How to recover lost data from an M1-powered Mac?

Posted by Tim to Mac Data Recovery Tips on May 11th, 2021

Have you lost important data on an M1-powered Mac and you're either too busy or lack the proper file recovery tool to do the job? This article will help you.

How to recover deleted files from an M1-powered Mac?

In the past, when a file was deleted on a traditional magnetic hard disk, the operating system will only remove the reference or file header to the file so that the computer can no longer see the files. The actual file was often left intact on the drive, so data recovery tool would perform a comprehensive scan of the disk and retrieve the deleted file.

If your Mac comes with an SSD (solid-state drive), TRIM has already been enabled. To improve SSD's performance, SSD often features what's known as TRIM capabilities. Every time you delete a file, macOS will send an instruction to your SSD and then SSD automatically erases that file's contents. So no file recovery software can recover the deleted files from M1-powered Mac if you cannot find them in Trash.

Even so, there are still three methods you can have a try to recover deleted files.

Method 1: Restore deleted files by operating "Undo Move"

If the last thing you did in the Finder was to delete files, you can select Edit > Undo Move (Command-Z) to restore these deleted files to their previous positions.

Method 2: Restore deleted files from Mac trash

Mac has a Trash area to hold deleted files. If you recently deleted photos on Mac, you should first check if the file is gone. Follow the steps below to undelete files on Mac:

Step 1: Click on the Trash icon in the Dock and inspect the Finder window that opens.

Step 2: Find the deleted file you need, drag it out the Trash on the Desktop or right-click the file and select "Put Back".

Recover deleted files from Mac Trash

Method 3: Recover deleted files from Time Machine backup

Time Machine is a built-in backup tool which can automatically back up all of your files. If you have emptied the Trash or can't find the deleted file you need in the Trash, you can restore the deleted files from Time Machine Backups if you enabled it.

Step 1: Connect the backup drive to the 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.

How to recover data from unmounted volume on M1 Mac

If you have two and above volumes on the internal hard drive of M1 Mac and the second volume is not mounting in Mac Disk Utility, M3 Mac Data Recovery can help you recover data from unmounted volume.

Tips: Current version doesn't support to recover data from internal hard drive on M1 Mac. If you have this needs, please contact [email protected]

Steps to recover data from unmounted volume on M1 Mac:

Step 1: Download, install and then launch M3 Mac Data Recovery on your M1 Mac.

Step 2: Select the unmounted volume.

Free Mac data recovery software - M3 Data Recovery for Mac

Step 3: M3 Mac Data Recovery is scanning the data from the selected volume.

Scan lost data from unmounted drive

Step 4: After the scan completes, you can check and preview the found files.

Recover lost data from unmounted external hard drive on Mac

M3 Mac Data Recovery can preview documents, photos and play videos, audios so that you can see if your lost files are recoverable.

Step 5: Select the needed files and click Recover to start recovery.

After data recovery is successfully done, you can reformat this volume and make it working again.

How to recover data from M1 Mac that won't turn on

Like T2 chip, Apple Silicon M1 chip is another data protection solution (encrypt data as files are created) built-in Mac hardware.

After your M1 Mac is not turning on, you can start M1 Mac in macOS Recovery mode to reinstall macOS, repair Macintosh HD volume, etc. However data recovery efforts are more challenging if First Aid fails to repair the unmounted Macintosh HD volume. How to do it? Please read on.

Because of Apple's new M1 chip boast performance and security improvements, macOS recovery mode doesn't allow to load any app (Including data recovery software) from the 3rd party. So in this case, you have to boot up your unbootable M1 Mac from an external drive and then recover data.

Steps to recover data M1 Mac that won't boot:

This process is very complex, follow below step-by-step tutorial to complete this data recovery job now:

Step 1: Erase the external drive

1. Attach an external drive to your M1 Mac.

2. Press and hold the Power button. Release it when you see "Loading startup options".

3. Click Options, then click Continue. Your M1 Mac starts in macOS Recovery mode.

4. After your M1 Mac boots into macOS Recovery mode, select Disk Utility from macOS Utilities window and then click Continue.

5. In the left panel of Disk Utility, select the external drive you want to erase.

6. Click "Erase" button on the top of Disk Utility window.

7. Enther the name, select file system (APFS or HFS+) and partition partition scheme.

8. Click "Erase" to begin erasing.

Step 2: Install macOS on external drive

Step 3: Boot up your M1 Mac from external drive

Step 4: Recover data with M3 Data Recovery

After booting up your Mac from external drive, install M3 Data Recovery on this external drive and then scan data from internal hard drive with M3 Data Recovery.