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How to Recover Lost Files in macOS Catalina

Data loss incident in macOS Catalina cannot be stopped. But,you can minimize it by using the means provided in the operating system or by using third-party software. In this post, we’ll share a variety of methods that can help you get back your lost files in macOS Catalina 10.15.

Look for Your Lost Files in Trash

When you Trash files in macOS Catalina, they stay in the Trash folder temporarily until you delete them from there or Empty Trash. So, look for your lost files in Trash. Steps are as follows:

1. Open your Trash folder. And, browse the folder to find your lost files.

2. Alternatively, you can use the search box to locate your files quickly.

3. When you find your lost files,select all of them.

4. Secondary click and choose Put Back to restore the files to its original location.

5. Or else, drag the files from Trash and drop them to Desktop or anywhere in Finder.

Restore Your Lost Files from Time Machine

When you use the Time Machine app to back up data in macOS Catalina, you can restore your lost files quickly by using the app. To restore your files from Time Machine, do the following:

1. Ensure your Time Machine backup drive in connected to your Mac.

2. On the menu bar, go to Time Machine>Enter Time Machine.

3. Search Themistocles by using the search field or the timeline.

4. Select any lost file then press Space Bar to preview.

5. To restore the selected files, click Restore.

6. Go to the folder from where the files got deleted. Those files are now restored.

Recover Your Lost Files by Using Stellar Data Recovery Software

If you haven’t backed up your Mac by using Time Machine, don’t use your system till you recover your data. Steps to recover your lost files are as follows:

2. Launch the software. And, select the types of file that are lost then click Next.

3. Select the drive location from where the files are lost. Switch on Deep Scan to perform a rigorous scan of the drive then click Scan.

4. For the startup disk, disable system integrity protection in macOS Catalina. For other storage drive location, this step is not required. For encrypted disk, type its password.

5. Let the scan to complete. Click OK when the scanning is completed successfully.

6. Click Classic List, File List, or Deleted List tab shown on the left pane to analyze the scanned items. Double-click any file from the right pane to preview.

7. Select all the required files from the app, then click Recover. Click Browse to select a save destination. Then click Save.

8. Wait patiently till the recovery task is over. Go to the save location to verify the recovered files for integrity.


We hope this article helped you recover your lost files in macOS Catalina. First, look for the lost files in the Trash folder. If the files are present, put back those files. If they are not in Trash, then use Time Machine to restore your lost files.In case there is no backup, use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover your lost data.

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