Can I retrieve permanently deleted photos on my Mac?

I accidentally deleted some important photos from my Mac, and I think they may be permanently gone. Does anyone know how to recover permanently deleted photos on Mac? I’m desperate because these photos have sentimental value. Please help!

Hey there, I totally get your pain. Accidentally deleting important pics is the WORST. First thing, check your “Recently Deleted” folder in the Photos app; they stay there for 30 days. :wastebasket: If they’re not there, you might be in trouble.

I’ve used Disk Drill for Mac before… it’s kinda hit or miss. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s a letdown and you just waste your time. :triumph: Be ready for a frustrating process. Back up your stuff next time!! Hope you get your pics back :four_leaf_clover:

You’re likely outta luck if you’ve truly “permanently” deleted those photos. Mac’s Trash folder only saves deleted files for 30 days, then boom, gone forever.

If they aren’t in iCloud or a backup, don’t hold out too much hope. Plenty of data recovery software claims to help with this, like Disk Drill for Mac. Yeah, it might find your missing photos, but it’s not a guarantee and you might end up wasting your time and money. Disk Drill costs money, and isn’t failproof. Plus, if you’ve been using your Mac since the deletion, those photos could be overwritten.

Honestly, you should check this article out: to see the list of options and decide for yourself. Just don’t get your hopes too high.

If your photos have been permanently deleted from your Mac, don’t panic just yet. There are several ways to potentially recover them. Here’s a bit of a step-by-step guide to help you out:

  1. Check the Trash Bin: I know you said they’re permanently gone, but always start by double-checking the Trash Bin - you might get lucky and find them still sitting there.

  2. Time Machine Backup: If you use Time Machine, you can restore your Mac to an earlier date when the photos were still present. Open Time Machine, navigate to the date when you believe your photos were intact, and restore the Photos Library.

  3. iCloud Photos: Check if you have synced your photos with iCloud. Go to and log in with your Apple ID to see if your photos are available there. If so, you can download them back to your Mac.

  4. Third-Party Recovery Software: When it’s truly desperate times, a reliable data recovery software might be your savior. One of the more highly recommended options is Disk Drill for Mac. It has a pretty good track record for recovering deleted files, even those you believe to be permanently gone.

To give you a head start, you can Download Disk Drill for Mac users here:

Here’s kind of an outline of how to use Disk Drill:

  • Download & Install: After downloading, install Disk Drill by dragging it into the Applications folder.
  • Launch Disk Drill: Open it and grant necessary permissions it asks for.
  • Select the Drive: Choose the drive where your photos were stored.
  • Scan the Drive: Click the ‘Recover’ button. This may take a while depending on the size of your disk and how many files are being scanned.
  • View Scanned Files: Once the scan is complete, you can filter the results to find your photos. Disk Drill supports previewing files before recovering them, which is quite handy.
  • Recover: Select the photos you want to recover and save them to a different location. Do NOT save the recovered files to the same drive where they were originally located as it may overwrite the data still available for recovery.
  1. Professional Data Recovery Service: As a last resort, you might consider professional data recovery services, especially if you think the photos are invaluable, and other methods have failed.

Note to keep in mind: always make regular backups of your important files. This situation underscores how crucial an external drive or cloud-based backup solution can be in preventing data loss.

From what you’ve described, Disk Drill might really be your best bet given how robust the software is for such cases. Good luck and I hope you get those memories back!