This page will uncover practical solutions to undelete and recover Mac data after factory reset and an extra guide on resetting your MacBook Pro without losing any data.

Recently, I reinstalled my whole macOS on my crashed MacBook, and then I found some files, such as photos and documents, were gone after reinstalling macOS. Is there a way that I can apply to recover Mac data after a factory reset?

According to most Mac users, reinstalling macOS, Mac OS X, or factory resetting Mac always follows a system crash, computer slowdown, or even when Mac users must erase their old Mac computer for sale.

How to Recover Mac Data After Factory Reset [3 Fixes]

Accordingly, whether you have created a backup decides the viable ways to recover Mac files due to factory resetting. And we collected 3 practical ways here for you to try:

  1. #1. Run Mac File Recovery Software to Help
  2. #2. Restore from Time Machine Backup from External Disk
  3. #3. Restore from iCloud Backup

The first file recovery method presented has the biggest chance of restoring lost Mac data. Based on your situation, pick up the right solution with the tutorial to restore your lost files immediately. 

#1. Restore Mac Files after Factory Reset Using Mac File Recovery Software

✅Applies to: Find and retrieve all the files lost after resetting macOS without backup.

When you lose data after factory resetting your Mac or reinstalling the latest macOS, you can eliminate your worries by using reliable Mac data recovery software.

Among the numerous Mac data recovery tools, we recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. When it comes to restoring permanently deleted Mac files after reinstalling macOS or Mac OS X, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is 100% sure to get your data back. 

  • It supports Mac USB recovery and external storage devices to find and retrieve all the files.
  • It can easily restore your Mac after a factory reset, even if you never back up your files.
  • This software can save the recovered data and files to your iCloud after a click.

Steps to recover files after factory reset Mac:

Step 1. Search for lost files

Select the disk location to search for lost files (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) on macOS Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, and the latest Sonoma. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your Mac to avoid further data loss. After backing up, the software can recover data from the Mac backup, and your computer can wirte new data again.

Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Go through the scanning results

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results.

Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Select the file(s) and recover

In the scan results, select the file(s) to preview and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

Recover Data Step3

Being powerful, secure, and easy to use, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is recommended as the best Mac data recovery solution.  The effectiveness of this method has been proven by its users. Don't hesitate to give it a try. 


❓Can You Recover Files After Factory Reset Mac or Reinstall macOS? Yes!

Usually, you may lose some of your files on your Mac after the macOS or Mac OS X reinstallation. When you are facing a data loss problem, you may wonder whether you can recover files lost due to reinstalling macOS or Mac OS X. The answer is YES!

macOS reinstallation or factory resetting Mac only executes a quick erase of the volume. As a result, it will erase the file directory but does not write any data to the drive, so the original data will not be overwritten.

This fact makes it possible to recover Mac data after factory resetting the Mac operating system as long as you take quick action.

You should stop using your computer once your data gets lost in case of overwriting. Utilize EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. Return your lost Mac files after reinstalling macOS/Mac OS X on your own.

#2. Restore from Time Machine Backup on External Disk

✅Applies to: Retrieve lost files due to factory reset Mac from Time Machine backup on an external disk.

The other practical method that you may apply to bring lost Mac files back after factory resetting is to perform a Time Machine backup. Congratulations if you've created a Time Machine on an external hard drive.

You'll fully recover your lost files on Mac with a 100% success rate. Let's see how to return your lost Mac files after reinstalling macOS or Mac OS X.

Restore Factory Resetting Deleted Files from Time Machine Backup 

Step 1. Ensure your Time Machine backup external disk is connected to your Mac and turned on. 

Step 2. Open up Launchpad on Mac, and click "Others". Find and click the Time Machine icon to enter Time Machine.

Enter Time Machine

Step 3. Use the Up and Down arrows to scroll the timeline and browse the backups that contain your lost files.

Find lost files from Time Machine backup

Step 4. Find the lost Mac files that you want to recover, and click "Restore".

It will automatically recover those lost data from Time Machine on macOS Big Sur/Catalina/Mojave.

Recover lost files from Time Machine backup

After this, you can restart your Mac computer; then you can view and reuse these files that were lost due to reinstalling macOS/Mac OS X again. 

#3. Recover Files After Factory Reset Mac from iCloud Backup

✅Applies to: Sync and restore Mac data from iCloud backup, free.

You are such a lucky bird if you have synced or uploaded important Mac data into iCloud before committing a factory reset without a password. You can easily restore your lost files from iCloud backup.

Steps to Recover Files Due to Factory Reset on Mac

Step 1. Visit via your Mac browser and sign in with your Apple ID.

Open icloud

Step 2. Go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom. Click on "Restore Files" under Advanced.

Restore files on iCloud

Tips: To restore contacts, bookmarks, calendars, and reminders from iCloud, click the corresponding option under Advanced.

Step 3. Check the backup files or click "Select All" if you really need to restore everything. Click the Restore button to recover them.

Select iCoud backup and restore to Mac

When you are done with the above tutorial steps, most of your files lost due to factory reset or macOS reinstallation will show up on your computer again. 

Bonus Tip: Factory Reset Mac or Reinstall Mac without Losing Data

Although when you performed a factory reset on Mac, you can restore the lost files when the recommended fixes are above. However, it's indeed complex and time-consuming.

Following the tips below, we will guide you through the brief process below to factory reset your Mac or reinstall macOS without losing any data.

#1. Back-Up Your Mac Data to an External Device First

It's vital to back up all your data in advance. You can use Time Machine to copy your files to an external disk or use reliable Mac file backup software for help. 

Or you can even manually copy files to an external hard drive one by one.

To save time and energy, we would like to recommend you try Time Machine or EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac.

- Using Time Machine

  • Pros: ①. Free; ②. Easy to Use; 
  • Cons: You need to select files one by one for backup.

Using Time Machine to backup Mac

- Using EaseUS Todo Backup

  • Pros: ①. Easy to Use; ②. 3-step to back up Mac to an external disk.
  • Cons: Not free.

EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac

#2. Prepare Mac for Factory Resetting or macOS Reinstallation

Before you start reinstalling macOS or Mac OS X, here are some preparations for you to do in advance:

  1. 1. Deauthorize iTunes
  2. 2. Turn off FileVault
  3. 3. Disable iCloud
  4. 4. Sign out of iMessage
  5. 5. Erase Touch Bar Data (Also read: MacBook Touch Bar not working)

When you finish the preparations, you may start factory resetting or reinstalling your Mac OS X or macOS with the next tip.

#3. How to Reset or Factory Reset MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iMac/iMac Pro

Now, you can follow the steps here to start resetting your Mac:

Step 1. Reboot Mac in macOS Recovery Mode

Restart Mac and simultaneously hold the 'Command and R' keys together to bring up the macOS Utilities window.

How to reset MacBook Pro without losing data - Step 1

Step 2. Erase Mac hard drive

Open Disk Utility and click "Continue" > Select your startup disk (Macintosh HD) and click "Erase" > Choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and click "Erase".

How to reset MacBook Pro without losing data - Step 2

Step 3. Reinstall macOS on your Mac computer

Repeat Step 1 to bring up macOS Utilities > Click "Reinstall macOS" > Confirm to reinstall macOS and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process. 

How to reset MacBook Pro Without Losing Data - Step 3

When you finish the process, congratulations. You have successfully reinstalled your macOS and the Mac now works like a brand-new computer. 

#4. Restore Files from Backup

As for the data that you backed up in advance, you can apply Time Machine or EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac to bring them back to your Mac with your backup immediately.


This page covers 3 practical solutions to help restore files effectively after factory resetting your Mac or reinstalling macOS/Mac OS X. 

If you didn't create a backup before resetting your Mac, take EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac as an emergency rescue. It will fully scan and bring your lost files immediately. 

If you are looking for a complete tutorial to reset your MacBook Pro, check and follow the guide on the last part of this page. For more data recovery tips, please refer to Mac File Recovery on our site for help. 

FAQs - Recover Files After Factory Reset Mac

You have learned to recover Mac data after a factory reset. To get additional help, read the questions and answers below.

1. How can I recover deleted files on Mac?

You can recover deleted files on Mac with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Here are the steps to restore lost data from MacBook and iMac.

  • Download and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
  • Select the drive and choose Search for lost files
  • After the scan, choose the wanted files and preview
  • Then, click Recover to get back lost Mac data

2. Can data be recovered from a Mac after a factory reset?

Yes, you can recover Mac data after a factory reset. If you have a Time Machine or iCloud backup, you can recover your Mac data after a factory reset.

3. How much does it cost to recover data from a Mac?

If your data is less than 2GB, you can recover 2GB of data for free. If your data is more than 2GB, it costs $89.95.

4. Does Mac have built-in data recovery?

Apple has included a built-in data backup and recovery program called Time Machine in all modern Mac operating systems. This app allows you to create regular backups of all the files, which you can later use to restore any data that may have been accidentally deleted or lost.

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Updated by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

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