Accidentally deleting a file is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to you. And if you’ve permanently deleted a file by mistake, things can seem to get hopeless. However, there are ways to recover deleted files from a MacBook Pro. Though there is no guarantee that all your files will be recovered, trying these steps will give you a good chance to retrieve your deleted data.

Video Tutorial:

What’s Needed

Before diving into the recovery methods, here is a list of things you will need:

1. A MacBook Pro
2. Internet Connection
3. Data recovery software (like Disk Drill, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard or TestDisk)
4. External hard drive

What Should I Pay Attention To?

Here are a few important things to keep in mind while you recover your data:

1. Stop using your MacBook Pro once you realize that the files are deleted. This will help avoid overwriting the deleted files, and increase your chances of recovering them.
2. Use an external hard drive to save the files you recover. This is because overwritten files might make recovery impossible on the internal hard drive.
3. Before recovering deleted files, check your recent backups for the file. If it is not there, move on to the recovery process.
4. Do not install the data recovery software on the same hard drive where the deleted files were stored. This will also overwrite the deleted files.
5. Lastly, it is essential to have patience and follow the recovery methods step by step to recover your deleted files.

Method 1: Use Time Machine Backup to Recover Files

Time Machine is an inbuilt backup utility on Mac. It enables you to back up data to an external hard drive connected to your MacBook Pro. You can then use the external hard drive to recover your deleted files if you have enabled Time Machine.

Here are the steps to follow to recover deleted files using Time Machine:

1. Connect the Time Machine backup drive to your MacBook Pro.
2. Click on the Time Machine icon present in the menu bar.
3. Select “Enter Time Machine.”
4. Use the calendar to navigate the date when the files were present.
5. Once you find the deleted file or folder, select it and click on the “Restore” button. The file will be restored on your MacBook Pro.

Method 2: Use Data Recovery Software to Recover the Deleted Files

Data Recovery Software is a powerful tool that can recover permanently deleted files from your MacBook Pro. Some of the popular software options are Disk Drill, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and TestDisk. Among these, Disk Drill is highly recommended, which has a 100% chance to recover lost data.

Here are the steps to recover deleted files using Disk Drill:

1. Install the Disk Drill data recovery software from their official website.
2. After installation, launch Disk Drill and click on the “Recover” button.
3. Select the hard drive from which the files were deleted.
4. Click on the “Scan” button.
5. Once the scan is complete, the software will show you the deleted files it found.
6. Select the file you want to recover, then click on the “Recover” button.
7. Choose the external hard drive where you want to save the file that you recover.
8. Wait till the recovery process completes.

Method 3: Recover Deleted Files from iCloud

iCloud is an Apple Inc. cloud storage service that provides synchronization between all your Apple devices. The service stores your files in the cloud, giving you access to them anywhere, anytime. iCloud users can recover deleted files, including photos, videos, and other files, using the “Recently Deleted” feature.

Here are the steps to restore deleted files from iCloud:

1. Open browser and log in to iCloud, using your Apple ID and Password.
2. Click on “iCloud Drive.”
3. Select the “Recently Deleted” folder from the Documents section.
4. Locate the deleted file that you want to restore.
5. Click on the “Restore” button next to the file.
6. The file will be restored to your MacBook Pro.

Why Can’t I Recover My Permanently Deleted Files?

There may be several reasons why you can’t recover your deleted files. Here are the most common reasons:

1. Files that have been overwritten due to installing data recovery software or copying new files to your hard drive cannot be recovered.
2. If the file is deleted permanently, it may have been deleted beyond the time frame that allows recovery with Time Machine backup.
3. The file you are trying to recover may be too large to be recovered by your chosen recovery software.
4. The hard drive may have been damaged, making the recovery process difficult or impossible.


Before trying the above methods to recover deleted files, we suggest that you keep the following in mind:

1. Always keep a backup of important files.
2. Stop using your MacBook Pro as soon as you realize files are deleted.
3. Use reliable data recovery software to increase your chances of recovering your files.
4. Use an external hard drive to save the recovered files.


Q1. Is it possible to recover deleted files on a MacBook Pro without software?

A1. Yes, you can recover deleted files on MacBook Pro without software, but it is only applicable if you have enabled Time Machine backup. In that case, connect the Time Machine backup hard drive, and use the “Enter Time Machine” feature to recover deleted files.

Q2. How to avoid losing data on MacBook Pro?

A2. The best way to prevent data loss is to keep a copy of all your files on an external hard drive or cloud storage services. Always make sure to back up your data regularly. You can also use reliable data recovery software to recover deleted files.

Q3. Will data recovery software damage my MacBook Pro?

A3. No, it would not cause any damage to your MacBook Pro. However, always make sure to download reliable software from trusted sources to avoid malware or viruses.

Q4. Can data recovery software recover data after a macOS update?

A4. Yes, data recovery software is equipped to recover data after macOS update. It can scan the hard drive and recover deleted files.

Q5. How can I know that the recovered files are safe to use?

A5. You can scan the files with antivirus software or check the file integrity utilizing a file integrity tool. This will help you ensure that the recovered file is free from malware and safe to use.


In conclusion, losing important files can be a frustrating experience, but there is always a way to recover them. The methods discussed above outlines the best way to recover deleted files from a MacBook Pro. Always keep a backup of important files to prevent data loss and use reliable data recovery software to recover deleted data. And remember, patience is key while recovering lost files.

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