Recover files using Time Machine and Spotlight on Mac
If you use Time Machine to back up your Mac, you can use Spotlight to initiate a search of Time Machine to recover lost or deleted items.
Note: In apps that let you create and save documents, such as TextEdit and Preview, you can also retrieve earlier versions of documents from within the app. See View and restore past versions of documents on Mac.
On your Mac, open a Finder window, then type a search word or phrase in the search field in the upper-right corner.
Refine the results by specifying search criteria using the search bar.
Click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar, then choose Enter Time Machine.
If the Time Machine icon isn’t in the menu bar, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Time Machine, then select “Show Time Machine in menu bar.”
Use the arrows and timeline to browse the Time Machine backups.
Select one or more items you want to restore (these can include folders or your entire disk), then click Restore.
Restored items return to their original location. For example, if an item was in the Documents folder, it’s returned to the Documents folder.