Mac Shared Drive File Recovery: Comprehensive Guide

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Written By Michael Gilmer

Michael, a content curator at File Recovery Mac, excels at simplifying complex IT concepts into easily digestible chunks. Michael's expertise lies in IT, data recovery, and all things "techy."

In the realm of advanced disk technology, data loss on a Mac shared drive, be it a network disk or an external storage device, can be a daunting experience. Especially when the files in question range from essential work documents to irreplaceable photos or other vital data.

Mac shared drive file recovery comprehensive guide

Recognizing the importance of reliable recovery solutions, our expert content team has crafted this guide. It provides a thorough understanding of the most effective methods for Mac shared drive file recovery, ensuring you regain access to your lost or deleted files with ease.

Understanding File Loss on Mac Shared Drives

Files on shared drives can become inaccessible due to various reasons:

  • Accidental deletions, often a result of human error or unintentional keystroke combinations.
  • Malware or virus attacks that corrupt the contents of files.
  • Physical drive damages, which can range from simple spills to more severe physical impacts.
  • System malfunctions, software glitches, or unforeseen errors.

Recognizing the root cause is the first step in selecting the most suitable recovery method.

Recovering from Previous Versions

If you’ve found yourself in a situation of unintentional deletion, macOS offers a feature known as “Previous Versions.” This feature, intricately linked with Time Machine—a powerful system recovery software—allows users to restore files to their state before deletion.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Navigate to the file’s original location.
  2. Right-click on the file or folder.
  3. Select ‘Restore previous versions’.
  4. Choose the desired version and click ‘Restore’.

Checking the Remote PC’s Recycle Bin/Trash

When files are deleted from a shared drive, especially from a network folder or shared network, they might find their way to the Recycle Bin of the remote server or network trash folder. Before resigning to the idea of permanent loss, it’s prudent to check this location.

Using Data Recovery Software

The market boasts several renowned software solutions like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Recoverit, and Disk Drill. These professional data recovery software programs offer:

  • Comprehensive scans of the entire drive to identify recoverable files.
  • Previews of files before initiating recovery.
  • Support for a vast array of file types, from standard documents to intricate multimedia files.
  • Intuitive interfaces that guide users through simple steps for recovery.

User Testimonial: “Some time ago I bought the Disk Drill’s paid version, to recover the files of a friend whose hard disk was damaged. If I had given it to a specialized data recovery company, it would have cost five times as much. This is my sincere testimony!” – Gilberto Rivola

Top 10 Software for Mac Shared Drive File Recovery

The distress of losing files on a Mac shared drive is undeniable. However, advancements in data recovery technology have led to the development of several potent software solutions.

Here’s a curated list of the top 10 software tailored for Mac shared drive file recovery:

  1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
    • Features: Deep scan, preview before recovery, supports various file systems.
    • Best For: Comprehensive data recovery, including formatted drives.
  2. Disk Drill for Mac
    • Features: Byte-level backups, partition recovery, free disk health monitoring.
    • Best For: Users looking for both recovery and disk health tools.
  3. Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac
    • Features: Advanced file recovery algorithms, supports over 1000 file types.
    • Best For: Recovering a vast array of file types.
  4. Stellar Data Recovery for Mac
    • Features: Customized scanning, can recover data from crashed systems.
    • Best For: Situations involving corrupted or crashed Mac systems.
  5. TechTool Pro
    • Features: Drive repair, data protection, and cloning.
    • Best For: Comprehensive Mac system maintenance alongside data recovery.
  6. Data Rescue 6 for Mac
    • Features: Advanced search, duplicate recognition, email notifications.
    • Best For: Professional-level recovery with detailed insights.
  7. Tenorshare 4DDiG for Mac Data Recovery
    • Features: Recovers from RAID arrays, lost partitions, and Time Machine backups.
    • Best For: Complex recovery scenarios.
  8. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
    • Features: Tackles APFS drive decryption, corrupted drive recovery.
    • Best For: APFS formatted drives and encrypted data scenarios.
  9. Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac
    • Features: Quick scan and deep scan, photo and video recovery.
    • Best For: Multimedia file recovery.
  10. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac
  • Features: Five recovery modes, preview before recovery.
  • Best For: Users who prefer a straightforward and intuitive interface.

Importance of Regular Backups

One cannot stress enough the significance of maintaining regular backups. Tools like Time Machine for macOS not only provide automatic backup solutions but also ensure that even if files face deletion or loss, a recent backup version remains available for swift recovery.

Monitoring and Updates

To preemptively combat data loss, it’s paramount to keep both your macOS and any associated software updated. These updates often encompass bug fixes and improvements designed to thwart unforeseen data loss scenarios.

Moreover, vigilantly monitoring your shared drive’s health and performance can serve as an early warning system for potential issues.

Physical Care of Drives

Physical damages, be it drops or spills, can be the culprits behind data loss. It’s imperative that drives, especially vulnerable ones like USB Flash Drives or other external devices, find storage in safe and secure locations, shielded from potential harm.

Virus and Malware Protection

It’s essential to fortify your Mac, irrespective of whether it’s an Intel-based Mac or the newer Apple Silicon Mac, with robust antivirus software. Regular scans coupled with real-time protection can act as a bulwark against malicious software that might delete or corrupt files on your shared drive.

User Access Control

To mitigate the risks of accidental deletions, it’s wise to regulate who has access to shared drives. Ensuring that only essential personnel wield deletion rights, while others are restricted to read-only access, can be a game-changer.

Recovery Specialists

In the unfortunate event that all conventional methods falter, turning to data recovery specialists might be the best course of action. These seasoned professionals come equipped with advanced tools and a wealth of expertise, enabling them to recover data even from severely compromised drives.


The ordeal of losing files on a Mac shared drive can be overwhelming. However, armed with the right knowledge and tools, recovery is not just a possibility but a high probability.

By adhering to the methods delineated in this guide and ensuring consistent backups and system care, you can substantially reduce the risks of data loss, guaranteeing that your files remain accessible at all junctures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you recover files from a network drive or external device?

Absolutely! Using third-party software or macOS’s built-in recovery system can help. Many modern data recovery tools support a wide range of devices, from network drives to USB flash drives and external hard disks. It’s essential to act quickly and avoid writing new data to the drive to increase the chances of successful recovery.

How do I restore a shared network drive or network share?

To restore a shared network drive or network share, you can use the “Previous Versions” feature available in macOS. This feature, when linked with Time Machine, allows users to revert to an earlier state of the file or folder. Additionally, tools like Disk Drill and other third-party software offer specialized recovery options for network drives, ensuring you get back your data with minimal hassle.

Where do deleted files on a shared drive go?

Typically, when you delete files from a shared drive, they move to the Trash folder on Mac or the Recycle Bin if you’re using a Windows-based system. However, in a networked environment, the deleted files might end up in the Recycle Bin of the remote computer or server. It’s always a good practice to check these locations first before considering the files permanently lost.

How to recover permanently deleted files from shared OneDrive or Google Drive?

If you’ve permanently deleted files from shared OneDrive or Google Drive, there’s still hope. Both these cloud storage platforms maintain a “Trash” or “Bin” where deleted files are temporarily stored for a specific period (usually 30 days). You can restore files from there. If the period has lapsed, specialized recovery software can help, especially if you had synchronized the cloud storage with your local device. Additionally, some premium cloud storage plans offer extended backup and recovery options, so it’s worth checking if you have such a feature available.

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