I did the stupid thing of formating by accident the main SSD in my Macbook. I was using Windows through an external drive and hit the "Erase" button thinking it was another drive.

So I lost EVERYTHING in my computer and it won't boot as MacOS. I can use windows through the external ssd, and the formatted drive is "Not Allocated" right now. I only erased, I didn't mounted as a new format.

Is there any way to recover the partition/files?

  • 3
    Do we have to assume that you don't have a backup of your macOS partition?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 14:27
  • 1
    You really need to add more information about exactly how you erased. Also, which version of macOS and was macOS using APFS, JHFS+ or Core Storage? Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 15:14
  • Depending on which partition you've erased, you might be able to boot in recovery.
    – lhf
    Commented Feb 24, 2021 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


If you have a standard formatting (I assume it is hard to believe) then the chances are that you can restore it.

There are several forms of erasing a data carrier, including deleting the table of contents of a data carrier and erasing individual sectors of a volume.

Since mostly only the table of contents is deleted with a quick format, the data is still on the SSD, only the SSD or the operating system can no longer find any files.

It is therefore possible to restore the files, if you have restored the files, it is advisable to reinstall the macOS operating system, as sensitive files may have been damaged and the system does not work properly.

I use the Disk Drill program to create data. Please correct me if it's not good software


Yes, with an if. There are tools that recover partitions, eg. UFS Explorer. The 'if' is that this depends on the data not being overwritten with something else already, and some partition erasure utilities do give you the option to do that.

There are some cases where a partition may be directly restored, otherwise the utility may only give access to the files on the deleted partition, requiring you to copy them to an external drive. The latter is definitely the safer option, regardless.

I'd recommend taking the demo version of your utility of choice for a test and try to restore a few files to an external drive to make sure that it suits your needs before going any further.

If the data on your lost partition is crucial you'll have to decide if you feel it's worth taking to a data recovery expert instead of handling this on your own.

  • 2
    Acronis doesn't seem to support HFS or APFS, according to acronis.com/en-au/personal/disk-manager
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 14:42
  • Thanks! but wow that's expensive. There's any other affordable software? with this I will be able to get MacOS fully working again? Or I will get only the files and will have to install the system? Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 15:58
  • @LucasTaboada The personal licence for the example listed didn't seem too outrageous, it might be worth investigating if that meets your needs. I agree that the commercial licence is fairly expensive for purely personal needs. There are other tools but I haven't found a free one so far, they seem to be priced roughly in the ballpark of the personal licence of UFS explorer. Many of the tools offer a free demo version, if you're not too worried about potential data loss, that's likely to be the best way to get an idea of the features / methods offered and the suitability to your situation.
    – Scottmeup
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:54

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