How to Recover Deleted Files and Folders from iMac?

Is your iMac data permanently lost?

In this blog, we are going to share the methods on how to recover files and folders deleted or lost from iMac and external storage drive. To implement these data recovery methods, you just need to have your iMac with macOS Mojave or an earlier version of macOS installed. But before moving on to the solutions, let’s first take a look at some of the common cases/scenarios of data loss on iMac.

Also read: MacBook Data Recovery

Common Cases of Data Loss on iMac

  1. Trash emptied on iMac: This is the most common way data loss happens on iMac. The users inadvertently empties the Trash without verifying the contents, resulting in permanent loss of important files and folders from the Trash folder. Unfortunately, you cannot undo the process. However, it’s possible to restore the data removed from Trash as we will see later in this blog post.iMac trash recovery
  2. Backup failed to restore iMac: Data loss also happens due to a corrupt, damaged or incompatible backup drive. A Mac device upgraded to macOS 10.14 Mojave may also face issues with respect to backup creation and restoration. This happens due to changes in the file system, security protection, or other system settings. Several users have reported Time Machine issues that caused backup failure. Go through the complete resolution: Time Machine Not Working after Mojave Update.iMac backup failed to restore
  3. Failure of iMac storage drive: The hard drive or Fusion Drive on iMac might eventually fail due to routine use and aging, which will turn the stored data inaccessible. Thus, you need to be prepared, and monitor the drive for potential failure. A data recovery software is recommended for secure retrieval of data in all instances of logical drive failure.iMac data recovery
  4. External drive not mounting on iMac: This issue can occur if the external storage drive gets corrupt, turns RAW, or macOS Mojave doesn’t support file systems such as NTFS, Ext2/3/4, or others.

When you connect such external storage drive, then it will not mount on iMac though you would be able to view it through Disk Utility. A data recovery software will be needed to retrieve the data stored on such inaccessible drives.

How to recover lost or deleted data from iMac?

1. Restoring iMac data from Backup 

This is the easiest (and default) way to regain files and folders lost from iMac. For performing data backup, macOS Mojave’s Time Machine backup utility is quite helpful. Use the utility to perform data backup at regular intervals. At the time of data loss, use Time Machine backup drive to restore data back to your iMac.

2. Data Recovery Software for iMac

A data recovery software will help retrieve data when there’s no backup, the drive has turned inaccessible or corrupt, and other more complex data loss scenarios such as storage drive failure.

The iMac file recovery tools such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac effectively recover lost or deleted data from a variety of data loss situations such as emptied Trash, deleted Time Machine backup, failed iMac drive, unmounted external storage drive, etc.

Watch this quick video to learn how you can use the software to recover the data on iMac.


Data recovery on iMac is easy if you religiously backup data to an external backup drive by using Time Machine. However, not all iMac users back up their data consistently. For iMac users who do not back up or their backup is old, Stellar Data Recovery Professional comes to their rescue.

The iMac data recovery software supports macOS Catalina, Mojave and APFS to provide a smooth data recovery. Free download the tool to scan your iMac, get a full list of recoverable files, and preview to check their integrity. When satisfied, activate the software online.

Note: Activated software allows saving of the recoverable data to a different drive location and live monitoring of your iMac drive for temperature, performance, and health.

  1. Sherry Hampton July 18, 2018
    • Arpana July 18, 2018
  2. Emile June 19, 2018
  3. Joann Fletcher June 18, 2018
    • Arpana June 19, 2018

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