6 Ways to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Photoshop Files on Mac 2021

Jose Henline
time April 01, 2021 Preview 13.0K
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Yesterday, I was working on an Adobe Photoshop project, then the app crashed without warning me to save the Photoshop file. The project was my whole day work. I suddenly became panic, but soon calmed down and managed to recover the unsaved PSD files on my Mac. 

You may come to the similar situation and I understand how important it is to restore the unsaved Photoshop files on Mac. By following our guide, you can recover Photoshop files on Mac no matter your PSD files are unsaved, disappeared, deleted, or lost on Mac.

4 Ways to Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac

#1 Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac with AutoSave

Like Microsoft Office app or MS Word, Photoshop for Mac (Photoshop CS6 and above or Photoshop CC 2014/2015/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021) also has an AutoSave feature that can automatically save Photoshop files, and users can use this AutoSave function to recover unsaved Photoshop files on mac. The AutoSave feature should be enabled by default and you can change AutoSave option by following the guide below.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Photoshop Files in CC 2021 on Mac

  • 1. Go to Finder;
  • 2. Then go to Go>Go to Folder, then input: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC 2021/AutoRecover;
  • 3. Then find the unsaved Photoshop file on your mac, open and save the file.

PhotoShop CC 2020 or earlier versions AutoSave Location on Mac

Above is just an example to find the autosave location of Photoshop CC 2021, go to the autosave location of your Mac Photoshop CC 2020 or earlier, you can replace following XXX with any version of your Photoshop: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/XXX/AutoRecover; 

Tips: Configure AutoSave in Photoshop for Mac (Include CC 2020/2021)

  1. Navigate to Photoshop > Preferences > File Handling in Photoshop app.
  2. Under “File Saving Options”, make sure “Automatically Save Recovery Information Every:” is checked. And by default, it is set to 10 minutes.
  3. Then open the dropdown menu and you can set it to 5 minutes (recommended).autosave mac

If the Photoshop app crashes without warning during the interval time, any changes you made since the last save will not be saved automatically.

If you have configured the AutoSave setting, then you can auto recover unsaved Photoshop file. The next time you open Photoshop app after crash or unexpected quit, you will see the auto saved PSD files. If it wouldn’t show the AutoSaved PSD automatically, you can also find them manually in paths as following.

#2 Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac from Temp Files

When a new PSD file is being created, its temporary file is also created to contain information. Normally, the temporary file is supposed to be automatically deleted after closing the Photoshop app. But sometimes due to the crappy file management of Photoshop, the temporary file may still stick around. In such case, you can simply follow steps below and get hands on how to recover unsaved PSD file from temp folder on mac.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Photoshop File from Temp Folder on Mac

  1. Go to Finder>Application>Terminal, run it on your mac;
  2. Enter “open $TMPDIR” and press “Enter”;recover from tem mac01
  3. Then go to “Temporaryitems”, find the PSD file and open with Photoshop to save it on your mac;recover from tem mac02

#3 Recover Unsaved Photoshop File from PS Recent Tab

Many Photoshop users may not know that they can recover Photoshop files directly in Photoshop app whether the files are unsaved, deleted or lost. Here are the right steps to recover unsaved Photoshop files from Recent tab in Photoshop app. Though it is not 100% for sure to restore an unsaved Photoshop file on Mac in this way, it is worth a try.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac from Recent Tab

  1. On your Mac or PC computer, open Photoshop application.
  2. Click “File” in the menu bar and select “Open Recent”.
  3. Choose the PSD file you want to recover in the recently opened list. Then you can edit or save the PSD file as needed.open recent psd

#4 Recover Unsaved Photoshop File from Recent Folder on Mac

In the case that your Photoshop file is unsaved and missing after a crash, you can check the Recent folder on your mac to find back the unsaved Photoshop files.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac from Recent Folder

  1. Click on Finder App on Mac dock, launch the program;
  2. Go to Recents folder on the left side;recover from recent
  3. Find the unsaved Photoshop files and open with Adobe Photoshop to save it on your Mac.

Part 2. 2 Ways to Restore Lost or Deleted Photoshop File on Mac?

#1 Best Photoshop Recovery Program for Mac 2021 (Big Sur Compatible)

Among many solutions to recover PSD files on mac, using a dedicated Photoshop recovery progam is always the most popular one. Since a professional program is capable of bringing higher recovery rate and allowing users to find back various types of files. 

According to users, Cisdem Data Recovery is highly recommended to do photoshop recovery because of its effectiveness, high file recovery rate and easy to use interface.

Cisdem Data Recovery is the best data recovery software for Mac users to recover photos, images, documents, itunes music, archives and other files from hard drives or other storage media. Whether your Photoshop files are lost due to app crashes, power failure or improper operations, you can always get them back with this Photoshop file recovery tool.

Steps to Recover Lost or Deleted Photoshop File on Mac

  1. Download and Install Cisdem Data Recovery on Mac.
    Cisdem offers a free trial, you can download the program and follow the instructions to install.
    Free Download
  2. Choose a scan mode to find out the deleted/lost Photoshop files.
    There are 5 modes to scan and recover Photoshop files on mac. You can choose the one according to your need. If the scanning results disappear you, try Advanced Data Recovery to take a deep scanning.scan mode
  3. Choose your hard drive where your Photoshop files were stored. 
  4. Preview Photoshop files on Mac.
    The Photoshop file recovery software will list all found psd and psb files after scanning. You can select and preview the PSD files before recovery.
  5. Recover Photoshop files on Mac.
    Once you have selected the PSD file for recovery, click “Recover” button to find them back on Mac.

#2 Free Software to Recover Lost or Deleted Photoshop File on Mac

If you don't mind spending some time on recovering lost or deleted Photoshop files on Mac but want a free solution, you can try PhotoRec, a text-based program to do data recovery with command lines. It can restore photos, videos, audios, documents and others from both internal and external hard drive.

Steps to recover lost or deleted photoshop files on mac free

  1. Download and install PhotoRec onto your Mac.
  2. Launch the program by using Terminal, you will be required to enter your Mac user password. recover photoshop free 1
  3. Select the disk and partition where you lost or deleted the Photoshop files, press Enter to Continue. recover photoshop mac free 02
  4. Choose file system type and press Enter again.
  5. Select destination to save the recovered Photoshop files on your Mac, press C to start Photoshop recovery. recover photoshop mac free 03
  6. Once the recovery process completes, check the recovered Photoshop files in destination folder. recover photoshop mac free 04

In Conclusion

It is really heartbreaking to lose an Adobe Photoshop file especially after you have spent lots of time in working on it. And above 6 proven solutions can handle all of your unsaved or deleted Photoshop file recovery needs. Moreover, to avoid data loss, it is best to manually save the PSD files after any change and regularly backup them or other important files elsewhere.

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Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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