How to Restore Replaced Files from Mac [2022 Updated]

Updated October 6, 2023


When your Mac pops up the message says ‘the file with the name already exists, do you want to replace it?’, how many of you just ignore it and click replace without hesitation? Overwriting or replacing files by accident can be a real nightmare for many sloppy users. You might wonder can you recover replaced and overwritten data on Mac, luckily, there are indeed some ways to restore overwritten files on Mac because the data is actually still stored somewhere in the system. This post focuses on two different ways to help you trace back the data.

Data Recovery Tools

Recover overwritten files with backup

First of all, the overwritten data does not indicate it’s completely gone in the system or there’s no trace of it. It simply means that the name of the file, thumbnail, as well as icon is deleted but the real content still stays on your computer. Therefore, with the help of some tools, you can absolutely recover overwritten files on Mac. Now let’s dive into the first method, which is to acquire backup copies.

Recover replaced files using Time Machine backup

Apple offers one in-house backup application, Time Machine, to help users take snapshots of their computer during different periods of time. This tool can be quite handy when it comes to data recovery if you’ve enabled it before losing the data. Here’s how you can recover overwritten data on Mac using Time Machine backup copies.

  • Open the folder that contains the overwritten files from Finder
  • Launch Time Machine from the icon in the menu bar
  • Scroll the arrow up and down to find exactly where the files were
  • Click Restore and check which file you want to keep. You may keep both the new and the old files

Sounds easy and quick, right? However, Time Machine consumes a lot of capacity in your computer and can work with the start-up drive only. In that case, many users would prefer other backup options such as iCloud and Get Backup Pro. If you use iCloud as a backup plan, here’s what you can do to recover replaced data on Mac.

Recover replaced files using iCloud backup

iCloud is able to store deleted data for 30 days, so, if the data is overwritten within 30 days, iCloud can be another way to get back the files.

  • Go to and sign in via Apple ID.
  • Click on Account Settings under the profile image.
  • Find Advanced and click Restore Files.
  • Browse and select the files you desire to recover.

Recover overwritten files without backup

The above-mentioned two methods both require previously saved backups. What if you don’t have any backup copies? Honestly speaking, professional data recovery software is the most straightforward way to save the overwritten files on Mac. With plenty of data recovery tools in the market, how to select the best one to recover replaced files on Mac? Don’t worry, after testing out multiple data recovery tools, we’ve found iBoysoft Data Recovery, the ultimate data saver for you.

How to use iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover overwritten files

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac from its official site for free.

Step 2: Click Scan to start looking for your lost files in the specific folder listed on the left.

Step 3: Use the filters and preview the files if necessary.

Step 4: Click on Recover to attain your files back.

This software is extremely easy to operate, regardless of your computer knowledge reserve. And as you may notice from the above, the process is quick and seamless without taking much time to finish. Apart from that, this efficient software guarantees you a high success rate and promised security. No worries about being attacked by malware or data leakage. Recently, one breakthrough iBoysoft makes is that the Mac data recovery software can be used and recover data from Recovery mode directly without creating an external bootable installer on M1 Macs.

Bonus reading

In case you wonder where did the overwritten or replaced files go, actually, depending on the macOS you are running, the size, and the type of the files, the overwritten data can remain in different places after you press the ‘replace file’ button. What the macOS is deleting is just a reference of your data instead of the real content. Therefore, with some feasible ways such as adopting backups and data recovery software, you can have the files back with ease.

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