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How to Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive on macOS

In the modern digital landscape, accidental deletions are an unfortunate reality, and external hard drives have become essential tools for expanding storage and keeping backups of valuable data. If you’ve ever deleted files from an external hard drive and found yourself in a panic, fret not. macOS provides a lifeline for such situations, allowing you to recover files on Mac that you thought were lost forever. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of recovering deleted files from an external hard drive on macOS using the powerful Stellar Mac Data Recovery software.

Understanding Deleted File Recovery

When you delete a file from an external hard drive, it might seem like it’s gone forever. However, this is not entirely true. Deleted files are not immediately eradicated from the storage medium. Instead, the operating system marks the space they occupy as available for new data. Until new data overwrites the old, there’s still a window of opportunity to recover deleted files.

Introducing Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a software designed to restore lost, deleted, or formatted files from various storage devices, including external hard drives. Its user-friendly interface and advanced recovery algorithms make it an ideal tool for the task at hand. Let’s delve into the step-by-step process of using Stellar Mac Data Recovery to recover deleted files from an external hard drive on macOS.

Step 1: Download and Install Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Begin by downloading Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac from the official website. Once the download is complete, install the software on your Mac. Launch the application to start the recovery process.

Step 2: Connect the External Hard Drive

Ensure that your external hard drive is properly connected to your Mac. Stellar Data Recovery will detect and display all available storage devices, including the external hard drive you wish to recover files from.

Step 3: Choose Recovery Options

Stellar Data Recovery offers several recovery options. You can choose between “Recover Data,” “Recover Photo,” “Recover Audio,” and “Recover Video.” Select the appropriate option based on the type of files you want to recover.

Step 4: Select the External Hard Drive

From the list of available drives, select your external hard drive. Click on the “Scan” button to initiate the scanning process. The software will conduct a thorough scan of the drive to locate deleted files.

Step 5: Preview and Select Files

Once the scanning is complete, Stellar Data Recovery will display a list of recoverable files. You can preview the files to ensure they are intact and choose the ones you wish to recover. The software provides various sorting and filtering options to help you locate specific files quickly.

Step 6: Choose Recovery Location

Select a destination on your Mac’s internal storage where you want to save the recovered files. It’s advisable not to save the recovered files back to the same external hard drive, as it could potentially overwrite other deleted files.

Step 7: Begin the Recovery Process

After selecting the recovery location, click on the “Recover” button to initiate the recovery process. Stellar Data Recovery will begin restoring the selected files to the specified location on your Mac.

Step 8: Verify Recovered Files

Once the recovery process is complete, navigate to the specified recovery location and verify the recovered files. Open a few files to ensure they are functional and have been restored successfully.

Best Practices to Prevent Data Loss

While knowing how to recover deleted files is invaluable, taking preventive measures can save you from a potential headache. Here are some best practices to help you avoid data loss:

  1. Regular Backups: Establish a regular backup routine for your external hard drive. Utilize tools like Time Machine or cloud storage to create duplicates of your important files.
  2. Think Twice Before Deleting: Before hitting the delete button, ensure that the files are no longer needed. This extra step can prevent accidental deletions.
  3. Use the Trash Cautiously: When deleting files from an external hard drive, be aware that they might bypass the Trash and be permanently deleted. Double-check before confirming deletion.
  4. Label Critical Files: Label or organize critical files in a way that prevents you from deleting them accidentally.


The ability to recover files on Mac from an external hard drive is a reassuring feature that macOS provides. Stellar Mac Data Recovery adds an extra layer of power to this capability, offering an efficient and user-friendly solution to retrieve deleted files. Whether it’s important work documents, treasured family photos, or valuable videos, the software can salvage your data from the brink of loss.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and adopting good data management practices, you can ensure that your external hard drive remains a safe repository for your data. Prevention is key, but in those moments of accidental deletion, Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac stands as a reliable ally to rescue your precious files and memories.