Accidentally Deleted Everything on Mac | Recover Deleted Files on Mac with 6 Methods

Accidentally deleted everything on Mac? This article will introduce 6 practical methods to recover deleted files on Mac. Even if you don't have a backup, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac can help recover deleted files on Mac with 3 steps.

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When you are using a computer, you store a lot of essential data on it, including some important documents, photos, videos, and so on. Imagine if one day you accidentally deleted everything on Mac; it will be a very hard process for you to restore deleted data, especially when it comes to recover permanently deleted files on Mac.

And in some cases, the deleted data was permanently erased, so that can't be recovered unless you have an iCloud or Time Machine backup. A user in the Apple community has reported that he accidentally deleted everything on Mac using the "Command + R" keys that will boot up Mac into Disk Utility or Recovery Mode.

I did that command+r thing, and I clicked on everything that came up on the left of the disk utility and erased everything INCLUDING the Macintosh HD part and now I have a flashing folder and no Macintosh HD to click on anymore what do I do. from Apple Community

If you also have accidentally deleted all your files for whatever reason, for example, using the rm command to delete files on Mac, don't worry; this article will introduce you to x effective means of data recovery.

What Happens After Accidentally Deleted Everything on Mac

As we know, deleting an item on Mac does not really wipe its data. Usually, it means moving the item to the Mac Trash bin, where you can restore all the deleted files by clicking the "Put Back" or "Restore" option.

However, suppose you permanently delete files on Mac by clicking the "Erase" button in the Mac Disk Utility window and wiping all the data on the disk. In that case, it's hard to recover the deleted data unless you use professional and powerful data recovery software: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

In this article, we will show you how to recover deleted files on Mac from the Trash bin or after emptying the Trash bin if you accidentally deleted everything. First of all, after deleting everything on your Mac, you may face two situations:

Situation 1. Deleted files go to the Trash bin on Mac.

In the first case, you accidentally deleted everything on your Mac. But you can find the deleted data in the Trash bin. Suitable recoverable methods are as follows:

Situation 2. Deleted everything on Mac and can't find them anywhere.

In the second case, all the data you deleted will not be found on your Mac, including the recently deleted folder, Trash bin, etc. Suitable recoverable methods are as follows:

Accidentally Deleted Everything on Mac: How to Fix

In case you have accidentally deleted all the data on your Mac, don't worry; here are 6 practical solutions to help you quickly recover deleted data:

Fix 1. Recover Deleted Files on Mac Using Software

Using professional data recovery software can be the most effective and powerful way to retrieve deleted data on Mac. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a handy data recovery tool; even without any data recovery experience, you can use it easily.

In addition, it supports SD card recovery on Mac, external hard drive recovery, USB drive recovery, etc. After deleting everything on your Mac by accident, such as erasing all content and settings on MacBook, you can follow the steps below to restore deleted data:

Note: You can create a backup of your Mac by clicking the "Disk Backup" on the left first. The software will recover the deleted files from the backup image. It can prevent further damage to your disk and data, making it safer and more reliable.

Step 1. Select the location and scan

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac and choose the disk where you lost data. Then, click "Search for lost files" to start scanning.

select a location and click search for lost files

Step 2. Filter and preview lost files

After the scan, use the file format filter on the left or upper right corner to find the deleted files you need.

filter lost files in types

Step 3. Recover lost data or files

You can double-click a file to preview its content, or choose multiple files to recover them at once. Click "Recover" to restore the lost data to a local or cloud drive.

click recover to recover lost data

Fix 2. Recover Deleted Files on Mac from Trash Bin

As we know, right-clicking on an item and moving it to the Trash bin can be recovered by the restore feature in the Trash window. Follow the steps to recover Trash on Mac:

Step 1. Open "Trash" on your Mac by clicking the 🗑️ icon on the desktop.

Step 2. Locate the deleted files or folders in the Trash bin.

Step 3. Right-click on the selected files and choose "Put Back" to restore them to the original location.

put back in Trash

Fix 3. Recover Deleted Files from Recently Deleted on Mac

You may notice this valid folder in your favorite programs, such as the Photos app, called "Recently Deleted". Files you deleted recently can be found in the "Recently Deleted" folder. For example, if you want to recover deleted photos on your Mac, check out the steps here:

Step 1. Open "Photos" on your Mac, and select the "Recently Deleted" section.

Step 2. Select the deleted photos you want to restore and click "Recover" to get them back.

Share this article on social media to help others learn more about how to fix the situation after accidentally deleting everything on Mac.


Fix 4. Recover Deleted Files Using Mac Terminal Command

Apart from the undo command "Command + Z", which can only cancel your last deletion and is limited to a certain number of operations and a certain amount of time, here's a practical command line that can recover the deleted files on Mac. Take a look:

Step 1. Open Terminal in the Applications > Utilities folder.

Step 2. Type cd.Trash and press "Enter" to open the Trash folder.

Step 3. Type ls -al ~/.Trash to view all the deleted files in Trash.

recover deleted files command

Step 4. Type mv filename ../ and press "Enter" to move a specific file to your home folder. Replace the filename with the deleted file you want.

Note this command only works before you empty the Trash bin.

Fix 5. Restore Deleted Files on Mac with Time Machine

If you emphasize data preservation and backup, then you are no stranger to Time Machine. It's a valuable backup utility built into macOS that allows you to recover deleted or lost data safely. Besides, you can restore Time Machine backup to another Mac without worry about data loss.

Note that restoring old backup data may overwrite new data, so be sure to save the latest version of your data before using the backup. Follow the steps below to recover the deleted files with Time Machine backup:

Step 1. Click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar, and select "Enter Time Machine".

Select Time Machine

Step 2. Select a Time Machine backup, and click "Restore" to return the files to their original locations.

You may face errors when using Time Machine to back up your Mac, and Time Machine won't complete the first backup. In this case, you can find solutions in the following passage.

time machine won't complete first backup

2023 Fixed: Time Machine Won't Complete First Backup

This article will show how to fix Time Machine stuck waiting to complete the first backup issue. Read more >>

Fix 6. Restore Deleted Mac Files from iCloud Backup

Recovering permanently deleted file information from a backup is a very effective means of data recovery on Mac. In addition to Time Machine backups, iCloud is a common Mac backup tool. Upload your essential files on iCloud Drive, and you can access them on other Apple devices. For instance, you can recover deleted photos from iCloud: find the wanted photos on iCloud Drive and download them on your Mac.


Accidentally deleted everything on Mac? Don't worry! 6 proven ways can help you recover deleted files on Mac, no matter before or after emptying your Trash bin: using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, using a command in Terminal, recovering from Trash or the Recently Deleted folder, and restoring from a Time Machine or iCloud backup.

Accidentally Deleted Everything on Mac FAQs

Here are questions people frequently ask when they search for "accidentally deleted everything on Mac":

1. How do I recover the Mac data I accidentally deleted?

Here are two situations to discuss:

  • Situation 1. The deleted files go to the Mac Trash bin: you can recover them by clicking "Put Back" or using professional data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  • Situation 2. The deleted files disappeared, and you can't find them anywhere on your Mac. In this case, deleted data may be permanently erased, and only specialized data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac has a chance to recover these missing data.

2. Is it possible to recover permanently deleted files on Mac?

It's possible to recover permanently deleted files on your Mac. Check out the 3 practical methods below:

  • Method 1. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
  • Method 2. Restore from a Time Machine backup
  • Method 3. Use open source Mac file recovery tool

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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