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How do I recover deleted files

12519 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 25, 2014 9:19 AM by Alex.Chernenko RSS Branched to a new discussion.
cjfromsantaclara Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Mar 18, 2013 11:13 PM

I was wondering if someone can tell me how to recover excel files that I have deleted.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,005 points)
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    Mar 19, 2013 12:29 AM (in response to cjfromsantaclara)

    If you did not empty the Trash, click on the Trash icon at the right side of the Dock and drag those files to a different location.


    If you emptied the Trash, it is more difficult.  Typically, when a file is erase, it is not really erased.  The space the file occupied become unallocated, so that new data can be written over that space.  If new data files have not yet been written over that space, the old data is still there and may be recoverable.


    There are utilities specifically for data recovery.  For example (I have not used)



    Other more general utilities, such as TechTool Pro by Micromat, have a data recovery "module" as part of the package.  I have this utility (and it's a good product), but I have never used it for doing data recovery.


    You may be able to use such tools to recover erased data.  If you intend to try, you should use the disk that held the erased data as little as possible, to reduce the likelihood that new data files will be written over the space used by the old data.

  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (55,540 points)
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    Mar 19, 2013 8:35 AM (in response to cjfromsantaclara)

    The following is a list of data recovery software:


    "Data Rescue II" from has a free download demo available.   You will need to follow/read the directions carefully.




    VirtualLab™ Data Recovery  has a free download demo available.




    DriveSavers Data Recovery is NOT free.  However, they have a toll free contact phone #, international phone # & fax contact #'s. Also helpful Recovery Tips and Disaster Recovery for important precautions to prevent further data loss on their website.





    Stellar Phoenix Macintosh -- Mac data-recovery software -- recovers data from damaged, deleted, or corrupted volumes, and even from initialized disks. An exhaustive scan of the drive is performed to locate lost partitions. All found data in the lost partition is then presented in a tree structure so that you can copy your lost files to a working volume.






    **FREE** Download DEMO




    Remo Recover














  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Mar 19, 2013 8:44 AM (in response to cjfromsantaclara)

    cjfromsantaclara wrote:


    I was wondering if someone can tell me how to recover excel files that I have deleted.


    If it's not worth $100 to recover them, or you have Filevault enabled, or if the files were encrpted, used Secure Empty Trash or used Disk Utility Erase Free Space or it's been some time since they were deleted, or you just wrote a large file to the drive, or if you have a SSD, then don't bother.


    .Create a data recovery/undelete external boot drive



    Learn about backups.


    Most commonly used backup methods

  • Sweetvis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 14, 2013 3:53 AM (in response to cjfromsantaclara)

    I used File Salvage, when my daughter deleted a bunch of files off her comptuer. I was able to restore everything she needed with file salvage, but it can be a chore.


    Get started on this ASAP, and don't use your computer for anything else until you get your files back (ie don't leave anything up and running like mail, etc).


    As I recall, File Salvage can't get the names of the files, so you end up with alot of files with generic names (file1, file2, file3, etc). You will be sorting through them to find out which ones are OK, and which ones aren't and then you can rename them once you figure out what they are.


    It's worth it in the end, but it takes some time. Well worth the $60.


    After you get through all of that, then get yourself an external drive (some are under $100), and backup your music and pictures, etc. Use Time machine if move to Leopard (if you can't afford a big drive, then exclude everything but your user folder), or at least drag copies of the Music and Pictures folders off to the external drive.


    You can also use iTunes to burn multiple CD/DVD's for backup, but it is a pain if you have lots of music.

  • G-rrr Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Jan 17, 2014 7:32 AM (in response to cjfromsantaclara)

    Hi,cjfromsantaclara, If you are still using your Mac you are destroying the deleted files, and any chance of recovering them, stop now, do not use the Mac again until the files are recovered.


    1. If you meet the file loss situation, keep calm and stop using your computer to do any read or write operation until you find the way to recover the lost files because any wrong operation.

    2. Remember this, no matter at the normal time or after files recovery, build a backup for the files periodically is the best method to protect your files from data loss situation.

    3. If your hard disk has enough space for storing the files, then there is no need to empty the Trash Bin quite often to avoid the wrongly deletion which makes the unnecessary trouble happens.


    I recommend you two ways.

    One is the repair store. You can choose the professional repair store around you, but this kind of solution is a little bit expensive and take you lots of time. Moreover, if you got some private info which is stored on your Mac, you'd better choose the other way I mention below.

    The next way is chooseing some data recovery programs. Such as the freeware Recuver, but it cannot make sure your files can be back to you. If I were you, I suggest you to have try some third party software, it can help you to get back your files even the emptying trash situation.


    Hope it can help.


    <Link Edited by Host>


  • johngregoryy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 19, 2014 8:42 PM (in response to cjfromsantaclara)

    Do you have backup? If yes, you can easily get your file back. If not, you may need to find ways to perform file recovery.

    Usually there are two ways for user to get back the lost files, one is the repair shop, the other is the data recovery app.

    In my opinion, take the computer to the repair shop is the convenient way because you don't need to recover the lost data by yourself. But I am not too fond on this way 'cause some of my personal details or private info mey be seen by others.

    I also know that some of the users don't way to use the data recovery software. They may think it is so complicated to use a program to get files back.

    Maybe this post may help you a lot, it explains these two ways:

  • Alex.Chernenko Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Feb 25, 2014 9:19 AM (in response to johngregoryy)

    In my professional career as a Mac problem-solver and official support of Apple equipment in my country, I had a lot of experience with the top data recovery apps for Mac. Data Rescue (version 3 is the latest), DiskWarrior and Disk Drill.


    Data Rescue seems to be stable but is not updated frequently enough. DiskWarrior is limited to only one recovery method and works for lost HFS+ partitions only. Disk Drill is the newcomer but is actively maintained by its team and is the most user-friendly, imo. You choose.




    Apple Support Certified Professional


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