2021 New: How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Pages Document on Mac

Connie Wisley
time January 18, 2021 Preview 41.0K
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iWork Pages is a document type designed by Apple to contend with Microsoft Office Word, but it is easier and more stylish to create files. And this is just the reason why more and more Mac users get used to work with Pages documents. However, there are possibilities that we may leave a Pages document unsaved due to sudden power off or force quitting, or just accidentally delete a Pages document on mac. 

Here, in this quick guide, we will cover the solutions to recover unsaved pages document on mac and to recover accidentally deleted/lost pages document on mac.



How to Recover Unsaved Pages Document on Mac?

To recover unsaved Pages document on mac, there are 3 solutions listed as following.

Method 1. Use Mac Auto-Save

Actually, Auto-save is a part of MacOS, allowing an app to auto save the document users are working on. When you are editing on a document, the changes are saved automatically, there will be no “Save” command appears. And the Auto-Save is super powerful, when changes are made, the auto saving take effects. So, basically, it is not likely to have a Pages document unsaved on mac. But if your Pages force quite or the mac is powered off in the process of your working, you will need to recover the unsaved Pages document.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Pages Document on Mac with AutoSave

  • Step 1. Go to Find a Pages Document.
  • Step 2. Right click to open with “Pages”
  • Step 3. Now you will see all the Page documents that you leave opening or unsaved are opened. Choose the one you want to restore.auto save01
  • Step 4. Go to File>Save, and store the pages document that is unsaved onto your mac.pages auto save

Tips: How to Turn On Auto-Save?

Basically, auto-save is turned ON on all Mac, but maybe yours is turned off for some reason. To save your troubles on “Recover unsaved Pages document” in future days, here we recommend you to turn on the Auto-Save.

Go to System Preferences>General, un-check the box before “Ask to keep changes when closing documents”. Then the Auto-save will be ON.


Method 2. Restore Unsaved Pages Document on Mac from Temporary Folders

If you have re-launched the Pages application, but it doesn’t open the unsaved files again, you will need to find the unsaved pages document in temporary folders.

  • Step 1. Go to Finder>Applications>Utilities. 
  • Step 2. Find and run Terminal on your mac.
  • Step 3. Input “open $TMPDIR” to Terminal, then press “Enter”.recover from tem folder01
  • Step 4. Find the Pages document you didn’t save in the opened folder. Then open the document and save it.recover from tem folder02

Method 3. Recover the Untitled Pages Document that Wasn’t Saved on Mac

In the case you just create a new Pages document, you don’t have enough time to name the file before any problems happen, and hence have no idea where did you store the pages document, here is the solution to recover the untitled pages document that wasn’t saved.

  • Step 1. Go to Finder>File>Find.finder-find
  • Step 2. Choose “This Mac” and select file kind as “Document”.recover untitled pages02
  • Step 3. Right click on the blank area of the toolbar, choose “Date Modified” and “Kind” to arrange files. Then you will be able find your Pages document fast and easily.
  • Step 4. Open the found Pages document and save it.

Of course, when you open the unsaved Pages document, you can go to File>Revert to>Browse All Versions to recover your preferred unsaved Pages document.

How to Recover Accidentally Deleted/Lost Pages Document on Mac?

Besides leaving pages document unsaved on mac, we may sometime mistakenly delete pages document or an iWork Pages document just went disappeared for unknown reason, then we need to recover deleted, lost/disappeared Pages document on mac.

The methods to recover deleted/lost Pages document are quite different from those for recovering unsaved Page document. It may require a 3rd party program, such as Time Machine or other professional Data Recovery Software.

Method 1. The Most Efficient Solution to Recover Deleted Pages Document

If you have a backup or are able to find back the Pages documents from Trash bin, Pages recovery can be quite easy. However, in most of the occasions, we happen to permanently delete the Pages document, or we don't have any backups, even the files won't work when we recover from Trash bin or with Time Machine. Then, the most efficient solution to recover deleted or disappeared/lost Pages documents is to utilize a professional Data Recovery Program.

For mac users, we highly recommend Cisdem Data Recovery, it provides abundant features to recover deleted PowerPoint, Word, Excel and others fast, smartly and efficiently. Also, it supports the latest macOS 11 Big Sur.


Steps to Recover Deleted or Lost Pages Document on Mac

Step 1Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac

Free Download

Step 2Choose a scan mode

choose scan mode

Step 3Select the drive to recover your deleted Pages document.

select drive to recover

Step 4Preview the Pages document before recovery.

cisde data recovery preview

Step 5Check the items you want to recover and click “Recover” to restore deleted pages document on mac.

Also, you can check the YouTube tutorial video here:

Method 2. Recover Deleted Pages Document on Mac from Time Machine Backup

If you are the one get used to back up files with Time Machine, you are able to recover deleted Pages document with Time Machine. As we talked above, Time Machine is a program allowing users to back up their files onto an external hard drive and find the deleted or lost file back when files are gone or corrupted for some reason.

  • Step 1. Click on the Apple icon and go to System Preferences.apple icon
  • Step 2. Enter Time Machine.
  • Step 3. Once you are in Time Machine, open the folder in which you store the Pages document.
  • Step 4. Use the arrows and timeline to find your Pages document fast.
  • Step 5. Once ready, click “Restore” to recover deleted Pages document with Time Machine.recover from time machine02

Method 3. Recover Deleted Pages Document on Mac from Trash Bin

This is an easy yet easily-overlooked way to recover a deleted Pages document. In fact, when we delete a document on the Mac, it is just moved to the Trash bin instead of being permanently deleted. For permanent deletion, we need go to Trash bin and delete manually. If you haven’t performed the step of “Delete Immediately” in the Trash bin, you can still recover the deleted Pages document.

  • Step 1. Go to Trash Bin and find the deleted Pages document.
  • Step 2. Right click on the Pages document, choose “Put Back”.mac trash back
  • Step 3. You will find the recovered Pages document appears in the originally saved folder.

Extended: How to Recover A Replaced Pages Document

Thanks to the Revert feature of iWork Pages, we can even recover a replaced pages document, or put it simply, recover an earlier document version in Pages, as long as that you did the Pages document editing on your mac, instead of receiving the Pages document from other.

Steps to Recover A Replaced Pages Document on Mac

  • Step 1. Open the Pages document in Pages;
  • Step 2. Go to File>Revert to>Browse All Versions;auto save02
  • Step 3. Then choose your version by clicking the up/down button and click “Restore” to recover a replaced Pages document;auto save03
  • Step 4. Go to File>Save;


In conclusion, no matter you want to recover Pages document on Mac, or no matter you want to recover unsaved or deleted Pages document, as long as you use the appropriate method, we are able to find them back. Also, we should always remember that, backup all your important files before your file are gone forever.

Connie Wisley
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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.

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