How to recover lost photos/videos after High Sierra update?

To recover lost or deleted photos and videos after macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra update, simply download the best photo and video recovery software - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery and restore the lost files from your Mac right now!

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery, updated on June 13th, 2019 |
Table of contents
1. Things to know before recovering missing photos/videos from macOS High Sierra
2. How to recover lost photos and videos after an macOS update?

Even though macOS 10.15 Catalina and macOS 10.14 Mojave have been released, some users prefer to update their Mac to macOS High Sierra for some reasons. The issue you need to notice is, no matter what macOS you choose to update, you could lose some files possibly. Just as the user in the example, you may accidentally lost videos or photos after you update to macOS Catalina or High Sierra.

After updating my MacBook Air from 10.11 EI Capitan to the macOS High Sierra, I couldn't locate one of my folders which contains some important sample photos and videos. Oh god! I really need these photos and videos for my business! Were these files permanently lost? How to recover lost photos/videos after High Sierra update? Thanks a lot.

But don't worry, there is a great chace that you can restore images and videos from your Mac. In this post, you will know how to recover lost/deleted photos, videos, documents, audio files, etc. from Mac after installing a newest macOS.

recover lost photos/videos after High Sierra update

Things to know before recovering missing photos/videos from macOS High Sierra

Updating to macOS High Sierra will convert your SSD to APFS and APFS (encrypted). If you haven't locked your SSD by FileVault before macOS High Sierra update, this process will be completed automatically and files may be missing or disappear if you don't have a backup. Moreover, APFS is only applied to macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, and macOS Catalina, so Mac photo recovery and video recovery from APFS drive is more complex and difficult.

Another thing you need to know is that, the less lost files are overwritten, the more chance you have to recover the lost photos and videos from this Mac. That's to say, you'd better not saving new files or do other operations to your Mac once you find you have lost or deleted some data.

How to recover lost photos and videos after an macOS update

If you have lost some precious photos of your child's birth or your marriage video after installing macOS High Sierra, don't be panic as it is commonplace and you will find some feasible solutions to recover your lost photos and videos in the following part.

How to recover recently deleted videos and photos on Mac?

Mac performs very well in preventing data loss. For instance, if you delete files by directly removing them from documents folder, deleting photos from your Photos on High Sierra, or you delete some QuickTime videos accidentally, you always can find a way to recover these recently deleted files from Mac without software.

Method 1:Restore lost photos/videos from Time Machine

If you made a backup in Time Machine before, you can recover lost photos/videos easily after the macOS High Sierra update. Just follow the below guidance.

Step 1: Connect the backup drive to the Mac computer.

Step 2: Open the folder that once contained your deleted files.

Step 3: Click the Time Machine icon in the top left menu bar and select Enter Time Machine.

Tips: Did you know how to show Time Machine icon on the menu bar?

  1. Click Apple icon at the top-right corner.
  2. Select System Preferences… and then click on Time Machine.
  3. Check Show Time Machine in menu bar.

Step 4: Browse the items in the backup folder by using on screen up/down arrows or using the timeline at the edge of the screen. If you want to find files of older version, using timeline to navigate the files is faster. You will be able to see a lot of snapshots of this whole folder and how the folder changes.

Step 5: Select an item and prese Space bar or double-click it to preview it.

Step 6: Select the file you want to restore, and then click Restore.

recover photos and videos from Time Machine

Method 2:Recover recently deleted photos/videos from Trash

In some cases, your files get lost not because of the macOS update but because you accidentally deleted them. So, it is important to turn off the option "Remove items from the Trash after 30 days" in Finder Preferences. Now, you can go and check your Trash to see if you can recover your lost photos/videos before you permanently delete files by emptying Trash on Mac.

Step 1: Find the Trash icon on the Dock of your High Sierra and open it.

Step 2: Check if your lost photos and videos are here.

Step 3: If you find your lost photos and videos in Trash, you can right-click on them and choose Put back to recover them to the original place.

Method 3:Recover recently deleted photos in Photos

If you lost photos because you accidentally deleted these images in Photos on your Mac, you can also recover the deleted pictures without software.

Step 1: Click Launchpad in the Dock of your Mac and find Photos.

Step 2: Open Photos and choose Recently Deleted in the left sidebar.

Step 3: If you find your photos here, you will be able to get them back in 40-day grace period after the deleting. Just choose photos you want to get back, and then click "Recover" to restore them.

recover recently deleted photos from Mac

The best photo and video recovery software for Mac

If you have lost photos, videos, documents, audio files, etc. after macOS update and you can't find the lost data with the aforementioned solutions. is it still possible to get the lost files back then?

The answer is "Yes!" with professional third-party data recovery software like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, it is rather easy to recover lost data even your Mac computer won't boot after the macOS update.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one of the best APFS data recovery software, which can recover deleted/lost data from APFS hard drives, recover deleted/lost APFS partitions. This Mac data recovery software also can restore images and other files from formatted, inaccessible, unreadable, and unmountable APFS drive, etc. Except for macOS High Sierra data recovery, it can recover files from macOS 10.14/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7 as well.

Best photo/video recovery software - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

  • Recover deleted/lost photos, videos, audio files, etc. on Mac computer
  • Recover lost/deleted files from boot/startup/macOS partition
  • Recover digital images and videos from encrypted APFS, APFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 drives
  • Recover lost data from hard drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, CF cards, memory cards, etc.
  • macOS Mojave ready and free update to macOS Catalina

Read-only & risk-free

Tutorial to recover lost photos/videos after High Sierra update quickly

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

Step 2: Select the hard drive where you lost photos or videos from and click "Next" to scan for the lost important files on this drive.

video and photo recovery software - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 3: Preview the lost photos/video in scanning results and choose the needed files.

video and photo recovery software - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 4: Click "Recover" to recover the lost photos and videos.

As you can see, recovering lost photos and videos from backups is always the best and risk-free way. However, it is a common case that you lost or deleted files, for example, deleting photos from an SD card, only to find that you have no backup in hand. Under this circumstance, you may need to turn to professional data recovery software so that you can recover the lost photos or videos from your Mac easily.


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