5 Proven Ways To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac

Have you recently lost a photo on your Mac due to an accident or intentionally and were wondering how to recover these photos? If you have, then this article is going to show you 5 proven ways to recover deleted photos on Mac.

Photos are usually memorable events and scenes we really cherish and want to keep for future references. Even if your photos are not memorable events, then they are something important you want to keep for future reference. They could be screenshots, videos, flipcharts, infographics, etc.

Unlike most Windows, Linus, and other Operating System users, Mac users usually don’t have external hard drives where they keep these photos since they have iCloud and other backup options. Even if these photos are on hard drives, they are likely to be lost either due to an accident or whatever the reason may be. Being it formatting, malware, faulty macOS upgrade, corruption, these are all likely.

Because of these unforeseen circumstances, it is good to know some proven ways you can recover deleted photos on your Mac. On the flip side, four (4) of these methods we are going to talk about below are free and do not require you to be a “techy” to be able to go about it. One of the methods although might require you to pay something but there are also free alternatives available.

5 Proven Ways To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac

There are several ways you can recover deleted photos on your Mac. You can simply follow a few steps and you will be done, or you can follow a complicated procedure. Better still, you can pay for software to do this for you. But in this article, I am going to talk about only 5 of the top proven methods.

How To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac Using The Recently Deleted Folder

All Apple devices allow users to recover photos they deleted within 30 days after they deleted the photos. Mac computers with macOS Big Sur, Catalina, and Mojave also have this feature.

To be able to use this method, your Mac must be running either of the macOS listed above and the photo must have been deleted within the last 30 days. If you meet the requirement then follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac
  2. Click on Recently Deleted in the left pane of the page
  3. Tap or select the photo (s) you wish to restore and then click Recover at the top
  4. Your photo will now be automatically restored to the photos app. Open the app and view your photo.

How To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac From iCloud

  1. Visit iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID and password
  2. Click on Photos
  3. Locate the Recently Deleted album
  4. Choose the photo you wish to restore and click Restore

How To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac From Trash

In situations where you can’t find the Recently Deleted folder then the Trash bin of macOS comes in handy. Like the Recently Deleted folder, the Trash bin also stores deleted photos in it for 30 days before it is finally deleted.

  1. Open Trash on your Mac
  2. Locate and right-click on the photo you wish to restore
  3. Select Put Back and the photo will return to the original folder

How To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac Using Time Machine Backup

Depending on the last time you backed up your Mac, you can recover your deleted photos using the Time Machine backup. Follow the steps below if you wish to use this method.

  1. Connect the external drive with Time Machine backup to Mac
  2. Open Finder and click on the file destination where the photos were deleted
  3. Click to open the Time Machine icon in the menu
  4. Click on the last backup or the date of the backup that contains your photo
  5. Find the photo library backup, select, and Click Restore

How To Recover Deleted Photos on Mac Using A Photo Recovery Software

After following all the above methods and you can’t find your photo then the next alternative is to use photo recovery software. Most of these software are paid but there are free ones also available.

Research on the ones that suit your budget, and you will be good to go. Most of these photo recovery software allows you to restore almost every photo format, from .png, .jpeg, .dng, etc.


Recovering deleted photos on your Mac is very easy and straightforward. After reading this article you should be able to recover your deleted photos on your Mac easily.

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