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How to Recover Deleted or Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Mar 05, 2024 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions

Adobe Photoshop is a great tool to show your creativity and create impactful visuals. However, losing hours of effort on editing photos or videos due to technical errors or human faults can be disappointing.

If you've lost or accidentally deleted your Photoshop files on Mac without saving, you have landed the right place. Here, you will find several methods and tactics to recover Photoshop files on Mac, like Wondershare Recoverit Photoshop Data Recovery Software.

For detailed information on restoring unsaved or deleted PSD files on Mac, continue reading.

Part 1: 3 Methods of Recovering Deleted Photoshop on Mac

Losing your PSD files is inevitable. If you have deleted your Photoshop files and are looking for ways to get them back now, no worries.

In this section, you will come to know tips to recover your deleted PSD files on Mac.

But before directly jumping into the methods of recovering deleted Photoshop files, let's discuss what can cause file loss.

Causes: What Results in Photoshop Files Loss

It's frustrating to lose your PSD file, primarily when you have already invested hours into editing. No one wants to go through this annoying experience. Here are causes that can result in Photoshop files loss:

Now that you know these can be significant causes of losing Photoshop files, let's switch to discussing methods to recover those deleted documents. Here, you will find 3 ways to restore deleted Photoshop files.

Method 1: Recover Deleted Photoshop Files with Recoverit

Though there are several methods of recovering deleted files on Photoshop, Recoverit Data Recovery Software is best in terms of efficiency and functionality. The software is the most reliable solution to recover your lost data, regardless of the reason for losing Photoshop files.

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To restore your deleted Photoshop files using this software, download it for free, install it on your system, and follow the following steps.

Step 1: Choose a Location for Lost Files

To recover deleted files on Photoshop, select the hard drive where you store your PSD files. And then click the "Start" button to begin an immediate scan.

select a device

Step 2: Scan the Chosen File Drive

Now, this data recovery software will thoroughly scan the hard drive that stores your deleted PSD files. Wait for a while and get your deleted data back.

mac scanning lost file

Step 3: Preview and Restore PSD Files

Once scanned adequately, go to the Preview option on the left side of your screen and choose Photo Files. Now, expand Photo Files on the left side of your screen, and you will find all your previous PSD files in this folder. Then, select your deleted PSD file, click Recover, and choose any preferred location on your Mac to save this file.

preview recovered photos

Note: Make sure the Recoverit Photoshop Recovery Software you're going to download should be ideal for your macOS.

Once the recovery is completed, do not save your recovered files in their place of origin. Rather, save them in a different location or better still, an external disk like a flash drive.

Video tutorial: How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Even Emptied Trash?

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Method 2: Photoshop Files Recovery from Time Machine

Time Machine is an exclusive feature of Apple to help people retrieve Mac with the backup file, avoiding data loss problems due to crashes. Here are steps to recover lost data using Time Machine on Mac.

Steps to recover PSD files on Mac with Time Machine:

  1. Connect the Time Machine backup drive to your Mac. Go ahead and choose Time Machine.
  2. You will find it in the top right corner of the screen. Press the option to see a window.
  3. Put in Time Machine, look for backups, i.e., your PSD backup files and then click the "Restore" button to get access to deleted or lost data.

photoshop file recovery with time machine

Method 3: Restore Deleted PSD Files from Emptied Trash on Mac

Have you accidentally deleted your PSD files from Trash on Mac? And your Mac Trash is empty now? Are you looking to retrieve your deleted PSD files? No worries! All the deleted Photoshop files can still be recovered on the Mac, even if you emptied Trash. You only cannot access the PSD files from your Mac. Here, we will discuss how to restore Mac trash and recover deleted Photoshop files, both with or without software.

Steps to Restore Deleted Files from Emptied Trash on Mac without Software

You can still restore lost files on Mac without software, even after you emptied the Trash. Further, there are two solutions to do so, and here they are:

Solution 1: Restore Lost Files on Mac Terminal

The Terminal is the in-built property on Mac. It enables you to use the UNIX command line to perform varying tasks. With this program, you can recover deleted PSD files. But honestly, if the lost files are removed from Trash, it would be challenging to restore them with the command line. Here are steps to do so:

  1. Press the spacebar and CMD together to initiate Spotlight and enter Terminal.
  2. Input "cd.Trash" and click Return. Then, enter "mv xxx../" and press Return. (xxx - lost file name)
  3. Now, insert "Quit" and visit the "Finder" window. Here, enter the deleted file name and again press Return.
  4. The lost PSD file will appear on the screen. Save it on any location on your Mac.

You can recover all your deleted Photoshop files from the Mac trash by following the above steps.

Solution 2: Browse the External Drive Trash Bin

If you use an external device on your Mac, a lot of invisible folders are created to ensure the standard processing of your system. When you delete a file from an external device, like an SD card or hard drive, it will move to the hidden ".trashes" folder, instead of Mac trash. Therefore, though you've emptied your Mac trash bin, you can sometimes recover the lost files to their original location. Here are steps to recover lost PSD files:

  1. View the invisible lost files by pressing Shift + CMD + .hotkey.
  2. If the shortcut doesn't work, use the Mac Terminal.
  3. Launch the Terminal and enter the following commands to reach the '. Trashes' folder. The commands are as follows:

Steps to Restore Deleted Files from Emptied Trash on Mac with Software

If you've erased PSD files accidentally, you can use some Mac utilities and restore lost data without any software. Otherwise, it would not be easy to access lost files from emptied Mac trash, unless you have reliable Mac Data Recovery software.

If you're looking for data recovery software, go for Recoverit. It allows you to restore PSD files that you have deleted permanently, accidentally, or even from Mac Trash. The trash recovery only needs three simple steps, which are: Select, Scan, and Recover.

Moreover, here's a thorough procedure on restoring lost files from emptied trash using software:

With Recoverit trash data recovery software, choose the Trash location to initiate. The software will begin scanning the trash folder to recover your files; the process will take a few minutes. After scanning, check all restored files and data. Choose the file you want to restore and click "Recover" to get it back. Now, save the file at your desired location on Mac.

photoshop file recovery with software

Note: Once you recover your lost files from emptied Mac trash, make sure not to save those documents in their original place. Instead, consider keeping them in a different location on your Mac, e.g., in a flash drive.

Part 2: 4 Ways to Recover Unsaved Photoshop Files on Mac

When the Photoshop application accidentally ends as a result of software crashes or human errors, you may lose your unsaved Photoshop files. Photoshop CS5, CS6, or later versions open your previous unsaved file automatically, and you can continue working on them. On the other hand, if the cache files have been replaced or corrupted, the PSD file might not open. In this case, you need to follow other tactics to make Photoshop recovery on Mac.

So, if your Photoshop freezes, crashes, or suddenly shuts down before you could even save your PSD file, follow the methods mentioned below to recover your work.

Method 1: Recover PSD from Photoshop Autosave Location on Mac

The best feature of Photoshop is that it auto-saves all your work. The feature ensures you don't lose any of your creative pieces due to the sudden crash of the system or application.

To recover the PSD file from the Photoshop autosave location on Mac, firstly, you need to make sure that the autosave option is enabled. You can only be able to recover your unsaved PSD files if this feature is enabled.

Here's how you can check that the autosave feature is enabled or disabled on Photoshop:

photoshop file recovery with autosave

Now that you know the autosave feature is enabled, the next step is to recover your unsaved PSD files. Here are steps on how to recover unsaved Photoshop files on Mac using the autosave program.

Steps to recover PSD from Photoshop autosave location on Mac

  1. Hit "Go" on the Apple menu and then select "Go to Folder."

photoshop file recovery with autosave-2

  1. Now, 'Go to the folder' tab will appear on your screen. Here, enter - "/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PhotoshopCC2019/AutoRecover" and then press the "Go" button.

photoshop file recovery with autosave-3

Note: The path to access the AutoRecover folder will vary depending on the Photoshop version for your macOS.

  1. In this step, open the "AutoRecover" folder, and Photoshop will automatically lead you to unsaved or lost files.

Now, save the recovered Photoshop files as a new project on Mac.

Method 2: Recover Photoshop File on Mac from PS Recent Tab

Many people may not be familiar that they can restore PSD files directly in Photoshop application, whether they are lost, deleted, or unsaved. Here are steps to recover Photoshop files on Mac from PS Recent tab in the application.

Steps to recover the PSD file from PS recent tab on Mac:

  1. Open the Photoshop application.
  2. Click the "File" tab from the menu bar and choose "Open Recent."

photoshop file recovery from ps recent tab

  1. Select the Photoshop file you want to recover in the recently opened list. Now, save or edit the PSD file as you wish.

Method 3: Restore Photoshop File from the Previous Version

If you're looking to recover the previous version of the Photoshop file on Mac, then Time Machine may help. But only if you've enabled this program on your system for backup. If 'Yes,' consider following the steps mentioned below.

Steps to restore the PSD file from the previous version on Mac:

  1. Go to the "Finder" option, find "Time Machine," and launch it.
  2. Open the folder where you have stored the PSD file.
  3. Pick the PSD file you want to recover. Use the timeline to check all versions of the Photoshop file, choose, and then hit Space to preview the data before recovery.

photoshop file recovery from previous version

  1. Hit the "Restore" option to recover the previous version of the Photoshop file on Mac.

Method 4: Recover Photoshop File on Mac from Temp (.temp) File

When you create a new Photoshop file, its temporary file is also created automatically to store information. Generally, this temp file is supposed to be cleared after closing the Photoshop application. But, sometimes, the temporary document may stick around due to the sparse file handling of Photoshop. In this case, you can follow the steps mentioned below to recover unsaved Photoshop files on Mac.

Steps to restore the PSD file from the temp folder:

  1. Go to Finder and click the application.
  2. Now, click the Terminal option and run it on your Mac.
  3. Then, input "open $TMPDIR" and then hit Enter.

photoshop file recovery from temp folder

  1. Now, choose "Temporaryitems," pick the Photoshop file, and open it with Photoshop app to save it on your Mac.

photoshop file recovery from temp folder

Part 3: Good Habits to Protect Photoshop Files on Mac

Working on Adobe Photoshop is fun; you can spend hours on this platform to create impressive visuals. But, remember that there are always chances of losing PSD files due to the sudden crash of Photoshop/system. To avoid any interruption, you need to adopt some good habits of protecting your Photoshop files on Mac. Some of the good practices are as follows:

  1. Make sure to save your PSD file when you start working on Photoshop. Also, do not forget to save it manually, even after making a small change.
  2. Ensure to enable the Photoshop autosave location on Mac. It will allow the application to save a backup copy of your creative work at regular intervals.
  3. Use the Background Save feature of Photoshop. The feature will allow Photoshop to save your Photoshop files quietly in the background so you can keep working on them even as they are being saved.
  4. Do not forget to backup the Photoshop data of your Mac on somewhere else, like on the cloud or web.

By following the habits mentioned above, you can lower the risk of losing your Photoshop files. Not only this, but these habits will also improve your workflow and lower annoying interruptions in work. So, follow these habits and keep your Photoshop files protected on Mac.

Wrapping Up the Post

It's frustrating to lose the PSD files, especially after you've spent lots of hours working on them. Hopefully, the information available in this post will help you recover unsaved or deleted Photoshop files on Mac. Besides, to avoid any data loss, it is also suggested to save your Photoshop files after any change manually and backup them regularly elsewhere.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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