People search queries like “Documents folder missing Mac” or “Documents folder disappeared from Mac” and hope to find a way to get the missing Documents folder back. This problem is not uncommon. It can occur during everyday use of your Mac or after an upgrade (such as from macOS 10.15 Catalina to macOS11 Big Sur).
There can be different situations for a missing document folder on mac. In some cases, the Documents folder is still there, and it’s easy to make it reappear. In some cases, however, the folder is not on your Mac’s hard drive anymore. This guide will cover all the scenarios and show you how to recover lost Documents folder.
On Mac, the Documents folder is typically found under the Favorites section in the left sidebar in Finder. If your Documents folder is missing from Favorites and appears under the iCloud section instead, then this method is for you.
If your Mac is running on macOS Sierra or later, then you are able to add the Documents folder (as well as Desktop folder) to iCloud Drive for instant access on all your devices. Once this feature is enabled and set up, the Documents folder will disappear from Favorites, and you can find it under iCloud section in the Finder Window.
Can you move Documents back to the default location by just disabling the said feature? No, it’s not that simple. You may end up having an empty Documents folder. Check out the steps below.
What if the Documents folder doesn’t show up in Finder sidebar at all? You just can’t find it under Favorites or any other section. You may think that you have accidentally deleted Documents folder. As a matter of fact, it’s very likely that the folder gets hidden somehow. It’s super easy to make it visible again.
If Documents folder suddenly disappears from the Dock, you can get it back with just three clicks of your mouse.
When it comes to the above-mentioned situations, it’s not hard to get the folder back to normal. However, what if for some reasons it is lost or deleted and no longer there on your Mac? In such a case, you will need to restore the folder from backup (if available) or recover it using data recovery software.
Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac can recover all common file types and formats on different devices. The guide below will show you how to use it to recover Documents folder, its files, and other folders or files on MacBook, iMac, etc.
|Supported file types||Supported devices||Supported file systems|
Image: JPG, PNG, GIF, PSD, RAW, BMP, etc.
Audio: MP3, AAC, M4A, FLAC, OGG, RX2, etc.
Video: RM, DV, MKV, MOV, M2TS, MPG, DVR, etc.
Document: DOC, PAGES, KEYNOTE, PDF, MOBI, etc.
Archive: 7Z, DB, ZIP, RAR, ISO, ARJ, XAR, etc.
Others: ZCODE, DMP, EXE, DMG, TORRENT, FAT, etc.
|Mac's internal storage, external HD, SSD, USB flash drive, SD card and more||FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, HFS+, ext2, ext3, ext4, NTFS, APFS|
Steps to Recover Missing/Lost/Deleted Document Folders or Files on Mac
Note: To be able to work properly, data recovery software will require read-only access to lost data from your startup drive. If the Steps to recover data on macOS High Sierra window pops up after you click the Scan button, please follow the 3-step instructions it gives to disable Mac’s System Integrity Protection. You can turn the protection on once the missing Documents folder is recovered.
In the case that your documents folder disappeared permanently on your mac and you have a backup with Time Machine, you can get the disappeared folders back on mac free.
Still, if you have backed up the folders in your iCloud account, you can use this online free storage service to get your disappeared folders back to Mac.
Don’t worry if the Documents folder on your Mac goes missing. In most cases, it’s still on your Mac, safe and sound. You can effortlessly bring it back. If, unfortunately, you have lost or deleted the folder or some files in it. It’s also easy to get them recovered. In addition, it’s strongly recommended to regularly backup Documents and other important folders on Mac.
Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.