[2024] 4 Proven Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac

Connie Wisley
February 27, 2024 Preview 22.6K Preview 1
share it facebook share it Twitter

Ever deleted photos from Recently Deleted folder or emptied the Trash bin, only to find you’ve deleted by mistake? We’ve all been there, and starting thinking about how to recover a permanently deleted photos on a MacBook (Air, Pro), iMac, Mac.

The really good news is that restoring permanently deleted photos on Mac requires minimal effort and time. The most important thing is to consider the tool you should use, even though you want to recover deleted photos for free.  


Is It Possible to Recover Deleted Photos after Deleting Permanently?

Yes, it is possible.

When we permanently delete photos or other files in Mac Trash, it doesn’t mean that the files are completely and instantaneously erased. We just lost the portal to access to your files, which become invisible but are still stored on your Mac.

Deleting files can be done and finished in a flash, but erasing data, especially a large amount of data, takes minutes to end, which adversely impacts your MacBook or iMac’s performance and productivity. Therefore, when permanently deleting photos or other files on Mac, Mac just marks the location where your photos were saved as available to add new files. If there are new files to be added, your deleted Photos will be overwritten and may be gone forever, that’s why stopping writing to your Mac is required if you want to recover permanently deleted photos on a Mac.


The Easiest Way to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac (MacBook, iMac, Mac)

We well understand that your photos or files have been permanently deleted from your Photos or iPhoto app on Mac, and it seems that there is no need to check your Trash bin. But you are recommended to do so, maybe you can just find that your deleted photos lying there in Trash bin with a different file name. If there is no surprise, the easiest way to recover permanently deleted photos on Mac is using a professional data recovery program, and Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is recommended.

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is able to detect and recover permanently deleted files such as photos (PNG, JPG, GIF, PSD, BMP, RAW, etc.), music files (ACC, MP3, M4A, FLAC, etc.), movies (DV, MKV, MOV, etc.), archives (ZIP, TAR, RAR, 7Z, etc.), emails and other files on Mac, external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card and other storage devices. It works for almost all data loss scenarios: Empty the Trash, Permanently delete photos from iPhoto or Photos app, Upgrade your macOS, Format your drive by mistake…

Main Features of Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac

  • Recover recently and permanently deleted files under different scenarios
  • Recover deleted files from both internal and external hard drive
  • Restore photos, audios, videos, documents, archives, etc., 200+ types of file
  • Repair corrupted videos and photos
  • Recover files from iCloud
  • Create disk backup and restore files from the disk image
  • Save scanning records and resume scanning at any time
  • Preview recoverable items before recovery
  • Save recovered files to local drive or cloud storage platforms

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac after 30 Days?

  1. Download and install.
    Click on the button as following to download the program, then install it onto your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Select the hard drive where you deleted or lost the photos.
    Go to Hardware Disk recovery and choose the disk from the list.recover deleted photos mac 01
  3. Scan to find permanently deleted photos on Mac.
    Click Search for lost file, go to Type > Pictures, select the folder of a photo format. Or you can use the filter by entering keyword, file size or date created to find the deleted photos quickly.recover permanently deleted photos mac 02
  4. Recover permanently deleted photos on Mac.
    Once you are done scanning, double click on the photos to preview and pick the files that you want to recover. Then click on Recover to get the permanently deleted photos back on Mac.recover permanently deleted photos mac


Bonus: Recover Deleted Photos from iCloud Using Cisdem

If you’ve backed up the photos in iCloud and disabled the syncing, you can also use Cisdem iCloud recovery mode to restore the permanently deleted photos on your Mac.

  1. Launch Cisdem Data Recovery, go to iCloud and choose Recover data from iCloud account, sign in. recover deleted photos cisdem icloud 01
  2. Choose Photos or iCloud Drive where you have a copy of the deleted photos, click Next. recover deleted photos cisdem icloud 02
  3. Preview the photos, select and click Recover button to restore permanently deleted photos from iCloud. recover deleted photos cisdem icloud 03


How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac for Free?

If you have only several photos deleted or just start out with data recovering, there are free tools or solutions allow you to restore the permanently deleted photos on Mac. Without having to invest in an data recovery program, these solutions restore your files with a backup, or without any backup.

Free Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Mac with Time Machine

Can Apple recover permanently deleted photos? Many users are wondering if macOS includes the tool to restore deleted photos on Mac. The answer is yes, by using Time Machine.

Time Machine is the backup application to save your files to an external storage device in case of hardware failure, malware attack, human errors or other accidents. It can be set up to backup photos, videos, documents, system files and so on automatically & regularly. If there is any data loss, you can get the files back from your Time Machine backup effortlessly. The photos will be restored to their original locations on your Mac’s hard drive.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Mac with Time Machine?

  1. Connect the external hard drive you use with Time Machine to your Mac.
  2. From the top-right menu bar, click the Time Machine icon and select Enter Time Machine.enter time machine
  3. Navigate to the folder from which you permanently deleted the photos. Once you locate the photos, select a version from the timeline and click the Restore button.recover permanently deleted files on Mac from Time Machine backup


Free Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud on Mac

In the case that you have backed up the permanently deleted photos on iCloud and didn’t enable the sync feature, you can recover the Mac photos from iCloud via re-downloading. This is also very useful to recover recently deleted photos that are missing on your Mac. 

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from iCloud?

  1. Go to icloud.com on your Mac, log in with your Apple account.
  2. Find iCloud Drive icon and double-click to enter it.restore from icloud01
  3. Find the permanently deleted photos, select it and click on the Download button to restore the photos back to your Mac.restore from icloud 02


Freeware to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac

Also, we have freeware to restore your photos, it is PhotoRec. This data recovery freeware restores deleted photos, audios, videos, documents and others from both internal and external hard disk, it supports common file systems like FAT, NTFS and exFAT.

When you launch it on your Mac, it will open a Terminal window, where you can use Arrow keys to select options and press Enter for next step, based on the instructions offered on the interface. If you don’t feel confident with Terminal, then you can just ignore this tool. In some cases such as RAW photos recovery, PhotoRec won’t completely recover a file, which means you may lose a little bit of data.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Mac with Freeware?

  1. Download and install PhotoRec to your Mac.
  2. Run the program with Terminal, enter your Mac user password.recover photos mac free01
  3. Select the Mac disk where you saved the photos and press Enter to continue.recover photos mac free02
  4. Choose the Partition type and press Enter to continue.recover photos from mac free03
  5. Choose filesystem type and press Enter to continue.recover photos mac free04
  6. Then choose the destination to save the recovered photos on Mac and enter C to start the photo recovery process.recover photos mac free05
  7. Check the recovery status and go to the destination folder, preview the recovered photos on you Mac.recover photos mac free06


FAQs About Recovering Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac

1. What are permanently deleted photos on Mac?

Permanently deleted photos, are the photos that completely removed from a device and cannot be found in Recently Deleted folder or Trash bin on your Mac. They are deleted from the file directories and become inaccessible, unless you scan and restore them using a professional data recovery program. These include:

  • Delete photos in Photos'/iPhoto Recently Deleted folder after 30 days
  • Permanently delete photos from Mac Trash bin
  • Empty Trash bin on Mac
  • Delete files using rm command in Terminal 
  • Deleted photos are missing from Mac


2. How to find deleted photos on Mac?

First, open the Trash bin on your Mac, you can find deleted photos via name, volume, kind, date created, etc, also you can enter keyword in the search box.

find deleted photos 01

If you cannot locate the deleted photos in Trash, initiate the spotlight tool by pressing Command + F, then search the file on this Mac.

find deleted photos 02

If none of the methods works, check back Cisdem Data Recovery to scan and restore your files.


3. Does iCloud backup include permanently deleted photos?

If the syncing feature is enabled in iCloud app on your Mac, when you permanently delete a photo from Mac, the backup file will be also removed from your iCloud account. But if you paused or disabled the syncing before deleting the photos, yes, the iCloud backup still include the permanently deleted photos and you can re-download to your Mac.



If you have a backup of the deleted photos, Apple’s Time Machine is helpful. But if you don’t, go for a trial version of the Cisdem Data Recovery program. Download, install and mount it on your MacBook, iMac, or Mac Pro/mini, it will restore your permanently deleted photos without a hassle!

Connie Wisley
share it facebook share it Twitter

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.

share it facebook share it Twitter
Comments (1) Leave a Reply

Name *

Comment *

  • Renaud

    I used both PhotoRec and Cisdem Data Recovery to recover my lost travel photos. I love Cisdem better. Although PhotoRec takes no money, it is much more difficult to operate in recovery process compared with Cisdem.

    1 years ago commonReply

    Name *

    Comment *

Hot Articles

Mac Stuck on Login Screen after Entering Password: 8 Fixes! How to Recover Data from Hard Drive How to Delete Facebook Messages on Computer, iOS and Android Devices
Home > [2024] 4 Proven Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac