How to Recover Deleted & Unsaved Photoshop Files on Mac?

Photoshop is an iconic image editing software for over two decades. It is one of the raster graphics editors developed and released by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS. Although it was created in 1988, the software has become more prevalent in raster image editing and digital art. 

Indeed it is one of the most popular graphics editors. But the crashing issue of this well-known tool is also very common. It could ruin your day if the auto-save feature doesn’t work well and all your progress is gone. If you came across an issue called “Photoshop crashing without saving on macOS,” we can assume that you lost your unsaved Photoshop (PSD) files. Therefore, you must be worried about restoring unsaved Photoshop files on Mac.

Don’t worry; in this article, we covered everything. Read the full article to find out how to recover deleted and unsaved Photoshop files from your macOS. Also, please find out the possible reasons behind the Photoshop crashing issue and its fixes.

Table of Contents:

Why Does Your Photoshop Keeps Crashing and How to Fix it?

Although Photoshop is a powerful image editing program, it can also have glitches like any other software. These glitches can cause your Photoshop to crash and freeze, making it difficult to work. Below, we have mentioned some of the most common causes of Photoshop crashes and how to fix them.    

  • Not enough RAM: Photoshop consumes more RAM, so if you’re using an essential Mac with only 8GB or less RAM. It would help if you closed as many applications as possible to give Photoshop more space to run smoothly. Without enough RAM, the app may not work correctly. To fix this Ram problem, upgrade the RAM or get more.
  • Not Enough Storage: If your computer lacks enough RAM to run Photoshop, it will try to compensate by using a Scratch Space. To fix this storage issue, ensure you have a sufficient amount of HDD or SSD storage.

Information: A scratch space is a space on the hard disk drive dedicated to storing temporary user data.

  • Outdated Operating System: Ensure your operating system is up to date and the most current drivers are installed for all your drivers and devices. Suppose you are using an old version of macOS. In that case, you may encounter bugs that Photoshop developers need to be aware of as they focus on supporting the latest version of Apple’s operating system. The solution here is simple: upgrade your operating system.
  • Plugins Issues: One more reason behind the Photoshop crash without saving issue is the wrong plugins. Photoshop plugins are great, but they are also a constant source of stability problems for their users. Third-party plugin developers are rarely as skilled as developers working for Adobe, which is why so many plugins make Photoshop unstable or even unusable. Check your Plugins and remove the unwanted plugins to fix the Photoshop keeps crashing issue.
  • Hardware problems: Photoshop needs a powerful CPU and GPU to run smoothly. Suppose your hardware resources are so limited that every action in the application takes a very long time. In that case, you shouldn’t be surprised when Photoshop crashes without saving and freezes.

Now that you understand why Photoshop sometimes crashes without saving your work, it’s time that we explain how to recover Photoshop files on Mac.

How to Recover Deleted Photoshop Files on Mac?

Accidentally deleting important Photoshop PSD files can lead to nightmarish scenarios. Thankfully, there are several ways to recover deleted PSD files on your Mac computer. Here are three of the most common deleted Photoshop file recovery methods.

Method 1: Recover PSD Files Using the Trash Bin

The Mac system temporarily stores the deleted files in the Trash before permanently deleting them or emptying them. You can recover your deleted Photoshop files from Mac Trash using the Putback option.

  • To recover deleted Photoshop files from the Trash on Mac, Open the Trash Folder and select the PSD files you want to recover. Right-click on the files or use Control + Click, which will give you the options.
  • Select the Putback option to restore the photoshop files from mac trash.

Note: If you deleted your file, you could recover it using the Trash folder. In case you permanently deleted your PSD files. This method will not work because you can’t recover permanently deleted PSD files from Trash. But don’t worry. Below, we have mentioned two more ways to help restore your permanently deleted Photoshop files from macOS.

Method 2: Recover Deleted Photoshop Files Using Time Machine

Suppose you have taken a timely backup of your data using Time Machine. In that case, restoring all your deleted photoshop files is very easy.

Follow the below steps to recover the permanently deleted Photoshop files using the Time Machine application:

  • Connect the drive you’ve used for the Time Machine backup.
  • Open the folder where the Photoshop files existed previously.
  • Open time Machine > select Enter Time Machine.
  • Use the arrows to move the timeline to find the data backup for the lost item.
  • Hit the Restore button.
  • Try opening the recovered PSD file to double-check if the recovery went well. 

Unfortunately, Time Machine won’t help you recover your photoshop files unless you’ve previously activated it.

It also can’t recover Photoshop files saved in any other file location besides your system drive. So go through the following method if you need to recover a PSD file from an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or memory card. 

Method 3: Recover Deleted Photoshop Files on MAC Using Yodot

To quickly and safely recover your permanently deleted Photoshop files from your Mac computer, use the Yodot Mac Photo Recovery tool. Yodot is an ideal data recovery app that can quickly recover lost or deleted PSD files on Macintosh machines. Yodot is designed with a highly advanced drive scanning mechanism to produce fast, easy, secure, and complete data recovery results. It works on all versions of macOS, including the latest Monterey. Moreover, this tool supports the recovery of formatted drives on various file systems like exFAT, APFS, HFS, and many more.


Follow the below simple steps to recover your deleted photoshop files: 

  • Download and install Yodot Mac Photo Recovery software on your Mac system.
recover deleted psd file
  • Launch the application, and follow the main screen instructions.
  • Select either the Deleted Photo Recovery or Lost Photo Recovery option depending on the situation.
select deleted photo recovery option
  • The tool scans and displays all your Mac’s logical and external volumes. Select the volume from which you want to recover your Photoshop files.
Select the logical drive
  • The tool scans the selected volume and displays all the recoverable PSD files in Mac finder-styled interface.
scanning in progress
  • You can Preview the Photoshop files before recovering them.
preview the recovered psd files
  • Save the recovered PSD files at a location of your choice.
save the recovered psd files

How to Recover Unsaved Photoshop Files?

This article section will outline the steps needed to recover your unsaved Photoshop files for free. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to get your work back in no time.    

Method 1: Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac from The Autosave Location / AutoRecover Folder

Photoshop allows you to save all your work automatically. This feature ensures you won’t lose any creative work due to a sudden system or application crash.

To restore a PSD file from Photoshop’s AutoSave location on Mac, you must first make sure AutoSave is enabled on your Mac, then follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Finder

Step 2: Click “Go” on the Apple menu, then select “Go to Folder.”

Step 3: Enter the location of the AutoRecover folder mentioned below.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop XXX/AutoRecover

Note: Make sure to replace “Adobe Photoshop XXX” with your specific version of Photoshop, such as “Adobe PhotoshopCC2019.”

Step 4: Open the “AutoRecover” folder, and Photoshop will automatically take you to unsaved or lost files.

Step 5: Save the recovered Photoshop files as a new project on Mac to a safe location.

Method 2: Recover Unsaved Photoshop Files on Mac from Temporary Files

Another way to recover unsaved Photoshop files is through temporary files. When you create a new Photoshop document, its temporary file is automatically created to store the information. Generally, this temporary file is supposed to be deleted when you close Photoshop. However, a temporary document may sometimes remain in place due to Photoshop’s sparse file processing. In this case, you can follow the steps below to recover unsaved Photoshop files on Mac.

Steps To recover a Photoshop file from Temporary Files on Mac: 

Step 1: Open Finder and go to Applications > Utilities.

Step 2: Launch Terminal.

Step 3: Then, input “open $TMPDIR” and then hit Enter.

Step 4:

  • Now, choose “Temporaryitems.
  • Pick the Photoshop file.
  • Open it with the Photoshop app to save it on your Mac.

Method 3: Recover Unsaved Photoshop Files Using Recent Tab

You can recover PSD files directly in Photoshop using the Recent tab feature. Here are the steps to restore Photoshop files on Mac from the Photoshop Recents tab in the app.

Steps to restore PSD file from Photoshop Recent Tab on Mac:

Step 1: Open Photoshop.

Step 2: Click the “File” tab on the menu bar and select “Open Recent.”

Step 3: Select the Photoshop file you want to recover from the recently opened list and save it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: In which location Photoshop Autosave files are stored?

Ans: The location where the Autosave PSD files are stored is:

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop XXX/AutoRecover

Note: Replace the “Adobe Photoshop XXX” with your specific version of Photoshop, such as “Adobe PhotoshopCC2019.”

Q: How do I recover permanently deleted PSD files from my Mac without Time Machine?

Ans: To recover deleted PSD files, download and install Yodot on your Mac Computer and follow the below steps:

  • Launch the application, and follow the main screen instructions.
  • Select the Deleted Photo Recovery option.
  • Select the volume from which you want to recover your permanently deleted Photoshop files.
  • The tool scans the selected volume and displays all the recoverable PSD files in Mac finder-styled interface.
  • You can Preview the Photoshop files before recovering them.
  • Save the recovered PSD files at a location of your choice.