How to Recover Deleted Files and Folders on Windows PC and Mac

There is nothing as bad as losing important files on your Windows PC, Mac, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc. due to accidentally deletion or other incidents.

Nobody can ensure he or she makes no mistakes and avoid every incident. That’s the fact. But, the good news is that you can recover deleted and lost files successfully if you can hurry up and try the right ways or follow the right procedure to recover deleted files and folder on Windows PC and Mac. Let’s check the available ways to recover deleted files.

Must Dos and Mustn’t Dos before Files Recovery

  1. Calm down to do the right thing. Do not panic to search around on your hard drive, trying to recover deleted files.
  2. Stop any further operation on the hard drive, no matter in computer internal hard drive or external hard drive, where you have lost or deleted files from. All the deleted files are marked as deleted and invisible. However, they’re still there. They’re waiting to be replaced by new data. If you do not want to lose the files permanently, keep the hard drive standstill until you have successfully recovered files from it. If you transfer any file to the hard drive, it will cause data loss permanently.
  3. Do the file recovery as soon as possible. As time passed by, you will never tell when the deleted files will be removed. The sooner the data recovery performed, the better data recovery result you will get.

Top 4 Ways to Recover Deleted Files and Folders on Windows PC and Mac

The following methods are proved to be able to get back deleted files on Windows PC and Mac. You can choose the right one that fits for your situation, recovering the deleted files as soon as possible.

Method #1. Restore Deleted Files from Recycle Bin

Whether you deleted files on Windows PC or Mac, they’re likely to be put into the recycle bin unless you carried out Shift + Delete or Command +Delete to removed the files. Otherwise, it’s a big chance to restore deleted file and folders from recycle bin.

  1. Open the recycle bin on your Windows PC or Mac.
  2. Scroll up and down to find the target files. If they’re there, select them and right-click “Restore”.
  3. Check the restored files in the original folder(s) where they were before the deletion.

Generally, deleted files will be in the recycle bin for 30 days. If you haven’t restored them before that, they will be removed permanently. Of course, if deleted items not whowing up in recycle bin, that’s because you have emptied the recycle bin or there is further set up needed.

Method #2. Restore Deleted Files and Folders from Previous Version

Both on Windows PC and Mac, there is a feature named as “File History”, which enables you to recover deleted files and folders from “Previous Version”.

On Windows PC, right-click on the folder where you have deleted the inner files and folder > select “Restore previous versions” > From the available versions list, choose the version which you want to restore > Click ‘Restore’ or drag & drop the version at the desired location.

On Mac, open a document, like Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, or Pages, Numbers, or Keynote > click the “File” menu and select “Revert To” > “Browse All Versions” > Check the available versions, select the one you like and click “Restore”.

Method #3. Retrieve Deleted Files from Time Machine Backup File on Mac

If you have enabled Time Machine on your Mac to backup your Mac regularly, you can retrieve deleted files from Time Machine backup file.

  1. Connect the Time Machine backup disk with your Mac if it is an external hard drive.
  2. On top of Apple menu, click “Go” > “Applications”.
  3. Open Time Machine > Scroll the Timeline Timeline to find the file version your need.
  4. Select it and click “Restore” to put the file to the original location on your Mac.

Method #4. Recover Deleted Files and Folders using Data Recovery Software

Here comes the last resort if you can’t restore deleted files and folders from recycle bin, File History, and you neither have a backup file at all. Definitely, you should make use of professional data recovery software for help since it is the most efficiently and reliable method to recover deleted and lost files.

iBatsoft Data Recovery software is a tool you can fully depend on. Developed with the latest data recovery technology, it has helped thousands of people world widely recover files lost due to different reasons. It meets almost all the requirements for a professional data recovery tool.

  • As high as 99.85% data recovery success rate.
  • Recover 1000+ file types, covering daily pictures, videos, documents and more.
  • Retrieve files from over 700 storage devices, including computer internal hard drives, SSD, HDD, USB flash drives, CF cards, SD cards, micro memory cards, etc.
  • Recover files lost due to deletion, system error, virus attack, hard drive raw system, formatting, and over 500 scenarios.

Guide for how to use the data recovery software to recover deleted files on Windows PC and Mac.

  1. The data recovery software is free to download and trial from its official site. You can go there, download the Windows version or Mac version for your computer according to your computer operating system.
  2. Launch the data recovery software. From the left panel, you can see all the hard drives available to scan for lost files. If the files were deleted from an external hard drive, you should connect the hard drive with the computer first. Select the target hard drive and click “Scan”.
  3. Wait for the scanning process to finish. After then, you can see all found deleted files. Filter the files to preview. If there is no problem with the files, select them and click “Save” to save them on your computer.

It’s not the end yet. By default, the scanning process is Quick Scan, scanning for deleted files. If there are files you haven’t found by the default scan, try “Ultra Scan” in the scanning result window. It will find more files for you.


The above mentioned are the top 4 ways for recovering deleted files on Windows PC, Mac and external hard drives. No matter what way you’re going to apply, just remember to recover the files as soon as possible. It will increase the data recovery success rate. And data recovery software really is worth a try. It will display all the recoverable files for you, letting you making decision to update to the full version or not. It costs you nothing to learn whether you can recover the needed files or not.