Have you ever saved over an old file that you were working on? Did you mean to keep a copy of the original, but instead of clicking “save as” and creating a new file, you instead clicked “save” and replaced the old file with a new one? It feels like a stupid mistake, but it’s one that happens to the best of us.
Overwriting a file doesn’t have to be a permanent ordeal however. Often, when a file is replaced or overwritten, it isn’t destroyed, but simply moved to a different location. Sometimes you can retrieve the file in question by searching through temporary files in finder. Temporary files have an extension of .tmp and if you change the extension to .doc you can open them and re-save them on your drive.
Another easy fix is to run Time Machine. Time Machine will keep an automatic back up of all of your files so that in the event you lose something, all you need to do is search for the back up file and restore it. Don’t underestimate the elegant simplicity of Time Machine!
If this method doesn’t work you can download a recovery program such as uFlysoft Data Recovery. This program will scan your drive for overwritten files and it works on USB and external hard drives in addition to Mac devices.
All you have to do is select a recovery mode: Lost Data Recovery, Raw Data Recovery, and Partition Recovery. Each mode has a description so that you know which one to pick.
Once you’ve picked your mode, all you have to do is click “scan” and the app will search your computer for files.
Once you finish scanning, the program will list all of the files it found. At this point you can review each one individually to see if you want to restore it or not. The review process can get a little time consuming, but it’s better than losing your information permanently, right?
Upon isolating the correct file, click “recover” and the app will do the rest.