Guide to Recover Deleted & Lost Data from MacBook Pro (For Any Model)

By Eileen | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips on October 26th, 2020

Summary: About how to recover deleted and lost data from MacBook Pro hard drive, crashed MacBook Pro, and Apple T2 protected 2018 MacBook Pro and later. Free download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on the MacBook Pro and get lost files back.

MacBook Pro data recovery

When it comes to MacBook Pro (or MBP), what comes to our mind is Retina displays, TouchBar, flash memory, and more. A few pay attention to MacBook Pro data recovery, or they don't even know that the deleted files can be recovered sometimes. But actually, data is one of the most important part of our Mac computer.

In this post, both simple tutorials and free Mac data recovery tools are included, helping recover data from MacBook Pro hard drive, whether it's a model made in 2016, 2017, 2018, or later.

See how to get deleted files back and access files when MacBook Pro won't boot.

Table of contents
1. Recover deleted files from MacBook Pro hard drive
2. Recover data from crashed MacBook Pro
3. Recover data from T2 chip secured 2018/2019/2020 MacBook Pro
4. Bonus Part: Recover deleted data from MacBook Pro SSD

MacBook Pro Deleted Data Recovery - Do It Quickly and Easily

Believe or not, deletion tops the causes for data loss for devices like computers, mobile phone, and hard drives. This is why MacBook Pro deleted data recovery is put in the first place. Depending on if our data has been permanently deleted, or just be moved to the Trash, we can recover the lost files in these ways.

1. Retrieve deleted files from MacBook Pro's Trash

Photos, documents, videos, everything we don't want can be dragged or moved to the Trash (or called Bin in some areas). The deleted files will stay there, unless a next step is taken to deleted it immediately or the Trash is emptied. Apple just gives us a second chance to restore those deleted files if we want to.

So, grab this chance to check if the removed files can be put back from the Trash on the MacBook Pro. Simply open the Trash icon at the lower right, find the wanted data, and right-click on it to put back. Then this file will be put back to the place that it originally was saved.

Recover deleted files from Trash on MacBook Pro

2. Use free Mac data recovery software to recover deleted data

If unfortunately, the deleted files have gone from the Trash and we got no backups available, Mac data recovery tool might help. Plenty of data recovery products can recover deleted files from MacBook Pro, and they all share a common point. That is, deleted data recovery will be tough or even impossible if the original files are overwritten by new data.

So, we should stop using the MacBook Pro and quit all apps immediately once we lose data. It will prevents the system from writing new data to the Mac hard drive.

And then, follow this guide to get deleted data back with a free data recovery tool called iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Step 1: Download, install, and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on the MacBook Pro. This won't write new data to the computer because this software will only read data on the Mac hard drive.

Step 2: Choose the hard drive or volume that the deleted files are saved in the App's main interface. If the deleted files are saved on an external hard drive, connect it to the computer first.

Step 3: Click Scan to search for the deleted files on the MacBook Pro hard drive.

Recover deleted files from Trash on MacBook Pro with iBoysoft

Step 4: Filter the scanning results and find the deleted files, and click Preview to make sure it's not damaged or corrupted.

Step 5: Select the data that needs to be recovered and then click Recover to confirm.

3. Restore our files to MacBook Pro with Time Machine backup

The best situation is that the files are deleted from Mac hard drive but we got a backup on external hard drive. Let's see how to restore those deleted files.

Step 1: Connect the external hard drive that stored backups to the MacBook Pro.

Step 2: Press Command + Space bar to search for "Migration Assistant", and then open this utility.

Step 3: Select the option: From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk when the system asks :"How do you want to transfer your information?"

Step 4: Select the external hard drive as a resource for Time Machine backup.

Step 5: Follow the on-screen guide to restore deleted files from backup and transfer it to the MacBook Pro.

Two Ways to Recover data from crashed MacBook Pro hard drive

Compared to deleted file recovery, this could be more complicated and difficult. We probably can't even boot up the Mac to access data and have to read this post with a mobile phone.

But calm down, the following guide would be straightforward and easy-to-follow. All we need to do is to follow the steps carefully.

First, recall if we have backed up this MacBook Pro on an external hard drive using Time Machine or not? If we have a backup, then we can restore the system and our data with Time Machine. If not, jump to method 2 to recover data from crashed Mac hard drive.

1. Restore MacBook Pro from Time Machine Backup

MacBook Pro provides a built-in tool called Time Machine to restore files and system, only if the backup was created before the MacBook Pro gets crashed. Let's see how to restore both macOS and files from Time Machine backup.

Note: This will erase and clean the startup disk of the MacBook Pro, so that the system can be rolled back to the specific version in the backup.

Step 1: Connect the Time Machine backup external hard drive to the MacBook Pro.

Step 2: Restart the crashed MacBook Pro and immediately press and hold Command + R to boot it to macOS Recovery Mode.

Step 3: Release the keys when the Apple logo or spinning globe appears.

Step 4: Choose Restore From Time Machine Backup in the macOS Utilities.

MacBook Pro data recovery with Time Machine

Step 5: Continue and select a restore source, then select the Time Machine backup disk. Or we can select the startup disk (Macintosh HD) to get an APFS snapshot if the backup disk isn't available.

2. Recover data from crashed MacBook Pro with Mac data recovery software

However, if we can't restore files to the MacBook Pro from a backup, what else we can do? Rather than restoration, data recovery from the MacBook Pro hard drive will be an option to access files.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the best MacBook Pro hard drive data recovery software. It supports Mac data recovery from macOS Big Sur 11/Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 and 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Here is how to recover data from a crashed MacBook Pro with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Step 1: Force the crashed Mac to shut down. Then restart it and immediately to hold Option + Command + R keys.

This will boot the MacBook Pro into macOS Recovery mode through the Internet, so make sure networks are available for the MacBook Pro.

Start MacBook Pro to Internet Recovery Mode

Step 2: Choose a network for the Mac, and keep connecting the MacBook Pro to the network.

Step 3: Click Utilities at the top and choose Terminal from the drop-down menu.

Terminal Mac Recovery Mode on MacBook Pro

Step 4: Type the following command to access iBoysoft's server for data recovery and press Enter. (Mind the sapce after "sh" and "curl".

sh <(curl

Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions in iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and get data off the crashed Mac.

preview lost data in MacBook hard drive

Note: The recovered files should be saved to an external hard drive in case we lose them again.

Ultimate way to Recover data from T2 secured 2018/2019/2020 MacBook Pro

If we say recovering data from a MacBook Pro that won't turn on is difficult, then recovering data from a MacBook Pro with T2 chip is nearly impossible. Why? Because the Apple T2 security chip will verifying secure boot (which means we can't boot from an external bootable device), and it will prevent third-party software to access the startup disk by encryption.

Tips: MacBook Pro introduced in 2018, 2019, 2020, or later would be equipped with Apple T2 security chip. Or we can check it by Apple menu > About this Mac > System Report > Controller (or iBridge), and then see if there is a "Apple T2 chip" phrase on the right.

Speaking of Mac T2 chip data recovery, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is the only product that is doing as it said to:

  • Recover deleted files from T2 protected Mac hard drive.
  • Unmounted, deleted, and corrupted APFS volume data recovery on T2 encrypted Mac.
  • Recover T2-secured Mac that won't turn on.

Follow these steps to recover data from T2 protected MacBook Pro if it's running macOS Mojave, Catalina, and Big Sur.

Guide to recover deleted or lost data from T2 equipped MacBook Pro

Step 1: Boot the MacBook Pro to macOS Recovery mode by Command + Option + R at startup.

Step 2: Choose a network for the computer and keep it connected all the following steps.

Step 3: Choose Terminal under the Utilities menu.

Step 4: Type in sh <(curl in the Terminal window to access iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

sh <(curl

Step 5: Click different button based on the way of losing files in this software:

  • Click the T2 encrypted APFS volume (with a lock icon) for deleted data recovery.
  • Click the T2 encrypted APFS volume (with a lock icon) for corrupted Macintosh HD data recovery.
  • Click the button Find Lost APFS Partitions for data recovery from deleted or lost APFS that is T2 encrypted.

Step 6: Type the password according to the exact situations to access and scan for lost data.

  • Type in the login password if FileVault is NOT enabled.
  • Type in the firmware password if FileVault is enabled.
  • Type in the password of APFS volume if the APFS volume is encrypted.

Step 7: Scan for data, preview, and then recover the target files with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Bonus Part: Recover deleted data from MacBook Pro SSD

For MacBook Pro with Retina display, the startup disk might be PCI-E SSD. We put this separately because SSD data recovery is a slightly different from Mac hard drive data recovery.

The deleted files on HDDs will only marked but won't really removed unless the space is needed, while deleted files on SSDs with TRIM enabled (a command for the ATA interface) will clean the deleted files in a short time for more space.

So, the key point to successfully recover data from solid state drives is if the SSD TRIM is enabled. Here is how to check if TIRM is enabled for the SSD on the MacBook Pro: Apple menu > About this Mac > System Report > SATA/SATA Express. If the TRIM Support is followed with "Yes", then TRIM is enabled and it's nearly impossible to recover the deleted files from that SSD.

But if the TRIM had been disabled before files are deleted from the MacBook Pro, try iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover the lost files from the SSD.

Tips: We can disable TRIM by first disabling SIP and then run command "sudo trimforce disable" in Terminal.


MacBook Pro data recovery could be easy if we got backup because all we have to do is data restoration. But it also could be complex when it's along with features like T2 security chip and TRIM. So, keep a regular backup of our MacBook Pro will save us a lot of energy and money when data is lost.