How to Recover Lost PNG Image Files on Mac?

menu_default hide_default

Data loss is inevitable and one of the most common types of files Mac users often lose or accidentally delete are the PNG images. The good news is, it is possible to recover lost PNG image file on Mac and there are a number of ways to do it. If you are a Mac user and you are in a similar situation and wondering how to recover PNG image file on Mac, then you will be glad to know that you can recover deleted PNG file on Mac quite easily. Read on to learn about the most efficient ways to retrieve those valuable files.

Part 1: Overview of PNG Image File

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. It is one of the most popular file formats that is used for lossless image compression. This MIME media type image format that uses the file extension PNG or png was developed as a non-patented, improved replacement for Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). It was published in March 1997 and has been widely used ever since.

Similar to GIF image files, PNG image files include a bitmap featuring a variety of indexed colors. PNG format is commonly used to store web graphics, digital photographs, and images with transparent backgrounds. PNG image file format is best suitable for business charts, line drawings, signs, logos, banners, and so forth. Furthermore, it is used in a number of ways, e.g. downloading an image from a website, receiving a digital image attached to an email, taking a screenshot on a computer, and more.

Part 2: Possible Reasons for Lost PNG Files on Mac

No matter how careful you are, you may experience accidental deletion of your valuable data at some point in your life. Losing PNG image files is more common as it is the primary file format in which Mac users store their photographs. There could be a number of reasons behind lost PNG files on Mac. Following are some of the common causes:

  • Accidental Deletion: Accidentally deleting the PNG images or emptying the Trash containing those images is the primary cause behind lost PNG files on Mac.

  • Intentional Deletion: Sometimes Mac users delete various files to free up storage space. PNG files are often included in the deletion process.

  • Virus or Malware Attack: A virus or malware attack can corrupt or even delete the PNG files stored on Mac.

  • Hardware Malfunction: A malfunctioning or dying hard disk may lead to data loss.

  • Software Issue: Software errors are a common cause of lost PNG files on Mac.

  • System Crash: A sudden system crash due to power failure or some other reason can result in lost or deleted PNG files on Mac.

Part 3: How to Recover Lost/Deleted PNG Files on Mac?

Having your valuable PNG files lost/deleted on your Mac can be an uncomfortable and worrying experience. Fortunately, it is possible to recover those files. Generally, there are several steps that you can take to recover or restore your deleted/lost PNG files. Two of the most popular and commonly used methods include using Time Machine Backup and using a professional image file recovery tool to recover lost/deleted PNG files.

1Restore Deleted PNG Images on Mac with Time Machine Backups

Using Time Machine is one of the most common ways to recover lost or deleted files on Mac. Time Machine is a useful utility on Mac that, when enabled, automatically creates backups of your valuable data on regular basis. You can then use those backups to restore and retrieve your deleted files quite easily. So, if you had Time Machine enabled on your Mac before your PNG images got deleted, then you don’t need to worry as those images are safe in one of the Time Machine backups. All you need to do is navigate back to the desired date in Time Machine utility and choose the PNG images for restoration.

Following these instructions to quickly retrieve your lost PNG images on Mac with Time Machine Backup:

Step 1: Connect your Mac with the Time Machine Backup disk and then use the Status menu to launch Time Machine. Alternatively, you can also find and run Time Machine utility via Finder.

png image file recovery on mac - Time Machine Backups

Step 2: Once Time Machine utility is launched, scroll the timeline from the screen’s bottom-right corner. Your goal here is to look for the date before your PNG images got deleted and find the backup of those images.

how to recover png image file on mac - Time Machine Backups

Step 3: After finding the Time Machine backup of desired date, browse and select the PNG images that you wish to recover. After that, click on the Restore button. The restoration process will begin.

recover/restore/retrieve deleted png file on mac - Time Machine Backups

2Recover Lost PNG Files on Mac with Image File Recovery Tool

While Time Machine is a great way to get back deleted PNG images, it has some limitations. For instance, it needs to be enabled in order to create and store regular backups and if it’s backups don’t contain the PNG files that you wish to retrieve, then there is nothing you can do about it. In such scenarios, you will need to rely on a professional image file recovery tool. Data recovery tools excel at finding and recovering deleted/lost files where other methods fail. AnyRecover is a powerful image file recovery tool that you can use to find and successfully retrieve all kinds of data, including PNG images.

AnyRecover Mac Data Recovery

1,000,000 + Downloads

Key Features of AnyRecover:

Recover all types of data, including PNG and JPG images, videos, archives, audio, documents, and more.

Recover lost/deleted PNG files no matter whether they got deleted due to system crash, virus/malware attack, hardware malfunction, etc.

Free preview your deleted PNG images before recovery.

Easy to use and very high successful data recovery rate.

Fully compatible with almost all macOS versions, including Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, as well as older versions.

Download NowDownload Now

Follow this 3-step process to recover your lost/deleted PNG files on Mac with AnyRecover:

Step 1: Launch AnyRecover on your Mac and use its interface to navigate to the location where your PNG files were stored before deletion. Then click on the Start button. The software will start the scanning process.

select a location

Step 2: Wait till AnyRecover completes its all-round scanning process. Once the scanning is complete, you will see a list of recoverable files.

scan selected drive

Step 3: From that list, preview and choose the PNG images that you wish to recover and then click the Recover button to initiate the recovery process.

scanned files preview and recover

Bonus: Tips About Avoiding PNG Data Loss on Mac

Even though there are several ways to recover deleted PNG images on Mac, it’s best to take steps to make sure that you don’t have to use those ways in the first place. There are also steps to ensure successful data recovery in case the files do get lost/deleted. You can avoid PNG data loss on Mac by following these tips:

  • Don’t Overwrite Data: Stop saving new data on your hard disk as soon as you discover that your PNG files are deleted.

  • Shut Down Your Mac Properly: Never shut down your Mac when it’s storing data or performing tasks like creating partitions, formatting hard disk, etc. Always let such tasks complete before shutting down your Mac properly.

  • Use a Reliable Data Recovery Tool: Not all data recovery tools are equal in performance. Use AnyRecover to make sure that the recovery process does not erase your existing PNG files.


PNG images are the most common type of files that get lost or deleted on Mac. Fortunately, there are ways to recover them. You can either retrieve them from your Time Machine backups or use a reliable image recovery tool like AnyRecover for this purpose. To prevent PNG file loss, it is highly recommended that you keep Time Machine utility enabled at all times and in case of deletion, stop writing new data to increase the chances of successful recovery.

Download NowDownload Now


By  Simon Marcus , to Photo Recovery

Updated on Dec 02, 2020

Related Articles: