Did you mistakenly delete a file from your Mac and are pretty sure that it’s gone forever? Well, you might be wrong. Even if you think that you’ve permanently deleted data on your computer, it might still be possible to bring it back.
In this article, you’ll find out how to recover permanently deleted files on a Mac and learn about the ways to increase your chances of successful data recovery.
How to Permanently Delete Files on Mac?
Dropping a file into the Trash folder on your Mac doesn’t permanently delete it. It will stay there either until you manually empty the folder or until Trash automatically removes the files (if you have this feature enabled).
If your goal is to permanently delete a file or folder from your computer, here are the best ways to do it.
Option #1. Keyboard Shortcut
You can use a keyboard shortcut to bypass Trash on your Mac and immediately delete a file. Here’s how to use it:
Option #2. Delete Immediately Feature
You can access the Delete Immediately feature through the Finder’s menu on top of the screen. Here’s how to permanently delete files on Mac using this tool:
Option #3. Remove From the Trash
If you’ve deleted a file on your Mac by dragging it into Trash or using the Command + Delete keyboard shortcut, you’ll need to remove it from the Trash folder to delete that file permanently. Here’s how to do it:
Option #4. Specialized Software
Another way to quickly and permanently delete data on a Mac is to use specialized software known as a file shredder. In general, such a tool deletes a file from your computer and immediately overwrites it with some random data.
If you stick with this option, it’ll be impossible to restore the deleted data (unless you’ve created a backup containing the deleted file before removing it).
How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files on Mac
If you’ve realized that you’ve permanently deleted the wrong folder or file by mistake, the methods described below should help you get back the deleted files on your Mac.
Method #1. Use Data Recovery Software
Probably the easiest and quickest way to recover permanently deleted files on a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air is with the help of a specialized data recovery tool. While there aren’t many options to choose from, it’s still possible to find a few effective data recovery applications on the market, one of them being Disk Drill.
Here’s how to restore permanently deleted files on a Mac via Disk Drill:
A pop-up window will appear saying that you’ve successfully recovered your file. Once that happens, quit the Disk Drill app. Then all you need to do to access the recovered data is go to the previously chosen location.
Method #2. Restore From a Time Machine Backup
Another effective solution is to restore the permanently deleted file from a Time Machine backup. Using this app is easy, and recovering files with it won’t take up much of your time.
However, this method has one huge limitation: you will be able to recover an accidentally deleted file on your Mac with Time Machine only if you’ve used this tool to backup your computer prior to losing the files.
Here’s how to retrieve permanently deleted files on your Mac with Time Machine:
The file will be returned back to its original location. So to open the recovered file, navigate to the folder where the file used to be stored before deletion.
Method #3. Resort for Help From a Data Recovery Service
If the previous methods didn’t work in your situation and you’re searching for a way to recover deleted files on a Mac without software, the only other option that you have left is to let data recovery professionals take care of the issue. A data recovery center like CleverFiles is capable of restoring single files or data in bulk and retrieving data from damaged drives.
And even though the results depend on whether the deleted file was already overwritten with new data or not, this method still offers a high chance of successful data recovery.
Here’s how to recover a permanently deleted file with the help of a data recovery service:
As soon as the data recovery center finishes the job, the recovered data and your drive will be returned to you.
How to Increase Chances for Successful Data Recovery
Unfortunately, no data recovery method can guarantee a 100 percent successful outcome. But the good news is that there are ways to maximize the chances of effectively retrieving lost data: