4 Best Ways to Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive on Mac?

Summary: In this blog, we’ll share the 4 best ways to recover deleted files from an external hard drive on macOS Catalina, Mojave, or earlier. The methods we’ll cover are:

1.  Put Back Deleted Files from External Hard Drive by Using Trash
2.  Restore Deleted External Drive Files by Using Backup
3.  Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive by Using Software
4.  Take Mac Hard Drive Recovery Service to salvage data from external hard drive

Download the free-to-try Mac software to recover deleted files from an external hard drive.

Mac hard drive Recovery

Accidental deletion of data from an external hard drive on macOS can’t be stopped. But you can, of course, overcome permanent data loss on your Mac. The next sections describe the 4 best methods to recover deleted files from an external hard drive on macOS.

1. Put Back Deleted Files from External Hard Drive by Using Trash

Most of you don’t empty your Trash immediately after deleting data. So, the chances of recovering deleted files from Trash are always high.

Steps to restore deleted files from an external hard drive by using Trash

  1. Connect the external hard drive to your Mac.
  2. Once your drive mounts, navigate to the Trash folder from Dock.
  3. Search for the deleted files in the Trash folder, then select the files you want to restore.
  4. Secondary-click the files and choose Put Back. The deleted files will be restored to their original location on the external hard drive.
  5. Alternatively, drag the selected files from Trash and drop them to the external hard drive. You can also copy and paste them there.

Note: This method won’t work in case you empty your Trash while the external hard drive is still connected to your Mac.

2. Restore Deleted External Hard Drive Files by Using Backup

When you are following the 3-2-1 backup strategy on Mac, then you must have created at least 3 copies of your critical data. The first and original copy is created on your Mac’s internal SSD or an external storage drive to free up space on SSD. The second copy is stored on an external backup hard drive, and the third copy on cloud storage, say iCloud. This way, you have 2 copies on two different storage media, and 1 copy on an offsite location.

Now, in case you’ve accidentally deleted files from an external hard drive, you can easily recover them from your Mac, external backup drive, or iCloud. Also, this infallible backup plan can save you from any data loss situation, including physical as well as a logical drive failure.

3. Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive by Using Software

When you’ve emptied your Trash with the external hard drive connected to your Mac, you can’t restore your deleted files from the Trash folder. This is because macOS removes the deleted files from Mac’s file system. Also, if you don’t have a backup of the external hard drive, then only a data recovery software for Mac can help you recover the deleted files.

Steps to recover deleted files from an external hard drive by using software

Step 1: Download and install the *trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your MacBook or iMac. The software supports macOS Catalina 10.15 and earlier versions.

Free download Mac

Step 2: Connect the external hard drive to your Mac, then launch the software.

Step 3: From “Select What To Recover” screen, choose the type of data you wish to recover then click Next.

Select What To Recover

Step 4: From the “Select Location” screen, select the external storage drive, then toggle-on the Deep Scan feature. Click Scan to begin the scanning process.

Mac-external-hard-drive-recovery

Step 5: Once the scanning is complete, click OK on the message box. Click the “Deleted List” tab from the left pane, then preview your recoverable files.

Preview Recoverable Files.

Step 6: Select all the required files then click Recover. Specify a volume on your Mac with sufficient space or another external storage drive, then click Save.

Select to Recover

Step 7: Once the software recovers deleted files, navigate to the save location to check their integrity.

Save the Files

Step 8: When satisfied with recovery results, copy and paste the recovered files to the external storage drive.

Save Location - Root

*The trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software allows you to free scan the storage drive and preview your deleted files. To save the recoverable files, you need to activate the software.

Case Study: Whopping 94% of data recovered from the Mac external drive

4. Take Mac Hard Drive Recovery Service to Salvage Data from External Hard Drive

You may have to contact a data recovery service team if your Mac external hard drive isn’t showing in Disk Utility or has physical damage.

Ensure the data recovery service company has essentials attributes

  • Must be an ISO certified service centre
  • Should have Class 100 Clean Room
  • Service must be secure & reliable
  • Data recovery guarantee after analysis
  • Data confidentiality
  • No recovery no charge
  • Free shipping of your media

Conclusion

To recover deleted files from Mac external hard drive, first, search your deleted files in the Trash folder by keeping the USB external drive mounted. If you don’t find the deleted files, you may have emptied the Trash while the hard drive is still connected. If you have a backup of your Mac external storage drive, you can restore those files from the backup.

In the absence of backup and permanent deletion of data, leverage the free-to-try Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software to scan and preview deleted files from the external storage drive. When you are satisfied with the result, activate the software to save the recoverable files.

For Mac external hard drive failure, go for a reliable data recovery service.

Comments(13)
  1. Steven Warren January 24, 2019
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