How to recover deleted/lost files from startup drive in macOS Mojave?

macOS Mojave 10.14 is the fifteenth major release of macOS, Apple Inc.'s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers. The successor to macOS High Sierra, it was announced at the WWDC 2018 on June 4, 2018. It brings several iOS apps to the desktop including Apple News, Voice Memos, and Home; introduces a Dark Mode and is the final version of macOS to support 32-bit apps.

How to recover deleted/lost files from startup disk in macOS Mojave?

On macOS Mojave, there is a security mechanism named "System Integrity Protection" (SIP), which prevents any application from reading startup drive. And when we want to use M3 Mac Data Recovery to scan startup disk, we need to temporarily disable SIP, otherwise M3 Mac Data Recovery will be prevented from scanning.

Step 1: Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP)

1. Boot to Recovery OS by restarting Mac and pressing & holding down Command + R keys at startup.

Disble SIP step 1

2. Launch Terminal from Utilities.

3. Enter the command: csrutil disable and press Return.

Disble SIP step 2

4. Restart Mac computer.

Step 2: Recover deleted/lost files from startup drive in macOS Mojave

In order to maximize the chance of getting lost data back, you need to stop using that drive immediately. Every time disk writes happen, they could be overwriting your lost data in startup drive, making it impossible to recover.

1. To avoid lost data being overwritten, please download M3 Mac Data Recovery to an external drive.

2. Doule click the installation package of M3 Mac Data Recovery, click M3 Mac Data Recovery icon to directly run it, instead of dragging it to Applications folder.

Install M3 Mac Data Recovery

3. Select the startup drive where lost files and click Next to continue.

Mac Data Recovery

If macOS Mojave startup disk is encrypted APFS, the unlock password of encrypted APFS drive is required as below:

Enter the password to scan lost files from APFS drive with M3 Mac Data Recovery

4. M3 Mac Data Recovery is scanning the deleted/lost files from the specific startup drive.

Scan lost files from startup drive with M3 Mac Data Recovery

5. Preview, select the found data and then click Recover to save them.

Recover lost files from startup drive with M3 Mac Data Recovery

After recovering deleted/lost files from startup drive, we can enable System Integrity Protection (SIP) with following steps:

Step 3: Enable System Integrity Protection (SIP)

1. Boot to Recovery OS by restarting Mac and pressing & holding down Command + R keys at startup.

2. Launch Terminal from Utilities.

3. Enter the command: csrutil enable and press Return.

4. Restart Mac computer.