Mac TextEdit Recovery: Recover Deleted/Unsaved TextEdit Files

Roxanne updated on Sep 18, 2020 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles

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 universally applied to restore lost and deleted text files, documents, photos from the trash after empty.

"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:

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 Now" button to get them back.

click recover now button to recover deleted files on your 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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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.