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How to Recover Deleted Files Using Mac Terminal: Proven Method

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

It's very common to accidentally delete a file that you only get to realize about the mistake later. While sometimes it happens as a mistake while the other times, some external cause factor results in the deletion of files. Whatever the reason might be, you will always want to recover them back anyhow.

Now, speaking of recovering deleted photos, numerous ways can be used to recover deleted files on Mac. The article focuses on how to recover deleted files on Mac using a terminal. It also features alternative ways to recover deleted files using a data recovery software application and other effective methods.

Part 1. Using Terminal to get back your deleted files on your Mac

Do you want to avoid using a Software? So, here is the Terminal command guide to help you. The data you seek must be in Trash on Mac. Else, you should consider using the application for recovery.

Below are the steps you need to use Terminal for Mac data recovery:

Step #1: You should find Terminal in Utilities section. To access Utilities, you can locate ‘Applications’ in Finder. Once you find Terminal, double-click it.


Step #2: You enter the command cd .Trash and hit Return key. Note, you will see xxx in the following command. You should replace it with the name of your deleted file.

Step #3: Now, you add the command as "mv xxx../" and after, you must hit Return. Again, you should not forget to replace xxx with file-name of your lost content.

Step #4: So, you enter the “Quit” command. Thus, you exit the Terminal window.

Part 2: Alternative Way to Recover Deleted Files on Mac

Although the Mac terminal method serves as the best way to restore a deleted file, you can also use some other alternatives. Here are two of the significant ways that work best to recover deleted files from Mac computer.

1. Restore with time machine Backup on Mac

Before you proceed: You should have a previous Backup. Didn’t set it up? Then, you should directly see the next section. Of course, it’s for your Mac file recovery.

In your Mac, Time Machine is your default backup routine. And it can work for you in auto mode. So, all of your files are safe as a Time Machine Backup. Even your apps, emails and system files become a Time Machine backup.

Hence, the music you love to listen is safe. Also, you don’t need to worry about your photos or documents.

With this feature, you can recover any deleted data with the command line.

1. You need to connect the disk of Time Machine backup to Mac. Then, you turn it ON.
2. The files are visible to you. Locate the ones you need. Thus, you can verify its content by pressing Space Bar.
3. If you are okay with the Previews, click Restore. After this, you will get your files where you want.


2. Using Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Although you can also use numerous efficient ways to recover deleted files from a Mac computer, you can also use application software for the job. Speaking of a free program or software, Recoverit is one of the reliable ways to go for. It serves best to recover all formats of files, whether it’s audio, video, pdf, jpg, gif, or more.

Here are some of Recoverit software features that make it stand out from the rest of the data recovery software.

Now, to recover the deleted files from the Mac computer, you must download & install the Recoverit application as the application is successfully installed and downloaded, double-tap on the Recoverit data recovery software to initiate the process.

If you couldn’t find the application icon on the desktop, then follow the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Click on the ‘Finder’ tab and navigate to the ‘Applications’ option.

Step 2: Locate ‘Recoverit’ from the list and double-tap on the software.

Now, follow the steps mentioned below to recover deleted files from Mac computer.

Step 1: Select a Location

Under the ‘Select Location’ tab, pick a location from where you want to recover deleted files from. If you know the specific path of the lost path, you can choose ‘Select Folder’ under the ‘Select Location’ option.

Now, tap on the ‘Start’ button to start the process.

mac data recovery

Step 2: Scan the Location

With the help of its advanced searching algorithm, Recoverit will start a thorough scan of all the lost or deleted files. Now, if you find the file that you were looking for, you can stop the scanning process anytime in the middle of scanning.

mac scanning lost files

Step 3: Preview and Recover

As Recoverit allows its users to preview the recoverable files, you can get a glimpse of the deleted files before proceeding to the recovering step. Moreover, you can be sure if it is the file that you wanted to recover. Once you got the files that you were looking for, tap on the ‘Recover’ option.

Tip: While selecting the path of the recovered files, make sure you do not save them to the path you lost in the first place.

mac photo recovery

The Bottom Line

If you think that your accidental mistake on your Mac computer has cost you all the data, think again! The inbuilt features in a Mac OS work best to recover deleted files. You can also use Recoverit data recovery software to recover all the deleted files from any specific location on your hard drive on a Mac.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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