Search For Lost Files On Mac

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It is a painful moment that you lost files on Mac and have to try hard to recover lost files on Mac. Actually, there are many issues that will case files loss while you’re using the Mac, accidental deletion, emptied the trash, macOS system corruption, the hard drive corruption, system errors, intentional or unintentional hard drive formatting, etc. In this case, the best way to prevent files loss on Mac is to back them up regularly to an external hard drive. Anyway, if you lost files on Mac, try the following 3 simple ways for how to recover lost files on Mac without/with software.

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Method #1. Best and Safest Way to Recover Lost Files on Mac

  • To view hidden files in Finder, use the SHIFT+CMD+. Keyboard shortcut on your Mac running macOS Sierra or later. Even if your Mac is running the older OS X versions, you can still enable hidden files in Finder using Terminal command. Open the “Terminal” app on your Mac and then paste the below given commands.
  • Therefore, you can quickly learn how to find lost files on Mac with this approach. Just go to the Apple logo on the top left corner of the screen and click on the 'Recent Items' option. This will give you a list of the recently accessed folders, apps, and documents. Just click on the icon of your choice to view the file or application.
  • Mac OS X includes a program called Spotlight that does more than just find files; it can do math and find word definitions, and you can download plug-ins for.

Lost files on Mac? You must be wondering how to find lost files on Mac. In fact, there are many ways to find lost files on a Mac. However, the safest and best way to recover lost files on Mac is to use file recovery Mac software. Because doing so, it will not cause your lost Mac files to be overwritten and cannot be recovered. Only with a professional tool, it is possible for you to scan and find lost files on Mac. The sooner the better. Otherwise, you will lose the chances to recover lost files on Mac. All lost files are still on the hard drive at the first place, not visible, and waiting to be overwritten by new data. If you can’t rescue them quickly, they will disappear soon.

You can find files on your Mac by using either of the Mac's comprehensive search features. You can use the search box in your Mac's Finder to search for files within one folder, or your whole.

The Mac lost file recovery I want to recommend to you is iBeesoft Data Recovery. It supports more than 1000 file types, allowing you to recover the commonly used lost files from Mac and recover deleted files on Mac. And it is quite easy to use, which only takes you 3 simple steps, you can see the target files are there.

Your Effective Lost File Recovery Mac Software

  • It can completely and easily recover lost/deleted photos, videos, emails, documents and more on Mac and external drives.
  • It provides 2 scan mode to get a better Mac lost file recovery result.
  • It fully compatible with recover lost files from Mac, SD card, USB drive, camera, player and more.

Steps for How to Recover Lost Files on Mac

Here are the steps for how to use iBeesoft Data Recovery to recover lost files on Mac. First, please click the download button to download the installation package of the Mac lost files recovery software. Next, double-click the .dmg, then drag the icon to the APP folder to install it there. It is a secure tool. Feel free to use it.

Step 1. Target the Lost File Types

Launch the lost file recovery Mac software and then you can see all the supported file types are checked by default. Please only keep the file types you need to be checked, and uncheck the unwanted ones, preparing for the scanning process. Click 'Start' to find lost files on Mac.

Step 2. Select Volume/Disk to Scan Lost Mac Files

After selecting the file types to scan, then you’re supposed to select the volume or disk on the Mac to scan for the lost files. All the hard disk and external devices are displayed in the main window. Select the one where the target files are lost and click the 'Scan' button, letting the mac lost file recovery tool scan for the lost files on Mac.

Step 3. Recover Lost Files on Mac

There is a progress bar on the software telling you how it goes on with the scanning process. Next, after the scanning process, all found files are displayed in the main window. All files are sorted into the category. Find the one on the right side, and check out the files on the right side. Select the files you want and click 'Recover' to recover lost files on Mac.

The default scanning mode is Quick Scan. If you can’t find the expected result in the windows, please try 'Deep Scan'. It will scan deeper for the lost files for you.

Method #2. How to Find Lost Files on Mac from Trash Can

Whenever you realize you have lost files on Mac, the first place to looking for these lost files is to check out the trash can. If you deleted the files unconscientiously and it happened within 30 days, then it is very likely you can recover deleted files on Mac from trash. Find the trash can in Finder, point the mouse there to see the files. If you find lost files on Mac, drag and drop them to the desktop.

If you emptied the Mac trash, please click here to recover deleted files from emptied trash on Mac.

You can also try to search for the lost files from trash can by using the spotlight. Click the spotlight icon on the top right of the window > type in the file name in the box > use Command + click way to select the files > click the 'File' menu in the upper left corner for the screen > choose 'Put Back' to Mac recover lost files.

Method #3. How to Restore Lost Files on Mac from Time Machine

If you have emptied the trash can, you can restore lost files from Time Machine. By default, Time Machine backs up every copy of your files regularly.

If you don't use the Time Machine to back files or not find the lost files, you can use method 1 to find lost files on Mac.

Click to open the Spotlight on the upper right of the window and type in 'Time Machine' to search the app. It is an app with a clock on it. After then, open it. Click the folder from where you have lost the file in the left side of Time Machine window. Scroll down the window for the files you have lost > select file(s) and click the Restore button. Please note that only after you select the files, the Restore button will appear.

Dec 16, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

'I saved my Word document a while back, but it disappeared on my Mac. Can someone please tell me how to find lost documents on a Mac?'

If you are relatively new to the macOS system, then chances are that you might encounter a similar situation as well. Although macOS is quite user-friendly, sometimes it can take a lot of time to find a file or locate a particular folder. Just like Windows or Linux, Mac also presents different ways to find files and browse its local storage system.

In this post, we will teach you how to find folders on Mac as well as recover any lost document on your Mac system as well.

Part 1. How to Find Hidden Files and Folders on Mac Hard Drive?

Ideally, you can browse the internal hard drive or Mac or even explore an external device well. The solution to find lost files on Mac would be the same for almost every major version. Though, there might be some change in the overall interface of the macOS. The following are some of the common techniques that you can follow to find any file on Mac.

1. Use Recent Items to Find Documents on Mac

If you wish to find some recently opened files or folders on Mac, then you can follow this simple approach. The macOS would maintain a record of the recently accessed documents, applications, and sometimes even system processes. Therefore, you can quickly learn how to find lost files on Mac with this approach.

  1. Just go to the Apple logo on the top left corner of the screen and click on the 'Recent Items' option.
  2. This will give you a list of the recently accessed folders, apps, and documents. Just click on the icon of your choice to view the file or application.
  3. Additionally, you can also go to the File menu > Open Recent section to view the recently accessed files. You can clear the history from here or click on any file to access it once again.

2. Check the Downloads Folder to Find Files

Too often, Mac users download something from the internet and later realize that the downloaded document disappeared on Mac. If you also think that the Mac download folder is missing, then consider following these quick steps.

  1. To start with, go to the desktop on your Mac system and visit the 'Go' section from the main menu. From here, you can visit the 'Downloads' folder on Mac.
  2. Alternatively, you can also go to your Library and click on the 'Downloads' section from the left panel.
  3. Once the Downloads folder on Mac has been opened, you can just look for any file of your choice. There is a search tab on the top that can help you do the same in less time. Simply click on it and type the name of the file you are looking for in the Downloads folder.

3. Check the Trash to Find Deleted Files

When we delete something on Mac, the file is not removed from the storage right away. On the contrary, it will be moved to the Trash, from where we can recover the deleted data if we want to. Therefore, if you can't find lost documents or folders on Mac, then make sure that you check its Trash before taking any drastic measures.

  1. Firstly, you need to access the Trash folder on Mac. You can do this by clicking on the Trash icon on the dock.
  2. When the Trash folder would be opened, you can view all the deleted files that are stored on it temporarily.
  3. If you wish to recover a file, then select it, and right-click. Click on the 'Put Back' option from the context menu to restore it to its original location.

4. Search the Spotlight to Find Files and Folders

Spotlight is probably one of the most resourceful features in macOS. Since Spotlight has been an evident feature in every major macOS, you won't face the slightest of trouble in finding any file on your Mac system. The feature can be accessed from the desktop and will let you look for files, documents, internet searches, and so much more in one place. If you don't know where to find documents on Mac, then simply follow this drill.

  1. To access Spotlight, go to your Mac's desktop and click on the search icon on the top right corner of the screen. Here, type the name of any file or folder that you are looking for.
  2. In no time, the system will start looking for suitable content with respect to the searched keyword. Once you get the results, you can just hover the mouse on the icon to get its preview. Ideally, Mac will let you preview pictures, videos, audios, documents, etc.
  3. In order to access a file, simply click on it and it will be opened on your Mac system. If you want, you can click on the 'Show All in Finder' option as well to view all the searched results together.
  4. This will display the relevant results in Finder so that you can find the suitable files and folders that you were looking for.

5. Use Terminal to Find Files and Folders on Mac

The terminal is one of the most useful utility tools in Mac that lets us send direct commands to our system. A lot of users are not able to find any file or folder on Mac which is hidden. In this case, you can take the assistance of Terminal to view the hidden files/folders first. Later, you can go to Finder on Mac to access the data of your choice.

- 3 minutes to read it.
  1. To begin with, you need to launch the Terminal app. Go to Applications > Utilities and open the Terminal app or look for it from the Spotlight.
  2. 2. Once Terminal is launched on your Mac, simply copy the following commands and press enter: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE killall Finder
  3. This will restart Finder and will display all the hidden files and folders on it as well. Now, you can just click on the search icon and enter the name of the files/folder you are looking for. This will let you find files and folders on Mac that are even hidden from the user.

If the content you are looking for is present on your Mac's storage, then you would be able to find it by following the above-listed methods. These techniques will work even if the data has been hidden or deleted so that you can find any file on Mac seamlessly. Though, if your data is deleted or inaccessible, then consider following the next section to find lost files on Mac.

Part 2. How to Find Lost Files on Mac?

There are times when users end up losing their important data on Mac. While there could be different reasons behind it, you can easily find lost documents on Mac by using the right methods.

Why Files Get Lost?

Before we teach you how to find lost documents on Mac, it is important to know what could have caused the situation in the first place. Here are some of the major reasons for data loss on Mac.

  • Sometimes, users end up deleting something accidentally, which gets lost.
  • The change in location of the files can make them inaccessible at times.
  • A virus or malware attack on the storage can make your files corrupt.
  • Chances are that your data could be overwritten by something else.
  • The data can be mishandled by a third-party application as well.
  • The storage unit or partition can get corrupt or formatted.
  • A firmware issue, corrupt update, or any other software-related problem

Recoverit Data Recovery: The Best Mac Lost Partition Recovery Software

No matter what could have caused your files to be lost on inaccessible, you can easily get them back using Recoverit Mac Data Recovery software. It is an extremely reliable and advanced data recovery tool that supports every leading Mac and Windows version. The application is developed by Wondershare and yields positive results in all kinds of data loss scenarios. Also, it is extremely easy to use and will not need any prior technical experience to find lost files on Mac through it.

Search For Lost Files On Mac

If you have deleted a partition on Mac or have lost it due to any other reason, then you should use Recoverit Data Recovery. It can help you restore partition data on Mac by following these easy steps.

Step 1: Select a disk

To start with, just launch the Recoverit Data Recovery application on your Mac. Subsequently, the application will identify the inbuilt partitions on your Mac and will provide their list. You can just select a partition of your choice and start the recovery process.

Search For Lost Files On Mac Download

Step 2: Scan the Location

In no time, Recoverit would try to access the lost content from the selected partition. Though, if the partition has been lost, then the quick scan might not yield the needed results. In this case, you can perform a Deep Scan on your Mac to scan the entire storage.

Since it might take a while, it is recommended to wait for the recovery process to be completed. Try not to restart your Mac or close the application when it is performing a deep scan.

Step 3: Preview and Recover

That's it! Once the process is complete, the application will display the recovered data under various categories. You can view a section from the left panel and preview your data on the right.

In the end, you can select the files you wish to get back and click on the 'Recover' button to save them to a secure location.

In some new macOS versions, third-party applications are not allowed to access the logical partition of the drive. To overcome this, you can reboot Mac in recovery mode and launch Terminal from the utility menu. Type 'csrutil disable' and press enter to disable its System Integrity Protection. Once it is done, restart Mac in the normal mode and run Recoverit Data Recovery again.

Find Lost Files On Mac

Part 3. Tips for Finding Files on Mac

If you don't want to lose your data and learn how to find files on Mac quickly, then consider following these expert suggestions:

  • There are all kinds of keyboard shortcuts that you can use while browsing the file system on Mac. For instance, if you have been browsing a directory and would like to go back to the default folder, then press the Command + Shift + H keys. This will take you back to the home instantly.
  • Finder in Mac also allows us to set some default folders so that we can access them easily. Just go to the Finder Preferences to set a default folder for quick access.
  • The toolbar on Mac already provides a lot of options, but you can further customize it to make it easier for you to find files on Mac. Just go to View > Customize Toolbar and make the needed adjustments.
  • You can easily look for a file through the 'Search' bar on Finder. Also, you can sort the displayed data on the basis of different parameters (like size, last modified, etc.) to find files easily.
  • Mac also lets us preview files before opening them in order to find the respective content. For instance, you can just select a file and click on the Quick Look button to get its preview in seconds.

There you go! After reading this guide, you would be able to find any file on Mac without much trouble. We have listed different inbuilt methods to find lost documents on Mac, recover hidden files, and even restore deleted data. If you can't find lost files on Mac via Trash, then consider using Recoverit Data Recovery. It is an advanced and user-friendly data recovery application that will help you get back all kinds of content lost on your Mac. Since the tool is available for free (basic version), you can simply download it on your Mac and use it as per your requirements.

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