Files Suddenly Disappeared Mac [Best 5 Recovery Fixes]

What should I do if the files suddenly disappear from my Mac? I have looked all over my desktop, but I cannot find my files. You will learn how to retrieve the files in this article. Keep reading and know more details.

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Searching for your professional presentation on your Mac device that you have to demonstrate post-lunch, but the files are missing? Or can you not find your required Word document while renaming specific files on your Mac device?

Generally, most laptop users have a habit of saving their files on the desktop to be quickly accessed. It can be very annoying not to find a file, especially when you haven't deleted any files or moved them to another location.

Recently, a lot of users have reported that a few of their files disappeared from Mac devices. But why? What can be the reason? How can I recover disappeared files on a Mac? Keep reading to find the reasons and answers to all your queries.

Fix 1. Recover Disappeared Files on Mac with Recovery Software

In most cases, you cannot find files on the Mac because of accidental deletion. There is always an option to download software to recover your missing files on the Mac. We have an excellent option for this: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, a professional Mac data recovery software that can be the most effective and feasible solution. Feel free to download this file recovery tool, and EaseUS promises no data at no charge.

Recover Disappeared Files on Mac Now

Restore missing files on Mac without Time Machine, iCloud, or external backup disks.

Whether your data is lost due to any accidental deletion or any other cause, you can quickly recover deleted files on Mac using this ultimate tool. Using EaseUS Mac data recovery software can provide you with numerous benefits, including:

⭐EaseUs software can help Mac users recover deleted files on macOS Sonoma/Ventura/Monterey/Big Sur and other versions.
⭐Solve Excel files disappearing from Mac and retrieve lost Word/PDF/PPT files quickly.

⭐Recover lost files even if the files have disappeared from the external hard drive on the Mac.

This Mac data recovery software is professional and 100% free for you to download. So don't wait any longer. Download this recovery tool for free and give it a try!

Step 1. Choose the disk where you have lost files. If the files disappeared from the external HDD on the Mac, just connect the external hard drive to the Mac computer and select "Search for lost files".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. You can choose a specific file type from the left side if you know what kind of files are missing. For example, you can choose "Pictures" if photos have disappeared from the Mac.

click type to filter files on external hard disk

Step 3. Double-clicking the file allows you to preview the selected files. You can save these recoverable missing files after viewing the details by clicking the Recover button.

recover files from external hard drive on Mac

After experiencing the powerful file scan technology of the EaseUS recovery tool, you can recommend it to more Mac users!


Fix 2. Unhide Files in Mac Finder to Restore Disappeared Files

macOS Finder can help you organize your files or data on your Mac device. If you cannot locate your files or the Mac Finder does not show files, you can unhide your files using "Finder" by following these steps:

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner. Now click on Force quit > Finder >relaunch. Or you can click on Finder in the bottom menu.

launch Finder

Step 2. Now open the Macintosh HD folder.

open Macintosh HD folder

Step 3. Now, from your keyboard, press Command +shift +. (Dot) to recover hidden files and unhide the folders on Mac.

(Note: This step can be followed inside applications, documents, and desktop folders)

show hidden files in Finder

Fix 3. Find Missing Files on Mac with Terminal

The terminal app unhides any hidden files on your Mac device. To unhide your hidden or lost data, you can follow the following steps:

Step 1. Open the Terminal by clicking on Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal or manually search it

unhide files in terminal step 1

Step 2. Once the Terminal opens, type in AppleShowAllFiles true and click on return.

type in command line to unhide files

Step 3. Now click on the "Finder" and choose "relaunch".

Step 4. While the command is running, you can see all your hidden files along with any temporary files saved on the desktop.

files appear after entering command lines

Fix 4. Find Disappeared Mac Files Through Stacks

Enabling the stack feature on your Mac will organize all your files in this category. When we click on a stack, the Stack feature expands and shows all your content on the desktop. To help you find suddenly disappeared files on Mac, here are some easy steps to follow:

Step 1. Click on view from the top of your desktop and select "Use stacks".

unhide files in stack

Step 2. By using this option, all of your files will be organized. Find your missing folder and place it back in its respective folder.

files are organized on Mac

These steps will help you find your disappeared file only if your file is hidden and not mistakenly deleted by you.

Fix 5. Correct Your iCloud settings to Show Missing Files

macOS allows its users to save their files and data in its iCloud storage. To help its users access their data from anywhere using their Apple devices on

If you can not find your files or any folder on your desktop, then maybe you need to change your iCloud setting by turning off iCloud and recovering your lost file. To rectify your documents from iCloud, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1. Use the Spotlight shortcut to open the iCloud settings window.

open iCloud via Spotlight

Step 2. Choose "iCloud Drive" to show more file sync options.

click iCloud Drive

Step 3. From the options available at iCloud, unselect your "desktop and document folder" and click on "Done".

uncheck Desktop and documents folders

✨Note: If your files are missing in iCloud, you can also apply EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover permanently deleted files from iCloud.

Why Did My Files Disappear on Mac

The first things that hit a user's mind whenever they lose a file on their Mac are "How?" and "Why?". Well, there can be several reasons responsible for this situation. Some of these can be:

🦠Virus attack or power failure: A virus attack or power failure on your Mac device can cause your data to be lost or deleted permanently. Therefore, it is essential to have robust Mac data recovery software to retrieve the missing files on your Mac device.

🗑️Accidental deletion without your notice: While clearing some unwanted files from your desktop, you may have accidentally deleted your important file without noticing. Try checking your Trash bin, as most deleted files are usually found in this folder.

🗂️Switching the location of your files: While making new folders or renaming specific folders on their Mac device, many users forget the new location to move their files. In such a case, you should check your trash folder or other important folders.

⚡Wrong sync settings on iCloud drive: Maybe you've set your default setting to keep your desktop or document files on iCloud, and that's why your files move to iCloud from your desktop. In this case, you need to recheck your iCloud settings and customize them as per your preferences.

💻Stack hides the files in recent macOS: There is a stack feature available on many versions of macOS. If you have enabled this feature, the chances are that your files may have been organized as per their categories. In such cases, you can disable the stack feature and place your files back at their destination.

If you want more users to know these reasons, don't forget to share this page on social media!



So don't freak out when you lose a file or document on your Mac. Instead, take a deep breath and save yourself from the inconvenience by trying some of these easy ways to retrieve your files that suddenly disappeared on your Mac.

These solutions are manual and alternative solutions that users can try if they're unable to find their lost files, and if you're lucky enough to not lose a file, you can still be at ease knowing that you have the solution!

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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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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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