How To Free Recover Deleted Files On Mac Without Software

Losing data on a Mac can happen to anybody, and there are various scenarios. The most common one – you accidentally deleted unnecessary files when managing your Mac.

Losing data on a Mac can happen to anybody, and there are various scenarios. The most common one – you accidentally deleted unnecessary files when managing your Mac. You can also unintentionally lose data when installing malware, causing the drive to corrupt.

When your Mac crashes and you need to reformat it, the possibility of not finding some or all files after the process is common. Whatever the reason is, when it happens, you need a solution. Because your data is precious, let’s focus on how to recover deleted files on your Mac for free.

How To Free Recover Deleted Files On Mac Without Software

Retrieve Deleted Files On Mac From the Trash folder

When you delete the old emails on Gmail, they are not entirely gone. Those emails stay in the Trash folder, which you can retrieve anytime. Unless you have emptied the Trash folder. You might know about this already.

Just like Gmail, if you move a file to the Trash folder of your Mac, you can bring it back to your computer if you feel it was a mistake. Here is how to restore deleted files on Mac from the Trash folder.

  1. Click the trash icon on your Mac to launch the Trash folder. The icon usually lies in the Dock of the Mac screen.
  2. Scroll up or down to find the files you deleted by mistake.
  3. Right-click on the desired file and select Put Back.

Restore Deleted Files On Mac Using Time Machine

Retrieving the files from fr the Trash folder back to your Mac is the simplest solution to your current issues and is free. What if nothing is in the Trash folder because you have emptied it lately?

If you always schedule a backup of your Mac data using Time Machine, that would be very useful. You can recover deleted data on your Mac from it. This is why they always suggest backing up the data on your device regularly.

  1. Open the deleted file where it was initially placed. For example, you lost a certain file in PDF format, which was located in the Document folder. Therefore, open the Documents on your Mac.
  2. Click the Time Machine icon on the menu bar to select Enter Time Machine from the drop-down menu. If you cannot find the icon, click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Time Machine.
  3. Find your missing file using the arrows and timeline. Once you get it, click on the file. Before you recover the deleted file on Mac, you can preview it to make sure it is the correct file. To preview the file, press the Space bar.
  4. Click Restore to put the file back to its original location on Mac.

How To Restore Deleted Files On Mac From iCloud Backup

Some users prefer to back up their Mac data to iCloud instead of Time Machine. You may find the missing files there if you are one of those.

  1. Visit

    Step 2 – Select a Startup disk or Location on the next page. To find your deleted files, turn on the Deep Scan option. Then, click the Scan key on the bottom right of the screen. The software will start scanning your files. If you have been using the Mac for years, hundreds of thousands or even millions of deleted files may be in it. This means the software needs a longer period to finish the scan.

    Step 3 – Select the Deleted List option and preview your missing files or photos. Click Recover when you are sure it is the file you want.

    Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition lets you recover deleted files on Mac for up to 1 GB per system for free. This free edition will retrieve deleted photos, videos, and critical files from the formatted system and any storage media. If your missing data size is more than 1 GB or you wish to recover files from non-booting macOS or lost partition, you need to upgrade it to Professional or Premium editions for  $79.99 or $99.99.

Birrell ChariotB

Mobilebezz & Colleagues

Written and fact checked by the dedicated experts at Mobilebezz to ensure accuracy and reliability.

✨ Popular Topics

View all

Getting Started

Learn the basics of setting up and using your iPhone for the first time.

Calls and Messaging

Discover how to make calls, send messages, and manage your contacts efficiently.

Battery and Performance

Learn how to optimize your iPhone's battery life and enhance overall performance.

Apps and App Store

Explore the world of apps, from downloading to managing and organizing them.

Tips and Troubleshooting

Get expert tips and solutions for common issues and challenges you might encounter.

Photos and Camera

Capture, edit, and organize your memories with the iPhone's powerful camera and photo features.

iCloud and Data Management

Sync and manage your data across devices using iCloud and other data management tools.

Settings and Security

Configure settings and learn about security features to keep your iPhone and data safe.

Customization and Personalization

Make your iPhone truly yours by customizing settings, wallpapers, and more.

Connectivity Issues

Troubleshoot and resolve problems related to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other connectivity issues.

App Problems

Find solutions for app-related problems, crashes, and glitches on your iPhone.

Storage and iCloud Issues

Manage storage effectively and address iCloud synchronization and storage problems.

Touchscreen and Display Issues

Fix issues related to the touchscreen, display, and user interface of your iPhone.

Software and Update Troubles

Resolve issues stemming from software updates, installations, and compatibility.

Audio and Sound Problems

Troubleshoot audio, sound, and headphone jack problems on your iPhone.

Security and Privacy Concerns

Ensure the security and privacy of your personal data on your iPhone.