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How to recover deleted files and photos on Mac, iPad and iPhone

Lucy Hattersley | June 6, 2016
Clicked 'delete' and instantly regretted it? Don't worry. Our tutorial explains how to recover deleted files and photos on Mac, iPad and iPhone

Here are the steps for Dropbox:

  1. Sign up for a Dropbox account and download the Dropbox app for iPad or iPhone.
  2. Open Dropbox and click on Settings  > Camera Upload and turn on Camera Upload.
  3. As you snap photos they will be sent to a folder in Dropbox called Camera Uploads.
  4. Click on the Photos tab in Dropbox to view recently uploaded images. This will also include any photos you have deleted from the Photos app.
  5. Select a photo in Dropbox and tap on the Share icon and choose Save Image.

This will send the deleted image back to the Photos app in iOS. It is not an ideal backup solution, because it requires you to set up Dropbox in advance. However, if you take many images you'll find this service invaluable. Both Google Drive, Box and other cloud services work in largely the same manner.

How to recover deleted music files in Mac OS X

Music files are largely managed on Mac computers using iTunes. This displays the music files but keeps the actual music files stored in the iTunes Music folder. (This is located in [username] > Music > iTunes > iTunes Music. Alternatively, in some earlier version of Mac OS X, you need to look in Home > Music > iTunes Media > Music.)

When you delete a music file in iTunes, you remove the listing in iTunes, and sometimes move the file from the Music folder in Finder to the Trash (you get the option when you delete the file). If you've simply removed the music file from iTunes, it will still be in the iTunes > iTunes Music (or iTunes Media > Music) folder. So the first thing to do is check this folder for the missing audio file. If you find it then drag it on top of the iTunes icon to re-import it back into iTunes.

If the file has been removed from iTunes and deleted from the Finder then you'll find it in the Trash folder. Follow these steps to get it back into iTunes:

  1. Open iTunes and click on iTunes > Preferences.
  2. Click Advanced and make sure there is a tick in the box marked 'Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library'.
  3. Drag the audio file out of the Trash to the Desktop.
  4. Drag the audio file on top of the iTunes icon. It should be re-imported and copied into the iTunes folder in Finder.
  5. Move the audio file from the desktop back to the Trash. (It has been copied back into iTunes so is now a duplicate file.)

How to recover deleted music on Mac

This restores the music file to iTunes. If you cannot find the audio file in the Trash then you will need to either check your Time Machine backup, or get the audio file again - rip it again from the CD it came from or, if you purchased it from iTunes, download the file again from the iTunes Store.

 

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