In this article, we are going to show you how to recover deleted Pages documents on your Mac or MacBook. As Apple’s main word processing solution, many individuals use the program to create documents, some of which are very important. Everything is great until a user fails to save a file or one gets accidentally deleted.

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Fortunately, multiple methods enable you to recover lost Pages documents on your Mac. With any luck, one of these techniques will enable you to get your documents back safely. Read on and find out which one will work for your situation.

Problem

Solution

I have recently deleted the Pages document in question.

Check the Mac Trash bin for a quick and easy recovery. (Solution 1)

I can’t find my Pages document.

Try using Finder to locate your Pages files. (Solution 2)

I have accidentally permanently deleted an important Pages document.

Data recovery software can recover these files. (Solution 5)

My Pages app froze and did not save my Pages document.

Use the autosave or Revert To feature to get the most recent version of the file. (Solution 3)

A virus wiped out all of my Pages documents. Help!

Data recovery software or a backup should be able to recover your files. (Solution 5 | Solution 4)

My Mac crashed and I did not save my Pages document.

Use the autosave or Revert To feature to get the most recent version of the file. (Solution 3)

My Pages document disappeared.

Try using Finder to locate your Pages file. (Solution 2)

I want to restore an earlier version of a Pages document on my Mac.

You can use a backup or the Revert To feature of Pages. (Solution 4Solution 6)

My Pages documents on my iCloud Drive have disappeared.

Use the iCloud recovery procedure to get them back. (Solution 8)

Recover a Lost Pages Document on Mac From the Trash

Your Mac has a built-in feature that can help recover recently deleted files and folders. The Mac Trash bin is a special folder that temporarily stores items deleted from your computer. Use the following simple procedure to see if your deleted Pages file can be recovered from the Trash.

  1. Open the Trash by clicking on the Trash can icon.
  2. Scroll through the folder to locate the file you want to recover.
  3. Right-click on the file and select Put Back to restore the item to its original location.

put back pages document from trash mac

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Files are retained in the Trash bin until you manually empty it or until files are automatically deleted. You can use Finder’s Preferences to set the Trash to delete items after 30 days. More information on how to use the Trash bin efficiently can be found on this Apple support page.

Locate Unsaved Pages Document Recovery with Finder

You may be able to locate an unsaved Pages document using the Mac Finder application. Try using the following procedure to use Finder to search for your lost document.

  1. Open Finder and navigate to the File Menu tab at the top of the window.
  2. Open the File Menu and select the Find option.use find function on finder
  3. Click on This Mac in the search bar.
  4. Select Kind is Document.
  5. Choose As List and Date Modified from the View menu.find pages document on your mac
  6. Scroll through the list and search for potential Pages documents. Use the date and time to narrow your search.
  7. If you locate an item that may be your lost Pages document, drag and drop it on the Pages icon. The items will open if they are indeed Pages files. You can also try dropping the files on the TextEdit icon if they don’t open in Pages.
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This method may be able to help you locate and recover an unsaved Pages document. There will be many files listed, so it’s best to have a good idea of the date and time the file was created when conducting your search.

Use the Revert To Option to Recover a Lost Pages Document

When you save a file in Pages, the program saves it as a new version. Over time, you will accrue many versions of a file as it is modified and saved. This fact can be extremely helpful if you make extensive changes to a document and then decide you need to get back to an earlier version.

Use the following steps to go back to an earlier version of a Pages document.

  1. Open the current version of the document in Pages.
  2. Click on the File Menu and choose the Revert To option.
  3. Choose to recover the Last Saved or Last Opened file.choose revert to option on pages
  4. You can also Browse All Versions. You will be presented with a screen that allows you to scroll through the various versions of the file.
  5. Select the version you want and click the Restore button.
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The Pages Revert To option is a great way to recover from some overly enthusiastic editing and get back to a simpler version of your document. It’s another example of the built-in features that make using a Mac so productive and enjoyable.

Using Time Machine to Recover a Deleted Pages Document

Time Machine is Apple’s backup and recovery solution and is preinstalled on your Mac or MacBook. Using Time Machine is an excellent way to protect your valuable images, documents, and other types of files from the perils of unexpected data loss. It offers users a simple backup and recovery method that only requires a removable storage device that is used to store the backup files.

  1. Connect the storage device storing the Time Machine backup to your Mac.
  2. Open a Finder window in the folder that contained the lost Pages file.
  3. Open Time Machine by clicking the Time Machine icon on the menu bar.
  4. Use the app’s arrows and timeline to scroll through the local snapshots and backups and locate the document you want to retrieve.
  5. Choose the file to be recovered and click the Restore button. Your file will be restored to its original location where you can open it in Pages.

restore pages with time machine

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If you are not currently backing up your Mac with Time Machine, we strongly suggest you start right away. This Apple support page describes how to use Time Machine to back up your data. If you would like more detailed information regarding the power of restoring with Time Machine backups, check out our in-depth article on the subject.

Recover Deleted Pages Documents Using Data Recovery Software

Data recovery software can help get back deleted Pages documents that have not been backed up and are no longer available in the Trash. Before we describe this recovery method, let’s look at how it works and why it needs to be carried out promptly after discovering you have lost a file.

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IMPORTANT: Data recovery software needs to be used quickly after the data loss occurs to avoid overwriting or corrupting the desired files. When the Mac operating system deletes an item, it is not immediately physically removed from the storage device. The logical links that make the file accessible are deleted and the space the item occupied is marked as available for reuse by the system.

Each time you use the storage device that contained the deleted Pages document, you risk overwriting it with new data. For this reason, you need to stop using the device until the recovery process is complete. This includes not using the device for the download or installation of the data recovery tool.

Choosing a data recovery solution

Disk Drill logoThere are many data recovery solutions to choose from. We direct you to our review of the best options available for Mac. It provides a variety of products that can help you recover lost Pages documents.

We are going to use Disk Drill in our example of recovering deleted Pages files with software. We like it for several reasons including its nice interface, recovery capabilities, and additional data protection tools. You are invited to read our full review of Disk Drill for more information on this excellent recovery solution.

How to recover deleted Pages documents with Disk Drill

Follow these steps to use Disk Drill to restore deleted Pages files that can’t be restored with a backup or the Trash.

  1. Download and install Disk Drill for Mac on your computer. As previously noted, if the Pages documents are stored on your main disk drive, don’t use it for the download and installation. Use an external storage device like a USB drive to avoid losing more data.install disk drill 4 for mac
  2. Launch Disk Drill and select the disk where the lost Pages files were stored.
  3. Click the Search for lost data button to start scanning the disk. The default scanning method uses all of the possible scan modes and will produce the best recovery results.start scan your device
  4. Preview the found documents and select those you wish to recover. Choose a safe storage location that is not on the affected disk to save the recovered files.
  5. Click the Recover button to complete the process. The files will be recovered to your designated storage location.preview and recover pages file
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The key to using any data recovery software application is to perform the recovery before the deleted data is overwritten. That means stop using the device as soon as possible to ensure the best chance of a successful recovery.

Recover an Unsaved Pages Document with Auto Recovery

You can take advantage of auto recovery if your Mac’s Autosave feature is turned on. When the feature is active, files are automatically saved when you close an application. You are not prompted to save the file unless you have turned off this operating system feature. A nice explanation of how to turn off autosave is you wish is available on this page.

With Autosave turned on, you can’t accidentally forget to save your Pages doc when you close the app. Autosave also periodically saves the file and is responsible for creating new versions whenever you manually save a file. Accessing an unsaved file should be as simple as opening the file in Pages, which should present you with the more recently updated document.

You can also use the Revert To feature of Pages as described in an earlier section of this article. This feature allows you to access all of the previously saved versions of your document and recover whichever one you want.

revert to function on pages

Search the Temp Folder for Unsaved Pages Documents

If your computer crashes or Pages terminates unexpectedly, you might be able to rescue data from your Mac’s Temp folder. Here’s an overview of how to view the contents of the Temp folder.

  1. Open the Terminal application.
  2. Type the following command: echo $TMPDIR. The output of the command is the pathname to the TEMP folder.
  3. Use this command to view its contents: open $TMPDIR.open temp folder by terminal
  4. A Finder window will be displayed allowing you to view the files in TMPDIR.
  5. Search through the files and see if your Pages file is there. If so, attempt to open it in Pages.find pages folder in temp folder
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A detailed description of the temporary folders on your Mac and their various uses can be found on this page.

Recover Deleted Pages Documents from iCloud

Files stored on your iCloud Drive are backed up to the cloud. You can save your Pages docs to your iCloud Drive, and then recover them from iCloud if they are deleted. Consult this Apple help page if you need some assistance in setting up your iCloud Drive.

Follow these steps to recover deleted Pages files on your Mac.

  1. Go to iCloud.com and login with your Apple ID.
  2. Select Account Settings under your Profile’s drop-down menu.go to account settings icloud
  3. Click Restore Files.restore files from setting icloud
  4. Select the Pages files you want to recover.
  5. If you see the message “No files to restore”, go to this website.
  6. Log in with your Apple ID.
  7. Click on Recently Deleted in the bottom right corner.click on recently deleted on icloud drive
  8. Select the files you want and click Recover.recover deleted pages file from icloud drive
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Files are available to be restored through iCloud for 30 days after they have been deleted.

FAQ

Yes, Pages on Mac does autosave, but two conditions must be met for this feature to protect your documents.

  • You need to have saved a new Pages document manually for autosave to kick in. Once you have saved the file once, new versions will be created every time you see it and autosave will save the file once an hour.
  • You also need to have autosave activated in your Mac’s settings. Here’s what you need to do.
    1. Open Settings > General.
    2. Ensure the checkbox is unchecked for Ask to keep changes when closing documents.

Checking this box turns off autosave and will prompt you to save documents when you close them.

Unsaved Pages files can be recovered using the auto recovery or by searching the Mac Temp folder. Previous sections of this article describe these methods in detail. Please refer to them for step-by-step instructions.

Use the following procedure to recover an unsaved Pages document to a previous version on your iPad.

  1. Open Pages and tap Documents in the top-left corner to view your documents.
  2. Tap Select at the top of the screen and then tap the document you want to recover to a previous version
  3. Tap Versions at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap a previous version to select it.
  5. Tap Preview to preview the file. It can be searched and objects can be copied. You cannot edit the file.
  6. At this point you can:
    • Save a copy of the version shown in the preview.
    • Replace the current version with the preview version.
    • Close the preview and return to the current version.
  7. Tap Done.

Use the following procedure to recover a deleted Pages document on iPhone.

  1. Open Pages and tap Documents in the top-left corner.
  2. Tap the Locations tab in the top-left corner.
  3. In Locations, tap Recently Deleted.
  4. Perform one of the following actions:
  5. Recover one or more items by tapping Select and then tapping the documents you want to recover. Tap Recover to perform the recovery.
  6. Get information about a recently deleted item by touching and holding the name of the document or folder. Lift your finger and make your selection from the popup menu that is displayed.

You may or may not be able to recover a replaced Pages document based on how it was replaced. If you create a new file with the same name as a previously saved file and then save the new file, it will overwrite the original file and make it impossible to recover it.

If you have simply replaced a previous version of a file with updated information, you can use the Revert To feature to go back to a previously saved version of the file. The procedure to recover a Pages file using this method is described fully in a previous section of this article.

Conclusion

As long as you have not overwritten the deleted Pages document, it can be recovered from the Trash or with data recovery software. Backups will be necessary if the file was overwritten. In the case of unsaved Pages files, we have described multiple methods of recovering the most recently saved version of the file.

We hope this information helps you recover your lost Pages files. We strongly suggest you start backing up your files to provide another recovery option when things go wrong. Most data recovery apps like Disk Drill offer a free trial that will scan your disk and report on the recoverable data. It’s certainly worth a try.

Author • 49 articles

Robert Agar is the Content Writer & Managing Editor for Handy Recovery. Robert brings over 30 years of experience in data storage, security, compliance, backup, and recovery to the HandyRecovery team. Several years ago, he turned his attention from hands-on technical roles to develop a career as a freelance writer concentrating on technology and its impact on society. Areas of focus include the cloud, data recovery, artificial intelligence, and industrial automation.

Andrey Vasilyev
Editor • 0 articles

Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team.