Undelete Data on Mac with Disk Drill macOS Catalina Ready!

We all occasionally delete a folder or a file on a Mac or erasing entire disk many times. But what if you realized it was a mistake after the Trash has already been emptied? Is there a way to undelete Mac Trash somehow? Yes, and the answer is Disk Drill!
If you are looking for software to help you undelete files on Mac, you’ve come to the right place. Disk Drill is the premier file recovery app for Mac OS X. If you’ve emptied your Trash and then realized that you need one of the files you deleted, we can help. Read on to learn all about how to undelete files on Mac — whether they are on your hard drive, an external drive, flash drive or camera disk.

Below is just a quick overview of the steps. For detailed tutorials, see How to Install Disk Drill and How to Recover Lost Files with Disk Drill Basic in our Knowledgebase. Note that there are special steps you should take if you are trying to recover files from your Mac's internal hard drive.

#1 Download and Install Disk Drill

If you need to undelete files on Mac, the first thing you’ll want to do is download the free Disk Drill Basic. With Disk Drill Basic you can scan the disk for lost files and preview the files recovered. If there are any files hiding on your disk, Disk Drill will find them!
  • 1Download Disk Drill
  • 2Drag to Applications Folder
  • 3Launch Disk Drill

#2 Start Scanning for Lost Files

After you have Disk Drill downloaded and installed, you can start your scan. First, select the disk or partition that you need to undelete data on. Next, click the “Recover” button to start your scan. Scanning your disk can take a few minutes to many hours, depending on the size of your disk. Start Scanning for Lost Files

#3 Preview Found Files

Once the scan is complete, Disk Drill will show you a list of files it has found. Some files may not have their original file names, so you may need to sort the results by file type, date and size.
You can preview the files right in Disk Drill to confirm that they are the correct files and that they are not damaged. Select the files that you wish to undelete from Mac Trash. Preview Found Files

Data Protection is Important

The best way to undelete data on Mac is to protect it beforehand. Free Disk Drill offers multiple options of protecting your important files: Guaranteed Recovery, Recovery Vault, and S.M.A.R.T. monitoring. With these protection features you save yourself lots of effort and time and don't even worry about ever losing your files.

#4 Upgrade to Disk Drill PRO

If you have found the files you need to undelete, congratulations! You will now need to upgrade to Disk Drill PRO in order to recover those files.
Methods to undelete Trash on Mac are easy with Disk Drill PRO — simply check the box next to the files you wish to recover and click the Recover button. You can then save the files to the disk of your choice. Upgrade to Disk Drill PRO

#5 Protect Your Future Data

To avoid having to go through a long process to undelete Mac OS X files again, be sure to activate Disk Drill’s Guaranteed Recovery feature. This clever feature saves a copy of every file you send to the Trash. After that, undeleting data on Mac takes just a click of one button. So there you have it, five easy to steps on how to undelete files on your Mac. Download Disk Drill today and get started. Or get your lost files back on Windows with Disk Drill for PC!

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team
Yes, you can. Deleted files can be restored with data recovery software on your Mac. When macOS deletes a file, it does not physically remove it from its storage media. It simply marks the space previously occupied by the files as available for use. Until that space is reused and the data is overwritten, the original file can be recovered.

To recover permanently deleted files from a Mac:

  1. Download, install and launch Disk Drill.
  2. Select the disk that contained the deleted files.
  3. Click the Recover button to initiate the scanning algorithms.
  4. Preview the list of recoverable files.
  5. Select the files to be recovered and a new storage location for them.
  6. Click Recover to restore the data.

Recovery Vault is a feature included in the free version of Disk Drill that can recover deleted files from your Mac. You can designate specific files or folders to be protected as well as the length of time they will remain in the vault. When a protected file is deleted it can easily be restored from the Recovery Vault.

The best way to undelete files on Mac without software is with a Time Machine backup. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the storage media containing the backup to your Mac.
  2. Open a Finder window of the location that contained the deleted files.
  3. Launch Time Machine by clicking the clock icon on the menu bar.
  4. Select the items to recover.
  5. Click Restore.

Once a file has been overwritten, it usually cannot be restored with data recovery software. You can try scanning with Disk Drill to scavenge any recoverable data. You probably need to have a backup of the file if you want to retrieve it. Follow these general steps:

  1. Connect the backup storage media to your computer.
  2. Start the backup and recovery program.
  3. Search for the lost data and select it for restoration.
  4. Perform the recovery.

Yes, you can undelete files on Catalina, the newest version of macOS. The Trash Bin is there and can be used to restore recently deleted files. In some situations, you can use the Command - Z shortcut to recover deleted data. Disk Drill is fully compatible with all versions of macOS and can help you recover from any data loss scenario.

Disk Drill digs into details

Disk Drill's Deep Scan works through the raw data on your hard disk. When it needs to look into the core structure of the files it won't matter if your drive is FAT, or NTFS, or other. Disk Drill uses its wide knowledge of file signatures in order to put the remaining fragments together and undelete data on Mac the best way possible. Once the binary signature was recognized the app easily undeletes lost files like .jpg, .doc, .xls, etc.

Don't wait — secure your data now!

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What users and software gurus say

  • Kurt Riegner
    Kurt Riegner
    Used Disk Drill after a botched iPhoto > Photos > new iMac migration lost a few thousand pictures from wife's hard drive. Was able to recover them all despite having reformatted the drive in preparation for recycling. Great utility!
  • Disk Drill 2 is your first and last line of defense for dealing with misbehaving volumes on the Mac, and the Pro version easily pays for itself the first time trouble comes along. Aside from a UI that feels out of step with OS X El Capitan, my only caveat would be to hold off for the forthcoming version 3.0 so your investment will last as long as possible, especially when the Basic version offers sufficient peace of mind today without breaking the bank. J.R. Bookwalter | @JRBTempe
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