Recover Data from Mac after Canceled File Transfer

Updated on May 6, 2020

Summary: Allen was moving his crucial files to his backup device which was a "WD My Passport". But, when the transfer of files was ongoing, he cancelled the operation in haste. As a result, all the files that were transferred on his external hard drive were gone.

Did you find yourself in a similar circumstance? All data gone at the snap of a finger?

Transferring data from Mac to an external drive or vice versa is a simple process. However, when the data transfer gets interrupted in between, then it can lead to a serious data loss situation.


Read on to know how to recover files lost during transfer from/ to Mac external drives. 

But before that, it’s also important to know why files are lost or disappear during the transfer process, so as to avoid the mistakes in the future. 

There can many reasons such as,

  • You abruptly stopped Mac file transfer process
  • Disconnected external hard drive during transfer
  • Your Mac drive doesn’t have enough space to save the data
  • Sudden power failure during transfer
  • Files were replaced due to the exact filename
  • Malware in the system, although a rare for macOS 

What you can do to avoid Mac data loss during transfer?

  • Don’t cancel the transfer process mid-way
  • Avoid any activity on your system when transfer is ongoing
  • Ensure your Mac devices are fully charged or have continuous power supply
  • Do not press the ‘Replace option if source & destination have same filename
  • Install anti-malware but only when you suspect your Mac is infected 

How to Recover Data from Mac after Canceled File Transfer? 

Any files lost or disappeared from Mac external drives can be efficiently restored with the help of a Mac data recovery application. Other than this, an updated backup system is your best way out.

Methods to recover lost files of Mac after file transfer is canceled or stops:

  1. Restore from Time Machine
  2. Recover using Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

You can apply these methods not only in case of files lost in transfer from Mac external drive but also files deleted from Mac, files deleted from Trash, or lost due to formatting of the Mac volume, partition, or drive.

Method 1: Restore from Time Machine

Did you ever back up your external Mac drive on Time Machine? If yes, check your Time Machine backup and restore the lost files. If not, move to the next method to restore the data lost in transfer from Mac external drive.

However, it’s time to secure your data with Time Machine as well. Backup always comes as rescue in situations of data loss. So without delay. Set up a Time Machine backup to prevent yourself from serious loss situations in future.

Method 2: Recover using Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

In absence of Time Machine, take the help of a data recovery software for Mac. An easy-to-use application such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac recovers all types of documents, Office files, emails, photos, videos, audio, lost during file transfer, deletion, or formatting etc.

The D.I.Y application recovers lost files from Mac external drives – fusion drive, SSD, SD card, or USB etc. – of any file system including APFS, HFS, HFS+, FAT32, ex-FAT or NTFS. It also detects unmounted hard drives and facilitates files recovery on Mac.

A simple 3-step process lets you preview and save the found files at your chosen location. Just download and install Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your macOS and follow the simple on screen instructions for quick recovery.

Software Steps for Mac File Recovery

  1. Select the type of files you want to recover
  2. Select the drive from which you want to restore and click Scan
  3. Preview the found data and click Recover 

If you have downloaded the free trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac, the software will ask for Activation key before allowing you to save the found files. Click on Get it now button. The Activation key will be shared on your email.

To Sum Up

Data loss from Mac during a file transfer is common but can be avoided. Follow the best practices shared above when transferring your data on Macintosh drives.

Nevertheless, maintaining a regular Time Machine backup is essential to avoid catastrophic data loss situations.

Unfortunately, if you have lost your data during transfer of files or because of any other reason, and have no backup, use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software. It is widely preferred for Mac external drive recovery. The software efficiently scans the Mac storage drives to restore every bit of data that was lost.