Losing or deleting a whole partition by mistake can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have no idea how to recover it or the data stored there. But don’t panic just yet. Luckily, there are quick and simple ways to recover partitions on Mac. So even if you’re not a tech-savvy person, you should be able to successfully retrieve all of your lost data.
Here’s everything you should know about Mac partitioning, including step-by-step instructions on recovering deleted partitions.
Mac Partition Types Explained
Partitioning basically means splitting an internal or external hard drive into separate storage systems. By doing it, you’ll also be splitting the HDD capacity between those systems (but you can adjust the partition size when creating it). Many choose to partition their Macs specifically to be able to use two different operating systems on their device at the same time.
When you partition your hard drive, you get the option of choosing the needed format, which is why it is important to be aware of the partition types. There are three types of Mac partitions (also known as partition schemes):
- — This is the default file system for Macs that run macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later. It offers higher speeds, stronger encryption, and better data handling compared to HFS+. It is an excellent option for Macs that run newer macOS versions and for SSDs.
- — This file system is used with older macOS versions (macOS 10.12 or earlier). You can still use it if you want. It’s a good option for older Macs or for cross-compatibility (when you have an old Mac that doesn’t support APFS and a new Mac). But otherwise, it is recommended to use APFS since it comes with many essential features.
- — These file systems are a great option if you plan on using the partitioned hard drive to share files across macOS and Windows platforms. FAT is used for volumes over 32 GB and exFAT for the ones that are 32 GB or less in size.
You can edit the disk partition on your Mac via Disk Utility. Everything that needs to be done with the partitions can be completed through this app: adding new partitions, formatting them, repartitioning, deleting partitions, etc.
To perform any of these actions, you should do the following:
How to Recover Data From a Deleted Partition on Mac
To recover a partition on Mac, you need to use specialized third-party software. There are many excellent applications to choose from, but after testing some of those apps, we recommend you to try out Disk Drill.
If you’ve never used Disk Drill before, you need to download and install the app before moving further. Head to the official Disk Drill page and click Download. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
Now you can move on to the main part. Follow these steps to recover deleted partition data on your Mac using Disk Drill:
How to Recover the Entire Partition on a Mac
If you’ve accidentally deleted a partition and wish to recover it, you can use TestDisk — it is free to use, open-source, and available across multiple platforms. It can become useful with different tasks, such as recovering data from a RAW hard drive, making non-booting disks bootable again, etc. However, this tool doesn’t have a graphical interface and is not as user-friendly as one might hope.
If you need to restore a partition on Mac, follow these instructions:
How to Repair Corrupted Partition
If your partition is damaged and needs to be fixed, you can repair the partition on your Mac without the help of third-party apps. Basically, you have two options here: to repair the partition map on Mac using Disk Utility or to format the partition.
Here are step-by-step instructions for both of the options.
Repair the Partition Map Using Disk Utility
Since Disk Utility is the main partitioning tool for Mac, you can use it to fix a corrupted partition directly on your computer. So if your partition isn’t working properly because of a damaged partition map, this tool should be able to take care of it.
Here’s what you should do:
Once the repair process is finished, you’ll get another popup notifying you about it. Just click Done, and you’re all set.
Format the Hard Drive Partition
If nothing helps and your partition still isn’t functioning properly, you can try to fix it by formatting the partition.
But before you do it, it is recommended to make a backup of your partition (of course, if you store important files there). When you format your partition, all of the data located there will get erased. So, once you have a backup of your files and are sure that there’s nothing important stored on that partition, you can safely format it.
Here’s how to format the partition on Mac:
Keep in mind that after you delete the partition, all of the data stored there will be erased.