How to Recover Mac data under macOS High Sierra (macOS 10.13) or Above

Lost your important data when using macOS 10.13 High Sierra or above? Read this stepwise post to recover your lost or deleted data on it without any hassle.

Oct 29,2019 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

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"I have lost some of my important documents while working on my Mac, but now I can't seem to get them back? Is there any working Mac Sierra recovery solution that I can try?"

If you are also undergoing a similar situation, then this would definitely be the last guide that you will read. Released in 2017, macOS High Sierra 10.13 is one of the most popular operating systems developed by Apple. While it is pretty secure and reliable, users of High Sierra (or above versions) often complain of unwanted data loss. To be honest, anyone can suffer from data loss as it is an unavoidable situation.

The good news is that you can disable SIP on Mac and later perform Mac Sierra recovery. Sounds complicated? Read on this in-depth post and get to know about Mac data recovery in no time.

Part 1: Overview of Mac Data Recovery

If you are a regular Mac user, then you might already know how secure the OS is. The new releases like macOS 10.13 or 10.14 are even more advanced and secure. Nevertheless, there are times when users end up suffering from an unwanted loss of their data. Ideally, there could be all kinds of reasons or triggers for data loss on Mac. Following are some of these common scenarios:

As you can see, there could be all kinds of reasons for causing data loss in Mac. The good news is that we can take the assistance of working Mac Sierra recovery tools to get the lost data back. In order to make these applications work, we first need to disable the System Integrity Protection feature on Mac. Let's learn how to disable SIP on Mac in the next section.


Part 2: How to Disable System Integrity Protection on Mac

Before we get into the details and learn how to perform Mac Sierra recovery, it is important to cover this. Ideally, if SIP (System Integrity Protection) feature is enabled on your Mac, then you can't use a third-party tool to perform data recovery. Therefore, you should get to know about its use and how to disable System Integrity Protection beforehand.

What is SIP on a Mac?

In a nutshell, System Integrity Protection is a security feature that restricts third-party apps to access the "root" of the system. It was introduced in macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) to make the system less vulnerable to security threats and malware attacks. SIP has been implemented at the kernel-level of the OS to restrict the root account access.

If SIP is disabled, then an application or user can access the OS root, which leads to the access of the entire system. Therefore, when SIP is enabled, we can't access the System, Bin, or secure User folders. As a result, a malware or a malicious entity can't access the root or infect the entire system.

To check if SIP is enabled on your system, just launch the Terminal and try to access the Bin or System folder. If you get a prompt stating "Operation not permitted", then it implies that SIP has been enabled on your Mac.

enable SIP on Mac

How to Disable SIP on Mac?

While SIP is a crucial security feature on Mac that should be turned on, there are times when we need to disable it. For instance, to perform Mac Sierra recovery, we need to use a data recovery application, which is a low-level utility tool. Since SIP would block the access to low-level system, we need to turn it off beforehand. Here's how to disable System Integrity Protection on Mac.

  1. Firstly, you need to restart your system in the Recovery mode. To do this, turn on your Mac and keep holding the Command + R keys at the same time.
  2. In no time, Mac would load the Recovery Mode screen. Here, go to the toolbar and click on Utilities > Terminal.
  3. remove SIP on Mac

  4. Great! This will launch the Terminal window on the screen, so that you can enter the related commands. Before you disable SIP on Mac, check its status by entering the "csrutil status" command. This will let you know if SIP is enabled or disabled on Mac.
  5. turn off SIP on Mac

  6. If the feature is turned on, then you can disable System Integrity Protection by entering the command "csrutil disable". Once you get the success prompt, you can restart the Mac.
  7. disable SIP on Mac

Kindly note that when the Mac Sierra recovery is finished successfully, you should again turn on the SIP feature. To do this, follow the same drill, but enter the "csrutil enable" command instead of the one that disables it.


Part 3: How to Recover Data on a Working macOS High Sierra

Once you have disabled SIP on Mac, you can easily get back your lost data using a reliable data recovery tool. Out of all the available options, Recoverit by Wondershare is one of the most reliable and well-functioning recovery tools. It doesn't matter if your Mac is functioning or not, it can recover your data under all scenarios.

Recoverit Data Recovery: What can it do?

Developed by Wondershare, Recoverit Data Recovery is one of the most trusted data recovery tools, supporting major Windows and macOS versions. It runs on macOS 10.8 and all the later versions like macOS 10.13 or macOS 10.14. Since the tool requires no prior data recovery experience, you can follow a click-through process to get your data back.

Video: How to Recover Data on Mac

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How to Recover Data on Mac using Recoverit?

Firstly, make sure that you have the Recoverit Data Recovery application installed on your system. If not, visit its official website, download the setup file, and install it. Once it is done, follow these basic steps to do Mac Sierra recovery.

Step 1: Select a location to scan

As you would launch the Recoverit app on your system, you would be asked to select a location to scan. This can be any drive or partition on your system from where you have lost your data. There is also a provision to attach an external media and select it from here.

recover data

Step 2: Scan the desired location

Once you pick a location, click on the "Start" button for the application to look for any unavailable or deleted content. You can view the progress of the data extraction process from an on-screen indicator.

scan for data

Step 3: Preview and restore your files

In the end, the extracted data will be displayed under different categories. You can preview your photos, videos, or documents, and select the files you wish to retrieve. In the end, you can click on the "Recover" button and save them to a secure location of your choice.

get lost data back on Mac


Part 4: How to Recover Data on Unbootable macOS High Sierra

In case if your Mac is not turning on or is malfunctioning, then don't worry - you can still use Recoverit Data Recovery. The application can be used to create a bootable media on another working system and perform Mac Sierra recovery afterward. Therefore, if your Mac is not able to boot, then consider following these steps.

Step 1: Launch Recoverit on a working system

Firstly, install and launch Recoverit on another computer that is working fine. From its home, select the option to recover data from a crashed computer. Also, attach a USB drive or hard disk that you wish to convert to a bootable media.

choose crash compter recovery

Step 2: Create a bootable media

Recoverit will display the following screen for creating a bootable media for macOS. Just click on the "Start" button to begin things.

Create bootable drive on Mac

Furthermore, you can select the connected source (USB drive or a hard disk) that you wish to convert to a bootable media.

Create USB drive

Since the process will delete all the existing data on the device, you will get the following warning. Click on the "Format" button to continue.

format USB drive

Sit back and wait for a while as the application would format the connected source and makes it a bootable media.

create bootable drive

Make sure that you don't disconnect the device or close the application in between. In the end, you will be notified so that you can safely remove the bootable media.

create usb flash drive

Step 3: Boot your Mac from the new source

Great! You are almost there. Now, you need to connect the newly created bootable media to your Mac and turn it on. As it starts, press and hold the Option key to launch the Startup Manager. From here, simply connect the bootable media to launch Recoverit and extract your lost or deleted files easily.

enable SIP on Mac

There you go! After reading this guide, you would certainly be able to do Mac Sierra data recovery like a pro. Just make sure that you disable System Integrity Protection on your Mac first. Since it is quite easy to disable SIP on Mac, you won't face any trouble doing the same. Later, you can just use a reliable data recovery tool like Recoverit to get back your lost, deleted, or unavailable content in no time.

Sue Wen

staff Editor

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