The risk of photo deletion on Mac is inevitable. Besides
system crashes, technical glitches, software issues, physical damage, and
malware attack, accidental deletion is a common threat to photos stored on Mac.
Luckily, all Apple device users can retrieve deleted photos from the Trash
folder within the next 30 days.
If you fail to do so, your deleted photos and videos will
automatically be moved from Trash to the Recently Deleted album (where they
will remain for some time). After that, pictures will be permanently erased
from your Mac.
Tips to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac
Let's dive into some feasible options to bring back your
1. Photos Recovery from Apple iCloud
iCloud service gives you the liberty to store and sync
photos across different Apple devices to restore deleted photos. In case of
permanent deletion, simply log into your iCloud account and restore your lost
pictures from there. Here are the steps for iCloud Photos recovery:
- Sign in to iCloud.com using your Apple ID and click open
Photos in it.
- Next click on the Recently Deleted album in the sidebar.
- Select all the images you wish to recover.
- Hit the Recover button on the top-right corner to restore
photos from iCloud.
2. Recover Your Pictures from Local Backup
Recover deleted photos on Mac is possible if you have set up Time Machine. The
built-in backup feature can restore your deleted photos, even after you empty Trash.
Follow the instructions to recover deleted photos from Time
- Connect the Time Machine backup drive with your Mac.
- Click on the Time Machine icon from the Menu bar and
select Enter Time Machine.
Tip: If the Time Machine icon disappeared from the Menu bar
then follow the path:
Click on the Apple menu > System Preference > Time
Machine and select Show Time Machine in the menu bar.
- Browse through the Time Machine from the timeline or use
the up/down arrow keys.
- Choose the deleted files and click on the Restore button
to place them at their original location.
- Wait till the process is over.
3. Use Terminal for Photos Recovery
Try recovering deleted photos with the Terminal command-line
interface on Mac. Though, this option is moderately tricky and has some
drawbacks, as it enables you to recover just one file at a time. Besides, you
can't implement the method if you are uncertain about the file name you wish to
To use Terminal, you must specify the exact deleted file
name and location from where your photos were deleted.
Follow the steps below to get back your deleted photos using
Open the Terminal command line on Mac and navigate to Applications
> Utilities > Terminal.
Enter the command line and retrieve your deleted photos by
following these steps:
- Open the Terminal and type cd. Trash. Click on the Return
- Type mv deleted image file name../. Press Return.
- Type Quit and press Enter to close the Terminal.
- Now go to the Finder to access your restored photos on
- Click to know step-by-step how to recover image files from
Trash using Terminal on Mac.
If you fail to restore deleted pictures from Trash, iCloud,
or Time Machine, then surely your photos were permanently deleted. In this
case, stop using the macOS to trim down the possibility of overwriting and
increase the chances of retrieving your deleted photos. Only trusted data
recovery software could retrieve permanently deleted photos.
4. High Time to Download a Photo Recovery Software
Users swear by Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac, a reliable
tool that can undelete permanently deleted photos in not less than 5 simple
steps. The software can bring back your photos from all kinds of storage
devices besides HDDs, SSDs, or SD cards. Its sophisticated graphical user
interface (GUI) and several other elements like the ability to preview deleted
photos, right before recovery, made photos recovery on Mac seamless.
The following steps demonstrate on Mac using Stellar Photo
Recovery for Mac. Take a gander:
- Download and install Stellar Photo Recovery for Mac on
- Run the software and select the Photos option under
Multimedia Files and unselect all the other file types.
- Select the drive, volume, or external media from where
you wish to restore your pictures and click Scan.
Pro Tip: If you don't find the desired images after the
normal scan then enable the Deep Scan button for the comprehensive scan of the
- Wait till the scanning process ends in order to Preview
the recovered files.
- Select all the image files you have previewed and wish to
- Click Recover to bring back your permanently deleted
- Specify a destination folder for the recovered photos and
All the methods recommended in this blog are applicable to
Apple Mac mini, iMac, MacBook Pro, or others. Each one of them will help you
recover deleted photos on Mac. However, we suggest using the last method of photo recovery on Mac
with a professional software.
Choose a reliable software like Stellar Photo Recovery for
Mac because it can recover any file format from all kinds of macOS computers
and drives. Simply download, install, and mount the software on your MacBook,
iMac, or Mac Pro/mini and restore your permanently deleted photos.