PSD Recovery: Recover Unsaved, Deleted Photoshop Files

Summary: Want to recover lost Photoshop files? This post shares various methods to recover unsaved files in Photoshop or deleted PSD files on Mac and Windows PC. It includes the best PSD Recovery software for all Photoshop versions including the latest Photoshop 2020.

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‘I’ve been working on a project in Photoshop for several days and used to save it each time before closing the laptop. But today when I opened Photoshop, I could not find the PSD file. Is there any way to recover my PSD file?’

Well, there can be reasons such as,

  • Abrupt system shutdown before you could save your project in Photoshop.
  • You accidentally deleted the PSD file.
  • Photoshop crashed or freezed while working.

These and many other such situations can lead to loss of your precious PSD files on which you worked hard.

This post brings various methods to recover unsaved files in Photoshop and deleted PSD files on Mac and Windows PC.

How to recover deleted or unsaved PSD files

Methods to recover unsaved Photoshop files on Mac

  1. Recover unsaved Photoshop files from Auto Save
  2. Recover unsaved PSD files from Auto Recover folder
  3. Restore PSD files from ‘Recent’ folder in Photoshop
  4. Recover PSD Files from Temp Files

Methods to recover deleted Photoshop files

  • Restore deleted PSD files from Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Use Deleted PSD File Recovery with software

Method 1: Recover unsaved Photoshop files from Auto Save

Auto Save feature in Photoshop CS 6 and above lets you save a backup copy of your project at an interval of 5, 10, 15, 30, or 60 minutes as per the settings. It is extremely useful when there’s a sudden application crash, power cut, or OS breakdown while working. You can also recover PSD files, in case you closed the application without saving the file.

How to recover unsaved Photoshop file using Auto Save:

As you launch the Photoshop app on your system, the last auto saved versions with ‘recovered’ in their file name would appear automatically. Immediately, save the files at any location and continue working on them.

However, if you don’t see your recovered files on launch of the app, look for them in the Auto Recover folder of your computer, as shared in the next method.

Method 2: Recover unsaved PSD files from Auto Recover folder

The Photoshop auto saved files are stored to a folder called ‘Auto Recover’ on your system. Go to the folder location and restore the PSD files at your desired location.

Auto Recover folder location on Windows:

C:> Users> username> AppData> Roaming>Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 > AutoRecover

Auto Recover folder location on Mac:

Library >Application Support > Adobe >Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 > AutoRecover

TIP: Enable ‘Auto Save’ in Photoshop, if not yet done!

Deemed as a highly useful feature by the Photoshop users, it comes as rescue when sudden crash or interruption shuts the application before you get a chance to save your work.

Steps to enable ‘Auto Save’ in Photoshop:

  1. Windows users: Go to Edit > Preferences > File Handling. Mac users: Photoshop > Preferences > File Handling
  2. Check in Automatically Save Recovery Information option and set the time as required.
Figure: Auto save option in Photoshop CC

3. Click OK.

Method 3: Restore PSD files from ‘Recent’ folder in Photoshop

Photoshop saves your current files in ‘Recent’ folder. If you lose PSD files due to abrupt app or system shutdown, try to get back the lost Photoshop files from the recent folder. Open Photoshop and click to follow File > Open Recent. Find your PSD files and save at a desired location.

Figure: ‘Open Recent’ option in Photoshop

Method 4: Recover PSD Files from Temp Files

Photoshop saves the work progress in a temp folder on your system. These temp files remain on computer, even after the application crashes. They stay until you completely uninstall Photoshop from the system.

You can navigate to the temp folder location to recover the unsaved or deleted PSD files.

Photoshop temp files location on Windows PC:

:\Users\Your Username\AppData\Local\Temp.

Photoshop temp files location on Mac:

Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal. Type command open/tmp to open temp folder.

Search for the files with name Photoshop or PS label. Double click on each to open in Photoshop. Next, choose ‘Save as’ to save the file using .PSD extension.

Method 5: Restore deleted PSD files from Adobe Creative Cloud

Deleted Photoshop files are recoverable, if you are using Adobe Creative Cloud account.

Adobe Creative Cloud app syncs Photoshop files and libraries with your other devices like computer, iPad, and smartphone, etc. It also saves the deleted files in the ‘Deleted’ folder until you remove them.

Deleted folder in Adobe Creative Cloud - PSD file recovery
Figure: Deleted folder in Adobe Creative Cloud

If you want to recover PSD file after application crash or accidental deletion, open the ‘Deleted’ folder in your Creative Cloud account. Select the required PSD files, and click ‘Restore’.

How to recover PSD files deleted from Creative Cloud?

PSD files deleted from Creative Cloud gets stored in the Archives folder of ‘Creative Cloud Files’ and can be restored.

Deleted PSD files in Archives of Creative Cloud - PSD file recovery
Figure: Deleted PSD files in Archives of Creative Cloud

But once deleted from Archives, they are not recoverable and permanently removed.

Method 6: Deleted PSD File Recovery with software

A quick and easy method to recover Photoshop files from Mac or Windows PC is with the help of a PSD file recovery software – Stellar Photo Recovery.

The software recoups your lost Photoshop projects and files without hampering their original quality. It works in all loss cases such as deletion, Photoshop or OS crash, deleted PSD files from Creative Cloud, virus, malware infection, drive formatting, etc. The software is compatible with PSD files from all Photoshop versions including Photoshop 2020, Photoshop CC 2019, CS6, and others.

Steps to recover .PSD files with Stellar PSD file recovery software:

  • Download Stellar Photo Recovery software on your PC/ Mac.
  • Select location from where you want to recover PSD files.
Select location to scan in Stellar PSD Recovery software
Figure: Select location to scan in Stellar PSD Recovery software
  • Click on Advanced Settings (wheel) icon on top menu bar.
  • In Advanced Settings, click on File List icon (second icon from top left).
 Select PSD file from File list
Figure: Select PSD file from File list
  • Under Photo formats, select Adobe Photoshop from the list.
  • Click Close.
  • Click Scan.
  • After the scan process ends, Preview recoverable PSD files.
Figure: Preview recoverable PSD files in software
Figure: Preview recoverable PSD files in software
  • Click Recover.
  • In the dialog box, click Browse to select location for saving the recovered Photoshop files.

You can now access the recovered Photoshop files from the saved location on your system.

Wrapping Up

Adobe is very considerate about its users’ work. It gives multiple chances to recover lost or deleted Photoshop files, if required. You can recover unsaved or deleted PSD files using Auto Save, Auto Recover, Recent folder, temp files or Creative Cloud.

However, there are times when even Adobe’s file recovery options can disappoint. The optimal way in such a situation is to use a PSD file recovery software – Stellar Photo Recovery. The easy-to-use software restores permanently deleted PSD files without affecting the layers, effects, transparency, etc., in your work. It is available for Mac as well as Windows PC. Try the free demo version to preview the recoverable PSD files here.

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