Folders disappeared from desktop on Mac? Or even worse, everything on desktop disappeared on Mac? Don’t panic. This article will show you how to easily recover folders disappeared from Mac desktop in 2023/2024, by listing 10 common fixes you can try, no matter your macOS is Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina or older versions. There is also an extended bonus tip to recover accidentally deleted desktop folders on Mac easily.
It's uncommon but we do run into the trouble of Mac Desktop Folders Disappeared. This can be a big problem, because it leads to data loss and affects our work. Desktop folders disappeared on Mac can be caused by different reasons and here we conclude as follows:
Then where did these disappeared desktop folders go? Basing on the reasons we list above, they may be moved to Trash bin, to a new location, or hidden somewhere on your Mac and we need to get them back.
With different scenarios causing disappeared desktop folders, it may require different solutions. If you are sure that the folders missing from desktop are no longer existing on Mac, you should attempt to recover them back. Let’s start with 2 recovery methods.
As the top option, you need a professional data recovery software like Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac to help you out!
Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac works with most data loss situations, such as lost or missing for unknown reason, permanent deletion or formatted. It provides following useful features:
Recover all common files formats and types like images, documents, videos, audios, etc.
Repair corrupted videos in mp4, mov, avi and so on
You can check this video to recover disappeared folders from Mac desktop or refer to those steps in the last part of this article. It supports recovering deleted desktop folders or files too.
If you back up your Mac with Time Machine on a frequent basis, things will be easier. In such a case, you can get back disappeared desktop folders on Mac from the available backup.
Another situation is that your disappeared desktop folders are just hidden somewhere, rather than removed from your Mac. In this case, it’s time to make them show up again and proceed to the 8 fixes below.
This is a pretty easy and quick fix, but it actually solves the issue in some cases.
One possible cause of the problem is that the Desktop features have been disabled. One can fix it by relaunching the Finder. If relaunch doesn’t work, there is still another method, which is using a third-party app called TinkerTool. This app is designed to give Mac users access to additional macOS preference and settings.
Sometimes, the disappeared desktop folders are just moved to a new location by accidentally enabling the transfer actions with your mouse or key combination. We can search on our Mac and put the disappeared folders back to the desktop.
If a folder or all your Mac desktop folders disappeared because they have been hidden for some reason, you can view and find the hidden folders by using Terminal.
The Mac desktop icons disappeared problem also occurs. There are two solutions you can try.
In many cases, the folders disappeared from desktop on Mac issue is caused by iCloud settings. Mac makes it easy to store your Desktop and Documents folder in the cloud so that you can easily access them on all your Apple devices. It makes things convenient. However, sometimes it also brings frustrations since it could cause the disappearance of desktop items and the Desktop folder. Below is how to get back the disappeared folders.
Also, you can choose to turn off the iCloud Drive sync.
macOS Mojave and later versions have a new feature named Stacks, to automatically group similar desktop folders and files together by categories. Once enabled, your Mac desktop folders could be missing. Here are the steps to find disappeared desktop folders via Stack.
The last but not the least useful method to get your disappeared desktop folders back is reinstalling macOS, making everything on your Mac run properly again by purging all conflicts or problems during the reinstallation.
However, it is not easy to reinstall macOS, we need to prepare our Mac properly, back up files and follow the steps to go through the reinstalling.
It would be much easier to recover deleted desktop folders on Mac, with the best option of downloading and installing a data recovery program. This method applies to restoring desktop folders moved to Trash bin, and restoring permanently deleted/trash emptied desktop folders as well.
The tool we use is still Cisdem Data Recovery, the program we recommend to recovering disappeared folders from Mac desktop as above, it is easy to use and reliable to help you gain access to deleted Mac desktop folders again.
Don’t worry if folders disappeared from desktop on Mac. You can try the methods mentioned above. In many cases, it’s very easy to bring things back. When it comes accidental permanent deletion, you will need to use professional software like Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac. The software can recover data loss caused by permanent deletion, disk formatting, disk failure and other reasons. For important files and folders, it’s highly recommended to regularly back them up.
Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.