Photo loss is impossible to avoid on a Mac, there are several common reasons for causing this: accidental deletion, crashed photo editing, physical damage, and malware infection. While the most frequent cause for photo loss on Mac is an unintentional deletion.
If the photos went to the Mac Trash after a deletion, it's easy to restore. But things can be totally different if you have permanently deleted the photos or others in your Trash Bin. To solve this, we write a guide to show you how to recover permanently deleted photos from iPhoto or Photos apps or other library on Mac, no matter you are using the latest MacBook Pro, Air or iMac versions.
Generally speaking, we store and manage our photos in Photos or iPhoto app on a Mac, when deleting photos in these 2 apps, the photos will be moved the Recently Deleted folder in the app and show the remaining days before the permanent deletion takes place. The deleted photos will be saved in your Photos or iPhoto app for 30 days.
But if you click on Delete All in the Recently Deleted folder or 30 days have passed since the deletion, your photos will be permanently deleted. Also, when we move photos from a folder to Trash, then permanently delete them in Trash, the photos are permanently deleted too. Therefore, to recover permanently deleted photos on mac, we mean:
To recover recently deleted mac photos that missing
To recover photos that we permanently delete in Trash on Mac
In these cases, there is NO way that we can recover permanently deleted photos on mac from Recently Deleted in Photos or iPhotos, we can only get them back via data recovery software or backup.
We well understand that your photos or files have been permanently deleted from your iPhoto or Photos 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…
If you are looking for a free solution, freeware tools like PhotoRec are available. It 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 open it on your Mac, it will open a Terminal window, you can use Arrow keys to select and press Enter to go to next step, there will be instructions offered on the interface. If you don’t feel confident with Terminal, then you can just ignore the tool. In some cases such as RAW photos recovery, it won’t completely recover all the files, and you may lose a little bit of data.
Also, you can easily recover permanently deleted photos and files on Mac for free without third-party software if Time Machine backup is available. As you know, Time Machine is the backup application to save your files to an external storage devices, if there is any data loss, you can get the files back from your Time Machine backup.
In the case that you have backed up the permanently photos on iCloud and didn’t enable the sync feature, you can recover the permanently deleted photos on Mac from iCloud via re-downloading. This is very useful to recover recently deleted photos that are missing on your Mac.
When we permanently delete photo 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, they become invisible on your Mac, but the data is still stored on your Mac.
Why? 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 added to your Mac, 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 lost or deleted data from Mac.
If you are on the Finder or Desktop, you can immediately search for deleted Photos in the Trash. If the Trash does not have such files, open Time Machine and look for files from the exact time before deletion, and press restore. If any of the above free data recoveries don't support you and you can't resolve your problem, 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 or others that deleted or missing after 30 days.
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.