Stellar Knowledge Base

How to Recover Files Deleted after Emptying Trash on macOS?

July 2, 2019     103076 views     3     0

Often, we move our files to trash on macOS by one of the following ways:

  1. Right-clicking a file and sending the file to the trash
  2. Dragging a video, photo or document and dropping it to trash
  3. Selecting a file and pressing Command + Delete keys
  4. Using Command + Shift + Option + Delete operations
  5. By using Delete Immediately option

Usually, the above five operations are applied for more than one file or bulk data.

Let’s say an entire folder containing photos, videos or word, excel, powerpoint files are moved to trash. You might have selected the data for deletion carefully; however, moments after emptying the trash, you realize that some important videos, photos and documents etc. have been deleted via emptying the trash.


Recovery of Files after Emptying Mac’s Trash


Leverage Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover permanently deleted files from Trash on macOS after an irreversible empty trash debacle. This file recovery tool scans your start-up disk i.e. Macintosh HD including the trash bin to recover deleted files such as the – Documents, Videos, Photos, Emails, Audio and many more.

Empty Trash Recovery with Stellar Data Recovery Software

But, before we begin the data recovery process via software; it is advisable:

  1. To avoid writing any new data to the start-up disk
  2. If you are using a Mac with an SSD as a start-disk then data recovery process must be done immediately. Or, try to avoid delaying data recovery.

Now, download & install the Stellar Data Recovery Professional Software for macOS trash recovery.


Follow the Steps to Recover Deleted Files from Trash

1. Run the software and select the desired option from the ‘Select What to Recover’ interface.

Customize the scan or Recover all files


2. Select the hard drive i.e. Macintosh HD since Trash is located on the start-up disk and data needs to be recovered from here. Toggle Deep Scan to start scanning. Note: You can recover trash emptied files from an external hard drive by using this Mac data recovery tool. Simply connect your external hard drive and launch Stellar’s tool for file recovery.

Select the drive from where your files were lost or deleted


Allow the Scanning process to complete successfully.

Scan in progress


3. After successful completion of scanning, the software lists all the recoverable files and folders present in the Macintosh HD in a Tabbed view of scanned Tree – Classic List / File List / Deleted List

Preview files from Classic, File or Deleted list


4. Choose a desired file or folder to launch Preview Select preferred files or folders

Preview Recoverable Photos

Similarly, preview videos and documents:-

Preview Recoverable Documents


5. Click Recover and state a Destination to start saving the recoverable files to another drive.

Recover your Files

This completes the Mac Trash files recovering process.

You need to activate the Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to save the recoverable files to another destination. Watch the below video to register the Stellar Data Recovery Professional on Mac:

Watch the Stellar Data Recovery Professional software in Action:


122 User Comments

November 26, 2011 11:56 am

Does it support latest Mac Lion? Recently I had buy a Mac Lion because of less knowledge about the new OS accidentally I have deleted some of my precious pictures and files, does it capable to recover those picture from Mac Lion.

Amit Pandey
November 28, 2011 03:55 am

Yes Mcgrath Stellar Mac Data Recovery is now supports Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. You can easily use this software in your Mac Lion and recover your data with ease. It has very interactive and easy to use interface which enable users to use this software with ease, no technical experience required to use it.
I would say must have utility for every Mac user.

Please let me know if you have any other issue.


February 16, 2012 06:36 pm

Does it keeps the original filenames?

Thank you


john caffrey
March 1, 2012 07:48 pm

Prior to purchase I read that Stellar Mac Data Recovery covers Intel and Power PC (G3 on), and your info also states "All Intel based Mac and Power PC". Have just opened package and am concerned that the disc sent states under Processor INTEL, POWER PC (G4 or later) ! I have not loaded disc and need to know whether this disc will work on a G3 Power PC running OS10 Leopard ? Finally, is it possible to load the recovered files into a new file on the original Mac or should it e loaded onto an external device ? Thanks

March 10, 2012 10:24 pm

i just lost all my data accidentally deleting my trash.. and straight away without downloading anything else i used stellar and also activated it. what happened is i scanned the deleted file recovery and it went overnight however, it only showed me all of these random files i never seen before. the files i had deleted weren't there. also the names were all whack. i did the quick recovery, and it managed to find the folders however, my documents were all missing from the folders. any suggestions?

Amit Pandey
March 17, 2012 08:29 am

Yes Ricardo, software keeps the original file names.

Amit Pandey
April 5, 2012 03:17 am

Hi Daniel,

The names are coming whack because its journal has been updated. You can try formatted recovery or can also try deleted recovery by selecting only that file type which you wants to recover.

Thanks & Regards,
Amit Pandey

Amit Pandey
April 5, 2012 03:29 am

Hi John Caffrey,

yes, the software will work on G3. We suggest to save files at different location.

Thanks & Regrads,
Amit Pandey

K Jones
April 6, 2012 01:58 pm

I'm getting the message: Source and Destination Volume are same. It won't allow me to 'recover' my files. What do I need to do? What 'location' do I need to save as destination?

Amit Pandey
April 11, 2012 07:14 am

Hi k Jones,

you need to select a different volume (location) other then the source when software ask you to give destination location.
E.g. Suppose you have deleted your data from let say, Volume 1 and you are trying to save recover data into the same volume 1 then software shows this message, select any other volume and continue.

Hope it helps

Thanks & Regards,
Amit Pandey

Dan S
April 30, 2012 07:23 pm

i've recovered an .MOV file to another volume, and I can't open it... am i missing a step?

May 11, 2012 07:24 am

Hi, I downloaded your demo version for a G5 PowerPC running 10.4.11. I installed it on the mac as I only have the one but have now run it from a copy I made to an external storage device. I didn't delete the version installed on the hard drive. I am trying to recover folders which were accidently put in the trash and deleted. The demo runs fine and I can see files being recovered but then at some point it crashes. It has done the same running it from the mac hard drive and from the storage device. Does this mean that I won't be able to recover the deleted data or will the full version work differently?

May 21, 2012 04:50 pm

I download the demo, and don't see an option in the file list to search for .txt files, I see only .rtf files. Does stellar have this capability?

Amit Pandey
May 23, 2012 09:35 am

Hi Dan,
I think you have selected the deleted file recovery option from the software and recovered .MOV file, which might be missed its signature. I suggest you to try RAW Recovery option from the software and which recover your files and folders on the basis of signature, it will take more time then deleted file recovery but you can see better results with the help of raw recovery.
Another case might be happen that your file which has been deleted, gets corrupted before recovery or overwritten by any other file, in that case it is not possible to see the correct file or file will not open up.

Hi Shona,
I think you also did the same think which has been done by Dan. Follow the steps as show above, if you did anything else please try to explain it in detail. One more thing Demo version shows the preview of recoverable files which can be recovered by the full version of the software, their is no difference between demo and full except price.

Hi Aaren,
Yes Stellar has this capability to add new file type which you need to recover which is not in the predefined file lists of the software. You need to follow the steps to add header as shown in the attached file: Go to Page 48 in PDF


Amit Pandey

May 30, 2012 09:13 pm

Recoverd a video but only the first few seconds of greater than an hour long video play.

Amit Pandey
June 14, 2012 07:00 am

Hi Alex,

Which file format of video you want to recover?

Amit Pandey

Gary F
July 29, 2012 11:43 pm

I am scanning my hard drive - it looks like it will take hours - maybe 24 hr for about 230GB - is this the norm? It seem painfully slow to try and get a few lost files.

Amit Pandey
July 30, 2012 03:58 am

Hi Gary,

Would like to know which scanning method are you using. There are two of them
1) Quick Recovery
2) Raw Recovery (signature based scanning)
By nature Quick recovery is much faster than the Raw recovery. It won't take 24 hrs to scan a hard drive of 230GB until unless the hard drive is free from bad sectors/blocks. On the contrary, Raw recovery takes much more time than Quick recovery because it scans the entire hard drive blocks and sectors for the lost data. But in both the case the scanning may not stretch to 24 hrs for a health drive.

Amit Pandey

August 12, 2012 02:47 pm

I ran the demo version for deleted files attempting to recover some documents. The scan took all night and now the name/list of recovered doc files are just numbers, no names and no preview is available on any of the files listed. Most of the PDF files do have the original names.

If I purchase Stellar Date Recovery and I am not able to recover my docs, or the software does not work with my operating system, how to I get a refund?


Mac OS X 10.4.11

Amit Pandey
August 17, 2012 06:05 am

Hi Gary,

Software works on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and you will definitely recover your doc files.
However you can directly Contact to our Customer support team if software doesn't work in your case.

Contact No: +1-877-778-6087
Skype ID: stellarsupport


Amit Pandey

August 28, 2012 03:36 pm

I recovered a lot of RAW files from my hard drive but I am not able to see a preview of the files to decide, which file I really want to be restored. Additionally if I am trying to recover a single file which is about 23MB I get the message : volume is full (but my external hard drive has 2 TB left) What can I do ?
Thank you in advance,

Amit Pandey
September 20, 2012 05:30 am

Hi Inga,

It might be possible that external drive having different file system which we are not supporting. I Advise you to save your file into the different volume of the same drive instead of external drive, it will save your file with no message.

Also please share your external drive file format and which Mac OS X you are using.


September 24, 2012 02:26 am

I had a problem when I cleaned trashed files from my external HDD to free more space, but the OS deleted practically all my HDD. I lost more than 400GB of files, most of then was Photos.
Now I'm using Stellar Mac Data Recovery, but I experienced some issues:

1. The first time I tryed to recovery, I used Photo Recovery, but:
a) The file names was changed for numbers;
b) No preview;
c) Files recovered didn't open;

2. Now I'm trying Raw Recovery, selecting the file types I want. Results:
a) Display some folders with each type of file => grouped files by type, no information by location (original folder);
b) All filenames are numbers;
c) No information about date (creation/modification);
d) Located more than 47,900 files. It's too much files and difficult to preview and select file by file. No bulk selecting (like: [shift] + [mouse click] from first to last selection, or other combination of keys), you can only "select all" or "unselect all" on the master folder checkbox;
e) I decided to select all, recovery all of it and then try to compare the recovered files with my backup to identify what files was missing there. I don't now what program can I use to compare it, because the names and dates was lost. I think it will be possible using MD5 comparison, but I don't know what program can do it. If you now how, please help me.

Some contributions:
1. Include bulk selection on the recovered list;
2. Include some filter options to be applied after recovered list was displayed to help selecting the files to be recovered.

If you know any program I can use to compare the recovered files with my backup I will be glad, remember my backup is organized by folders and names, and the recovered files was a huge list of files in only one folder, and the filenames are numbers and no information about date of creation/modification.

That's it, thank you.

Amit Pandey
September 25, 2012 09:10 am

Hi Jr-Br

For your first query:
Whenever you run photo recovery module of Mac Data Recovery, by default it runs with raw recovery scanning mechanism that's why each photo and image recovered with sector number instead of name of the file. If you are not able to preview the photo's it mean your photo's has been corrupted and did not open after saving.

For your Second Query:
As I said RAW Recovery feature could not give's you name, date and time of creation/modification of the file. It also not provides you the exact location of the file.

d) It totally depends upon your size of hard drive, if you have such a big amount of data, software just recover it for you, also software has a feature to recover even a single file amongst 47,900 files. You just need to un-select all and select a specific file(s) which you want to recover.

We don't have any third party tool to compare your data, sorry for that.


January 19, 2017 08:30 am

I deleted one folder and emptied the trash. Any way to locate the entire root folder? It's in the trash still Bc one folder wouldn't delete Bc an app was open. So only that folder lies within. Please help!!

Amit Pandey
January 20, 2017 10:21 am

Hi Jo,

Stellar Mac Data Recovery allows you to run ‘Trash Recovery’ on startup disk (i.e. Macintosh HD or SSD). Run a full scan of your startup disk. Once the scan gets done, you can preview your deleted files from the left panel of the application. Do follow the above-mentioned steps once you have downloaded & installed the application.

Note: Saving recovered files to a location requires software registration.

Hope this helps.

October 1, 2012 01:03 pm

Hi Amit,

I tried to recover selected files using the scanned information saved after a complete drive scan.
The first one, it's work fine, but the second the files were there but don't open. Size is the same, but... I will try to rescan all HDD again.

About the letter "d" in my first comment, the question is: it's will be helpful if we can select a bulk of files and with a "right click mouse" can select all the selected files to be recovered. Now we need to select with mouse click one-by-one and it's not productive when we have a lots of files.

Now I'm using a program to rename the files using the photo's EXIF information. It will help me to filter the files I really need, because I recovered all photo files and now need to filter it.


October 22, 2012 11:08 am

I'm in the middle of scanning a 1.5Tb external drive for Deleted files. Can I pause the transfer? Will it pick back up where it left off?

Amit Pandey
October 26, 2012 09:52 am

Hi Pat,

No !! I advise you not to stop the scanning in between because you have to start the scan again from initial point if you stop the process in middle.


December 15, 2012 10:41 pm


I opened a large video file (605MB) in Cubase to extract the audio. Opting for another solution I erased the file from Cubase thinking it would just erase it from the pool. But the file was erased from the original folder and yet did not appear in the trash

I have tried the Stellar Data Recovery for Mac and it is finding files removed from the system from a year ago, but not the file that appears to have been deleted just a few hours ago.

The system has not been rebooted or reformatted in any way. And yet it will not locate an apparently deleted MOV file.

I have tried the deleted files option and am currently running a photo recovery option. I have checked only MOV files to restore.

If it's able to find 44 files deleted last year (so far) why won't it pick up the file that was deleted a few hours ago?

It will still take a few hours but I am concerned that I will no longer be able to restore this file which simply must be recoverable if the app is finding older files from last year.



Amit Pandey
December 18, 2012 09:33 am

Hi Brendan,

Try to recover files Using deleted recovery option. You can select to search only for MOV files from preferences.


Amit Pandey
March 19, 2013 04:33 am

Dear Melissa,

Since you have deleted a folder we suggest you to install the data recovery application on your computer. As precautionary measures you can choose to install the recovery software on the partition other than the partition where deleted folder existed. You can then install scan & preview the recoverable files.

Now the second option is best suited when your system is dead and with the help of a firewire cable you connect it to a healthy system, mounting its drive and recovering data.

Both the methods sounds good but as you mentioned you haven't used the computer after deletion we suggest you to go by installing the software on the system itself, but on another partition.

March 19, 2013 02:51 pm

I am a fairly new Mac user. I had lots of music organized in my iTunes. I then went and deleted the tracks from my finder location so that I wouldn't have doubles taking up room on my computer. Now when I load iTunes, it can't find any of the music. SIgh. So I guessed that itunes doesn't keep a copy of the songs, even though it says it is downloading into itunes when I updated the library there.

So I got your product and yes it seems all of the songs are there to be recovered. But now I get an error message telling me I need to select another volume to recover to. I have tried making files pretty much everywhere, but I always get the same answer. As far as I can tell, it is calling my hard drive "macintosh Hd" one volume and I have no others. What I want is for the music to go back where it was, not be saved to some backup cd or something. Can you please tell me step by step what to do at this point?


May 11, 2013 07:18 pm

I'm trying to recover a .avi file (900MB) from recently deleted trash (within the last hour). The file comes up when I scan my drive. I select it and hit Recover. A root folder appears in my specified location, but appears empty. I've attempted this a few times now with the same result. Where is the .avi file that's supposed to be in that root folder?

Amit Pandey
May 29, 2013 09:21 am

Hi Tawnie,

It is an auto-generated message by the software when you save your recovered files back to Mac. Please do it again and this time proceed with the message and try to select a different partition other than one which you scanned with the tool.

Hope this solves your query!!!!

Hi Tony,

The destination drive size should be greater than the file size which is to be recovered. I suggest you to save it on a different partition, other than the one which is scanned by the tool.


July 6, 2013 03:48 pm

I have the full, paid, version of Stella Phoenix. I want to recover JPEG files that were erased and removed from trash about two years ago. I have run the trash recovery as well as the quick recovery. I don't find those files. I know the date that some of them were "created"--ie the pictures were taken and loaded onto my iMac. That date does not appear in the recovery screen.

Must I search by file name? That will be tough because I obviously didn't keep them. Can I search the files with thumbnails?--if so how?

I run Snow Leopard on an Intel iMac.

What to do?\


July 10, 2013 10:55 am

Hi Bruce,

It would be quite difficult to say whether the software will recover data that was trashed 2 years back. Since then the hard drive must have went through no. of read-write processes resulting in overwriting of the data present at that location. Once the data is overwritten it is difficult to be traced by any recovery tool.

Anyways you can still try below method to check if the trashed jpegs can still be recovered.

Launch Stellar Mac data recovery and click on Preferences icon.

Goto File List - Photo Recovery and unselect everything expect the JPEG files. Also navigate to side icons of audio and video, deleted and raw recovery . Again Unselect all file formats. This way the tool will scan for .jpeg file extension only.

Click OK to save the settings

Now select your volume/HD and begin the scan.

The result will let you know if jpeg are recovered or not?

You can also apply another method.

No need to filter any of the file formats.

Simply proceed with drive selection and scan.

Once the scan is done jump to left side of the panel and click "Filter List". A small windows appears.

Enter the extension as - *.jpeg, enter size if you know and enter previous months like 24 in the date option. Click OK to save the settings.

The tool will automatically lists all the files (jpeg) recovered from last 24 months.

If it doesn't show up then it won't be able to recover those files as they are overwritten by new data.

Let us know if you need further assistance.


July 11, 2013 08:52 pm


I am trying to recover some .MOV files which I accidentally deleted. I have tried deleted recovery, photo recovery and now raw and I am having no luck. I am recovering some files but not the one I was looking for. Its surprising i am recovering files deleted a long time ago, but the ones deleted recently I cant get. Im about to give up, just wondering if you had any suggestions? Could the videos be stored under a different extension? Or does the mac not actually fully delete the files as soon as trash is emptied?


July 12, 2013 07:25 pm

I have recovered Media files but none of them work.

I get errors on all of them.

July 13, 2013 02:03 pm

I have managed to recover files using your software. However now that I have them they will not play. These are .MOV files. The names have also changed from "IMG_1234" to "XMG_1234" the file sizes are all still the same. It seems the data is there but I cannot play it back.
I have tried your repair MOV software but no luck so far, cannot get a preview at all.
Do you have any suggestions?

July 14, 2013 03:02 pm

Hi Amit:

I was given an Okay by a client to delete about 200 GB worth of graphic files and their back-ups last week, as they were taking a lot of space. Three days later, I'm told "Hold-it, we still need some of those files!" Of course they had been deleted just the day before.

The files were deleted from a Mac Pro; OSX 10.6.8 and from both sections of a HFS+ formatted two-partition 1 TB drive. I have run Deleted Trash Recovery on both partitions, but it seems it won't or can't recover the needed files due to their size. Of the few larger files that were recovered, those over 1.97 GB are corrupted and the compressed .SIT files will not expand.

I specialize in large format production and the files needed for recovery are: Photoshop live layer .PSB files, TIFF, JPG, or compressed .SIT files with sizes ranging from 2 GB to 8 GB each. Yes, Gigabyte. I was able to add .PSB to the header list, but was not given "GB" as a size option, only MB.

Also, I have run out of room on my two external drives to write any additional recoveries. If I delete the previously recovered files from the externals, do I risk overwriting anything on the main hard drives from which I'm trying to recover files from?

Please, please help! I've been running the recovery software for about 48 hours straight. We really need these files.

Thank you Amit, especially if you can pull our (me and my client's) butts out of the fire!

July 15, 2013 06:54 am

Hi Angus,

The data recovery software did its job to recover deleted/formatted files, though severe corruption is the only cause why recovered MOV files failed to open and fail to repair with the MOV repair utility.


July 15, 2013 06:56 am

Hi Laura,

Since the file sizes are large I recommend you to run the option "Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery". It is far advance feature of the software and also time taking. Your drive is 1TB so it will take good amount of time to scan it entirely.

Also, choose another destination (external hard drive) to save your recovered files.

No if you delete the files on the external hard drive it won't overwrite your internal hard drive.

Let me know your further queries.

July 18, 2013 06:18 am

hi there, i am trying to recover MOV file sizes of 3gb but the video plays for a few seconds and freezes. i have tried running the repair tool but it that never gets going. seems to get stuck on the repairing part of the process.

any advice. can i recover such large MOV files?

Amit Pandey
July 19, 2013 04:41 am

Hi Miachel,

please make this clear are you recovering the MOV file using the Stellar Mac data recovery or repairing the MOV file using MOV repair tool?
Well, the recovery software only does the recovery part and won't repair any corrupted MOV file.


Amit Pandey
September 11, 2013 04:12 am

Hi Sofia,

We suggest you to run advance recovery feature of Stellar Photo Recovery software and also select .CR2 file format through Preferences option. As RAW RECOVERY is advance, the tool may take longer time to process scan. It is advisable to be patient.


September 11, 2013 03:19 pm

Hi hello

I want to recover jpgs and psd files that I deleted from my internal MBP some months ago. What is the best way of doing this? My harddrive is 700 GB and every time I've tried (save for quick scan which didn't find the files) it seems to take very very long, the progress bar has moved like 10 pixels in 2 hours.

Thank you

Amit Pandey
October 7, 2013 11:09 am

Dear Puff,

Try running Deleted Recovery option. it is also time taking but more effective than Quick Recovery option. If both fails then try RAW Recovery. Your HD size is appropriate but software scans the entire HD sector-by-sector. We hope all of the sectors of your HD are fine and no bad blocks are there.

Good Luck

January 4, 2014 12:08 am

I deleted a folder in trash and accidentally deleted it fro there to. I have run stellar phoenix mac data recovery but cannot find the files that i emptied fro trash. Where will they be located as when I go to trash it only has the documents that are currently in trash now. not the emptied trash files. Please Help

Amit Pandey
January 7, 2014 02:50 am

Hi Bene,

You haven't mention what recovery process you ran with Stellar Mac data recovery software? Anyways, please follow the steps:

1) Launch & scan entire Mac hard drive with Deleted Recovery option.
2) Once the scan is done, preview all recoverable files.

Or you can minimise the efforts by selecting only the header of deleted files. Suppose the file was .doc or .xls, then goto software's System Preferences
Hope this helps. Do let us know about your further proceedings.

January 8, 2014 09:48 am

How come I can't open the files recovered? Please help we need those files.

Amit Pandey
January 13, 2014 10:19 am

Hi Anton,

We need some information regarding the files, like what is size and type of recovered files which you are trying to open? Is it an image files, an audio - video or some document files? Seems like the file(s) were corrupted after deletion and hence recovered as corrupted data.

Do let us know about your problem status.

February 6, 2014 08:17 pm

The program shuts down after it scans for files -- why is this happening? I start the scan, go out to work, and come back and the program has shut down!! Can you help out at all?

Amit Pandey
February 11, 2014 10:10 am

Hi Richard,

Please uninstall & re-install the Stellar Mac data recovery software on your Mac system. Launch the scan again and this time it should complete the scan.

However, if the problem still persist then let us know.

March 25, 2014 04:44 am

Hi Amit,

A few days ago, I accidentally deleted my iPhoto library and with it my whole photo collection. I have a 320GB Mac OSX Lion and I used the Raw Recovery to scan my computer which took more or less 11 hours. I didn't get to preview everything but it looked like it found the pictures. I wanted to test out if the "Recover" actually works so I selected a small file and pressed "Recover". It seemed to work ok. I started looking through the other folders and not long after that the program crashed :(

So I re-opened it and I wanted to try Trash Recovery but my HDD wasn't in the list. Why is this? I also, tried Photo Recovery on both Macintosh HD and ST9320325ASG Media (are they the same drive?) but no files are found. I then tried the Deleted Volume Recovery. When I selected that option, it showed me a list of drives that I could scan, but when I select my drive, nothing really happens. The process starts and the first cube is greyed out, but then the scanning display goes away and all there is are icons of other Recovery options greyed out down the bottom.

I tried to do the Raw Recovery again but this time, the list of drives that was available to scan when I first run the Raw Recovery had changed. Again, I run it on Macintosh HD and ST9320325ASG Media just to be sure. Both process finished A LOT faster this time (less than an hour!) and "No data is found".

Why did the list of hard drives change? And what happened to all the files that the program originally found before it crashed? Please help me :(

Amit Pandey
March 26, 2014 03:15 am

Hello Cathlyn,

Accidentally deleted data will be recovered using Deleted file recovery.

Steps to recover data:
1. Choose Deleted Recovery
2. Open Preferences, Select deleted File Recovery Radio Button, Select
A) JPEG and other required Photo from Photos List
B) iPhoto from Application

3. Select Source Volume and Start Scan, it will show all Photos and iPhoto List only.

Note: Scan for required file format only will take very less memory and perform fast deleted file scan.

April 7, 2014 12:25 pm

I want to recover deleted files and downloaded Mac Data Recovery. I selected just Canon type files and selected deleted files to see if program would recover anything before I bought the program. It is working away but just says SCANNING IN PROGRESS - SEARCHING DELETED FILES. The drive is a 2 TB USB. There is no feedback on progress and it has been working for over 6 hours. The drive is not giving any problems and has not been formatted. Files deleted and emptied from TRASH. How long before I should give up? imac with 10.9.2 + 8GB ram

Amit Pandey
April 8, 2014 08:36 am

Hi Louis,

Deleted File Recovery perform in two Step:
1. Deleted Scan from Journal Area.
2. Deleted Scan from Unused Space of Volume.

It is very rarest case in which Journal Signature not found(Journal Signature Moved or Shift to other location in Volume) for Deleted File Recovery, in this case it will search in whole disk, it will take time.

Wait some more time...If result will not come then let us know..


July 12, 2014 07:10 am

I am trying to recover files and folders from accidentaly formatted 1TB External Drive. All the files and folders comes up when I scan my drive. I select it and hit Recover. A root folder appears in my specified location (I tried to save the recovered files in my mac as well as new 2TB external Hard drive), but appears empty. I've attempted this a few times now with the same result. Root files does not show anything but it is not empty as it has finite size. some how my files are hidden in recovered root folder which I am not able to see. How to make the hidden files visible that's supposed to be in that root folder?

July 13, 2014 10:46 am

hi i had the same problem like above post from Suresh
the file is hidden so then i unhid the file and its there
but when i play it, it goes for a few seconds and stops
so it basically recovered the file but you can't play the whole thing
please help, thank you

Amit Pandey
July 15, 2014 02:58 am

Dear Suresh & Hannah,

We request you to please follow the steps below to show hidden files on your Mac Operating System:

Note: This changes the default setting of Mac OS X so that Finder always shows all files.

Step 1: Launch the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities) and enter the following commands exactly as shown below:

For OS X Mavericks 10.9

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

For Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.7 Lion, 10.6 Snow Leopard

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Step 2: Hit Return, nothing happens yet because you must relaunch the Finder for the changes to take effect. This is done by ‘killing’ the Finder process, which is also done through the command line with the following string:

killall Finder

Again, hit Enter/Return, and you’ll discover the Finder quits and relaunches itself very quickly with the changes in effect.

Now you can see your hidden files successfully.

Hope this helps. Let us know for further queries.

Michele Butler
September 13, 2014 09:09 pm

Hi Amit
I had help from Stellar via remote support yesterday. And after removing 200gb of 'stuff' from my external hard drive then formatting it I was able to recover 100gb of deleted files from my Imac to it. However this side of computer world I am unfamiliar with - how do I not reinstall it to the imac. The root file contains smaller files of Pngs and things I am unfamiliar with. If I send them all back to the Imac will they all go back to their pre existing positions? Folders have been broken down into elements - this was not the recovery I was looking for...
Hoping you can help

Amit Pandey
September 22, 2014 04:34 am

Dear Michele,

Software recovers the data as seen on the preview window while recovery. Moreover, application will not be able to restore the data back on the original hard drive to the same location. You've to move the required files as per your need to the desired location such as secondary storage device or external hard drive.

Good luck!!

Amit Pandey
December 5, 2014 02:49 am

Hi Steve,

In the software interface you can search for the recovered file type. For example, take last screenshot from the above article. In the right-top corner you will see a search button. You can enter your file format such as .txt, .mov or .qxw. Press RETURN and software will display all recovered files of your entered file format.

Otherwise, on Mac use search button in the above mentioned patter i.e enter file format and press RETURN. Hope this helps!!!

Do let us know for further query.

May 18, 2015 05:43 pm

hi, when i selected "Deleted Recovery" and selected volume as Macintosh DH and click scan.
After finish scanning process, i got windows "No Data Found."

how to solve this problem?

Amit Pandey
May 20, 2015 04:58 am

Hi Yossaphat,

We advise you to change the recovery mode and scan your Macintosh HD with "RAW Recovery" option. This is an advance data recovery technique which uses file signatures to find and restore data. Hope this helps.

Do let us know for further query.

May 22, 2015 05:11 pm

Hi Amit,
This morning I emptied my trash without noticing that I had accidentally dragged a folder from the desktop into the trash. The folder was very important and contained hundreds of Doc., JPEG., Photoshop files, MOV., and any number of other random file formats. I ran quick recovery immediately but am having trouble sorting through where it could all be. Is there anyway to recover the folder itself? Not just the hundreds if not thousands of random scattered files mixed in with all the other crap I've trashed in the last few years. Thanks brother.

Begging and pleading for help,

Serge Ecoiffier
May 27, 2015 12:05 am

I have an older version of Stellar recovery which has helped in the passed. However, as I try to recover .iba and .ibook files accidentally (always the case, eh ?) deleted Stellar seems to be unable to find any of these files. I have tried all the modes of recovery, finding thousands of other files - NO .iba or .ibook ! Currently doing a full scan "lost/deleted volumes" which will take many many hours (2 hrs for 10%, finding 5 lost/volumes thus far ?!)

The files were also purged from the wastebasket (!)

Should I be using the latest release ?

As could be expected, my latest backups seem to have the same issue. The most recent intact backup I have dates from ~6 months ago. There was lots of changes/updates over those many months. It would be nice to recover the .iba files.

Thanks for any help in recovering these files.

Amit Pandey
May 27, 2015 10:06 am

Hi Serge,

Please let us know the version of the current Stellar Mac data recovery software that you are running?


Amit Pandey
May 28, 2015 10:21 am

Dear Walton,

Thanks for sharing your concern.

I recommend you to run "Deleted Recovery" (Right Next to Quick Scan) and scan your Macintosh HD (Startup drive) with Stellar Mac data recovery software. You can also go to Preferences and select only JPEG, MOV, PDF, DOC, XLSX, PPTX etc. so that software recovers only your desired file format. Otherwise, let Deleted Recovery scan your entire hard drive and helps you recover all of the files which were accidentally deleted.

Your deleted fielder will be listed either by their names or with title 'Lost Folders'. You have to manually check your files in every recovered Lost Folder.

Hope this helps!!

Do let us know for further query.

August 31, 2015 04:54 am


I accidentally emptied my entire Photos library from Trash. I immediately ran the Deleted Recovery and then the Raw Recovery and in both instances the jpeg files are coming up as small sized (KB) files. Is there any reason for this? I know that the files were jpg rather than jpeg does this make a difference? In addition to losing my photos, I spent $120 on this program so I feel like I am losing my mind! Thanks

Amit Pandey
August 31, 2015 06:32 am

Hi Jenny,

RAW recovery will show images in small size but in your case you don't need to run Raw Recovery feature. Please go with Formatted or Deleted Recovery option. JPG or JPEG will not make any difference since software scans for all recoverable file formats. Please be calm since we are fully dedicated to resolve your issue.

Do let us know for further query.


September 28, 2015 08:21 pm


I have recovered images delated from the trash bin. The problem is that they are recovered half way (half of the image is black out or pixelized). I turned off the computer after few minutes when realized that files were delated but before that I downloaded one program which has extracted from the zip folder three times. However, that program was not starter. Is it possible to get images fully recovered without those interferrences? Thank you.

Amit Pandey
September 30, 2015 05:57 am

Hello Oktawian,

The images that you have recovered are partially corrupt. This usually happens when deleted photos get partially overwritten before recovery, thus leading to recovery of corrupt files. You can try repairing the corrupt JPEG files with Stellar JPEG repair software for Mac.

Hope this helps. Please let us know for further query!!

Alif Rizal Efendi
October 6, 2015 05:34 pm


Does it keep the original folder names?
Thank you.


Amit Pandey
October 7, 2015 06:19 am

Hi Alif,

Only when OS X haven't updated its file system after the data was lost or deleted. Hope this info help. Do let us know for further query.

October 31, 2015 12:13 pm


I deleted a folder from my desktop this morning (full of pdf and Office files) and I used the "Deleted recovery" option of your software, but none of the pdf files recovered is any of my documents, actually none of the files it recovered look like any of my files (and I bought the laptop just 2 months ago). Is there anything I could do?

Thank you

Amit Pandey
November 2, 2015 09:28 am

Hi Raluca,

We advise you change the recovery method if Deleted Recovery didn't worked. Go for Quick Recovery - Advance Scan option to search for deleted files. You can also try Raw Recovery feature in case desire result isn't obtained. Do let us know for further query.


November 10, 2015 10:06 am

I'm trying to recover files from a lost volume. I formatted my mac almost a week ago. When I run an advanced "Recover Data", the tree structure looks exactly the same as what I have today.
Also, the files I'm looking for has .swift extension, is there any hope?


November 11, 2015 06:09 pm

I accidentally deleted a docx file a week ago, I bought the full version of the software, and after a thousand scans I am not able to find my doc back. Nothing appears when I do Quick scan or deleted recovery. Is it important to buy the software before losing the files ? Please help me, I spent more time trying to find the doc than redoing it and i'm going crazy!
Thanks you

November 15, 2015 04:09 pm

Is there any way to sort the files by date of deletion? I deleted a folder with images in it yesterday and then realized I had deleted the wrong folder and there are 213563 files that are available for recovery, so it is impossible for me to search through them to find what I need, especially since all of the image filenames have been replace with their dimensions, e.g. (640x1136).JPEG
Thank you.

Amit Pandey
November 20, 2015 06:35 am

Hi Eric,

For lost volumes & partitions, we recommend you run the option "Search Lost Deleted Volumes" of the Stellar Mac data recovery software. If your file format isn't showing up then you can manually add file types through following steps:

1) Goto software preferences
2) Click 'Advanced' tab
3) In 'Add Header' section, drag-n-drop 10 or more .swift files and click 'Add Header' button. The software will now scan the hard drive for newly added file types.

Hope this information helps. Do let us know for further query.


Amit Pandey
November 20, 2015 06:41 am

Hi Oriane,

No it is not important to buy the software before loosing your files.

For better recovery results we recommend you can apply filters to the scan so that software looks only for deleted .DOCX files. Below is the process for the same:

1) Select Macintosh Drive< 2) Supported File Format Window pops up
3) Expand "Documents Formats" by clicking on + button
4) Check MS Office Files and 2008 Files. Uncheck all other files in Documents Formats section
5) Uncheck Photo, Archive, Application, Text and Other Formats
6) Click OK
7) Click Start Scan. The software will locate deleted DOCX files on the hard drive. Once done you can preview doc file and save.

P.S. - You only need to scan Macintosh HD with the software.


Amit Pandey
November 20, 2015 06:42 am

Hi Andrew,

You can sort the recovered files by clicking on the 'Creation Date' after the software has finished the drive scan. Through 'Creation Date' the files are sorted by date of their creation in increasing order. Thus it will help you find you recently deleted files.

Hope this information helps!!

Do let us know for further query. Thanks.

March 10, 2016 07:14 am

Is it uncommon for the scan to take days? I have been scanning with Stellar Photo recovery for 2 days and it appears to be only half way done. I did a previous scan with Stellar Data Recovery and it finished overnight. Should I try something different? I am trying to recover images and videos deleted only from iPhoto. Is there a way to filter my search to only those? Thank you.

Amit Pandey
March 16, 2016 06:00 am

​Hi Ashley,

Usually, the scanning process takes some time. However in your case, I suggest you to go for some "filtering options". For example, you could have selected only the desired "file type" or "file format" for images and videos in advanced settings for faster scanning and recovery.

Try these simple changes, and you will definitely get some improved results."

Please let us know for further query.

May 7, 2016 06:41 am

Hello. I ran a Deleted Recovery on an External Hard Drive and it returned most of the .MOV files I was searching for as Zero Bytes and therefore they won't work? What does this mean? If I try to run a different kind of Recovery will that help? If so, what type of recovery should I run? Thank you.

Amit Pandey
May 9, 2016 11:25 am

Hello KC,

Please find below solution to your query!!!

Please select your external hard drive from the software menu and run “RAW Recovery << Photo Recovery”. This option will scan the external hard drive and recover media files including pictures, music and video files.

Hope this helps!! Do let us know for further query.

March 6, 2017 03:28 pm

I click the deleted recovery and setting to photos file only (Jpeg, jpg and png) because I only want to recover my photos. But why its taking so long? it always said searching deleted files. I deleted my files yesterday, do yo know how to make it faster or to fix it?

Amit Pandey
March 8, 2017 09:29 am

Hi Roppp,

How large is your selected hard drive? The software scan time is dependent upon the size of the hard drive, condition of the hard drive (i.e. bad sectors affect the smooth scanning process). Also, let us know the version of macOS and Stellar Mac Data Recovery software you running?

May 31, 2017 03:23 pm

Hello. I am running Stellar on MacBook Pro OS Sierra 10.12.5 as I am trying to recover deleted files from the internal Macintosh HD Flash Drive. When I run Stellar, it will go for about 5-6 hours, then crash. Can you advise on why this is happening, and what can be done to remedy this problem.

September 5, 2017 12:50 am

Hi Amit,

I accidentally deleted about 2TB worth of files from an external HD about a week ago. I've run one entire Deleted Recovery scan, and it seemed to be able to recover the whole drive, but I am really only looking for a handful of important files, and none of the original file names were recovered. Will Raw Recovery give me a better chance of getting the original folders/file names back?


September 5, 2017 10:24 am

As per your concern we would like to communicate through the email so that we can assist you accordingly.

Warm Regards,

Data Recovery Associate
Stellar Data Recovery

October 22, 2017 08:58 am

Hi, I'm trying to do a trash recovery. On my Mac Mini where most of my hard drives are conected and I actually want to run your program all my drives are visible but non of it's volumes. The volumes are available in the Finder and are functioning normal. When I install Stellar Mac Data Recovery on my MacBookPro all volumes show up. What can I do to see volumes on my MacMini. That's where I actually want to run the program on. Thanks!

December 18, 2017 06:23 pm

Hi! I am using to recover photos, can I stop the recovery if I see that already scan and found a photos?
It's been 4 hours already and still going.
Please reply.
Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

December 19, 2017 02:09 am

As per your concern we will contact you through email.

Warm Regards,
Stellar Data Recovery

December 28, 2017 10:25 pm


I accidentally deleted 27 GB of important files from my work computer. How am I supposed to install the software without risking to overwrite any of the deleted files?
I have a macbook pro, most likely with a SSD disk.

December 29, 2017 04:46 am

We request you to contact our technical support team, we are sure that our team will able to help you.

Warm Regards
Stellar Support

March 4, 2018 10:31 am

After scanning macintosh HD, the folder that came up was only raw data, there wasn't anything else, I see most people have users folder to access to their deleted picture folder, I felt like this app is of no use and I don't feel safe, I made a payment but it seem to not yet charge me, please do not charge me.

March 21, 2018 07:56 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

We have sent you an email to assist you further.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

Randy Ginsburg
April 3, 2018 09:26 am

I was using a duplicate remover to take out duplicates in my photo library and accidentally deleted the entire thing. Used the software to locate all of my files, do they need to be recovered onto a different hard drive or is there a way to bring them straight back to the computer I deleted them off of. Currently abroad with no access to hard drive. Is there a time period where these will dissapear?

Stellar Support
April 3, 2018 12:49 pm


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We would like to inform you that we have contacted you on email.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

April 19, 2018 09:07 pm

Hi! I've just bought my computer two days ago (MacBook) and I've mistakenly deleted files and pictures that I had just downloaded. I've run the program... and it said No Data Found. At all. When I remember very well emptying the trash bin myself. Is there any other process to make it work? Thanks a lot! Amelie

April 20, 2018 01:11 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We would like to inform you that we have sent an email to your email address regarding for the same.


Stellar Data Recovery

October 28, 2018 08:41 am

Hi! I downloaded the demo in a Mac iOS 10.14. When asked to Select Location I only have the image of one drive with the label "can't find volume." Is this because it's the demo and not the paid version or is it not working with my computer? Thanks!!

October 29, 2018 06:34 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We have sent you an email to assist you regarding the issue.

Please follow our email and get back to us for any further query.

Stellar Data Recovery

January 31, 2019 07:10 pm

A folder with my wedding pictures on my laptop either got accidently deleted or went missing. I cannot find it anywhere on my laptop. So I've installed the Stellar Data Photography Recovery, but the names are not showing up as the same and the only image I could find that looks similar is not completely rendered properly. In other words I can't find a good image, before I can commit to buying the full licence of your software. Please help me.

February 1, 2019 02:26 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

We have sent you an email to assist you further.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

Michael Rouse
February 9, 2019 05:04 pm

All the files that I wish to recover appear in the deleted files section, but have a red cross through the bottom of the icon. In the file type, for example, rather than saying ".mov or quicktime file" it just says "deleted file". When I recover these files. They will not play. Any helpwould be appreciated.

February 11, 2019 11:27 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

We have sent you an email to assist you further.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

Diego Mendes
May 6, 2019 03:03 am

Hi guys,

I bought this week a license from you to recover a directory with files.
Your software was able to find them but when I selected the whole directory or a file inside and click to recover, the open dialog window shows that "is updating list" and after closed it without messages and without recover the directories or files.
I tested with another directory and it worked.

Do you why this is happening?
Is there a place where I can read the logs to see the exactly problem or limitation?

Stellar Support
May 7, 2019 08:31 pm


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

We have sent you an email to assist you further.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

June 23, 2019 12:47 am

I accidentally deleted a word document and I bought a license from you to recover the file. I was able to locate the file in the StellarDataRecovery application. However, when I tried saving the document into the newly selected location, it doesn't show up. I've tried numerous times to no avail. Nothing appears.

Stellar Support
June 24, 2019 06:38 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

We have sent you an email to assist you further.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

Stacey Mandel
June 25, 2019 09:27 pm

Yesterday I accidentally deleted all my files including from the Trash on Mac. I download Stellar and purchased a license. I have used it and seems to have worked for photos. But for all my docs, I can't get past the part where after I select a location (my external hard drive) it asks me if I want to rename, overwrite or skip data it's recovering. I have tried renaming and skipping, but it does not seem to make a difference. I can't get the recovery files I see (which are not in my original names) to go onto my external hard drive. Please help.

Stellar Support
June 26, 2019 04:42 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

We have sent you an email to assist you further.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

September 20, 2019 09:01 pm

Before I move on to trying some other data recovery software, I should also report that I can barely even get the software to run. I am using Sierra. If there is some incompatibility with Sierra, not sure why your software can't detect that and let us know. If not known compatibility issues, then about 50% of the time, when I try to launch software, it "unexpectedly quits", requiring me to try again. Second time usually works; but, again, still encountering all of the other issues already reported!

September 20, 2019 09:09 pm

BTW, why do I have to keep entering password, every time I try to launch software?? If this is normal, then, this annoyance alone would be enough of a reason to use other software.

After putting in pw, Stellar software takes a couple of seconds to "Initialize". Is this normal? Does your software really have to do that every time it launches? I am not sure where I am supposed to find information on all of the things I am encountering! Everything about this software and site just seems so odd. Naturally, we won't be willing to purchase, if we can't even get the software to run properly.

BTW, I have submitted several "comments" today; and I note that the verification code is always exactly the same! Is that intended?? Seems like if you use the same code every time, it sort of defeats the purpose of using such a system. Of course, if this is NOT intended, thought you should know that this has been my experience. I have received the same verification code, every time I have submitted. And I have done about 4 - 5 submissions, if memory serves.

Stellar Data Recovery
September 21, 2019 12:25 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We have sent you an email to assist you further for the same.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery
September 21, 2019 12:25 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We have sent you an email to assist you further for the same.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery

John Ko
September 24, 2019 05:24 pm

I think that the software should have warnings about SSD and TRIM. It will not work to recover any data from that, as it is permanently deleted, and any representation on a standard install with SSD and TRIM-enabled will not allow recovery of files.

Stellar support
September 25, 2019 06:02 am


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We have sent you an email to assist you further for the same.

Warm regards,

Stellar Data Recovery


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