How to Recover Files on Mac after Unexpected Shutdown?

There can be multiple causes for an unexpected shutdown of a Mac, including hard drive failure, system crash, sudden power outage, or a software/hardware malfunction. However, the result of all these issues causes data loss and inaccessibility of Mac’s data. The maximum risk lies with the ongoing work data. As the shutdown is sudden, you don’t get a chance to save any unsaved data, and it is lost. Let us learn how to recover any data lost on your Mac without professional help. 

Method 1: Recover data from Trash Bin on Mac

The trash bin is the last resort for any data deleted from the Mac. If your data is lost due to simple deletion, it might be present in the Trash bin, and you can recover it in a few simple steps. Although, you must know that your macOS automatically empties the Trash bin after 30 days by default or as per your system settings. Follow the steps below to get back your data from the Trash bin.

Step 1: Open the Trash bin from the Dock.

Step 2: Locate the data you have lost by searching for it in the bin.

Step 3: Right-click the file and select Put Back from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the file from the Trash bin to any location of your choice.

The file will be retrieved back to its last saved location, or at the place you selected for it. 

Method 2: Recover data using Time Machine backup

One of the best practices that you can follow to avoid data loss is using the Time Machine function on your Mac. You should take backup of your system data regularly as it may come in handy in data loss situations. If you’ve maintained a Time Machine backup, you can use it to get back your data.

Step 1: Connect the Time Machine drive to your Mac and launch the Time Machine app. You can open Time machine from the menu bar or search for it using Spotlight.

Step 2: All the backup data is displayed date-wise, and you can choose the backup where your lost data is present. You can select the file using the up-down arrows and preview it by pressing the Space bar.

Step 3: Once you are satisfied with the preview, click the Restore button at the bottom of the Time Machine window.

Method 3: Retrieve data from iCloud on Mac

If the iCloud services are enabled on your Mac system, your data is automatically synced with iCloud. You will find the backup of your lost files by logging in to your iCloud account. To restore your lost data from iCloud backup, you should follow the steps below.

Step 1: Log in to your account on iCloud.com using your Apple ID and password.

Step 2: Click the Account Settings option under the welcome message.

Step 3: In the left pane, locate the Restore Files option under the Advanced section. 

Step 4: A new window with the list of files will open. Check if your lost files are present in the list. Select the files and click Done.

The files will be restored to your Mac device, and you can access them without difficulty.

Method 4: Use data recovery software to recover data after an unexpected shutdown

If none of the above methods helped you recover your data, you could use a trusted data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac. The software is equipped with foolproof recovery algorithms suited for any data loss situation. Moreover, it’s the easiest and most reliable way to restore your data with a 100% guarantee.

The data recovery software is available for Windows.

The software works in three easy steps. First, you need to choose the type of data you want to recover, scan and preview the file, and finally restore the files to your Mac system. The recovered files are of their original quality, and none of the attributes are altered by the software. So, you don’t need to wonder how to recover lost, or deleted files on your Mac as this software provides the perfect solution to data loss worries.


You cannot get completely immune to the data loss situation on your Mac system, but it can be avoided, and its wrath could be minimized. All you need is to adopt some good practices like backup your important data, avoid unnecessary burdening of your Mac, cleanup the cookies and temp files from time to time, and ensure appropriate power supply to your PC. We hope your data is back on track and you have uninterrupted access to it.


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