How to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac

When a photo is deleted, it won't be gone forever. Read on this article to learn how to find deleted photos from Mac and how to recover deleted photos on Mac.

Sep 29,2019 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions


Where Are My Deleted Pictures on My Mac?

I am using an iMac OS X 10.8. I deleted all photos that I thought were in Trash accidentally. I can find them nowhere in my iMac. Where can I find recently deleted photos on my Mac? Many thanks.

The photo loss case is becoming more and more frequent for every Mac user. We just delete some photos and files out of habit in order to free up the storage space on Mac hard drive. The periodical data deletion is conducive to the Mac operation system operation and hard drive management. But it might also bring about some issues like mistakenly deleting important files and pictures.

This photo loss issue is really annoying and you can hardly find your deleted photos back without a helpful tool. How can we find our deleted photos on Mac computer? How to get deleted photos back on Mac? Both of them are our main concerns when we mistakenly delete precious pictures as well as the questions to be solved in this artilce.

Before that, there is one thing you need to know about digital data loss. The deleted photos are not really gone from your Mac, but you should not save any new data or files on your storage devide to avoid data loss and overwriting.

Part 1. The Best Photo Recovery Software for Mac

It is clear that you can recover deleted photos on Mac with a third-party Mac photo recovery tool. But it is not an easy job to find out a viable and reliable photo recovery program. But the metrics provided above could be helpful for you to pick the most suitable one. In this article, Recoverit Mac Photo recovery software is our preferred recommendation for you after careful tests.

Recoverit Mac data recovery is the software you need to recover deleted photos in Mac. No matter your photos are deleted from trash bin or lost because of system error or virus inflection, this program can help you to recover delted photos on Mac. It is able to recover photos on both your Mac and storage device connected with it.

Why Is Recoverit Mac Photo Recovery Our Pick?

Data loss scenarios

  1. Accidental deletion of photos
  2. "Shift + Del" without backup
  3. Emptying Mac Trash without backup
  4. Unexpected Mac hard drive formatting
  5. Improper operation on Mac hard drive
  6. System crash and hard drive corruption
  7. Virus attack and malware infection

More Features

  1. Supports JPG, TIFF/TIF, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD, CRW, CR2, NEF, ORF, RAF, SR2, MRW, DCR , WMF, DNG, ERF, RAW, etc.
  2. Supports various OS, like Mac OS X 10.8 - 10.14, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, HFS+, and HFSX, etc.
  3. The recovery rate reaches up to 96% with faster scan speed compared with other similar products in the market.
  4. Its interface is staightforward enough for every Mac user. You can recover deleted photos within 3 simple steps.

Part 2. How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Mac

With Recoverit photo recovery, you can easily and effectively retrieve deleted photo back. Donwload and install Recoverit Mac Photo Recovery on your computer. On this tutorial, we perform deleted photos recovery on Mac computer.

Step 1 Select a location or devices

Launch Recoverit Mac Data Recovery, please select a device or a external storage to get started. If your photos deleted from external device, please connect your device to the computer.

recover deleted photos on mac

Step 2 Scan your lost or deleted photos

Once you select a location to start, Recoverit will start to scan your storage to search deleted photos. It will take a while to complete the scan process.

scan deleted photos

Step 3 Preview and recover deleted pictures

After the scan, all found files will be listed as the below image displays. You can preview your wanted photos, and click "Recover" button to get your deleted photos back.

recover deleted photos on mac-preview

Note: After successfully recovering deleted photos on Mac, please select another folder or partition to save the recovered images to avoid file loss again.

Video Tutorial on How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Even Emptied Trash

Recent Videos from Recoverit

View More >

Part 3. How to Find Deleted Photos on Mac

When a picture gets deleted, it won't be gone for good. In fact, it is usually sent to Mac Trash or the Recently Deleted Album on Mac. Therefore, after accidental photo deletion, just open Mac Trash, select the desired photo and right-click it to put it back. You can also go to File > Show Recently Deleted and opt for the wanted picture to recover it. The 2 native Mac tools can help you find and recover deleted photos quickly and easily. But they are unable to solve every data loss scenario for you due to their limitations as follows.

Things to Note

  • If unfortunately your Mac Trash has been emptied, your deleted photos can't be found on it. It means that it would be not possible to recover deleted photos from emptied Mac Trash.
  • When the Mac hard drive where Trash is located becomes fully occupied, some data including your photos, pictures and images will be removed to ensure sufficient storage space.
  • All your deleted photos can only be saved in Recently Deleted for 30 days, and if the disk space becomes unavailable, they will be permanently deleted quicklier.
  • It is unlikely to recover deleted photos on the specific hard drive and partition. If you want to recover the entire hard drive data, you need turn to third-party photo recovery software.

Considering such unchangeable limitations, it is highly recommended to apply a Mac photo recovery tool to restore permanently deleted, lost or fommatted photos, pictures and images. There is a bewildering variety of photo reovery software available in the market. So what should be valued when picking a reliable photo recovery program?

Here are some metrics to consider.

  • Recovery ability:
    Photos might be deleted due to various reasons, so a photo recovery tool should be applicable to a wide range of data loss scenarios. Moreover, it should work with different Mac operation systems and various data storage devices like Mac hard drive and digital cameras.
  • Photo format:
    A picture recovery program should be able to retrieve different sorts of photos, images, pictures, audio files and videos so that almost every recovery requirement can be satisfied.
  • Scan speed:
    "Time is money", as the saying goes. Faster scan speed can help you save a lot of time in seaching for desired photos.
  • Simplified interface:
    Not all Mac users have professional expertise in Mac operation and data recovery. Sophiscated designs can cause you to have difficulty in using it and lead to recovery failure.
  • Value for money:
    Price is the top priority to consider. It is suggested that you assess metrics as many as possible and choose the most affordable one.

Given the important metrics which a Mac photo recover tool should have, it is suprising to find that Recoverit is one of the most qualified utility for most of users to recover deleted photos on Mac. All the indispensable features can be found when using this software.

The Bottom Line

Here, we have introduced how to find deleted photos on Mac and how pretty easy to undelete pictures from Mac hard drive with Recoverit Mac Photo Recovery. The recommended photo recovery application can help you recover deleted photos from Mac hard drive, Mac partition and external storage devices connected to your Mac computer, such as digital cameras, USB flash drive, memory card, cell phone and so forth. All the scanned photos in different formats can be previewed in advance. So, why not have a try for the best photo recovery app to restore lost pictures?

Prefer to restore your lost videos? Come to know the entire process of Mac video recovery.

Note: Recover Lost Mac Data under Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)

Due to macOS High Sierra (macOS 10.13) requirement, Mac users are not allowed an access to the built-in system drive from any apps. Therefore, if you need to restore lost data from the system disk under macOS 10.13, please "disable System Integrity Protection" first.

How to disable "System Integrity protection"? Please follow the steps below.

system integrity protection

Step 1Reboot the Mac and hold down "Command + R" keys simultaneously after you hear the startup chime, this will boot OS X into Recovery Mode.

recovery mode

Step 2When the "OS X Utilities" screen appears, pull down the "Utilities" menu at the top of the screen instead, and choose "Terminal".


Step 3In the "Terminal" window, type in "csrutil disable" and press "Enter" then restart your Mac.

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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