Recover deleted files on Mac
I use the latest MacBook. I forgot had some files in the Downloads folder, and I run a system cleaning program which was set to delete all the files in the User Downloads folder.
Now I'm desperate to recover those files. I've tried a couple of data recovery programs I found (EaseUS and Disk Drill) but was not able to locate the deleted files.
Can anyone please help? How can I get those files back?
As free solutions, initially try to use distributions like caine, deft 8.2, kali, among others … These distributions have pre-configured recovery packages, where you can test a series of tools, including tools related to data carving.
Unfortunately you most likely won't be able to get anything back. Apple uses SSD's with TRIM, so when the garbage routine kicks in the blocks are wiped. As this is a function of hardware, I don't believe software tools will be able to assist.
Mac files are not easy to recover after deletion. PCs mark the directory entry as deleted, Apples delete the directory entry. Data carving can work at times, but if an SSD with trim etc, your data has probably gone for ever.
In the past, I used Prosoft's Data Rescue. I was able to recover deleted files using this data recovery utility. You'll have to pay for it, though.
Others have already mentioned the issue with SSDs and Trim. The additional complication is that the Mac OS filesystem (HFS+) does not store file entries in a table as with FAT or NTFS. It uses a B-tree (not a binary tree), which is re-balanced as files are added and deleted. It is sometimes possibly to recover an entry for a recently deleted file, but it's more likely that the tree will be re-balanced fairly quickly and the file entry will be overwritten.
If you need to use file recovery, take care not to write or download any files to the drive that contains the files that got deleted, or you may accidentally overwrite them…