Recover Files After Reinstalling macOS (macOS 14 Applicable)

Missing files due to reinstalling macOS is a typical case among Mac users. You can try professional data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac - or the manual approach given on this website to recover files after reinstalling macOS.

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When a new version of the Mac operating system is released, it typically includes new, interesting, and unique features, causing many of us to desire to update.

While macOS systems rarely require reboots or reinstallations, updating or downgrading to a new version may result in data loss due to formatting, unintentional deletion, or overwritten files. So the issue is, can you recover files after reinstalling macOS? The answer is yes, but first, let's look at why you might wish to reinstall macOS.

macOS 14

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  • 🧹Reinstalling macOS or macOS Recovery can let you quickly and easily replace the present faulty OS with a clean version.
  • 📀Reinstalling macOS will not erase your disk or remove files.
  • 🔛You may suspect something is amiss with your starting drive, for some Mac startup issues occur.

In that case, you can use the Disk Utility from the recovery screen to scan and repair it, which may be a faster and more convenient option than wiping and reinstalling macOS.

Let us learn 4 different ways to recover files after reinstalling macOS. Before that, don't forget to mark this passage by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, or SNS.


Recover Files After Reinstalling macOS via Software

When you lose data after reinstalling the latest macOS or downgrading to an earlier one, you can eliminate your worries using reliable Mac data recovery software.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a powerful and reliable tool that may help you recover lost files after the macOS reinstallation. This sophisticated program recover deleted files on Mac after unintentional loss, formatting, malware assaults, system failures, and more.

More Highlights:

  • Recover files were deleted due to a factory reset of macOS.
  • Create a bootable USB for Mac and recover files from a non-booting Mac.
  • Data can be recovered from a corrupted hard drive or USB flash device.

It can help you scan the Mac hard drive or external storage device to find and retrieve all the files lost after reinstalling macOS with ease, even if you never back up your files. The effectiveness of this method has been proven by its users.

Note: You can create a backup by clicking the "Disk Backup" on the left first. When the disk is damaged or the data on the disk is accidentally deleted or lost, you can get the data back from the backup image.

Step 1. Select the location

Select the disk where you lost data after updating to macOS Sonoma/Ventura/Monterey/Big Sur. Then, click "Search for lost files".

select a location and scan for lost data after macOS update

Step 2. Find lost data after the scan

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane. Use the file type and file path to find wanted data on Mac.

Find lost data after the scan

Step 3. Recover data after macOS update

Select the target files that were unknowingly lost during or after the update and click the "Recover" button to get them all back.

Recover data after macOS update

Recover Files After Reinstalling macOS from Time Machine

The second approach for recovering deleted files after reinstalling the Mac operating system is to restore from a Time Machine backup. However, this method only works when you have a backup on an external hard disk before. Having prepared a backup, you can easily deal with the lost data issue.

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your Mac device with a whole Time Machine backup.

Step 2. Click "Launchpad" and "Other". Then you can find and click the Time Machine icon.


Step 3. You can find and view the deleted data and files in these filters. The arrow keys on the right side can move the timeline containing your lost files.


Step 4. Locate the lost files you want to return and click "Restore".


When the restoring procedure finishes, you should restart your Mac, and the lost files will return to the drive.

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Recover Files After Reinstalling macOS from iCloud

An iCloud backup is another option for data recovery after reinstalling the macOS. You can use this procedure if you upload a backup of crucial data to iCloud before reinstalling the operating system. If this is the case, recovering the data is a breeze.

To retrieve data from an iCloud backup, perform the following steps.

Step 1. Open a browser, navigate to, and sign in using your Apple ID.

Step 2. Navigate to the "Advanced" tab and select "Restore files".

iCloud Advanced

Step 3. To recover contacts, bookmarks, and reminders from the calendar, go to Advanced and select the appropriate options.

Step 4. Select the necessary backup or click "Select All" if all files are restored. Then, select "Restore".

When the operation is complete, all of the files you uploaded to iCloud before they were lost when reinstalling macOS will be restored to your computer.


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Reinstall macOS Without Losing Files

Because of poor performance or a hardware issue, your Mac requires an upgrade or reinstallation of macOS. Many users are concerned that reinstalling the operating system may result in losing all their data. Here are two approaches to resolving this issue.

Step 1. Turn on your Mac and press and hold "Command + R," "Option + Command + R," or "Shift + Option + Command + R" immediately.

Command R

Step 2. Let off the keys when you see the Apple logo, a spinning globe, or a pop-up asking for a firmware password.

Step 3. Click "Continue" after selecting "Reinstall macOS" from the Mac Utilities Window.

macOS utility

Step 3. Follow the onscreen prompts to pick the hard disk on which you wish to install the operating system and begin the installation.

Step 4. Do not close your Mac's lid or switch between windows during the installation. It is typical for your Mac to restart numerous times or to have a white screen as you reinstall the macOS. Wait for the process to complete.

Prevent File Loss When Reinstalling Mac

Do you want to know how to restore macOS without losing your data? If this is the case, we've included some pointers and strategies to help you prevent losing data when reinstalling your Mac.

  • The first and most critical piece of advice is to back up your important files before you begin the process of reinstalling macOS.
  • Backing up your data is the most effective method of preventing data loss. You can back up your data with Time Machine backup or transfer it to an external hard disk.
  • Before reinstalling macOS, ensure that you have enough space for the reinstallation process to not halt or pause owing to a lack of space.
  • Make sure your Mac is half or ultimately charged. Additionally, ensure your system is linked to a dependable and robust internet connection.
  • If you lose your files, use data recovery software. After reinstalling macOS, the app can assist you in recovering lost files.


You have the option of reinstalling macOS without losing any of your data, and you can also remove the internal storage and start again with macOS. Regardless of your choice, it would be best to consider maintaining your data security by creating a backup plan or restoring your data promptly.

If you backed up your data before the reinstallation procedure, you can access it using the Time Machine application or your storage medium device. However, if you did not make a backup before reinstalling, your data will be destroyed, and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac can assist.

Recover Files After Reinstalling macOS FAQs

Here are 4 additional questions about recovering files after reinstalling macOS. Check here for the answers.

1. Can I recover files after installing a new OS?

In general, the answer to this question is yes. Replacing everything on the old system disk with the new Windows files is known as the reinstallation of Windows. During the procedure, files saved on the desktop, such as Documents, Music, Images, and so on, are deleted.

2. Does Mac recovery mode delete everything?

No, the Mac's Recovery Mode does not permanently delete everything. If you prefer to erase your disk, you can do so by using the Disk Utility in Recovery Mode. As a result, if you use other functions, such as restoring the Mac Time Machine Backup, you will not destroy anything.

3. How can I recover deleted files on Mac?

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard helps restore deleted files on Mac. Here are the procedures for recovering deleted data from a MacBook or an iMac.

  • Install and launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  • Choose Search for lost files after selecting the drive.
  • Following the scan, please select the desired files and preview them.
  • Then, select "Recover" to get the lost Mac data back lost Mac data.

4. Does Mac have built-in data recovery?

All current Mac operating systems contain a built-in data backup and recovery tool called Time Machine. This tool allows you to create regular backups of all your files, which you may subsequently use to restore any data that has been deleted or lost by accident.

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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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