How to Recover Lost Data after macOS Mojave Update Failed?

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery on June 27th, 2018 |

Many users have upgraded to macOS 10.15 Catalina and 10.14 Mojave. But some have reported the installation failures during macOS update, such as macOS installation being slow, the installer freezing after hours of being stuck, or Mac not booting as usual after macOS update, etc.

macOS Mojave update failures may be due to abrupt power cut, inadequate available space, your Mac computer or system drive problems, and much more. Once the macOS update failed, you will be prevented from accessing all the files on the hard drive. However, it doesn't mean the data has been lost permanently. This article will show you how to recover data after macOS Mojave/Catalina update failed.

How to recover lost data after macOS Mojave update failed?

Solution 1: Restore data from Time Machine after Mojave update failed.

Obviously, if you have backed up data with Time Machine or something else, such as an external hard drive, a cloud drive, etc., you can simply restore files from it when updating macOS failed.

Solution 2: Recover data with data recovery software after Mojave update failed.

If you didn't made any backup or Time Machine failed to back up, then you can turn to data recovery software for Mac, like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, to recover data from Mac computers.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is reliable macOS Mojave data recovery software that is able to recover data from unbootable, unmountable, and inaccessible Macintosh HD, external hard drives, SD cards, memory cards, and Pen drives, etc. Not just recovering data after macOS Mojave 10.14 update failed, it also supports recovering data on Catalina 10.15/High Sierra 10.13/Sierra 10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Now you can recover data after Mojave update failed with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery according to your specific situations as below.

Case 1. macOS Mojave is able to boot up

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery (.dmg file) on an external drive.

Step 2: Double click installation file and then double click the software icon in installation window to directly launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery. (Don't drag the icon to Applications folder to install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, as the installation operation will overwrite original data on Mac)

Install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 3: Select the failed APFS drive and click "Next" to start scanning.

Step 4: Preview listed results, choose files we need, and click "Recover" to recover files.

Step 5: Go through to ensure we have got all lost files back.

Case 2. macOS Mojave won't boot

Method 1: If you have only one unbootable Mac computer

If you have only one Mac computer, the most efficient solution it to run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery in Recovery Mode and recover lost data from the unbootable Mac computer.

Note: To perform the steps below, please make sure you can boot your problematic Mac into Internet Recovery Mode. That's to say, you need to connect it to a network, such as a WIFI network.

  1. Reboot this Mac and press Command +Option +R keys.
  2. Click Utilities in the top menu and select Terminal from the drop-down menu.
  3. Recover Data in Recovery Mode through iBoysoft Server

  4. Type in:
    s='/private/var/tmp/' && curl -o $s && chmod 777 $s && $s
    and press Enter. This will launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery through iBoysoft Server.
  5. After launching iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, please select the drive you want to recover data from and click the "Next" button.
  6. recover data from macOS drive

  7. Preview and choose the files you want to get back and click "Recover" button.
  8. preview and recover data from Mac with iBoysoft Data Recovery bootable media

Method 2: If you have two Mac computers

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on another Mac computer.

Step 2: Install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 3: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 4: Insert a USB drive into your Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 5: Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 6: After that, please insert iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer, and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the computer up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 7: Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

If you're running macOS Mojave or earlier, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery will launch immevdiately when your Mac boots up. But, if your Mac is running macOS Catalina, you need two additional steps to launch this program.

Step 8: Wait for your Mac to boot up, open "Terminal" application from "Utilities" drop-down menu.

Open Terminal

Step 9: Run the following command:

'Volumes/Image Volume/'

Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery Command

Follow the wizard to scan for lost data on the unbootable Mac computer, and choose the files you want to get back, and then click Recover button to get them back.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is able to recover your data after macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina update failed in different situations. If you still have problem recovering data, just feel free to tell us.


Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

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