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How to Recover Unsaved Photoshop File on Mac OS

Saving data while working is a rare habit. Designers are frequently found banging their heads against a wall, crying over lost photoshop work. This tutorial might help ease the pain in that case.

I had previously posted an article on how to recover an unsaved file in Adobe Photoshop on Windows. After receiving many comments and emails, I am now writing this tutorial on how to do the same on Mac OS. I’ll be using OS X Yosemite for this tutorial. However, the procedure is the very same for other versions too.

At times, the recovery file does not show up on restarting Photoshop. Here’s how to manually get to it:
Apple, don’t know why seems to hide the user files. So, you might not be able to get to the auto recover file through spotlight. But, directly opening the folder might do the job for you.

Open up a finder window and press COMMAND + SHIFT + G to open up the go to folder dialogue box as shown in the image below.

mac photoshop re

Now in the dialogue box, copy paste the the link to directory given below:
~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS6/AutoRecover

This will take you to the folder where you can find your weirdly-named recovery files which might save you a lot of time and effort 😉

Here’s one untitled file I had been working in the AutoRecover folder.

auto-recover file
I hope this will be helpful for mac users.

Written by Ali Zohaib

Currently studying Computer Science at LUMS. I am an avid designer, part-time blogger and technology enthusiast.


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  1. Oh God, you literally saved tonnes of hours for me <3.Got hopeless after the f** crash , I would definately have given up on the project. God bless you. 🙂

  2. You have saved my life! Literally! I broke into a cold sweat when my three-days’ work suddenly crashed. Thank you so much.

  3. Also- just found something cool – if you go to the Autosave folder and the file isn’t there- use Time machine and go back and your previously unsaved file appears because if you use the autosave feature in Photoshop- it will be saved in the Autosave folder whether Photoshop crashes or not. I just accidentally closed a file and hadn’t saved and was able to go back in time in the Autosave folder using Time machine. This was very helpful because when I reopened the photoshop file- I realized how much I had lost, and then I had it opened over 5 minutes (what my autosave is set to) so it rewrote to the autosave folder- I had to go back in time a little. Thank you so much for this post- was very very helpful.

  4. Thank you for getting me there, unfortunately there was nothing in my recovery folder even though it happened this morning. Better luck next and thank you for leading the way!! 😉

    • Probably too late for you now, but here’s an extra tip I found if you use Time Machine for backups.

      I too went to the recovery folder and there was nothing there (I think because I had never saved the file and I knowingly closed it without saving it – i.e. it wasn’t a system crash)

      Then I remembered that I hadn’t actually worked on/updated the file since last night. So I navigated to this folder, then go to the Time Machine icon on the menubar and click “Enter Time Machine”. Then scroll back to a previous point in time (I chose the last backup of the evening before). You will probably then see the PSD file(s).

      Restore this file somewhere (like your Desktop) – double-click and it should open. You can then re-save as required.

      Hope that helps someone else.

  5. This tip still works for subsequent versions i.e. Adobe CC, just change the directory path after ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/ – in fact you “Go to” that path and then search. In my case it was ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC 2015/AutoRecover

  6. Thanks for this!!! My MacBook doesn’t seem to be able to find the folder – is there anything else I can do? Just lost hours of work :/

  7. Maybe you can try uFlysoft Data Recovery for Mac, it can recoverfiles on Mac only in three steps:
    Step 1. Launch the software to scan the device where your files deleted
    Step 2: Preview the scan result files and make mark if it is the one you find
    Step 3: Recover files

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