How to recover permanently deleted files on Mac using Terminal?

Hey everyone, I accidentally deleted some important files on my Mac, and they’ve bypassed the Trash. I’ve heard it’s possible to recover them using Terminal commands. Can someone please guide me on how to do this? Any step-by-step instructions or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

If you’ve permanently deleted files on your Mac, recovering them through Terminal is nearly impossible unless you had Time Machine running. Terminal is powerful but not quite magic when it comes to data recovery in that scenario.

Here’s a safer and more mainstream method—using Disk Drill. This tool offers a strong recovery option for accidentally deleted files. I’ve used it myself after a similar crisis, and it’s quite effective. For those curious, there’s an independent review that breaks down its features and efficiency thoroughly: Independent Disk Drill Review.

If you don’t have backups, I’d steer clear of deep fiddling with Terminal and go with something reliable like Disk Drill. The sooner you act, the better your recovery chances!

Terminal commands alone won’t really get back permanently deleted files because of how macOS handles file deletions, especially if they’ve bypassed the Trash. But there are some steps you can try before giving up.

  1. Check if they are really gone:
    Sometimes, files are not truly deleted but are moved somewhere obscure. Open Terminal and use the find command to scour your directories:

    find / -name "filename.extension"

    Replace “filename.extension” with your file’s name and extension.

  2. Try Mac’s native undo feature:
    If your deletion just happened, you might be able to undo it by pressing Cmd + Z in the Finder window where the deletion occurred.

  3. Check Time Machine:
    If you have Time Machine backup enabled, you can recover deleted files from there. Open the Time Machine interface and navigate to the time just before the deletion happened.

For more advanced recovery, you kinda need a third-party tool because Mac doesn’t provide built-in low-level file recovery utilities in Terminal. One of the best tools for this is Disk Drill. Download it here. Here’s a quick rundown on using Disk Drill:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. Open Disk Drill and let it scan your drives for deleted files.
  3. Browse the scan results and select the files you want to recover.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore them.

This app can help you because it works at a deeper system level, scanning for remnants of the deleted files and reconstructing them if possible.

Remember that using your Mac after a file deletion increases the risk of overwriting the sectors where your deleted files are stored, so try to recover them ASAP.

Good luck!

Hey there, sorry to hear about the deleted files, that sucks. Unfortunately, if they’ve bypassed the Trash, using Terminal to recover them is pretty much impossible. Mac’s built-in stuff doesn’t really help with this. There are tools like Disk Drill for Mac, but honestly, it’s kinda hit or miss and sometimes feels like a scam. You’re not always gonna get everything back, and it might cost you. Your best bet is probably to restore from a backup if you have one. Learned my lesson the hard way - always keep a backup :disappointed:.

Recovering permanently deleted files using Terminal on Mac? Seriously doubtful. Once files bypass the Trash, they’re typically gone for good from a casual user’s standpoint. Terminal isn’t a magic undelete tool. Sure, you might be able to freak out the file system and recover some data, but it’s far from straightforward.

If you’re that desperate, look into data recovery software. Disk Drill for Mac (Top 10 Best Data Recovery Software for Mac (Including FREE)) is a decent option. Pros: it has a user-friendly interface and can recover various file types. Cons: it’s pricey, and results aren’t guaranteed.

Honestly, your best bet might be just to redo whatever work was lost. Better to save those crucial files in multiple places next time.