How to Recover Your Files on Your Mac

Recover Deleted Files
Quick Fix

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Are you a new Mac user and is wondering if it is possible to recover deleted files on Mac because you accidentally deleted files? The answer is yes so don’t panic. There are a lot of Mac tips to help you recover lost files. However, keep in mind that time is an important factor when it comes to recovering deleted files. The sooner you realize your mistake, the easier it is to recover what you deleted accidentally.

What are My Options?

The first thing you need to do upon realizing you’ve deleted something you shouldn’t have deleted is going to the Trash folder. Deleted files usually go directly to the Trash, which is located on the right-most part of the dock. When you open the folder or app, you will see a list of deleted files.

You can also use Finder to search for the filename of the deleted files that you want to restore. Go to Finder and type in the name of the file on the search box. Click on Trash instead of This Mac to search for the file. Once you’ve found the file you’re looking for, drag it to your desktop or any other folder you want.

However, this only works for recently deleted files. You may find it difficult to restore files that have been deleted long ago because these deleted files don’t stay in the Trash folder forever. As your hard drive gets full, your Mac automatically removes files from the Trash folder. So, make sure to clean up your hard drive regularly manually or by using 3rd party cleaning software to make sure you have enough space.

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If your file has been deleted from Trash, you can only recover it by using the Time Machine. How do you recover files using Time Machine? Follow these steps:

  1. Open Time Machine using Spotlight. Press Command + Space and type in Time Machine.
  2. Scroll up or down to find the file you wish to restore.
  3. Press Space to preview the file and check if it’s the one you need.
  4. You can also download a snapshot of the file by clicking the Cloud icon.
  5. Click Restore to restore the file you’ve selected.

How to Recover Deleted Photos

When you delete photos on Mac, you get a 30-day grace period in case you changed your mind. This is the same with other Apple devices like iPhones and iPads. The deleted photos are sent to the Recently Deleted album and you can restore your images from there.

Follow these steps to restore your photos:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Click File and choose Show Recently Deleted. This will show you a list of all photos and videos that have been deleted recently. Each file will show the remaining number of days before they hit the 30th day in the folder.
  3. Choose the file or files you want to restore. When you see a blue checkmark in the corner of the thumbnail, this means that the photo or file has been selected.
  4. Click Recover and the file or files will be restored to their original album or folder.
  5. Click back to the Photos or Albums tab when done.

Keep in mind that you only have 30 days to restore your photos using this method. Once the grace period is over, you have to use the Time Machine to recover your lost photos. You can refer to the instructions above on how to recover files from Time Machine.

If you’re still using iPhoto instead of Photos, the deleted files will be sent to the iPhoto trash instead of the MacOS Trash that’s on your dock. To recover deleted images in iPhoto, follow these steps:

  1. Open iPhoto and then click on Trash located in the Sidebar.
  2. To select the photos you want to restore, press Control + Click.
  3. Click Put Back to restore the selected photos. This will restore the deleted images to your iPhoto library.
  4. Click Photos in the Sidebar to view your images.

How to Recover Music Files

What if you’ve accidentally deleted your favorite song on your Mac?

Music files are managed by iTunes on Mac and the actual files are stored in the iTunes Music Folder. When you delete a song in iTunes, you get to choose where to dump the deleted file. If you removed the listing in iTunes, it means that the file has been moved from the Music folder to the Trash. But if you just removed the song from iTunes, it will still be in the iTunes folder. Check the Music folder first to check if the file is still there and then drag it on top of the iTunes icon to restore it on iTunes.

If the file has been dumped in the Trash, here’s how you can restore it on iTunes:

  1. Open iTunes > Preferences.
  2. Click Advanced and tick off the option ‘Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library’.
  3. Drag the file from the Trash to the Desktop.
  4. Drag the file on top of the iTunes icon to re-import it on iTunes.
  5. Move the music file on the Desktop back to the Trash folder since the file has already been copied back into iTunes.

So, the next time you accidentally deleted a file, a photo or a song, you don’t have to worry because there are several Mac solutions designed to recover these deleted files.

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