How to Recover Deleted Mac External Drive Partition?

Summary: In this post, we’ll share DIY methods to recover deleted Mac external drive partition on macOS Big Sur 11, Catalina 10.15 and later versions of OS X. Get a trial of the following partition recovery software for your Mac for preliminary analysis.

How to Recover Deleted Mac External Drive Partition?
Table of Content

The methods require you to:

1. Use a Mac partition recovery software
2. Erase and Re-partition the drive
3. Use backup of the external drive partition

“Hello, I’ve accidentally deleted an external hard drive partition from my MacBook Pro, running on macOS Big Sur or Catalina. How do I recover the deleted partition and my lost data? Please help. 😢

Data loss in macOS Big Sur or Catalina 10.15 due to external hard drive partition loss is a hard-hitting situation. Partition loss occurs due to the deletion of APFS or HFS+ partitions, merging two partitions into a single one, or inaccessibility of a partition.

Disk Utility, the most versatile app in macOS & OS X, manages your storage drive partition efficiently. But it cannot undelete a lost partition or recover data from a deleted partition. To do so, you need to follow the methods presented next:

Recover Deleted Partition and Data on Mac

1. Use a Mac partition recovery software

In case you don’t have a data backup of your external hard drive, don’t worry. Get a Mac data recovery software to recover data lost due to partition/volume deletion, merging, or formatting.

Steps to rescue data from a lost volume are as follows:

Step 1. Download and install the *trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.


Step 2. Launch the software, and from the main interface, select the type of files you want to recover from the deleted Mac partition. Click Next.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Step 3. In the Select Location screen, select the Can’t Find Volume feature, then click Scan.

Can't Find Volume

Step 4. In the Select Disk to Search Lost Volume screen, select the disk and then click Search. Click OK when the process completes.

Select Disk to Search Lost Volume

Step 5. In the Select Lost Volume to Recover Data screen, select a lost volume (or partition) for recovering the data. Turn on Deep Scan and then click Scan. The software will scan the lost volume for recoverable files. Click OK.

Mac Partition Recovery

Step 6. Select a tab from Classic, File, or Deleted List, then expand the nodes to analyze scanned items. Double-click on any file to Preview.


Step 7. Select the files you want to recover, then click Recover. Click Browse to specify a save destination, preferably an external drive. Then click Save.

Save the Data

Note: *The trial version of the software lets you preview the recoverable files. To download and save the recoverable files, you need to activate the software. You can compare various editions of Stellar Data Recovery for Mac here.

Step 8. Let the software complete data recovery from the lost partition. Navigate to the save location to check the accuracy of the recovered files.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is compatible with macOS Big Sur and Catalina and can recover data from lost partition on an external Mac storage drive, be it a solid-state drive or hard drive.

2. Erase and Repartition Drive

Ideally, you would like to use the previously inaccessible Mac External Drive Partition once your data has been recovered with Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac. To do that, you must erase the contents of the drive and re-partition it. 

Please follow the below steps to do the same:

a. Erase the external drive

1. Connect your external device to your Mac. 

2. Open Disk utility by following the path: Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility

3. Click on the drive in the disk utility window. 

4. Click Erase from the top menu.


5. A dialog box will appear, asking you the file system to which you would like to format the external drive. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled), if you wish to use the drive only on Mac, or select ExFAT, if you wish to use the external drive on both PC and Mac. 


6. Once you have made the selection, click on Erase. 

b. Partition the drive

After the erasure is done, you would need to partition the drive. Follow the steps below:

1. Go to disk utility and click on the external disk. 

2. Next, click on Partition from the top menu.


3. A window will open, which will allow you to add partitions. To do that, click the button. You can then allocate volume to each partition by scrolling the blue button. 


4. After allocating volume to each partition, confirm the operation in the dialog box. 


3. Use backup of the external drive partition

Time Machine is a native utility provided in macOS that allows you to back up and restore data for an internal storage drive. But it doesn’t help in case of data loss from external storage drive such as partition loss, deleted partition, etc.

So, if you are following a 3-2-1 backup strategy, you must have a backup of the external storage device. This 3-2-1 backup plan requires you to create 3 copies of your essential files. Out of which, 2 copies need to be in two different storage media, and 1 copy must be kept offsite. Using this principle, you won’t lose your important files if you encounter any data loss situation. If you have the backup of your external drive, make a new partition on your external drive using disk utility and copy-paste the data from the backup to this newly created partition. But if you don’t have the back up of your data on your external drive, you will need third-party software to recover data from a deleted partition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1. Can I recover multiple partitions with Stellar Data Recovery?

A. Stellar Data Recovery software comes with a feature known as Can’t find Volume that allows you to trace and recover data from all partitions that existed on the hard drive and any external drive. You can even recover data from lost partitions with the Professional, Premium, and Technician version. The software can find all deleted partitions, but it will recover data from one partition at a time. 

Q. 2 Does Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac support recovery of partitions from APFS?

A. Yes, it does support the APFS file system. Other supported file systems include HFS, HFS+, NTFS, ex-FAT, FAT(FAT16/FAT32)

Q.3 How long will it take to search for a deleted partition?

A. The search and recovery time for any deleted partition depends on the hard drive or volume size. Also, the storage medium shouldn’t have any bad block or physical damage. 

Q.4 How can I save the data from the deleted partition? 

A. You can use Stellar Data Recovery to recover your data from the deleted partition. The demo version can run the software and allow you to view the lost data. To recover these files in your Mac, you can go with the Professional, Premium, or Technician version. Go to this link and click on Compare Editions to explore the features. 

  1. Sourav Basak February 7, 2020
  2. Rajakumar November 2, 2019
    • Vishal November 4, 2019

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