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3 Ways to Recover Files Deleted by RM on Mac

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Mar 14, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

RM command is basically used to delete files directly. But what will be the situation when you accidentally use this command on Mac?

Obviously, you must be wondering that the file is deleted forever. Don’t you?

Well, if yes, you need to reconsider. There are possible ways to recover rm files on Mac.

Now what are those ways and how to use them effectively to your advantage is discussed in detail here. All you need to do is to go through some easy steps and you are done.

Part 1: What is the RM Command?

rm means remove here. The rm command is basically used to delete one or more files or directories. It is also used to remove symbolic links. If we go into more detail, rm is used for removing references to various objects from the filesystem. Here you need to know that the objects can have multiple references.

One thing you need to worry about is, this command works silently. Once the files are deleted, it becomes difficult to recover the contents of files and directories.

The general syntax for the rm command is

rm [option]...FILE…

Some of the other syntaxes are,

If you are having a single file, you can use “rm filename”.

If you are having multiple files, you can use “rm filename1 filename2 filename3 filename 4….”.

For directories, the syntax is “rm -d dirname” (empty directories).

For non-empty directories, the syntax is “rm -r dirname”.

If you want to play safe, you can go with

Part 2: Can you Recover RM Command Deleted Files?

Yes, you can.

You need to know that the files that you delete using the rm command are not trashed. They are directly deleted. This means that only the pointers to the files are removed. If we talk about the actual file, it still exists on the hard drive. This is why you are advised, not to use the hard drive, once the data is deleted using rm. This is so because using the hard drive means overwriting data. If once this happens, it becomes difficult to recover lost files.

On the other hand, if you have not overwritten the hard drive, you can easily recover rm deleted files on mac.

Part 3: How to Recover Files Deleted with RM Mac without Backup

Restore Deleted Files Using Recoverit Data Recovery Software

When it comes to recovering files deleted by rm on mac, there are many techniques available for the same. Even there is some software that lets you recover data.

But what matters the most is the reliability and security of the software. It matters because it can cause more damage than repair. It can also prove to be vulnerable from a security point of view, especially if it is available for free.

This is why we are presenting you with Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery. It is an easy to use data recovery software that lets you recover all file types. It is safe to use and provides you an immense ability to recover deleted or lost data from various storage devices. You can easily recover deleted files on Mac by following some simple steps.

Free Download | Mac Free Download | Win
article-safe-itemSecurity Verified. 3,591,664 people have downloaded it.

Step 1: Select a location

Launch Wondershare Recoverit on your Mac computer and select the drive under the “Devices” tab.

select a location

You can also make this task easy by just choosing the folder from under the select location. This will take less time. Once you are done with selecting the one, click on “Start” to proceed.

select a folder

Step 2: Scan the location

Once you click on start, Recoverit will start performing the process of scanning.

scan the location

During this scanning, all the available files will start showing up. This can be overwhelming, so you can pinpoint the files based on various parameters. Wondershare Recoverit allows you to do so.

pinpoint files

You can also stop or start the process of scanning as per your requirement. This will provide you an opportunity to suspend the process of scanning once you found the file you are looking for.

Note: The process of scanning will take time and will depend upon the size of the folder or the disk that you are scanning.

Step 3: Preview and Recover

Once you find the file, you can go for a preview. It let you know both the quality and the file that you actually want to recover.

preview the file

Once you are sure, just click on “Recover”. This will bring a pop-up window in front of you asking for the location where you want to restore the file.

It is advised to go with a different location other than the original.

recover the file

Once the location is selected click on “Recover” and you are done.

Part 3: How to Recover Files Deleted with RM Mac with Backup

Recover Deleted Files Using Time Machine Backup

Apple provides you with a built-in Time machine app that you can use to back up your entire Mac data. Recovering deleted files is from Time machine backup is just a simple process in which you have to follow some steps.

Step 1: Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences” followed by “Time Machine”.

select “Time Machine”

Step 2: Click on the box that is present next to “Show Time Machine” in the menu bar. Once done click “Enter Time Machine”.

click “Enter Time Machine”

Step 3: Now all you need to do is to find the file or folder that you want to recover. Once found click on “Restore” and you are all set. The file will be restored to its original location from where it has been deleted.

click on “Restore”

Restore Deleted Files from iCloud

Cloud storage provides you an immense ability to create a backup of your data. There is even a free cloud storage space provided by most of the platforms. This not only provides you the freedom to keep your device storage free. It also protects your data from unauthorized access. Moreover, it also lets you access your data anytime you want.

When it comes to restoring deleted files, iCloud paves a path. All you need to do is to log in to your Apple id and follow some simple steps. This way you can easily recover your deleted data without involving in any hectic criteria.

Step 1: Sign in to your iCloud account and click on the “Settings”.

select “settings”

Step 2: Now select “Restore Files”. It is present under the “Advanced” section as shown in the image.

select “Restore Files”

Step 3: Now if you are having a lot of files in your iCloud account, it will take some time to show all results. But once the process is completed, all deleted files will be shown in the form of a list. You will also be provided with the previous location in the iCloud drive along with the time remaining for the expiration of the same.

Now all you need to do is to click on the box beside the file or files that you want to restore. Once done, simply click on the “Restore” and you are done. Once the process of restoration is completed, you will be informed via message for the same.

click on “Restore”

More Related:
How To Undo rm in Linux
How To Recover Deleted Files by RM Command on Linux (Ubuntu)


There are many ways to recover files deleted by rm on Mac. Even most of them recover files easily. But what matters the most is reliability and efficiency. These things matter because a slight mistake can make things worse. You will not be able to recover files in the future. This is why we have provided you with Wondershare Recoverit. It let you easily recover files without any risk of loss of data.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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