Nobody likes to lose everything, but unfortunately it happens. Either through malware, honest mistakes, a hasty decision, or whatever else, files get lost and threaten to stay that way unless you do something!
Your best bet is to download recovery software, but before you download anything, make sure to search your recycle bin for old or forgotten versions of your lost file, on the off chance you find what you’re looking for.
Another preemptive task is to check any backup locations you have. You should configure Time Machine so that your computer is automatically backing up data. Also, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to get an external hard drive.
Alright, but if you can’t find the file in the bin and you don’t have backups, what do you do? It’s pretty simple actually. Download a recovery app for Mac. Different programs have different pros and cons; some of them are more specialized to focus on iphone recovery or photo recovery and some of them are more general. That said, all of them work the same way. If you’re unsure about which one to get, pick something that’s native to Mac OS X and has a comprehensive scan feature.
Download the software of your choice then proceed to scan your disc for lost files. Finding files can be hard because the names get erased in the recovery process. You’ll have to look at each file individually to make sure it’s got the contents you need.
Searching can be a pain, but once you isolate and find the file you need, recovery is a snap. Most apps have a recover button for you to click. You may end up waiting a little bit while the app recovers the file, but you won’t have to do or worry about much else. The last thing to keep in mind is that because the file name was probably destroyed, finding the recovered file on your computer will take a bit. You can’t use finder so you’ll just have to hunt it down the old-fashioned way.
A good idea is to backup the recovered file to a location other than its original drive. Otherwise, you run the risk of the file being overwritten in the process of recovery and this will only make more work for you.