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How to Free Recover Deleted Files on Your Mac

 

There are many scenarios where you would want to recover deleted data from your Mac. These deleted files could be your important photos, official documents, financial records, etc. Loss of such data can cause you unnecessary emotional and financial harm. However, you can make use of data recovery software & services in such circumstances and restore your valuable data.
In this article, we will look at different ways you can free recover lost files from your Mac system.

What happens when you delete your files?

You delete your files in two ways:
  1. Moving the file to Trash folder and then emptying the trash folder.
  2. Using the keyboard shortcut, Option + Command + Delete. This will delete the file immediately. If you wish to empty the trash completely, press Shift + Command + Delete.

In both these processes, we assume that the files are permanently deleted but in reality, they just disappear from immediate view and the space where these files were previously stored becomes free to store new data. In short, the files that were deleted are still there on the system and can be easily recovered.

How to recover your deleted files from Mac for free?

There are few ways to recover lost files from your Mac. You can restore them from Trash folder or by using Mac’s built-in Time Machine backup. In other cases, you would require a free Mac file recovery software. Let us look at some of these ways to recover your deleted files from Mac.

1) Restoring files from Trash folder

On many occasions, we don’t empty our Trash folders. We just leave the deleted files there. In such case, you can simply restore these files with the help of the following steps:

 

  1. Go to the Trash folder (usually located at the end of the dock).
  2. Right-Click on it and then click Open.
  3. Open the Trash Folder and select the file you wish to restore.
  4. Right-click on that file and then select Put Back option.
  5. Alternatively, you can just drag the file from Trash to desktop or any other location.
Image 1: The Trash folder on the desktop of the Mac system.
Image 2: Un-deleting/Restoring the deleted files from Trash folder

 

2) Using Time Machine feature

Time Machine is a great built-in backup feature in Mac. When you use Time Machine back-up feature, you back up the data in your Mac using an external hard drive. In a favorable scenario, the deleted file might not be in your Mac but may remain in your Time Machine external hard drive. You can then easily restore the deleted file.

3) Using a Free Mac file recovery software

Most data recovery cases are related to files which cannot be restored from Trash folder or from Time Machine back-up. For such instances, using a Mac file recovery software is the only effective solution.

Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac

A free Mac file recovery software scans your system to trace the deleted files and then restores them. One of the best data recovery software is Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac, which locates your deleted files and restores them. It is an award-winning DIY tool, purpose-built to offer data recovery from all Mac devices, data loss scenarios, makes & models of storage drive, file types & formats, file systems, and macOS versions. The tool works with all Mac models such as MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, etc. In addition, you can upgrade Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition software to Professional version to diagnose the health of your Mac and keep track of attributes such as temperature, performance and health.

How to use Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition to restore deleted files on Mac?

1:  Download and install the Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac.
2:   Upon launching the software, select the file type that you want to recover from the “Select What to Recover” screen. Then, click Next.

 

Image 3: The Stellar Data Recovery software for Mac screen

 

3:  From the Select Location screen, please select the startup disk (Macintosh HD) to enable data recovery from the Trash folder.

This step is applicable for recovery from the Trash folder. 

 

Image 4: Selecting the location of the deleted files

 

For cases where you delete data from an external storage drive and then clear your Trash folder while the drive was still connected, you don’t need to select the Startup disk from Select Location screen. In such instances, you need to connect the external drive and then select the drive to perform Trash recovery.

4: Toggle on Deep Scan switch and then click on Scan. This will start the scanning process. This method is an advanced scan mode, which comprehensively scans your drive, based on the file signature. The scan time here is longer but the recovery results are quite detailed.

Image 5: Stellar Data Recovery software scanning all recoverable data

 

5: After scanning is completed, the software lists all the recoverable files present in that drive under the Classic, File, and Deleted Lists. You can select the “Deleted List” option to navigate through the folders.

Image 6: The dialog box confirming successful scan and list of items which can be recovered.

 

Tip:  In order to avoid rescanning, please save the scan information by using the Save Scan feature of the software. Use the Load Scan option whenever you wish to retrieve the saved scan list.

6:  You can double-click on a file to launch its preview.

 

Image 7: Double clicking on file can help you see the preview of recoverable files

7: Click Recover after selecting the files or folders you wish to restore. While restoring, please select a different drive volume or an external storage.

Image 8: Recovery of selected file in progress

 

*With the free trial version, you can scan the drive and recover up to 1 GB of the recoverable files. However, if you wish to save unlimited files, then you would need to upgrade the software to a higher version. 

Summing up

Data Recovery from a free software like Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac is the only fail-safe way to restore your valuable data. The data recovery mac tool works for Mac files of all types and formats and is compatible on all Mac systems. The software has an easy-to-use interface and it also keeps a track of the health of your system measuring its temperature, performance and health. Download the software for free today and recover all your deleted files from Mac.

You can also read about top 10 mac data recovery software here:


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