How To Recover Files After Factory Reset Mac?

If you’ve accidentally reset your Mac and lost your files, don’t worry! There are ways to recover them. This guide will walk you through the steps on how to do so. Following these methods will increase your chances of getting your important files back. So don’t panic—there are solutions available to help you.

A factory reset is a helpful troubleshooting step when other methods can’t fix software issues on your Mac. In this article, we’ll discuss what happens during a factory reset, whether you can recover your data afterward, and ways to attempt data recovery. This process erases any personalized configurations and installed apps. After a factory reset, retrieving your data becomes more challenging because it is erased. However, there are methods and tools available to recover lost data.

Table of content:

First, let’s discuss what happens when you do a factory reset.

What Happens When You Factory Reset a Mac?

  • Factory resetting a Mac erases everything you’ve saved, changed, or installed.
  • It brings the Mac back to how it was when you first got it.
  • This means all your files, settings, and apps will be deleted.
  • The internal storage is completely wiped, like starting over.
  • The operating system is reinstalled, so it’s like a fresh Mac.

Remember, a factory reset deletes everything forever, so only do it if you need to, and be careful.

Common Causes of Mac Factory Reset


A Mac factory reset is often done for a few common reasons. Here are the leading causes

Fixing ProblemsSometimes, a factory reset is needed to solve persistent software issues or system errors that can’t be fixed in other ways.
Speeding Up the MacWhen a Mac is running slowly or experiencing performance problems, a factory reset can help by removing unnecessary files, settings, and applications to improve its speed.
Upgrading the Operating SystemWhen upgrading to a new version of macOS, a factory reset might be recommended to ensure a smooth installation and avoid compatibility issues with the new system.
Enhancing SecurityIf a Mac has been infected by malware or other security threats, a factory reset can help eliminate those risks and start fresh with improved security.

Remember to back up your important files before performing a factory reset, as it will erase all data on the Mac.

Can You Recover Mac Data After Factory Reset?

  1. Yes, recovering data after a Mac factory reset can be challenging but possible if you have backups of your files. Backups created using Time Machine, external drives, or cloud storage allow you to restore your data after a factory reset.
  1. Data recovery software may help retrieve lost files from Mac’s storage, but success depends on factors like data overwriting. It’s important to note that regular backups are the most reliable way to protect your data and minimize permanent loss.
  1. To ensure data safety, make regular backups a habit. Having a backup strategy in place reduces stress and simplifies data recovery after unexpected events like a factory reset. Remember, prevention through regular backups is critical to safeguarding your essential files.

Note: It’s essential to stop using your computer when you lose your data to prevent the risk of overwriting it. Follow the instructions below to learn how to recover data on your Mac after a factory reset.

How to Recover Data after a Factory Reset on Mac

Here are three simple methods to recover files after a factory reset on your Mac.

Method 1: Restore Files From a Time Machine Backup

To recover files after a factory reset on your Mac, you can use the Time Machine backup method. Time Machine is available on macOS, so you don’t need extra software. Just follow these steps if you have a Time Machine backup:

  1. Connect the storage device with the Time Machine backup to your Mac.
  1. Open a Finder window and navigate to the folder where your deleted files were previously stored.
  1. Click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select “Browse Time Machine backups.”

4. Use Time Machine’s interface to search for the files and folders you want to recover.

5. Select the items you want to restore and click the “Restore” button.


6. The files will be restored to their original locations on your Mac.

Remember, this method requires a valid Time Machine backup that includes the files you want to recover.

Method 2: Retrieve Data Using Disk Utility’s Restore Option

Another method to recover Mac data after a factory reset is using the macOS Disk Utility’s restore option. This technique copies the contents from one volume to another. However, you must have made a copy of the volume before the reset. Follow these steps to restore the reset volume:

  1. Restart your Mac in Recovery Mode.
  1. Open Disk Utility and select View > Show All Devices.

3. Choose the destination volume in the sidebar, which will be erased and restored.

4. Click the Restore button.


5. Select the target volume from the Restore pop-up menu to copy its data to the destination volume.


6. Click Restore and then Done.


Remember, this method requires a previous copy of the volume you want to restore and doesn’t require additional software.

Method 3: Recover Files After Factory Reset Mac Using Yodot Mac Data Recovery

Yodot Mac Data Recovery is a simple software tool that helps you get back your lost or deleted files on your Mac. It scans your Mac’s storage to find different types of files like documents, photos, and videos. It’s designed to assist Mac users in recovering important files that were accidentally lost or inaccessible.

Steps to recover files after factory reset on Mac: 

  1. Download and install Yodot Mac Data Recovery software on your Mac.
  2. Open the tool and choose “Volume Recovery.” or “Formatted Recovery

3. Select the particular Volume/drive where you lost your files and click “Next.”


4. Wait for the scanning process to finish. You can view the files in Data View or File Type View.

5. Preview the recovered data from your external hard drive.


6. Select the files or folders you want to recover and click “Save.”

Remember to act quickly and avoid using the drive where the files were lost to improve the chances of successful recovery.


If you’ve lost files after a factory reset on your Mac, there are ways to recover them. You can use data recovery software like Yodot Mac Data Recovery or restore files from a backup using Time Machine. Act quickly, avoid using the computer and follow the necessary steps to maximize your chances of successful file recovery. These methods can help you retrieve and regain access to your important files.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I recover files without a backup after a factory reset?

While having a backup significantly increases the chances of recovering files, you can still attempt data recovery using specialized software designed for Mac. However, the success of file recovery may vary depending on various factors.

How can I back up my files before performing a factory reset?

To back up your files before a factory reset, you can use built-in tools like Time Machine, which allows you to create regular backups on external drives or network storage. Cloud storage services or manually copying important files to an external drive are viable backup options.

Should I stop using my Mac immediately after data loss to recover files?

Yes, it is recommended to stop using your Mac immediately after data loss to prevent overwriting the lost files. Continuing to use the computer may increase the risk of permanent data loss.