Mac TextEdit Recovery: Recover Deleted/Unsaved TextEdit Files

Here you can learn how to recover unsaved TextEdit files on Mac in three ways, including unsaved TextEdit document recovery from [1] autosave location; [2] iCloud backup; [3] Time Machine backup. To undo a deleted TextEdit file, the most efficient way is using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, which is applied to restore lost and deleted text files.

Table of Contents

"Where does Mac OS X store unsaved TextEdit documents? I accidentally exit TextEdit before clicking save."

You can easily undo a TextEdit file after a wrong typing. However, it'll take some patience to recover TextEdit documents that are unsaved and permanently deleted. Read on or jump to: 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Recover Unsaved TextEdit Files Method 1. Recover from TextEdit autosave...Full steps
Method 2. Recover from iCloud backup...Full steps
Method 3. Recover from Time Machine backup...Full steps
Recover Deleted TextEdit Files Run TextEdit recovery software > Scan...Full steps

About TextEdit Mac

TextEdit is one of the Mac OS X and macOS standard applications. To be able to create and edit HTML documents on TextEdit, or convert rich text documents to other formats, you don't have to download TextEdit for Mac by yourself, it should be already on your Mac.

To find TextEdit on your Mac, click Finder > Applications > TextEdit

TextEdit is a simple but deep text editing and word processing tool that Pages or Microsoft Word can't replace. It comes with two typing modes: plain text and rich text. No matter you're using TextEdit for typing paragraphs or HTML codes, always remember to press Ctrl+S to save your work all the time. Otherwise, any accident would make your TextEdit files vanish. For example:

  • Accidentally press delete
  • Computer shuts down suddenly
  • Close the TextEdit before clicking save
  • TextEdit crashes, freezes or force quits unexpectedly

Related post: How to recover unsaved Word document on Mac

How to Recover Unsaved TextEdit Files on Mac - 3 Ways

Thanks to the autosave feature in TextEdit and backup features in iCloud and Time Machine, it's possible to recover lost documents and HTML files you don't save immediately on TextEdit. Next, we'll walk you through the three solutions to unsaved TextEdit file recovery on Mac with detailed guides.

1. Recover Unsaved TextEdit Files from Autosave

If the untitled or unsaved TextEdit file lost due to TextEdit crash or frozen, you can reopen the TextEdit software. By default, it saves the copies of your documents to autosave. When you relaunch it, it will show the unsaved TextEdit file. Next, you just need to name it and save it on your Mac. That's how to recover unsaved TextEdit file on Mac and how to Mac recover untitled TextEdit file. 

Otherwise, you can manually search the TextEdit autosave location. The unsaved, untitled TextEdit documents are located in the following location as "Unsaved TextEdit Document.rtf."

TextEdit autosave location: ~/Library/Containers/ Information

Step 1. In Finder, press shift+command+G, and copy/paste the above path into the Go To Folder dialog.

Step 2. Find the .rtf file with the name you're looking for, open it with TextEdit, and save the re-opened file as a new file.

2. Recover Unsaved TextEdit Files from iCloud

If you've set up your TextEdit files to save in iCloud then its possible to retrieve documents there. iCloud will store items from the last 30 days and even includes unsaved documents (usually called Untitled.rtf).

Step 1. Open your browser and go to

Step 2. Enter your Apple ID and from the main menu choose Settings. Scroll down to the Advanced section and then choose Restore Files.

Step 3. Find the .rft file you've lost, click the checkbox next to the file and click Done. You can check the files after recovery in TextEdit. 

3. Recover Unsaved TextEdit files from Time Machine

Time Machine backup is another solution for Mac TextEdit recovery when a data loss disaster happens unexpectedly on condition that you have turned on Time Machine and the lost files have been backed up. If your backup disk is not currently available, learn how to recover files on Mac without Time Machine here.

Step 1. Connect your backup disk to your Mac and turn on your computer.

Step 2. If your Mac starts up to the setup assistant, set the details of your country, keyboard, and network. Then choose to transfer your information from a Time Machine backup from the Migration Assistant window. If your Mac starts up to the Finder, go to "Applications" > "Utilities" > "Migration Assistant" and choose to transfer your information from a Time Machine backup.

Step 3. Select the wanted Time Machine backup and click "Continue".

Step 4. If you have more than one backup option to choose, select one of them and click "Continue".

Step 5. Choose the files to transfer and click "Continue".

Step 6. When the transfer has completed, restart your computer and log in to the target account, then you will see all the recovered files.

How to Recover Deleted TextEdit Files on Mac

How to Recover Deleted TextEdit Files on Mac

Honestly speaking, it's relatively easy to recover deleted text files compared with restoring unsaved files on your Mac, because Mac file recovery software is available to help you get back your lost data, even you emptied the Trash or use the permanent deletion to remove files from your Mac drive, USB flash drive or memory card.

It takes three steps to undo TextEdit files on Mac:

Note: You can create a backup by clicking the "Disk Backup" on the left first. The software will recover the deleted files from the backup image. It can prevent further damage to your disk and data, making it safer and more reliable.

Step 1. Scan for deleted files

Select the hard drive, external drive, or SSD where your important data & files were deleted and click "Search for lost files".

select a location and scan for deleted files on Mac

Step 2. Filter the lost files

The software will run quick and deep scans and work hard to find as many deleted files as possible on the selected volume. Filter wanted files through the "Type" and "Path" options.

Filter and select the lost files

Step 3. Recover deleted files

Double-click the deleted files to preview. Then, click the "Recover" button to get them back.

recover deleted files from Mac

In addition to recovering deleted TextEdit files, it also allows you to get back deleted/formatted files, including photos, videos, audio files, Office files, emails, and more, from a Mac, external hard drive, SD card, USB flash drive, and other Mac-compatible storage devices. Whether you want to recover deleted PPT files or recover files from a formatted USB flash drive, you can use this software to get things done.

Besides, even if you have Time Machine backup available but it fails to work, recovering deleted TextEdit files on Mac with third-party TextEdit recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is your best alternative choice. Don't hesitate to give it a try.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

Read full bio

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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