How to Recover Files from a Deleted Mac User Account?

Summary: This blog shares different ways to restore your deleted Mac user account and recover files associated with the user. Download the free-to-try Mac data recovery software to salvage data from a deleted account.

How to Recover Files from a Deleted Mac User Account?
Table of Content

1. Restore the Deleted Account
2. Restore Files from Time Machine
3. Recover Files by Using a Mac Data Recovery Software

macOS allows you to create multiple user accounts on your Mac. So, you can have a primary admin account, and other user accounts with suitable privileges. The secondary accounts are quite helpful in case you don’t want other users of your Mac to see your files and folders. In case a user no longer needs your Mac, you can remove their user account anytime.

But things don’t happen as you expect. Suppose, while deleting a user account, you accidentally delete an essential account by using “Users & Groups” in “System Preferences.” You select a wrong account, click the “-” sign, and choose the third option: “Delete the Home Folder.” This action removes the user account, together with all the files associated with the user. 

Don’t worry. Go through the various methods shared below to salvage your files from the deleted Mac user account.

1.  Restore the Deleted Account

You can restore the deleted user’s home folder on your Mac by using the user account’s dmg file. Steps are as follows:

  1. Open Finder from Dock. From the sidebar of the Finder window, select your Mac storage drive then open the Users folder. Go to the Deleted Users folder then open the .dmg file.
  2. Copy all the user’s files then go back to the Users folder again. Create a new folder and rename it with the deleted account name. Open it then paste the copied files.
  3. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Users and Groups. Click the Lock icon, provide admin credentials, and then click Unlock.
  4. Click the “+” icon and add a new user account. Add the Full Name with the same name as the deleted account folder—press tab to fill the account name automatically. Provide a password, verify the password, and add a password hint. 
  5. Click the Create User button. On the pop-up window, click the “Use Existing Folder” button. Restart your Mac and log in with the user account.

Now you can access the deleted account and all the lost files. 


2. Restore Files from Time Machine

When you have an up-to-date backup of your Mac start-up disk in Time Machine backup drive, you can use Time Machine to recover files from a deleted Mac user account. Steps are as follows: 

  1. Ensure the Time Machine backup drive is connected to your Mac.
  2. From the Menu bar, go to Time Machine, then Enter Time Machine.
  3. Go to the Finder and browse backup history to find the files.
  4. Select the files then restore it to your desired location on the drive. 
Restore Files from Time Machine

3. Recover Data by Using a Mac Data Recovery Software

When none of the above data recovery methods help, you can use a Mac data recovery software to recover files from a deleted Mac user account.  Steps are as follows:

Download and install the *trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your system.

Free Download

Select the type of data then click Next. Select Macintosh HD, turn on Deep Scan, and then click Scan.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Once the scan is over, preview the scanned files, and select all the files from the deleted account. 


Click Recover. Next, click Browse to specify a different save destination, then click Save. Once the recovery is over, navigate to the location to find all your recovered files.

*Trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is suitable to scan your drive and preview your scanned data. To recover files, you need to activate the software. Also, the software has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so activate it confidently.

Read More: How to Recover Old Files on Mac


When you accidentally delete a Mac user account’s Home Folder to remove the account, you suffer from data loss due to the inaccessibility of the user account. In such a case, try to recreate the deleted account or use the system administrator to regain all the files from a deleted Mac account. Also, if you have an up-to-date Time Machine backup, you can use it to restore the missing files from the deleted account. 

In the absence of backup, use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to retrieve all the lost files from the deleted account. The software supports the recovery of user accounts, hard drives, and even deleted backup from the Time Machine.

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