How to Recover Files Deleted by RM Command on Mac

Summary: Did you permanently delete your files using the rm command and now wish to have them back? Don’t worry, you’re in luck. This blog shares an easy method to retrieve your permanently deleted files, by using a Mac data recovery software.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software can easily recover the files deleted using rm command. Have doubts? Take a free software trial and see by yourself.

Mac hard drive Recovery

Mac computers come integrated with an application called Terminal that provides a command line interface to manage, execute, and perform functions. rm filename is a command used in Mac Terminal to delete files permanently. With this method, the deleted files are not saved in the Mac Trash. But, this does not mean that the file is removed completely from your system. 

The rm command only removes the access information of the file while the actual file remains in the original repository until a new set of data is overwritten on it. Once a file gets replaced by another, then there is no known technology in the world that can retrieve the data for you.

Deleting Files using the Terminal RM

Deleting files is dangerously easy with the rm command. For example You have a file on the desktop that you want to be deleted. After launching the terminal, type cd ~/Desktop; this command will take you to the desktop directory. Suppose the file you want to delete is named MyFile.JPG, then run this command:

rm MyFile.jpg

This command will remove the file from your computer without a trace. The rm command can also be used to delete multiple files at once. If you have several files on your desktop that you want to delete then you can run the below command:

rm MyFile.jpg MyPro.rtf AGreatNovel.pdf

The rm command is dangerous because once you delete a file through this command, you cannot retrieve the data from Trash or any other location within the OS. Therefore, it is advised to always keep a backup before attempting to use the rm command.

So, you have taken a backup. The backup application in Mac is called Time Machine; it’s a highly useful feature of Mac. Time Machine can be configured to take regular backups of your system which can be used to restore the system in data loss situations. But Time Machine backups are also known to get corrupted or accidentally deleted. Don’t panic, if you ever face such a scenario with your backup since there is Mac data recovery software that can assist you in recovering deleted files.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

This software is rated as one of the best software for Mac data recovery by several Mac-oriented platforms. It includes a comprehensive set of functions that allow recovery of data from critical data loss scenarios. It effectively recovers lost partitions, BootCamp Partitions, deleted Time Machine backups, and even password-protected drives. Below are some features that make it one of the best options for Mac Data Recovery software.

  • Recover data from a different file system
  • Recover completely trashed files
  • User-friendly interface
  • Compatible with macOS High Sierra
  • Deep Scan option for a thorough scan

Easy Steps to Recover Data from Mac

By using the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac, the files deleted accidentally by the rm command can be retrieved in few easy steps. Follow the below steps to effectively restore the lost files from your system.

  1. Download Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac
  2. Install & Run the software to recover deleted files on Mac
  3. Choose Customize Your Scan or Recover Everything; click Next
  4. Select Macintosh HD from Select Location interface, tick Deep Scan to perform a thorough scan
  5. Click Scan and wait for the software to analyze files
  6. After scanning, it lists all the available recoverable files
  7. Select the files to save and click Recover


It is quite normal to accidentally delete important files through rm command in the Mac’s Terminal. In this blog, we have provided resolution for data loss scenarios caused while using the rm command.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a great software that can assist you in recovering data deleted by rm command.

Mac hard drive Recovery

Simply, you have to run its free trial on the affected drive to preview data deleted by command line.

  1. Penzin June 18, 2018
    • Arpana June 19, 2018
  2. David Mills June 4, 2018
    • Arpana June 6, 2018

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