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How to recover deleted files on Mac

You’ve decided to empty your bin,not first looking what’s in it. Later on, you make the shocking discovery that you deleted a couple of important files.What are you going to do? There are ways you can get back your deleted data. Your chances of success depend on many factors and usually the file loses it’s filename and some data may be corupted.

Deleting, erasing & partitioning

In terms of this issue, Mac and Windows work the same: you move files in the trash and if you empty the Trash, the file is deleted.Simple as that. After deletion, the data remains on the disk where it first was, but the directory basically says “This place is empty, you can write your data here”. If you don’t write anything on the disk, recovering the file is pretty easy. That is why you should not fill that space if you want your data back.  You could also use Apple’s Disk Utility to Erase a drive. When you use it, the Disk Utility basically replaces the data with an empty copy- basically nothing, just like it was deleted. There’s also the Secure Erase method, which writed new data over the old data, presumed deleted, and recovering data will require a forensic data recovery service.

Undeleting Files

In order to perform deleted file recovery on Mac, you’ll need to use a separate recovery disk to which you can copy the recovered files. You could use a flash drive, another Mac in Target Disk Mode, or even other Apple units such as an iPod, iPhone or iPad to store recovered files. Also, in order to recover data, you’ll need recovery programs. Recovery programs usually work in two passes: they scan the disc for what data it can find, then they recover that data.  depending on the size of the drive and the amount of data, this process can take minutes, hours or even days. Filenames tend to get corupted because of the reformat which wipes out the old data. What comes back from the recovery could be anything from a minor problem or a big pain, depending on the number of files. This is why you may want to hire a data recovery expert.

Based one everything that has been outlined so far, your best bet would be to always double-check what you’re trying to delete, and never add more data to the HDD if you’re thinking about recovering lost files.


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