You may have installed several applications on your Mac storage drive—like Flash, iTunes, Adobe Illustrator, Lotus Notes, etc. Unlike Windows, where you uninstall an installed software or application using the Control Panel, in macOS, you delete an app from the Applications folder to uninstall it. So, you need to be more cautious while dealing with Mac apps.
When you’ve deleted essential applications from your Mac storage drive accidentally, all is not lost; you can get them back. But before learning the recovery techniques, you should know the reasons behind app deletion on macOS. You may accidentally delete the Mac apps by:
- Dragging and dropping of an app from the Applications folder to Trash
- Deleting an app from the Applications folder by using the Command + Delete hotkey
- Removing an app in favor of another but later requiring the previous one
- Formatting of your Mac storage drive that removes all the installed apps
- Failing to update Mac apps that can lead to their crashing and subsequent deletion
The next sections describe various methods that can help you restore your deleted apps on Mac.
When you’ve deleted an app folder or the app is missing from your Mac, the first thing that you would do is to check your Trash. If you find the app folder, right-click on it, and select Put Back. Or else, drag and drop the app folder from Trash to the Applications folder.
If you cannot find the app folder in Mac Trash, this means that you’ve emptied the Trash recently. In such a case, you should try the next methods. Also Read about Mac trash recovery.
If you’ve purchased the app from the App Store, you can easily reinstall it without spending money again. Just go to the App Store on your Mac and click on the ‘Purchased’ tab. Under this tab, you’ll see a list of all the apps you’ve purchased from the App Store. Find the deleted app from this list and click on the ‘Install’ button next to it to have it back again.
When the deleted app was pre-installed on your Mac when you bought it, and you cannot find it in the App Store, you can restore it from your installation medium. But, some apps cannot be installed directly from the installation medium; in that case, you need an installer. Download and install an appropriate installer and then connect the installation medium. After that, you should be able to extract and install the app that you want from the installation medium.
iTunes and iCloud are magic apps. In addition to their essential functions, these apps let you take complete backups of your data from which you can restore anything. Just open iTunes on your Mac and click on the Apps tab from the sidebar. After that, locate the app that got deleted and click on the install button next to it.
If you’re backing up your Mac regularly using Time Machine, you can use it to restore your accidentally deleted applications. Steps are as follows:
Step 1) Ensure your Time Machine backup drive is connected to your Mac.
Step 2) Launch your Time Machine app from Dock, Launchpad, or Menu Bar.
Step 3) Navigate using Timeline or Up/Down arrows to find the app folder.
Step 4) Select the app folder and click Restore to get back the deleted app.
If none of the above methods works, use a Mac data software to recover your deleted applications on Mac. Steps are as follows:
Step 1) Download, install the *trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.
Step 2) On the main screen, let the default selection of Everything be selected, then click Next.
Step 3) From the list of volumes on the Mac drive, select Macintosh HD, the startup volume.
Note: In case of macOS High Sierra or later, disable system integrity protection to allow the software to scan your startup disk. Read more: How to disable system integrity protection.
Step 4) Toggle on Deep Scan, then click Scan to initiate the drive scanning process.
Step 5) Click the Deleted List tab, and find the deleted app folder.
Step 6) Select the app folder, then click Recover. Save them to a distinct volume.
Step 7) Navigate to the volume and drag and drop the app folder to the Applications folder.
*Trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac helps you scan and preview recoverable items without any cost. But you need to activate the software to recover your app folder. Also, the software has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so activate it without any hesitation.
The software can recover the following:
- Flash files
- Adobe Illustrator
- Macromedia – SWF, FWS, CWS, FLV
- Apple Scripts SCPT
- Apple Mails ELMX
- iTunes PLIST
- Lotus NSF
- Pagemaker Files PTF
If you can’t find your Mac application or you’ve deleted an app folder accidentally, then use Trash, App Store, Installation Medium, iTunes, or iCloud as per feasibility to get back your deleted app. When none of the above methods is of any help, use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software to recover your lost or deleted app folder.
Apart from recovering deleted apps, the software can help to create disk image, monitor drive’s SMART status, and create recovery drive.