after clicking the Applications icon.
  2. Launch the Terminal app and enter cd.Trash and press Enter.
  3. Type in ls -al ~/.Trash to view the files listed in the trash folder.
  4. Type in mv filename../ to restore the file to its original folder. Please replace "filename" as the name of the file you want to recover to Mac.
  5. Go to the original folder to check out the details of the recovered file.
  6. Pros:
    Free to get deleted files back on Mac
    A quick way to check out whether you can recover the file or not
    Cons:
    need computer techniques
    it’s more complicated than using software

Part 5. How to Retrieve Permanently Deleted with App-built Recovery Feature

Please note that not all of the apps for Mac have the built-in recovery feature. Only some of them have, like iPhoto. If there are files deleted, please check out the menu for the app to see whether there are options to restore the previous version or restore recently deleted files and folders. On iPhoto, you can recover deleted folders or items on Mac.

  1. Launch iPhoto
  2. Click the Recently Deleted icon in the left panel.
  3. Select needed items and right-click on it > select Recover.
  4. Pros:
    Easy to carry out the recovery
    No payment is needed
    Cons:
    Only part of apps have the recovery feature
    Some app will clean up the deleted file automatically

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