How to Restore Mac File When You Have No Backup
How to Restore Mac File When You Have No Backup

Did you remove a file or folder from your Mac drive or an external drive, and now you need it back? Don’t freak out yet because there is some potentially good news; you may be able to recover the deleted files within OS X with Time Machine.

Now that you’ve been using Time Machine regularly to back up your computer, you should be fully prepared if your Mac crashes or if you need to move data from one Mac to another. Restore the Mac lost files from Time Machine is just as easy as backing things up in the first place.

With Backup-Time Machine Can Help

Restore a single file or folder

If you’re looking for a certain file or folder, start by connecting the external drive that you use for Time Machine backups or by making sure that you can connect to your Time Capsule. Click the Time Machine item in the menu bar at the top of your screen (it looks like a clock with an arrow running counterclockwise around it), and choose

Enter Time Machine. Here, all of your saved backups will appear in chronological order. Use the visual timeline on the right side to scroll through your backups and look for specific items or folders. Older dates are indicated in pink on the timeline; the most up-to-date data on your Mac is indicated in white. (You’ll see the word ‘Now’ in bold, white letters on the timeline.)

Not sure which backup might hold the last copy of your missing file? Try running a Spotlight search in Time Machine based on keywords. You’ll see a search field in the upper right corner of each Finder window in the Time Machine view. Type in the file name or keywords from the file, and Spotlight will search through your backups to find the latest copy.

Once you think that you’ve found what you’re looking for, use OS X’s Quick Look to make sure: Select the file and then press the spacebar to view the file without having to launch its parent application.

Select the file or folder, and press the Restore button. The file will automatically be copied to your desktop or to the file’s original folder. This may take some time, depending on the size of the transfer.

Restore an entire system

Sometimes you may want to restore your entire system from a backup-say, in the event of a crash or when your computer is misbehaving and you’d like to dial the clock back to a kinder, gentler time. If that’s the case, first connect your Time Machine drive. Then start up your Mac from the Mountain Lion recovery partition by pressing (and holding down) Command-R at startup. This launches Recovery Mode, a portion of your drive that Mountain Lion treats as a separate volume. It includes a few essential utilities for restoring files in case of a problem. For this approach to work, you must have a complete Time Machine backup that includes all system files.

The Mac OS X Utilities window appears. Select Restore From Time Machine Backup. This command will erase the destination drive-your Mac-so use it only if you’re restoring an entire volume to its original source or to a replacement drive. (Read the next section for setting up a new Mac or transferring data between Macs.)

Click Continue until you reach the Select a Backup Source window. here, select your Time Machine drive and click Continue. In the Select a Destination window, choose your Mac’s hard drive. (Using Recovery Mode erases your Mac’s hard drive before restoring from Time Machine; but once the process is finished, you’ll be able to log in and use your Mac normally).

OK, done! All you files back to you again! Happy ending.

Wait…What if you don’t have backup? This is a big problem…

Without Backup-How to Restore Files?

If you don’t have backup of your files, you need to make sure what situation you’ve met:

  • If you did not empty the Trash, click on the Trash icon at the right side of the Dock and drag those files to a different location.
  • If you emptied the Trash, it is more difficult.  Typically, when a file is erase, it is not really erased.  The space the file occupied become unallocated, so that new data can be written over that space.  If new data files have not yet been written over that space, the old data is still there and may be recoverable.

This time you need to depend on the software which can help you to deal with the data loss problems. You will ask how to judge the software is worthy to choose or not, in my opinion, the good software should help you to solve the data loss problem. Please make clear of this: I say it can help you to solve the data loss problem doen’t mean how many lost files can be got back by using the software you choose but the quality of the recovered files. Once the software can help you to recover the lost files in the original quality and size, you can say it is worthy to use. And another point is that the software is easy to use ‘cuase many of the Mac users are not the professors who are good at dealing the Mac operating system’s problem. The software should show the easy guidance for the users to recover files easily.


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That’s my opinion for recovering Mac files. As I said before, Time Machine is one good tool to recover files ’cause it is the built in tool and easy to use for users. But it need users to back up the files first. So you should learn how important the backup of file is. If you still need more tips about Mac deleted file rescue you can read more post on our site.

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