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How to Recover Mac Files after Formatting Macintosh HD?

Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac allows you to recover lost Mac & iPhone data quickly, safely and thoroughly, not only document, but also image, video, audio, Email, archive, and more.

Platforms: Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.7, or 10.6 Go to Data Recovery (For Windows Users)

Is it possible to recover Mac files after formatting?

The answer is definitely YES! In fact, disk formatting doesn't erase the files (until they are overwritten by other files). When you format a Macintosh HD, the file system of disk is replaced with a new empty file system, thus, the entries of all the files and directories stored on the disk are erased and they become inaccessible. But hard drive maintains an index file, which tells the operating system where a particular file is stored. When you format the hard drive, links between index and file are deleted. The file remains physically intact. You can restore formatted files from Mac as long as the original files are not overwritten by other files.

How to recover formatted hard drive for Mac?

Since it is possible to recover formatted Mac files, how to recover Mac files has really confused some Mac users. In brief, there are two ways: Restore and Recover.

If you have backed up your Mac files, you can easily restore formatted files from your backup files. If there is no valid backup, you need Mac format recovery software - Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac, to recover formatted files from Mac. Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac enables you to do it, no matter formatted, deleted or lost files due to different reasons.


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Tips: DO NOT install Wondershare Data Recovery to the same partition where you lost data for avoiding overwriting original data.

If you are a Windows user, switch to Wondershare Data Recovery for Windows.

Step1. Choose Raw Recovery

Install and run this data recovery on your Mac. To recover formatted files on Macintosh HD, you need to choose "Raw Recovery", which supports the recovery of almost all lost files.

mac format recovery

Step2. Select the Macintosh HD for recovery

Select the Macintosh HD that you formatted accidentally, and click on "Scan" to find out all lost files.

recover mac files after formatting

If you don't want to find out all files (scanning all files will take you more time), you can use the "Filter Options" to appoint the file type that you want to get back. Then go to "Scan".

restore formatted files from mac

Step3. Start to recover formatted files from Mac

When the scanning completes, you can preview the scanning results and check those files important to you for recovery.

mac format recovery

Why need to format Macintosh HD?

In Macintosh OS X an built-in tool- Disk Utility allows you to perform the formatting process by clicking on "Erase" tab after specifying the disk/ volume, its format and name. Formatting can fix some of the hard drive related logical problems, but also erase all the saved files and folders in the Macintosh HD, so usually you may not format Macintosh HD. Formatting is only performed for your certain purpose, such as:
• To get rid of a deadly virus, which cannot be removed using an anti-virus software.
• Replace damaged file system or Macintosh HD structures.
• Reinstall operating system to fix boot errors or restore missing system files.
• Remove all the files and folders unwanted from Macintosh HD.

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