Accidentally Erased Hard Drive on Mac? Fix and Recover Here!

Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Ian McEwan

Oops! Accidentally erased your entire Mac hard drive in Disk Utility? Don’t waste $1000 on Data Recovery! Follow the instruction below to get your hard drive back to work and recover lost data.

Last updated Apr 25th, 2019 by Ian McEwan

Accidentally Erased Hard Drive on Mac

You may use Disk Utility application to perform hard drive partition-related tasks on Mac Operating System, such as to format, repair, erase or create hard drive partitions and end up with an erased hard drive.

Moreover, by doing so, crucial data may be deleted by mistake from your Mac.


Common Causes of Accidental Erase of Hard Drive on Mac

Using unauthorized partitioning tools.

Some Mac users may not have the skills in manual volume creation using third-party partitioning applications. Secure programs will lead to a successful hard drive partitioning. However, if you use unauthorized software, it might format your PC.

Deletion during reinstallation.

When installing a Mac operating system, it’s essential to follow every step with accuracy. Some of the instructions include, “Format” and “Delete” options. Thus, when removing unwanted files, you may accidentally erase essential data.

Other accidental erase of the hard drive includes software malfunction or system failure.

Fix and recover accidentally erased hard drive on mac

To handle the aftermath of accidentally wiped hard drive on mac, you may need to fix the Mac won’t boot and recover those erased files.


Restore a Bricked Mac with an Accidentally Erased Hard Drive

If you have wiped the wrong partition on Mac hard drive by accident, your mac may stop functioning properly. And here an official method to get your mac back to normal.

Restore the operating system on your mac from macOS recovery mode.

Depending on which version of macOS you want to install, you can trigger macOS Recovery mode with different key combinations.

  • Command (⌘)+R: The latest macOS that was once installed on your mac
  • Option+Command (⌘)+R: The latest macOS which your mac is compatible with.
  • Shift+Option+Command (⌘)+R: The macOS came with your mac, or the closest one which is still available, will be installed.

Note: If the layout of your keyboard is different, you need to look at this: Mac Option = Windows Alt / Mac key = Windows key / Control = Ctrl / Option = Alt / Command (four leaf clover) = Windows / Delete = Backspace / Return = Enter

Choose one of these key combinations, press and hold down the keys while starting up your mac. If a spinning globe, Apple logo or a prompt for a firmware password appears, release the keys.

From the menu bar, select and connect to a Wi-Fi.

Choose Reinstall macOS from the masOS Utilities window and click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions to finish the reinstallation.


Is It Possible to Recover your Accidentally Erased Hard Drive Mac?

Recovering erased files in accidentally wiped hard drive is possible. This is because when you erased files on mac, the process will not delete the entire data from the disk.

Although the hard drive will display a free space, this space contains all erased data. However, the files will be hidden and inaccessible by the Mac Operating system.

If you continue using accidentally erased hard drive Mac by storing more data, the new files will overwrite the free space. This will make the deleted files hard to recover.

So, generally, once you accidentally erase your hard drive, it’s advisable to first recover the deleted files before adding new ones.

However, not many people can realize the importance of this rule. Perhaps, they just can’t, because they have to restore the bricked Mac first.


Luckily, Here Are Two Excellent Methods To Retrieve Data From An Erased/Formatted/Corrupted Mac Hard Drive.


1.Recover Erased Hard Drive Data on Mac with Aiseesoft Data Recovery

Apply to: iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro

If you’re looking for the best technique to recover erased data from your Mac PC, Aiseesoft software is your great option. Whether you’ve accidentally wiped hard drive or lost data due to a system crash, malware attack, file system corruption, as well as a power surge, this data recovery program, will retrieve every data without much hassle.

It also supports recovery from formatting, lost partitions, and virus attack.

To Recover External/ Internal Hard Drive Data with Aiseesoft Data Recovery, just follow the steps below:

Step 1. Launch the Aiseesoft Software on Your Mac PC

You need to download an Aiseesoft toolkit and install it on your computer. Then launch the program to enable scanning of the hard drive.

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Interface of Aiseesoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 2. Disable System Integrity Protection

When you install this data recovery software, you’ll receive a notification message that the startup Mac disk is protected by the “System Integrity Protection.” Thus, you can follow the onscreen instruction to disable this feature to allow Aiseesoft Data Recovery program to function.

Disable System Integrity Protection

Step 3. Scan the Hard Drive

Select the hard disk you want to scan on the program interface. Also, choose the data category for retrieval, whether images, videos, emails, audios or documents. You can also click on “Check all the file types” checkbox to scan all the data erased.

Select Recover Data from Mac Internal Hard Drive

Additionally, if you want to scan an external hard drive on Mac, you need to connect it to the Mac using a USB cable.

Select External Hard Disk Drive to Recover file

Click on the “Scan” option to perform a Quick Scan.

Step 4. Recover Hard Drive Lost Data

When the scanning procedure is complete, the deleted files will appear on the dashboard. The program will allow preview of the details of every file before retrieval.

To retrieve lost hard drive data, click on the “Recover” option. However, if you fail to get all the data, select the “Deep Scan” button for a complete scanning process.


2.Recover Erased Hard Disk Data Using Time Machine Backup

If you accidentally erased hard drive Mac and had configured Time machine before, you can use the Time Machine backup to recover your data by simply starting up from macOS Recovery and select “Restore From Time Machine Backup”. This method offers an automatic backup process without further action by the Mac user.

Brief introduction about Time Machine backup: To create hard disk data backups using a Time Machine, attach an external storage disk. After you connect it to your PC, choose it as your backup source. And the Time Machine will make periodic backups of your files.


In some instances, the Time Machine method may not be an effective way to recover accidentally wiped hard drive. This is because the external storage may be affected by malware or corrupt files. Thus, you need a more reliable way to restore lost data.