How to Recover Lost Files on Mac OS X

If you have lost documents, images, videos or music on your Mac, we can help! Our Disk Drill software will help you recover lost files on Mac OS X no matter whether they are on your internal Mac hard drive or an external drive, camera, or USB flash drive. MacOS Catalina Ready!
Disk Drill is the leading data recovery software for Mac. It is easy to install and run. You don’t need to be a computer whiz or have any special knowledge to use it.

A lot of times when you have lost, deleted or mistakenly removed files from a disk or drive, the files are still there — you just can’t see them. Disk Drill finds this “invisible” data and helps you recover it. It uses three different scanning methods, plus several disk repair algorithms, to fix your drive (if needed) and allow your Mac to recover its deleted data.

Below you can find a brief overview of how to recover your lost Mac documents. For detailed tutorials, see How to Install Disk Drill and How to Recover Lost Data with Disk Drill Basic in our Knowledgebase.

#1 Download and Install

The first step in lost data recovery on Mac OS X is to download and install the Disk Drill app. Simply click the Download button at the top of this page to begin. Disk Drill Free allows you to scan your drive and determine if your files have a good chance of being recovered. Upgrading to Disk Drill PRO will allow you to complete the recovery process.
  • 1Download Disk Drill
  • 2Drag to Applications Folder
  • 3Launch Disk Drill

#2 Launch Disk Drill

Once you have installed Disk Drill, go ahead and open the program. The first time you open, it will ask you some questions. We recommend leaving the boxes checked and proceeding to the main window. There you will find all the drives that Disk Drill has detected that are connected to your Mac. Select the drive (and partition if needed) where you wish to recover your lost data on Mac OS X.

#3 Scan Your Drive

To recover lost images on your Mac (or other lost data files), you will first need to scan your drive. Click the Recover button next to the drive in question and Disk Drill will run through all of its scanning methods, one at a time.
If the button says “Rebuild” instead of “Recover” it means it has detected that the drive needs repair. Click Rebuild to proceed. Once the repair is done, it will start scanning. You can be sure that you will soon be recovering any removed documents on your Mac. Scan Your Drive

Protect Your Files and Never Worry

The best way to recover lost files on Mac is actually to protect them in advance! This way you never need to worry about it. Disk Drill offers various ways of protecting your data for free: Recovery Vault, Guaranteed Recovery and S.M.A.R.T. monitoring.

#4 Review the Found Data

As Disk Drill scans your drive to recover lost data on Mac, a window will show all files it has found so far. Note that some files may not have their original file names. But you can sort the results by date, size and file type.
Click the “eye” icon next to each file to preview it and see if it is in good shape — previewing is very important because it is the only way to know the file is not corrupted. Review the Found Data

#5 Identify Lost Photos and Images

Disk Drill is particularly good at recovering deleted photos on Mac OS X. If you are looking to recover deleted images, you can usually identify them in the scan results by using the file type drop-down menu and selecting “Pictures”. This will narrow down your search results to those with image file types. Then you can preview the images and determine which ones are good candidates for recovery.

#6 Upgrade to Disk Drill PRO

Once you have previewed your files and identified the deleted data that you wish to recover, you are ready to upgrade to Disk Drill PRO. Check out available Disk Drill editions and proceed with the upgrade process.

#7 Recover Lost Files on Mac OS X

After upgrading, head back to your scan results and check the box next to each file you wish to recover, then click the Recover button. Recover Lost Files on Mac OS X
That’s it! Seven easy steps is all you need to recover deleted photos on your Mac… or lost documents… or any other type of files. Give it a try by clicking the download button at the top of the page now.

Disk Drill looks into details

When Disk Drill needs to look into the core structure of the files it doesn't care if your drive is FAT, NTFS, etc. Our app for lost data recovery on Mac applies all of its knowledge of file signatures to be able to put the remaining fragments together. Once it identifies the binary signature it easily recovers lost files like .jpg, .doc, .xls, etc.

Don't wait — keep your files safe!

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Learn How to Recover Lost Files on OS X Now!
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What users and software gurus say

  • Drew Lucas
    Drew Lucas
    Disk Drill for OS X - looks promising for "oops" moments.
  • I tried to recover the DMG file for Firefox, which I intentionally deleted for the purpose of testing, using the Recovery Vault. Clicking the Recover button quickly placed the file on my desktop, and opening and installing Firefox worked perfectly. James Dempsey
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