Useful Tips

File recovery in MAC OS


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In this article, you will learn how to find and recover deleted files on a Mac computer. To get started, look for deleted files in the Recycle Bin. Then try to restore them from the Time Machine backup or use a third-party data recovery program.

Recover files deleted from the recycle bin

Follow the instructions to reuse documents that were previously added to Trash Can:

  • Open the desktop window and select the "Trash" folder,
  • Wait until all previously deleted files are displayed in the window that opens.
  • Find the document that you want to return to the PC memory and right-click on it,
  • In the context menu, select the option “Back Back” or “Put Back”. Now the object will be displayed on the desktop or in the directory from which it was deleted.

The cart is empty. What to do?

Consider what to do in a situation if the user empties the basket. After each cleaning of the Trash Can directory, the operating system automatically saves its backup in iCloud storage. To "pull" the desired file, follow these steps:

  • Use your browser to go to,
  • Log in and select the “Temporary storage” folder,
  • Find the desired object and restore it using the corresponding key.

Note! You can restore the files after cleaning the basket in MAC OS X only for 30 days. After this period, all temporary data is permanently deleted from iCloud.

Verify Time Machine backup

To restore the file from the backup, find the “Time Machine” system utility shortcut on the desktop. In the window that opens, run Time Machine, as shown in the figure:

Wait for the Time Machine to load. Now navigate between the timeline on the screen and use the arrows on the desktop to select the object you want to return. Click on the file and click on "Restore":

Disk drill

With Disk Drill, you can easily recover files even after they are deleted from the recycle bin. If the “Time Machine” was not started on the PC, a third-party utility will help to restore the timestamps of the file from the hard disk structure. Thus, information about the object is returned and restored.

The recovered file is damaged. What to do?

If as a result of restoring files in MAC OS you were able to return the desired file, folder or archive, but they do not open or the contents of the file are inaccurate - such a document is considered damaged.

The reason for the damage to the program structure of the document is due to errors in the operation of third-party programs or incorrect backup of the operating system. Unfortunately, users cannot control this detail.

If you still get a damaged file, try opening it in several programs. For example, multimedia objects are always opened without problems by the VLC player, even if they do not have a coherent structure. You can try to restore text documents for reading using online services. Or you can open the document using a standard notepad encoded in UTF-8.

Also, you can “fix” damaged files in MAC OS using the following programs:

  • Wondershare Data Recovery,
  • Refresh Files,
  • RS File Recovery.

How to recover deleted files from a flash drive

To demonstrate the work, I took and formatted my 64 GB flash drive. Initially, it was only the season of the series "Man in a High Castle". What was stored there and was deleted before that, I no longer remember.

A quick disk scan took about 15 minutes. As a result, Disk Drill discovered:

  • all 13 episodes of the series,
  • 18 documents from the sketch editor,
  • 208 music tracks in mp3,
  • 232 photos,
  • some videos in 3gp (I have no idea how they ended up there),
  • several videos in mov format.

I was able to recover almost all of this. Only video in 3gp and mov turned out to be broken. Obviously, they were there for a very long time and simply overwritten with other information.


In an ideal world, Disk Drill is never needed. But in the real world we have to constantly deal with non-powered flash drives, damaged file systems of drives and banal negligence. And simple backups are not an option, especially during trips, where backing up is problematic. Therefore, keep this article for yourself and when the full time comes. You know what to do.

For residents of the CIS at Disk Drill 50% discount. As a result, the price will not be $ 89, but $ 44. It’s also a lot, but much cheaper than restoring a disk in a service center (where they will use the same Disk Drill), where you will leave several hundred dollars.

An alternative way to install Disk Drill is through the Setapp application package. It has a fully functional version of Disk Drill, which will last 7 days. This will be enough for many to recover missing files.

Ways to recover information on Mac OS

To start the process of recovering data erased from the hard disk, you can use both standard tools built into the Mac OS system and specialized software. The first group includes:

  • basket (Trash),
  • utility Time Machine.

Resuscitation of information through the basket

As in Windows, on Mac OS files and folders deleted from the hard drive are first moved to a special area - the trash, which is located in the system partition. Therefore, if after erasing the data Trash was not cleared, you can restore the information directly from the recycle bin. To do this, you must:

  1. Go to the Trash tab, which is located on the desktop in the Dock.
  2. Find deleted files and select them.
  3. Click on the selected objects with the right mouse button and select Put Back in the drop-down menu. This option may not be active. This means that the place where the deleted files were previously stored is not available now. In this case, you will need to move the information from the basket manually, for example, to the desktop.

After cleaning the basket, all files from it will be erased, that is, the resuscitation method described above will not bring a positive result. In this case, other tools should be used to recover data deleted from the disk on Mac OS.

Using Time Machine

Time Machine is a program built into Mac OS designed to back up data stored on the hard drive of a personal computer. With its help, every hour in an automatic mode, system restore points are created, which in the future can be used to return accidentally deleted files. When you first start the application, a backup of the entire hard disk is created. Subsequent reservations affect only the information that has been modified.

To start the data backup procedure:

  1. Connect an external storage medium to the computer. At the same time, its volume should be at least 1.5 times more for the capacity of the disk installed on the PC.
  2. Go to the Time Machine section, located in the "System Settings" tab, specify the drive that will be used for backup, and click Use Backup Disk.
  3. After that, you need to start the Time Machine program by dragging the slider to the Ok position.

After successfully backing up data, accidentally deleted files can be restored as follows:

  1. Go to the Time Machine menu.
  2. Specify a temporary version of the resuscitation point.
  3. Select the required files and start their recovery by clicking Restore.

Specialized software for reanimating erased data on Mac OS

When you delete files on Mac OS, they do not disappear without a trace. Just the system sees the place that data used to occupy as free. That is, you can record new information on it. And while the new data is not overwritten the old, they can be restored using specialized software.

The most effective resuscitation programs designed specifically for Mac OS are:

  • Disk Drill
  • FileSalvage,
  • PhotoRec
  • Data Rescue.

All software works in a similar way. Therefore, having mastered one utility, you can easily deal with the rest. As an example, consider the principle of recovering data deleted from a disk on Mac OS using Disk Drill. This program is perfectly combined with all file systems and allows you to return access not only to lost files, but also to entire sections.

The sequence of actions will be as follows:

  1. In order not to overwrite deleted files, the program is downloaded to another computer with Mac OS installed, after which it is copied to a portable storage medium (for example, to a USB flash drive).
  2. The USB flash drive connects to the problematic PC and the Disk Drill application starts.
  3. In the initial window, it is possible to activate data protection against accidental deletion or directly recovery. We choose the second option.
  4. After that, we indicate the section for scanning and select the type of files that need to be reanimated.
  5. We indicate the scanning method - fast or deep. If the data has been erased recently, select the first option.
  6. After the search is complete, mark the required objects and click "Save."

The recovery process can be tracked in the appropriate window.