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Macintosh OS/missing files from two sidebar folders


QUESTION: I established two additional folders on my sidebar and somehow all the files within these folders came up missing.  Other folders on the sidebar are okay.  I would like to recover these files, all are pictures.  Have tried several software programs and was not able to use them.  Can you help?

ANSWER: Are the pictures in iPhoto? If not, were the images in your User | Pictures folder?
If not were the files on an external hard drive, flash drive, or camera card?
Were the folders created Smart Folders?

Did the photos have unique names or generic photo names given by the camera?
Searching for a unique name with the free utility "Everything"

Files that are deleted on OSX are very difficult to recover.
Backups are incredibly important.

The best recovery software is Data Rescue 3 $100, you can download the demo and see if it finds the files. It will allow one file recovery for free, if it works you can buy it.

Installing software onto a hard drive containing lost files will make it more difficult for any recovery to work, backups are important.

DiskDrill is another recovery utility

Data Recovery FAQs

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QUESTION: In answering your questions above:  The pictures are not now in IPhoto.  I don't know if they were before as I don't really use IPhoto.  They were taken by my camera on a memory card.  I can't find them on any memory card.  I don't know what Smart Folders are.  After I took the pictures (which I now have print outs)  I saved them to my Pictures file.  I then set up these two "folders" on the sidebar:  one called For Sale Jewelry the other For Sale Items.  I transferred the pictures I wanted into these two folders.  I believe they would have stayed in the original Picture file; although they are not there now.  Each picture was given a name.  I have a MyPassport back up device, I think it's interfaced with Time Machine?, but I can't read anything that's on it.  I had thought these files would be there and they probably are but I don't see them as such.  I don't care to spent $100 to recover.  I tried several Recovery Programs on a trial basis and all I got was every picture I ever took and not the desired few files to recover.  I don't know why these two files, their content, that is, the empty files are still there,  lost their contents.  The other folders, or files if that's what they are called,  are there with transferred contents intact.  Strange.

ANSWER: Possibility one, you dragged the two FOLDERS from the Camera Card onto the Finder Window left pane.
The folders would appear, and would contain FILES until the Card is ejected.

A backup device that is not setup or understood is not a backup.
Open Time Machine preferences (TM icon in Menu Bar or in System Preferences) if it says the Last Backup was a certain date, you may find the Photos. If it says no recent backup, it is not working and should be setup.
If it does list a last backup date,,,
Open your Pictures Folder and then open Time Machine, the time bar on the right allows browsing the open Folder to see if you can find a date that contains the Photos.

Backup and testing the backup to make SURE it works is important.

About Time Machine

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QUESTION: there is an old back up   June 2014 but I didn't see the time bar you mention above.

If there is one backup, there will be no time bar on the right.
The videos about using Time Machine would be a good thing to look at.
Also, a functioning backup is a very good idea.

A very complete explanation of Time Machine is linked in my previous post.

Macintosh OS

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David Anders


Seattle - The Computer Guy - 15 yr veteran Mac/PC/network problem solving. Clients are design firms, artists, freelancers and photographers. PLEASE PLEASE provide EXACT info for Mac Model and OS Version. RAM installed - added cards - external devices - recent changes. Do you do MONTHLY MAINTENANCE? With what Utility? What you have tried and what result do you want.


First computer experience 1969. Worked in 3 computer stores. Setup First Mac and First IBM-PC.

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