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How To Recover Permanently Deleted Files On Mac

Losing files on your Mac can feel like a kick in the guts, especially if they’re gone for good—or so you might think. Before you wave goodbye to those documents, photos, or other crucial bits and bobs, there’s hope. In some cases, what’s lost can indeed be found. 

However, if you’ve given it a good nudge and still come up empty-handed, it may be time to consult with a professional Macbook recovery service provider. These experts have the tools and know-how to potentially bring back what you thought was lost forever.

Mac Repair Speciaslist

Start with the Trash Bin

The first port of call for any lost file journey is the Trash Bin. If you’ve only recently bid farewell to your files, they might be lounging in there, waiting to be rescued. Simply open the Trash Bin, locate the file, right-click on it, and choose “Put Back”. It’ll return to its original location faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle”.

Time Machine to the Rescue

For those who’ve been a bit savvy and set up Time Machine, recovering lost files is like taking a walk in the park. Plug in your Time Machine backup drive, open the app, and navigate through your past backups to find the lost file. Once you’ve spotted it, click “Restore” to bring it back to the present.

Utilising Terminal Commands

The Terminal in macOS is a powerful tool that can come to the rescue when all else seems bleak. By using specific commands, you can attempt to unearth files that have been wiped from the face of your hard drive. However, tread carefully; the Terminal is not for the faint-hearted and requires a bit of nous to navigate.

  1. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder.
  2. Type cd .Trash to navigate to the Trash directory.
  3. Use ls to list all files in the Trash. If you find your file here, use mv filename ../ to move it back to your home directory.

Third-Party Software Solutions

There’s a swag of third-party applications designed to dig deep into your Mac’s memory and recover lost files. Software like Disk Drill, PhotoRec, and others have been praised for their ability to claw back data from the digital beyond. These tools often come with user-friendly interfaces and step-by-step guides, making the recovery process less of a headache.

iCloud or Cloud Services

If you’ve been keeping your files in iCloud or another cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive, you might find that your lost files aren’t really lost. Logging into your cloud account and checking the Trash or Deleted Files folder there could reveal your missing items. Plus, many cloud services keep deleted files for a certain period before they’re permanently removed.

Dive Into the Library Folder

A less trodden path for file recovery on a Mac involves delving into the depths of the Library folder. This method can sometimes uncover files that have mysteriously disappeared. The Library folder houses a plethora of system and application files, including backups and caches that might contain copies of your lost data.

To access the Library folder:

  1. Open Finder and hold down the Option key.
  2. Click the “Go” menu and select “Library”.
  3. Once inside, navigate to the “Application Support” or “Containers” folders. These locations can house application-specific data, including saved states and backups.

Look through these folders for any signs of your lost files. This method requires patience and a bit of detective work, as the Library folder is vast and complex. However, it’s worth a shot, especially for files lost from applications that save temporary versions or backups as you work.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

While it’s all well and good to know how to recover lost files, preventing their loss in the first place is key. Regular backups using Time Machine or a cloud service can save a lot of heartache down the line. Also, consider setting up your Mac to automatically save documents to iCloud. This way, even if your machine takes a dive, your files will be safe and sound in the cloud.

When All Else Fails

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, files can remain elusive. When you’ve exhausted all avenues, and it seems like your data has disappeared into the digital ether, that’s when calling in the professionals makes sense. A reputable Macbook recovery service provider can offer solutions beyond the reach of average users, utilising advanced recovery techniques and technologies to retrieve what’s been lost.


While the loss of important files can be a real hassle, there are several strategies you can employ to try and get them back. From checking the Trash Bin to leveraging professional recovery services, the key is not to panic. With the right approach, you stand a good chance of recovering your precious data. Remember, in the realm of digital data, very little is truly gone forever.

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