Mac Data Recovery

Where to Find Recently Deleted Files on Mac?

Table of Content

    Summary: This blog discusses various DIY methods to find recently deleted files on your Mac. Download the free-to-try data recovery software to recover your recently deleted files on Mac.

    Where to Find Recently Deleted Files on Mac?

    Did you delete your files and folders recently? If yes, then use the methods presented below to get back your recently deleted files and folders in macOS on Mac.

    1. Find Recently Deleted Files from Trash or Bin

    Trash, also known as Bin, is located on the Dock. When you delete some files, they immediately go to Trash. So, look for your recently deleted files in the Trash folder. Find the files and folders deleted on the specific date or use the search box to find them quickly. After identifying your deleted files, you just need to right-click and select the ‘Put Back’ option. This command will restore the deleted items to its original location.

    Read More: Restore deleted files from Trash on Mac

    2. Unhide Any Hidden Files and Folders on Mac

    macOS stores some files and folders hidden from users. In most cases, hidden items are convenient, as you can’t accidentally delete or alter essential system files. At times, some of your necessary files can turn invisible due to malware infection. Besides, you may have hidden your important stuff to keep it away from prying eyes and forgot where you hid them. For all such cases, unhide any hidden files and folders:

    • By using hotkey:
    1. Open Finder and navigate to the directory from where you need to view hidden items.
    2. Press Command + Shift + Period keys to toggle on the hidden items.
    • By using Terminal:
    1. Open the Terminal from Launchpad.
    2. Type defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE. Hit Return.
    3. Type Killall Finder, and hit Return again.

    The last command will restart your Finder. Now, you can see all your hidden files and folders; the files that you thought were deleted.


    3. Locate Recently Deleted Files from Time Machine

    Time Machine is the native back-up and restoration application in macOS. It performs automatic incremental back-up of your Mac startup disk on scheduled intervals. If you’ve set up your Time Machine back-up drive to back up your Macintosh HD, you can use this back-up to locate your recently deleted files in the event of data loss and restore them to your Mac. Steps are as follows: 

    1. Open the folder where you recently deleted your files on your Mac. For instance, open the Documents folder to restore files deleted from it.
    2. Ensure your Time Machine back-up drive is connected to your Mac. Next, launch Time Machine from the Dock. Or else, go to Menu Bar > Time Machine > Enter Time Machine
    3. Find the files that you wish to restore by using the Timeline or Up/Down arrow. Next, preview any file by selecting and pressing the Space Bar key.
    4. Choose all the recently deleted files, then click Restore. The files will restore to their original location.

    4. Access Recently Deleted Files by Using Software

    In the absence of Time Machine back-up, you can recover the recently deleted files by using a data recovery software for Mac. Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a highly reliable and efficient software that can scan and retrieve lost or deleted data from the Mac storage drive.

    Step 1. Download and install the *trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your iMac, MacBook, or Mac mini.

    Step 2. Launch the software. From the “Select What To Recover” screen, choose Everything or customize your scan, then click Next.


    Step 3. From the “Select Location” screen, select the storage drive, toggle on Deep Scan, and then click Scan.

    Select Location

    Step 4. After the scan is over, the software segregates all the deleted files in the Deleted List tab. Select the tab, preview the files, select all those that are required, and then click Recover.


    Step 5. From the dialog window, click Browse to specify an external hard drive to save the recoverable files, then click Save.

    Step 6. Wait till the software completes the recovery process. Go to the save location to see all your recovered deleted files.

    *The trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac allows you to free scan and free preview your deleted files. To recover your deleted files, activate the software. Also, activate it with complete confidence—as the software comes with a 30-days money-back guarantee.


    The first place to look for your deleted files on Mac is the Trash folder, as most probably, you’ll find your deleted files lurking there. But if you don’t see the files in Trash, you can try other options, such as check your hidden files or use Time Machine back-up.

    If nothing works, the best solution is to use the Mac data recovery software on your affected Mac storage drive. Start with a free scan of your Mac with Stellar Data Recovery Professional to know what all deleted files you can recover. Preview them and when satisfied, activate the software to save the recovered files to your Mac.

    Was this article helpful?

    No NO

    About The Author

    Vishal linkdin

    Vishal is a data recovery expert @Stellar. He addresses data loss scenarios on a Mac. He intends to help people solve their macOS problems. Besides, Vishal prefers to read about astronomy and autobiography, and his favorite is Steve Jobs - The man who thought different written by Karen Bluementhal.


    1. I am sure my files are missing permanently since I checked all the important locations such as trash, downloads, documents, Recents. They have gone forever. Do I stand a chance to retrieve the files?

    2. Some of my files get automatically deleted from MacBook. I had the backup of all my data via Time Machine but unfortunately, the backup drive got corrupt. I read your blog and tried all the suggested methods to find deleted files. Should I go for data recovery software or is there any other way to restore deleted file?

    3. In fear of losing all my important files, I always take backup of all data in 3 different places regularly.

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Image Captcha
    Refresh Image Captcha

    Enter Captcha Here :

    Related Posts


    Why Choose Stellar?

    • 0M+


    • 0+

      Years of Excellence

    • 0+

      R&D Engineers

    • 0+


    • 0+


    • 0+

      Awards Received