How Do I Recover Deleted MOV & MP4 Files On Mac And Windows

Summary: This post tells you about all the possible reasons that lead to deletion of MOV MP4 files. Learn how you can recover deleted MOV/MP4 files through manual approach and with the help of video file recovery tools.


Developed by Apple QuickTime Movies, MOV uses MPEG-4 codec for compression technique to produce better quality files and picture resolutions. On the other hand, MP4 is developed by International Organization for Standardization and is commonly used for sharing video files over the internet. It provides better compression sizes and is compatible with most of the Operating Systems.

MOV and MP4 are the common multimedia format as they facilitate high-quality files to have enriching viewing experience; however, when you lose these video files, it then turns into a situation of despair!

Let’s look at an example!

Suppose that you accidentally deleted your startup disk and lost all your MOV/MP4 files, then how will you recover deleted or lost MOV files? What will be the first step to recover the lost videos? Well, you should first avoid using the Mac or Windows system and then implement some manual approaches to recover the deleted MOV/MP4 files. Furthermore, you have another viable option i.e. to leverage a MOV and MP4 data recovery software to ensure a successful recovery of the files.

Lost your MOV & MP4 files – What could be the reason?

Let’s look at a few testimonials—

“Accidentally deleted the startup disk and lost all the MOV video files. Any suggestions on how to recover them? Is there any MOV data recovery software to bring back the lost video files?” – Jenny Walter

“My son accidentally deleted all the MP4 video from my laptop. Could someone recommend a feasible option to recover deleted MP4 files from the Windows? ” – Mitchell

The above two cases represent different scenarios on how users end up losing their MOV/MP4 video files. Whether you are Mac or a Windows user, there is a possibility that you may lose your files; therefore, backup all your critical files to avoid unexpected events.

Apart from accidental deletion of files, there are several reasons which may result in deleting the MOV/MP4 files. They are —

Reasons for MOV and MP4 video on Mac and Windows

  1. Accidental deletion of MOV and MP4 videos
  2. Video files turning inaccessible
  3. Unintentional deletion of the Startup disk
  4. Interruption during file transfer

How to recover deleted MOV/MP4 files?

You can easily restore your deleted MOV and MP4 files using:

  1. Manual Approach
  2. MOV/MP4 data recovery software

A Manual Approach for recovering deleted files (Mac and Windows)

I. Trash Can and Recycle Bin:

The first step to recover deleted files is to look in the Trash Can (Mac) and Recycle Bin (Windows). When the files are deleted in Mac and Windows system, the files move to the Trash Can and Recycle Bin respectively and from there, you can restore your files, given that you haven’t emptied the Trash Can/Recycle Bin or permanently deleted the files.

a. Restore files from Trash Can

Follow the below steps to recover deleted MOV files from Mac:

i) Open the Trash Can and locate the deleted MOV videos you want to recover
ii) After finding the file, right-click it and choose Put Back option
iii) Alternatively, drag the MOV file and place it on the desktop

b. Restore files from the Recycle Bin

Follow these steps to recover deleted MP4 files from Windows:

i) Open Recycle Bin and search for the deleted MP4 file

ii) Right-click on the file and from the given options, select Restore and save the file

II. Time Machine and System Restore:

You can restore your deleted files from Time Machine backup in Mac and System Restore Point in the Windows system.

a. Restore from Time Machine Backup (Mac)

You can easily recover deleted or lost MOV files from the Time Machine backup files. Follow these steps to restore your files:

i) Go to Menu < System Preference < Time Machine and select “Enter Time Machine” or click the Time Machine icon.

ii) Browse the Time Machine backup files and find the files that you want to recover

iii) Select the file and click “Restore

b. Restore from System Restore (Windows)

Deleted files can be recovered from previous versions. Here’s how it works:

i) Go to the folder where the file was saved

ii) Right-click the folder and select “Restore previous version

iii) From the available version, select the required version and click “OK

III) From the Backup files:

You can recover your deleted MOV/MP4 files from the external storage media if you have stored the backup files on it. Also, for Mac, you can recover deleted MOV files from the iTunes Backup and for Windows, you can recover deleted MP4 files from Azure Backup.

Recover using Video File Recovery Tools (Mac and Windows)

There is no denying that the manual approaches cannot recover the deleted MOV/MP4 files as there are limitations to these approaches. Under certain scenarios, the manual approaches fail to yield results. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Permanent deletion of files
  2. Emptying Trash Can / Recycle Bin
  3. Non-usage of backup utilities
  4. Non-syncing of online-based backup services
  5. Backup not updated

This is when a photo recovery software steps in. Irrespective of the data type and the storage media, a professional photo recovery software efficiently recovers deleted MOV/MP4 files. Speaking of which Stellar Photo Recovery is the safe and secure options to recover deleted MOV/MP4 files.

Photo Recovery photo recovery mac

Here’s how to leverage the software:

  1. Launch Stellar Photo Recovery Software.Stellar Photo Recovery Standard
  2. Select the location from where you want to recover. Click Scan to start the scanning process
  3. A dialog box of ‘Scanning Completed Successfully!’ displays the scan results – number of files found and size of the data. In the left-pane of main window, all the recovered data is listed. You can preview them in the right pane.Stellar Photo Preview Screen
    Note: If you do not see the required videos in the list, opt for Deep Scan option at the bottom.
  4. Click Recover. You can also choose to recover only the selective files – select videos that you need, right click, and click Recover.
  5. In the dialog box, specify the location to save the image files. Click Save. All the files get saved at the specified location.Stellar Photo Save screen

The video recovery process is complete!

The Bottom Line

No one wishes to lose their precious videos; therefore, it is all the more necessary to always have an updated backup so that you can restore your files from it. There are several manual approaches that you can implement to recover deleted MOV and MP4 files, however, they do have constraints. This is when a photo recovery software comes into the picture as it surpasses all the limitations and efficiently recovers the deleted videos!

Comments(11)
  1. Stuart Winter November 20, 2020
    • Sumona Chatterjee November 23, 2020
  2. Amber Rochelle August 13, 2019
    • Sumona Chatterjee August 14, 2019
  3. Monica Wilson August 21, 2018
  4. Alec Soth July 18, 2018
    • Sumona Chatterjee July 20, 2018
  5. Lisa Rhinehart June 18, 2018
    • Sumona Chatterjee June 20, 2018
  6. MASON ABBIATE May 10, 2018
    • Sumona Chatterjee May 16, 2018

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