5 Methods to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos from Mac

Photos are memories that people keep long after an event has passed. Unsurprisingly, it might upset you if you find that one or more of the photos stored on your Mac have been accidentally deleted. While it is easy to get a photo if you lazily switched to system junk, it would be very painful to get it back if you deleted it permanently. All is not lost. There are a few more tricks you can try to bring back your precious memories. Several methods outlined below will help you understand how to recover permanently deleted photos from Mac.

1.Time Machine

No, this is not a science fiction machine that will help you travel back in time. Rather, it is a built-in tool for your Mac that is named so because using it can help you restore your files to the latest backup. This process is useful if you have permanently deleted your photos from your Mac since the last backup. The steps that will enable you to achieve this skill are listed below.

  1. Select ‘ Enter Time Machine ‘ from the shortcut menu bar.
  2. Go to the date you think is the one before deleting the photos.
  3. Continue to your home from Finder.”
  4. Enter ‘ Pictures ‘ and locate the photo library file
  5. Copy the library file and exit the time machine.”
  6. Continue to your main Pictures ‘ and paste the library file
  7. Right-click the library folder to select Show Package Contents.”
  8. Open ‘ Graduate ‘ and browse the content to recover your lost photos
Handy tip: Keeping up with the ‘ e ‘ above, you can choose to restore your photo library directly, but this will overwrite the new photos that you may have saved after the backup. If you are sure you have not saved any new photos, this is the fastest way to get your deleted photos back.

2.Photos app

If you have deleted photos from your Mac Photos app, they will still be available in Recently Deleted for 30 days. Follow these steps to recover these lost photos with this simple method.

  1. When you open Photos ‘, you can select ‘ Recently Deleted ‘ from the list of albums.
  2. Search and select the photos you have lost.
  3. Hit ” Restore ” at the top right and smile. You have regained your cherished memories.

Helpful Hint: If you have photos stored in iCloud and accidentally deleted them, you can use the same steps above to recover photos as iCloud also gives you a 30 grace period.


Although Apple officially discontinued this application on Macintosh computers back in 2015, if you have an older system, you can still use it. If you’ve deleted your photos from iPhoto, luckily, there is an easy recovery process as outlined below.

  1. Open iPhoto Trash from iPhoto app (different from main OS Recycle Bin)
  2. Select your lost photo and hit Snooze.”
  3. In the sidebar, click ” Photos ” to recover lost photos in the iPhoto library.


This is an indirect way to recover permanently deleted photos from Mac and only works if you have shared the mentioned photos with the person on your list. If you remember a person, open iMessage on your Mac to browse through conversations with look for photos. If found, copy them back to your photo library.

5.Photo Recovery Software

If all else fails or you find the built-in photo extraction mechanisms too tedious, you can always invest in third-party Photo Recovery Software that does the job for you quickly. Most of these third-party tools scan your entire system for photos and help you identify permanently deleted ones without much effort on your part. However, they come at a price. Also, remember to always look for reliable software if you decide to go through this process.

Here is a list of the best photo recovery software:

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