Apple T2 chip data recovery: How to recover lost data from T2-secured Mac?

Posted by Tim to Mac Data Recovery Tips on June 18th, 2020

MacBook 2018 and 2019 are the most powerful MacBook till date, it has a built-in T2 security chip for encrypted storage and secure boot.

Despite its fantastic configuration, MacBook 2018 and 2019 are not immune to data loss situations. This article will help you to recover deleted or lost file from MacBook Pro/Air 2018 and 2019.

What is T2 chip?

The T2 chip is a hardware component designed by Apple which enables various security features, such as APFS internal storage encryption, secure boot, Touch ID and microphone security, as well as integrating several other controllers that are found separately on computers without the T2 chip.

How do I know that my Mac has the T2 chip?

You can use System information to do this.

Step 1: Click Apple menu and select "System Information".

Step 2: In the sidebar, select either Controller or iBridge, depending on the version of macOS in use.

If you see "Apple Security T2 chip" on the right, your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip.

What Macs have the t2 chip?

iMac Pro
Mac Pro introduced in 2019
Mac mini introduced in 2018
MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later

How to recover lost data from Mac with T2 security chip?

There are five methods you can have a try to recover lost data from Mac with Apple T2 chip:

Method 1: Recover lost data from Time Machine backup

Time Machine is a built-in backup tool which can automatically back up all of your files. If you have enabled Time Machine backup, you can restore the lost files from Time Machine backups.

Step 1: Connect the backup drive to your Mac computer.

Step 2: Open the folder that once contained your deleted files.

Step 3: Click the Time Machine icon in the top left menu bar and select Enter Time Machine.

Step 4: Browse the items in the backup folder by using on-screen up/down arrows or using the timeline at the edge of the screen. If you want to find files of the older version, using timeline to navigate the files is faster. You will be able to see a lot of snapshots of this whole folder and how the folder changes.

Step 5: Select an item and press Space bar or double-click it to preview it.

Step 6: Select the file you want to restore, and then click Restore.

Method 2: Apple T2 chip data recovery with M3 Data Recovery for Mac

As a professional Mac data recovery software, M3 Data Recovery for Mac supports Apple T2 chip data recovery.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into Internet Recovery mode by pressing Option + Command + R keys at startup.

Step 2: After seeing macOS Utilities, click Utilities in the top menu and select Terminal from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Type the command: sh <(curl and press Return to load M3 Data Recovery for Mac.

Step 4: After loading M3 Data Recovery for Mac, select Macintosh HD volume to scan the lost data.

If you have not enabled FileVault, M3 Data Recovery for Mac will automatically scan the selected Macintosh HD. If you have enabled FileVault, M3 Data Recovery for Mac will prompt you to enter the password or recovery key.

Method 3: Apple T2 chip data recovery by MacQuisition

MacQuisition is the only solution that interfaces with the T2 chip to decrypt the filesystem at collection time, providing a decrypted physical image.

MacQuisition has the ability to create a physical decrypted image of a Mac with T2 chip in 5 steps:

Step 1: Handle secure boot settings.

Step 2: Boot to MacQuisition.

Step 3: Click on Image Device view.

Step 4: Select image options.

Step 5: Click on Image Device button.

More details: How to use MacQuisition to create a physical decrypted image of Mac with T2 chip?

Method 4: Apple T2 chip data recovery by Passware Kit

Passware Kit Forensic for Mac features a new built-in tool that unlocks APFS disks from Mac computers protected with T2 chip if the iCloud recovery option was enabled. The tool requires either iCloud credentials or iOS backup of the same Apple ID.

Passware Kit Forensic for Mac runs from a Mac connected to the target computer via thunderbolt/USB-C, unlocks the APFS disk via iCloud recovery, and mounts it to the customer's Mac in a read-only mode.

Method 5: Recover data from failed Mac by Apple store

Apple has documented a new data recovery process internally for Macs that utilize its T2 chip introduced with the iMac Pro and the 2018 MacBook Pro.

To complete the process, Apple's repair staff will use a Thunderbolt (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to USB-A cable and another host computer as well as an external hard drive where the data will be transferred. From there the machines can be put into DFU mode and the data recovery process can be initiated from within Apple's internal diagnostics tool.

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