Recovering lost data on Mac – Yes its possible!

With each passing day we witness technology reaching new horizons. But new findings and expansions also give rise to new threats and dangers. On the one hand where the techniques to store, manage, and process data are getting more advanced, the risks and chances of data loss are also on the rise. We regularly see many new ways through which data loss can occur. As such, there is a dire need to understand and improve data backup and recovery methods in order to safeguard against such a calamity.

Data loss is one of the harshest realities of technology. We often live under the impression that loss of data through accidental deletion of files or formatting is something that happens to other people, especially those who are careless enough not to backup their data. Well the fact is that even backed up data can get corrupted, formatted or deleted. And another bitter truth is that a lot of us suffer from data loss at least once. Though prevention is better than cure and as such all of us should backup our files regularly, if we do face data loss, it is not the end of the world. Data recovery techniques act as a boon in such situations and through them, all that is lost can be got back.

How does Data Recovery work?

When you accidentally delete a file, it doesn’t actually disappear from the drive. Instead, the space occupied by that file before deletion is marked as empty and fit to be over-written. Such spaces are filled with new data only when other available space has filled up and hence the chances for recovering these files exist and are the highest if you act quickly. Data recovery applications and software access these spaces on the drive and list all such files. You can then choose which files you wish to recover and voila!

Data Recovery on Mac

Data recovery on Mac is a fairly complex task if we look at what’s going on in the background. From a user’s point of view, it is not very easy to understand. That, and Apple’s resolve to inculcate the habit of staying prepared in their users, isone of the reasons they’ve designed the Time Machine utility. Through Time Machine, Mac users can easily and comfortably backup the contents of their hard drive to either another hard drive on the same machine, external media, over the network etc. The application takes timely backups of your files and in Apple’s words – “remembers how your system looked on any given day so you can revisit your Mac as it appeared in the past”.

Recovering data through Time Machine

Recovering data backed up using the Time Machine utility is fairly straight-forward.

To recover individual files and folders, the subsequent procedure should be followed:

Step 1:Select the Time Machine icon from the Menu and click on Enter Time Machine.

Step 2: In the window that opens, navigate to the folder you want to restore and click on the Restore button. The selected files will be restored.

To recover the entire contents of the hard drive, the subsequent procedure should be followed:

Step 1: Power on or restart your Mac and press the Command + R keys. You will see the OS X Recovery Utilities window.

Step 2: From the options listed down in the window, select Restore from Time Machine Backup and then click on Continue.

Step 3: You will see a page titled “Restore your System” with some information. Read it carefully and when you are ready, click on Continue.

Step 4: The next page will show all recent Time Machine backups of your Mac. Select the one you want and click on Continue. Your machine will be restored to the date of the backup you selected.

Important Note: If by any chance you’ve replaced your Mac’s hard drive with a new one, the recovery partition won’t be installed on the new drive. In such a case, if you want to restore from an earlier backup which was taken using Time Machine, you can use the recovery from Time Machine’s drive directly. Here’s the procedure to do it:

Step 1: Insert the Time Machine drive and restart your Mac.

Step 2: Immediately press the Option key. You will be given the option to select your startup disc.

Step 3: Select the Time Machine drive as your startup disc and then follow steps 2 – 4 mentioned above.

Recovering documents from within an app on Mac

What if you want to recover a document from within a Mac app? Apple provides a solution to this problem through the following steps:

Step 1: In the respective app open the document that you want to recover.

Step 2: Click on File ->Revert to ->Browse All Versions and then select the version you want to recover.

Recovery using third party software

You can also use some great third party “Data Recovery Mac” software. Such software are automated and excel in recovering deleted, formatted or lost data from a Mac. However, the key is to act quickly since the more you delay it from your end, the less likely the chances become to find lost files.

To Sum up

Stay safe by backing up your data regularly. However, if you still face accidental file deletion, don’t panic and act quickly.

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