How to recover disappeared/missing files from external hard drives on Mac?

Posted by Vivian to Mac Data Recovery on January 29th, 2019

I hope someone has a solution to my problem. I have a MacBook Pro, and I have a 2 TB Seagate external hard drive whose all capacity has almost been used. Everything was fine until I restarted my MacBook Pro: half of the files are missing and 1TB of this external hard drive is free. I just don't get how did that happen and I have very important files that I don't know where they are.

"Why my files just suddenly disappeared from the external hard drive on my Mac?" Many people will feel totally bewildered by this problem because things just went wrong for no reason. But actually, there must be some causes and the following are a part of them.

1. Files were accidentally deleted.
2. The external hard drive was mistakenly formatted.
3. Files can't be shown because the file system of your external hard drive is corrupted.
4. Other reasons.

No matter what reason makes your files disappeared, the most imperative thing is how to recover those disappeared files from the external hard drive on your Mac. Here are 3 feasible solutions that you can try.

Solution 1: Restore disappeared files from Trash

Now that you didn't delete your files intentionally, then it is possible you accidentally deleted or removed them to Trash. You can check Trash and see if your files are there, and if so, you can right-click the files and put them back.

Solution 2: Repair the external hard drive and check disappeared data

If your files disappeared but you didn't see them in Trash, it could have issues with your external hard drive. But don't worry, Mac has a built-in application called Disk Utility which is designed to verify and repair minor drive errors.

Step 1: Go to Applications and choose Disk Utility in Utilities.

Step 2: Launch Disk Utility and click "Show all devices" in View option.

Step 3: Select your external hard drive that lost data in the left sidebar.

Step 4: Click First Aid to check and repair errors in that drive.

After repairing your external hard drive with Disk Utility, you can check if your files appeared or not. Hope First Aid will work and you don't need to recover your files at all.

Solution 3: Recover disappeared files with Mac data recovery software

However, if you still can't see your files stored on the external hard drive after trying solutions above, you can try to recover the disappeared files with Mac data recovery software like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is reliable Mac data recovery software. It not only can recover deleted data from emptied Trash but also can recover disappeared files from external hard drives on Mac. This program also can recover data from formatted external hard drives and recover files from deleted/lost APFS partitions. Meanwhile, this tool can recover data from internal hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards, etc. What's more, it is compatible with macOS Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Tutorial to recover files disappeared from external hard drives on Mac

Step 1: Download, install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on your Mac.

Step 2: Check "Deep scan" at the left bottom and select your external hard drive where your files disappeared.

Step 3: Click "Next" to scan for data on this drive and wait to finish scanning.

Free SD card data recovery software - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 4: Preview the scanning results and choose the files you want to recover.

Step 5: Click "Recover" to get your files back.

Conclusion: Compared with recovering disappeared files from external hard drives on Mac, the best and safest way for you to avoid data loss is to make multiple backups on a regular basis, just as the saying goes: a bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush.

Still have questions?