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recover deleted filesNearly every longtime and experienced computer user knows that the best solution to recover deleted files is to have a good regularly scheduled backup system. For Mac users, we have covered a few of the best backup systems, including Tina’s ï»¿5 Ways To Clone & Copy Your Hard Drive 5 Ways To Clone & Copy Your Hard Drive 5 Ways To Clone & Copy Your Hard Drive Read More , Jeffry’s Carbon Copy Cloner – A Free & Powerful Backup Utility Carbon Copy Cloner - A Free & Powerful Backup Utility (Mac) Carbon Copy Cloner - A Free & Powerful Backup Utility (Mac) Read More , and my tips 4 Resources to Become a Backup Master with Time Machine [Mac] 4 Resources to Become a Backup Master with Time Machine [Mac] Read More on using Snow Leopard’s default backup system, Time Machine.

Time Machine has saved me more than a few times and made it very easy to recover deleted files. But for occasions when a backup system fails or when it is not used to back up files on say memory cards or external drives, data recovery applications like Cleverfiles’s Disk Drill will probably be your best solution and is free in its beta version.

recover deleted files mac

Disk Drill is a recovery software for uprooting deleted or damaged files, including videos, lost music, podcasts, photos, and text documents. It works on both internal and external drives, as well as memory cards and thumb drives. I have had to use similar software in the past, and the one thing I like about Disk Drill is its straightforward user interface. I didn’t have to read a lot of instructions to start using it.

Using Disk Drill

When you first launch Disk Drill, you are presented with a guided tour and tutorial of its features. The developers understand how agonizing it is to lose and try to recover important data. But as they point out in their tutorial, “Data recovery is mostly about chances, probability, and common sense…there’s really no guarantee something will be recovered 100%.” If you accidentally delete a file(s), your chances of recovering it are very good if you use Disk Drill soon after, to recover what you lost.


So for example, if you delete files off a camera media card, your chances of recovering them are greater the less you reuse the card after those files are deleted. The more you use the card, the more you overwrite deleted data.

how to recover deleted files mac

To use Disk Drill, simply click the Recover Data button in the menu bar, select the drive you want to recover, and then click ”Quick Scan” or ”Deep scan” to start the recovery process. To make the scanning go faster, you can specify the type of files you want to recover, e.g., pictures, videos, text documents, audio files.

how to recover erased computer files on hard drive

Disk Drill will give you results of its search, at which time you can preview and select the files you want to restore.

how to recover erased computer files on hard drive

I tried the application on a media card and it recovered several deleted images – most at their full resolution size.

Recovery Vault

One unique feature of Disk Drill is Recovery Vault, which seems to work like a backup protection system for your designated partitions and selected folders. According to the developers, Recovery Vault “keeps a smart history of your file activity and lets you increase recovery changes for all your disks with the Mac file system or FAT”.

how to recover erased computer files on hard drive

Recovery Vault is not enabled by default, and it will only of course protect files on drives after it is applied to them. This feature is very useful because when files are deleted on the Mac system, the details (file name, dates, etc) are also erased. Recovery Vault retains this information when files are deleted or damaged.


Users of Disk Drill will have different recovery issues for their hard drives. Cleverfiles”˜s developers seem to be addressing well the needs of different users. Their site includes a growing collection of documentation for the type of recovery processes a user might need.

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These documents include how to recover deleted files for when trash is already empty, for memory card recovery, lost data from formatted partitions, and from FAT/NTFS/HFS and other file systems.

The site also includes a user forum for additional questions and discussions.

Data recovery is not something we look forward to or use everyday, but it’s important to have a program like Disk Drill for when the inevitable occurs. Let us know what you think of Disk Drill after you download and give it a run. It will remain free under its beta version, so you will want to grab a copy now.

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  1. Mubasshir
    September 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I have just recovered 4 GB data by Disk Drill. One of my hard drive just corrupted and I found that one folder was missing. The folder was very important as all of my study documents were in it. Most of them were documents, but also there was video tutorial, software and coding files. My brother recommended me this software and I got my full folder back. Although for few files I have to recover twice, as first time it was partly recovered.
    I found this software as very easy to use and the recovery rate is fast as compare to others. The scanning function of it also good as it fixes normal issues automatically.

  2. annalee851014
    August 13, 2015 at 7:55 am

    One of the best recovery tools I used is uFlysoft data recovery.

  3. venkat
    November 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Recuva helps in someway of recovering deleted documents and photos from Computer.