How to Recover Files Deleted by RM on Mac

1. Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

2. Select and scan the drive/volume where you lost files

3. Preview the files and click the Recover button...Click full guide

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Delete Files Using the RM Command

RM or RM - R command is used in Mac Terminal to delete files permanently. When you can’t empty the Trash, or a file is locked, you don't have permission to delete one or more files. This sort of glitch is annoying, but you can use these command lines to provide an easy solution. However, deleting files with the RM or RM - R command is dangerously easy.

For example, if you had a file here named MyFile.rtf that you never, ever wanted to see again, you could run this command:

rm MyFile.rtf

If you want to delete a directory full of archives containing sub-directories and files, run the command like this:

rm -R Archives

The RM command is dangerous because once you delete a file through this command, you cannot restore the data from Trash. Unlike when you move files to the Trash from the Finder, the deleted files are not saved in the Mac Trash. Therefore, it is advised to keep a backup before using the RM command. You can turn on Time Machine or use data backup software for mac to keep these data safe. 

Can You Recover RM Command Deleted Files 

What if you don't have backups and want to get RM deleted files back? How can you recover these lost files easily?

RM command deleted files case:

"Yesterday, when I tried to clean up the trash on my Mac, I found there is a stubborn file that is difficult to remove. So I used rm - R command to do it. It removes the stubborn file from my trash successfully. But at the same time, the command line also erased all desktop files. Is it possible to recover files deleted by rm on Mac? If yes, how to do it?"

It is possible for you to recover deleted files on Mac after using rm command because when you delete files or folders using the RM command, the content of the files or folders is not permanently erased. 

  • The system only removes the link to the file, making it unable to be found or accessed without special tools.
  • Space (these files occupy) is marked as free space and can be used for new files or for additional content added to existing files. You'd better stop using the disk in order to prevent your deleted files from being overwritten.

So, you can easily get back the deleted files on Mac if you use a reliable Mac data recovery software

Steps to Recover Deleted Files After Using RM Command on Mac

EaseUS Mac drive recovery is rated as one of the best software for Mac data recovery. It is a reliable file recovery program that works well in Mac file undelete. It has a comprehensive set of functions that allow data recovery from critical data loss scenarios.

By using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, the files deleted accidentally by the RM command can be restored with simple steps. Now you can learn the detailed guide about how to do the undelete job.

Step 1. Select the location where your important data & files were deleted and click the "Scan" button.

select the location where data was deleted and click scan

Step 2. The software will run both quick scan and deep scan and work hard to find as many deleted files as possible on the selected volume.

scan the selected disk to find deleted files on your Mac

Step 3. The scan results will be displayed in the left pane. Just select the file(s) and click the "Recover" button to get them back.

click recover now button to recover deleted files on your Mac

How to Use RM Command on Mac Safely

Although the RM is easy to use, using it properly and safely becomes important. There are some tips to use this command safely:

1. Use the - i flag for protection.

For example, rm - iR Archives. This will ask you to confirm the deletion of each item. This can be annoying, but unless you’re really sure you want to delete all those files, it’s probably best to be safe.

2. Don't use it unless you really don’t need the file(s) anymore.

3. Back up Data Regularly

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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