How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software [Ventura Applicable]

How to recover deleted files on Mac without the software? Read this tutorial and learn six ways to recover permanently deleted files on Mac after emptying Trash Bin. You can quickly retrieve deleted files on macOS 13/12/11 with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

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Hi, My kids unintentionally destroyed data from my Mac's hard drive and trash folder that ranged in size from 50 to 80 GB. Is there a chance that my data can be recovered from the Mac Trash Folder, or are they lost forever? I don't have any TimeMachine backups either. Please assist me in retrieving my data from the Empty Trash Folder. - A user from Apple Community

One Mac user posted a question on Apple Community, requesting assistance after his Mac's hard drive and Trash Folder were lost. The recovery of Mac's files should be your top priority, regardless of the type of lost data. Some of you may want methods without any software. This page will tell you 5 ways to recover deleted files on Mac without software.

If you want to know how to recover deleted files both on Windows and Mac, read this linked page for help.

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How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10 Without Software (Mac Included)

How to recover permanently deleted files? You may permanently delete files or folders from hard drives or other storage devices by pressing the Shift + Delete buttons, emptying the Recycle Bin, or using other deletion methods.

Recover Deleted Files on Mac by Terminal

If you are familiar with command lines on Mac, you can recover the deleted files through Mac Terminal. You can restore your data using the recovery techniques that make use of your backups after losing them in the Trash.

Follow these steps to recover deleted files with Mac Terminal:

Step 1. Click "Terminal" twice under "Finder" - "Applications" - "Utilities."

Open Terminal

Step 2. Type the command cd.Trash into your Mac and hit the "Return" key.

Step 3. Type ls -al /.Trash all the way through. This command allows you to view the contents of your trash folder.

Step 4. Enter mv filename../ and hit the "Return" key. The filename must contain the entire file name for this command line to work.

Recover command line

Step 5. Type "Quit" in the box provided to close the Terminal window.

Thanks to Terminal, the restored files are located in your home directory folder. After that, you can navigate there to look at the products.

Recover Deleted Files via Undo Options

Using the macOS Command + Z keyboard combination is a relatively straightforward way to retrieve a recently deleted file. If you accidentally erased a file to undo your most recent operation, merely hit Command + Z. This procedure should be carried out quickly because every subsequent operation you perform on your Mac lessens the likelihood of the file being retrieved.

It is can't help you recover trash on Mac or permanently delete Mac files.

Step 1. Go to "Edit" and choose the "Undo Move" option after deleting files.

Step 2. Alternatively, you can undo the delete operation by using the Command + Z key shortcut

Undo option to recover files


Once the Trash is empty, you will only have two alternatives for recovering: utilizing a backup or using third-party software

Restore Deleted Files from iCloud Drive

Your Mac has direct access to iCloud, Apple's cloud storage service, through your iCloud Drive. Documents and Desktop are two examples of folders from which items can be automatically stored on the drive. Your data are automatically backed up using iCloud Drive. They can be recovered using any computer or device with an Internet connection. If you delete files from iCloud, you can recover them.

Step 1. Sign into iCloud.


Step 2. Click the "Recently Deleted" button at the bottom of the window to access the recently deleted files in iCloud Drive.

Recently deleted

Step 3. Select the things you wish to restore and click "Recover" or click "Recover All".

These techniques will make it simple for you to retrieve your files from the iCloud disk. This method's one limitation is that it only functions for files that have been removed recently (within 30 days). Before that, any files that are removed are lost forever.

Restore Mac Files by the "Put Back" Option

On a Mac, where is the recently deleted file? The following easy techniques will quickly restore the lost data in the macOS Trash folder if you drag a file to the Trash or right-click on the file and choose "Delete" before emptying the Trash can.

Step 1. Click the Trash Bin icon on your desktop to view all the files that have been deleted.

Step 2. Locate and drag the files you wish to recover to the desktop. To restore deleted files on a Mac from the Trash, you can either right-click on them or choose the "Put Back" option. The files will go back to where they came from.

Put Back opyion

The restored files can be examined on your Mac desktop. The recycle bin recovery processes could change slightly for Windows users. Right-clicking the file and selecting "Restore" is required.

Recover Deleted Files on Mac from Time Machine

Time Machine Backup is a built-in backup tool in macOS or Mac OS X for backing up and restoring files on your Mac.

If you have Time Machine backup turned on, you may retrieve deleted data on a Mac from recent backups even after clearing the Trash. This approach is useless if no backups have ever been created.

The following are the steps to restore Mac files from Time Machine:

Step 1. Start your Mac's Time Machine. You can use Spotlight to look for Time Machine or click on the icon in the menu bar and select "Enter Time Machine".

Time Machine

Step 2. You can go to the precise files you want to restore using the up and down arrows on the screen. Then, by using the Spacebar, you may examine the files in the preview.

Step 3. At the very end, press the "Restore" button. The deleted file will then be placed back where it came from.

restore from time machine

Recover Deleted Files with Software

If the five methods above don't work and you don't have any backups or your Time Machine backup was unintentionally erased, how can you get the deleted files back?

Have you ever been in a similar circumstance and considered recovering a deleted Time Machine backup? If so, you can try the professional tool - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. It was created to assist Mac users in recovering lost or deleted data from their systems, including recovering deleted files from the Mac Trash, recovering deleted images and movies, etc. If your lost or corrupted data are less than 2GB in size, you can just click the download button to start the free file recovery process.

To recover files on Mac, you can follow the steps:

Step 1. Select the drive to be scanned

In the main EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard window, there will be a list of the drives connected to your Mac. Select the drive you need to recover lost/deleted files from, and click the "Search for lost files" button.

select a location and scan for lost Mac data

Step 2. Select your lost data/files

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane. You can sort the results to find the wanted files if you are looking for certain files.

Select your lost data/files

Step 3. Recover lost/deleted data

Once you have found the desired files, preview the files and then click "Recover" to begin the recovery of your deleted/lost Mac files.

recover lost Mac data

Final Words

As you can see, there are several options available if you unintentionally delete a file on your Mac. With any hope, one of the techniques mentioned above will enable you to retrieve your deleted file or folder. If none of these approaches work, you might want to attempt data recovery software, which can restore data that hasn't been overwritten by fixing logical linkages that macOS removed.

Recover Deleted Files on Mac Without Software FAQs

Here are 4 additional questions about recovering deleted files on Mac without software. Check here for the answers.

1. How can I recover permanently deleted files from Trash without the software?

  • Recover Mac Trash Files by Using the "Put Back" Option
  • Use Undo Options for Recovering Deleted Files
  • Restore Data Using Time Machine Backup
  • Utilize Terminal to Recover Deleted Files

2. How to recover deleted files on Mac?

Steps to recover deleted files on my Mac:

  • Download, and open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  • Select the storage disk or partition containing deleted files.
  • Click the 'Scan' button to locate deleted files on Mac.
  • Preview the wanted files and click the Recover button.

3. Can I still recover deleted files on Mac?

Whether you deleted the files on or another device that has iCloud Drive turned on, you can recover them on if they were deleted during the last 30 days from iCloud Drive and other apps. However, once you erase a file permanently, it cannot be recovered or restored.

4. Where do deleted files go on Mac?

Normally, deleted files are sent to the Trash folder, where they remain until you decide to empty it; however, even emptying the Trash doesn't actually remove a file from your Mac. You may have set up your Mac to clear the Trash automatically every 30 days.

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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