How to Recover Deleted Files/Folders on Mac

Daisy updated on Jan 16, 2020 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles


Accidental loss of files and folders on a Mac happens now and then. To recover your deleted items, there are three alternative ways for you to choose. You can recover deleted files directly from Trash Bin, with the help of data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. or from Time Machine backup.

Learning how to recover deleted files or folders on Mac is greatly meaningful to protect your data. For at many times, it is quite easy and possible for you to lose some files or folder on the Mac. For example, you may delete the whole folder by mistake when you want to remove only a single file, which is not desired in most of the cases. That's when you need to perform data recovery on your Mac.

Method 1. Recover Deleted Files/Folders on Mac from Trash

The simplest case could be that you deleted the items using "Delete", "Command + Delete", or just by dragging them to the Trash Bin, in which you can recover your deleted files or folder using one of the three options below:

  • Open "Trash" > drag the items out
  • Go to "Trash" > select the items > click "File" > choose "Put Back"
  • Open "Trash" > choose the items > tap "Edit" > choose "Copy [filename]" > paste the items to elsewhere

It's really quick and easy to recover deleted folders in this way, but it's not always the case. Many users find their need is to recover data after emptying the Trash Bin. If you get your data lost by emptying the Trash or using "Comand + Shift + Delete", you can only recover your deleted files using a professional data recovery tool or from Time Machine backup on condition that you have enabled the option before the data loss.

Method 2. Retrieve Deleted Files/Folders on Mac with Data Recovery Tool

To find a reliable data recovery tool for Mac, you need to learn several tips. At first, the software should be 100% secure. Second, the software should be efficient enough to fully find and recover your deleted folders on Mac. Third, the software should be easy to operate. Then you can use it do Mac deleted folder recovery by yourself. The Mac data recovery tool - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard meets all the requirements perfectly. The effectiveness of using has been proven by many of its users. With this tool, you can choose to recover your deleted folders from your Time Machine or directly from your Mac when there is no backup available.

Steps to recover deleted files/folders 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

It's no doubt that EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you get back your files in such simple data loss situation. EaseUS don't overstate the "Wizard" part of the product name. Being versatile and powerful, EaseUS data recovery software enables you to:

  • Retrieve over 200+ file types from various Macs and conventional storage devices
  • Create a bootable USB drive that will be of great help to restore data when your Mac won't boot
  • Monitor your disk status and recovery data in a fast-ever speed with the data protection feature


To prevent complete data loss, you can either grow a habit of backing up your files on Mac or learn how to perform data recovery on your computer. Equip your computer with such an accomplished tool is always a good choice for you.

Method 3. Restore Deleted Files/Folders on Mac from Time Machine

If you have turned on Time Machine and back up your Mac to an external hard drive regularly, you can recover your deleted folders on your Mac in this way:

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 Files/Folders from Time Machine Backup


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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.