Is there any way to recover a TextEdit document I deleted accidentally? Help!

It can be a chilling moment when you realise that the important document you've been working on has suddenly disappeared. Where has it gone? Was it in that window you just closed? When did you last save it? Did you ever save it? Well, before panic sets in there are a few things you can do to see if it's hiding somewhere on your system. So read on and hopefully we can help you recover any errant TextEdit documents on your Mac.

See also: How to recover deleted files | How to recover lost documents in Word for Mac

How to recover lost TextEdit files on Mac: Back up your data

Before we begin with ways to recover files it seems a good moment to point out how vital a regular backup routine is for any system. There are a number of ways to ensure that your data remains safe even if your physical devices experience trauma.

MacOS has its own dedicated backup software in the shape of Time Machine, but there is also a number of apps and online solutions available. Take a look at our guide to the Best free and paid-for backup software & services for Mac for some ideas. We also cover how to back up a Mac in a separate article.

How to recover lost TextEdit files on Mac: Check the Trash

If you've just accidentally deleted a document then it might still be in the Trash. To check if it's there, move your mouse pointer down to the Dock and over to the right side where the Trash icon lives. Double-click on it and a window will appear showing you everything currently inside.

How to recover lost TextEdit documents on Mac: Trash

If you do see your document, click on it then right-click to bring up the contextual menu. In here select Put Back and your file should return to the location from which it came.

how to recover lost textedit documents

How to recover lost TextEdit files on Mac: Restore deleted files from iCloud

If you've set up your TextEdit files to save in iCloud then its possible to retrieve documents even after you've deleted them. To do this open up your browser and go to

How to recover lost TextEdit documents on Mac: iCloud

Enter your Apple ID and then from the main menu choose Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to a section marked Advanced. Here you'll see the option to Restore Files.

how to recover lost TextEdit documents

Click this and you'll see a list of all the available files you can recover. iCloud will store items from the last 30 days and even includes unsaved documents (usually called Untitled.rtf). You can see how long each file has left until it is permenently deleted by looking to the right of its name.

To restore any of the files click the checkbox next to its title then click Done. The document will now be available in TextEdit once more.

How to recover lost TextEdit documents

How to recover lost TextEdit files on Mac: Using Time Machine backup

One last way of trying to recover files is through Apple's Time Machine backup app. If you regularly use the service then you should have a recent version of your system that could contain the now missing file. For a step by step guide to using this method try our Complete guide to Time Machine feature.

So there you go. Hopefully now you have your precious data back in your possession. Once again we'd recommend taking a look at setting up a regular backup on your machine. You never know when it might save the day or an important document.