Can You Restore Lost Data from the Mac Recovery Partition?

Summary: Yes, with backup available you can however if the backup is not taken then you can’t.

Mac Recovery Partition is a hidden partition within the start-up disk drive. Ever since the launch of OS X Lion, Mac comes with a recovery partition that helps recover the OS in circumstances when it is damaged, corrupt, or inoperable. Also known as Recovery HD, the partition is of immense significance as it provides the quickest relief to a Mac user. In Simple words, the ‘Recovery HD’ is a means to reinstall or restore the macOS. Read ahead to know more about recovering lost data on Mac.

How to Access & Restore macOS via Recovery HD or Partition?

By following these simple steps, you can easily erase your old and corrupt operating system, restore or reinstall a fresh copy of the macOS.

  1. Restart your Mac while holding the Command and R keys
  2. Let go of the keys when the Apple logo appears
  3. Select Disk Utility in the macOS Utility window and click Continue
  4. Select the main Startup Volume named Macintosh HD and click Unmount
  5. After unmounting, click Erase to wipe the complete hard drive
  6. Click Quit Disk Utility to exit from Disk Utility
  7. Select Reinstall macOS and click Continue
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the reinstallation of macOS

Benefits of Restoring macOS

Restoring or reinstalling your Mac operating system can solve a wide range of software problems with the OS. The key benefits of rolling-back your OS to factory settings are as follows:

  • Frees-up system space in your Mac
  • Eliminates all the errors and bugs in macOS and the embedded applications
  • Starts fresh on an old device
  • Speeds-up your Mac
  • Defrags hard drive (on older Macs)

Data Loss after macOS Restore

Once you have restored the Mac to factory settings, there are certain things that are expected, which you should be aware of and be prepared for them. Data loss is the primary concern after restoring.

You can expect these things post macOS restore:

  • All your data, software, apps, and files stored on the Mac will get completely erased.
  • All the setting of your computer will be restored to default and you will lose all the customization settings.
  • The system will only contain the default apps and software.
  • A fresh copy of macOS will be installed on your system.

If this has got you worried, then stop panicking further. You can easily protect your data by backing it on the Apple default backup app – Time Machine Backup.

If You Do Not Have Time Machine Backups!

Backing up your data is the most reliable precaution you can take against data loss and Time Machine is the inbuilt application for data backup in Mac. Prior to reinstalling the macOS, backup all your data on Time Machine, which can be retrieved post restoring the Mac. But, like your other files, folders, and partitions; the Time Machine backup can also get accidentally deleted or corrupted resulting in inaccessible files and folders.

Therefore, in a situation where you have recovered the OS with Recovery HD and realize that the Time Machine Backup is missing, use the reliable third-party software to recover your lost data, like – Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac. This is one of the best and most relied upon software for data recovery from Mac. The software effectively restores lost data once the operating system is restored through the Recovery HD. This is an easy to use software that recovers data from any external or internal hard drive. The software includes advanced functions such as:

  • Recovery of lost or deleted partitions
  • Deep scan for a thorough scan of data from the chosen partition
  • Recovery of data from encrypted hard drives
  • Time machine backup recovery
  • Recovery of files from different file systems
  • Recovery of files that are completely trashed
  • Compatible with macOS Catalina and Mojave

Download & Installation of Stellar Data Recovery on Mac

Download the free trial version of the Stellar Data Recovery software from the below:

  1. Unzip the downloaded file
  2. Double-click the StellarDataRecovery.dmg
  3. From the installer window, drag and drop the software to the Applications folder
Drag-n-Drop the Stellar Data Recovery software to Applciation

How to Restore Lost Data from Mac?

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is also available as a trial with limited functions and allows you to preview the files that can be recovered once the user purchases the professional version. These are the steps you need to follow to successfully recover the deleted hard drive partition on your Mac.


You can restore the lost data via Mac Recovery Partition with the help of an updated Time Machine backup. But, what if your backup is not a recent one or you have no backup at all? In such a case, no data recovery is possible through Recovery HD; however, using software such as Stellar Data Recovery for Mac, you can recover the lost data from the affected Mac hard drive. Further, the software supports a variety of external storage devices for the purpose of recovering lost & deleted files.

  1. Karen June 18, 2018
    • Arpana June 19, 2018
  2. Thomas Orick May 22, 2018
    • Arpana May 22, 2018

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