Many of us had ended up in situations when we accidentally deleted a file. It’s always an unpleasant experience, but imagine deleting a whole folder. The situation is frustrating whether you have misclicked on a wrong button or simply noticed the folder is missing. In this case, you have several options for getting your files and folders. The steps may vary depending on the situation. So in this article, we have combined the most efficient ways to recover deleted folders.
In most cases, users accidentally delete folders with their personal files, which leads to the loss of important files. But sometimes, the system folder can get removed by mistake as well. The type of folder that was removed may influence the work of the system, your user account, or some specific app. Luckily, there are multiple ways to recover deleted folders on Mac.
We have listed the steps depending on when the folder was removed. So you can use the first steps immediately after removal and use the steps provided further no matter how much time passed.
You can revert many actions on macOS with a simple shortcut combination. By “undo,” you can remove the last action done on the computer. So this method works only if you use it immediately after removal.
To use “undo” to recover deleted folders:
Usually, when you delete any file, it gets moved to the Trash. This is a way for macOS to help users revert any mistakenly removed data. Files and folders stay up in Trash for 30 days, and after that, they get removed automatically to free up the disk space. Users can also Empty Trash completely anytime. So this method works best with recently deleted items. Follow these steps to recover deleted folders from Trash:
This method also works if you want to recover deleted files on Mac that are located in that folder. In this case, simply open the folder that is located in Trash, click on the file you want to recover, and use Put Back the same way as you would with a folder.
After this action, files and folders will disappear from Trash Bin, and you can find and open them from the original location.
You can use Terminal to recover deleted folders that are located in Trash. The terminal is a macOS command prompt that allows you to control your machine and perform any kind of action in one window from a command line.
You can use this method if you know the folder’s name and if you are sure it is located in Trash. This is especially helpful if you have tons of files in your Trash Bin and don’t want to waste time on searches.
To use Terminal for folder recovery:
It is recommended to regularly backup your data to prevent any data loss situations. So, if you have created a Time Machine backup before, you can use it to recover deleted files and folders.
Time Machine is a built-in backup tool that allows you to automatically backup your whole internal drive and any changes that are made on it. The backup files are stored on an external hard drive so they can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere. This method can be used even if it is too late to use ‘undo’ and you can’t find a folder in the Trash Bin.
Tip: To easily access Time Machine, you can add its icon to the menu bar. To do this, open System Preferences > Time Machine and click on the checkbox “Show Time Machine in menu bar” at the bottom of the window.
To recover deleted folders using Time Machine:
1. Connect the external hard drive with Time Machine backup to Mac.
2. Open Time Machine by clicking on the dedicated icon on the menu bar and choosing “Enter Time Machine”.
3. Locate the deleted folder inside Time Machine. Timeline and search can help with this.
4. Select the folder you want to recover and click on Restore at the bottom.
Once Time Machine recovers deleted folder, it will be put back into the original location.
If you scrolled all the way down to these steps, this means that the folder is not in the Trash, and you didn’t back up your Mac ahead of time. The good news is that with the right tool you can still recover deleted folders.
This is possible because the system remembers and stores the files even after removal until they are overwritten with some other data. Stellar Data Recovery software recovers deleted files and folders on Mac even when all other methods fail.
To recover deleted folders with Stellar Data Recovery:
1. Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software.
2. Once the app is installed, open it from the Applications folder.
3. Click on Next on the main screen (toggle near Recover Everything should be on).
4. Select Macintosh HD and click on Scan.
5. In the Preview, window put a checkmark near the folders you want to recover.
6. Activate the software and choose Recover at the bottom.
Losing a file or a folder may feel like irreversible damage. But with the right actions and tools, it is possible to recover deleted folders and get all the data back. Even a simple “undo” can be helpful if used right after removal. In all other cases, you can retrieve items from Trash manually or by using Terminal, restore folders from Time Machine or use a professional data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery.
Ruslana is a tech content writer whose true passion is finding out about everything Mac-related. She specializes in creating macOS guides and tips & tricks. In her spare time, you’ll find her doing yoga or discovering local coffee shops in search of the best filter coffee.
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