We believe that most of our readers once experienced data loss moments. That's why data recovery is always a popular topic under discussion, and it's not finished yet. Permanently losing data on a Mac can be a pain, especially if you lose important documents or files. Some people can recover quickly from the pain, but others can't afford to lose the value of their files.

Don't fret. In this tutorial, we'll start with a general troubleshooting guide on how to recover permanently deleted files on Mac, which you can no longer find in the Trash Bin on macOS.

Is It Possible to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac

YES. You can recover permanently deleted files on Mac with a specialized Mac data recovery program.

First and foremost, the permanent deletion manners involved on a Mac include the combination keys usage of Shift-Command-Delete or Option-Shift-Command-Delete. Both shortcuts remove the selected files without sending them to the Trash. Besides, other paths are leading to permanently deleting files on Mac.

  • Delete Immediately
  • Mac Terminal rm command or rmdir command
  • Use some third-party apps to force deleting files or empty Mac Trash
  • Enable the option of "Remove items from the Trash after 30 days" in Finder Preferences

Now we should be clear that permanent deletion means that the data you deleted is completely gone from your computer, and you have nowhere to find it unless you have made a backup. 

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac (Unlimited)

Mac Data recovery applications can restore permanently deleted files, formatted disks, or corrupted data. Still, the premise of the recovery result depends a lot on how you handle the lost data after incidents happen. Usually, you don't keep writing new data to the device. What's more, you don't take the risk of using the cracked Mac data recovery software. At last, you need technical help to locate the target file in case it has lost the original filename and folder path.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac has reputable recovery solutions for recovering deleted files on Mac without backup.

  • Restore permanently deleted photos, videos, documents, emails, and other files on Mac.
  • Recover lost files from MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and other Mac devices.
  • Retrieve deleted files from SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive, and external hard drive on Mac.
  • Compatible with all the macOS versions, including the new macOS Sonoma

Download the powerful Mac file recovery tool to restore unlimited files on Mac in simple steps. 

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

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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac for Free 

For users who don't like to take the paid methods, here are two free solutions to help find deleted files on your Mac for free. 

Method 1. Use EaseUS Free Mac Data Recovery Software

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac offers both free and paid solutions to restore lost files. Most data recovery software in the market indeed comes with a free plan, with a limit of recoverable file size from 500MB to 2GB.

In comparison, EaseUS Mac data recovery program offers the maximum amount of the free offer of 2GB. Hence, if you don't feel confident utilizing the open-source TestDisk program, with a few files to recover, choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free.

Method 2. Restore from a Time Machine Backup

Another useful method is to restore the permanently deleted file from a Time Machine backup. However, there is a limitation to this method: you must back up your data using Time Machine before you can restore it from the backup file after it has been lost.

Steps to retrieve permanently deleted files on your Mac with Time Machine:

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive containing your backups to your Mac. 

Step 2. Launch Time Machine from the menu bar. 

Step 3. Find the folder that contains the deleted files. You can search for a specific file. 

Step 4. Select the backup version you need. Then, choose the file or folder you wish to return to and click the "Restore" button.
recover permanently deleted files on mac from backup

Method 3. Use Free Open Source Mac File Recovery Tool 

TestDisk is powerful, free, open-source data recovery software that is primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again. It can also be used to recover deleted files on many platforms, including Mac OS X/macOS.

testdisk free mac data recovery software

This is the official website. You can read the product information and find a download link: https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk.

The overall experience for computer novices may be time-consuming to get familiar with the complete procedures due to the lack of intuitive interface design and ready-to-use recovery buttons. Nonetheless, once you get used to it, the irreplaceable Mac data recovery utility is completely free to use.


How do I recover permanently deleted files on my Mac? If you are confused about this problem like many other users, find answers in this article. You can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore any permanently lost data on your Mac. Its free version allows you to recover deleted files on Mac without any cost.

Help us spread the information! If you liked this tutorial, share it on your social media accounts.


How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac FAQ

For more instructions about recovering permanently deleted files on Mac, check the following faqs. 

1. Can permanently deleted files be recovered on Mac?

Yes. If you have backed up the deleted files with Time Machine before, you could restore them from Time Machine backups. Or you can use third-party data recovery tools like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to help you recover permanently deleted files.

2. How do I recover permanently deleted folders on Mac?

Here are the steps to restore permanently deleted folders on Mac:

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  • Start the software and choose the device to scan for lost folders.
  • Preview and restore deleted folders on Mac.

3. How can I recover permanently deleted files from a Mac without software?

Apart from third-party data recovery software, Time Machine is the only built-in utility you can trust to recover permanently deleted files. Time Machine is the backup utility on Mac. It saves the selected files to a backup disk. You can recover lost photos, videos, and documents from backup versions.

4. How do I recover permanently deleted files from my Mac without a Time Machine?

To recover permanently deleted files on Mac without backups, follow the instructions below:

  • Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac on your Mac.
  • Choose the storage device or disk to scan for deleted files. 
  • You can search for the files or folders you want to restore.
  • Then, preview and recover the files to a safe location. 

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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