How to Recover a Mac Desktop

by Mario Calhoun

When installing and uninstalling programs, it is very easy to accidentally erase an important system file or a document. Luckily, there are many software programs such as Apple's Time Machine and third-party data recovery programs that restore deleted information and programs. To increase your chances of recovering your data, it is highly recommended that you avoid opening programs or files, as the deleted data is kept in your temporarily files until new information writes over it.

Recover Using Time Machine

Open Time Machine. Click the "Go" at the top of your screen and click "Applications" from the drop-down menu. Double-click the "Time Machine" icon to run the program.

Scroll through your previous backups. Select the backup you wish to restore according to the date. Click the "Desktop" folder and click the "Restore" button at the bottom of the screen.

Press and release the "Command" key and the "Q" key simultaneously to close the program.

Recover Using Third-Party Software

Download Data Rescue from Apple.com. Search for it in the "Downloads" section of the Apple site or click the Resources link below.

Drag the "Data Rescue 3" icon to your "Applications" folder to install the program.

Open the program. Click the "Go" button at the top of your screen and click "Applications." Double-click "Data Rescue 3" to run the application.

Click "Deleted Files Scan" and click the "Start" button. Select a backup disc to use while Data Rescue runs a scan on your main hard drive. Wait for Data Rescue to finish scanning. Select the files you wish to recover, and click "OK."

Items you will need