How to Recover Documents Folder Disappeared From Mac? [2024]

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Documents folder gone missing or disappeared from Mac? Don’t worry, this article has everything you need to know to restore the Documents folder that disappeared from your Mac. In case you have accidentally deleted files from the Documents folder on Mac, then make use of Remo Mac File Recovery, an effective data recovery software that will recover lost or deleted Documents folder on any Mac system.

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On Mac, the Documents folder is a default folder that aids with file organization. Due to some unexpected reasons, the Documents folder on Mac can disappear. This is a rather common issue on all macOS like macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, or any previous version. 

In any Mac device, the Documents folder is usually found – below the Favorites tab in the left panel of the Finder. You won't be able to access your crucial files if the Documents folder goes missing. This can be aggravating when you need to access critical files for an extensive project.

In this article, we will discuss a few reasons behind the Documents folder missing on Mac and how to unhide these disappeared Documents folder on Mac, as well as explain how to recover deleted, lost, or missing Documents folder on Mac without further ado let's start recovering MacBook Documents folder which is missing. 

Why Did My Documents Folder Disappear From Mac?  

The following are the reasons for the Documents folder disappearing on Mac.

  • iCloud drive syncing errors: If there are any errors in iCloud drive syncing, then the Documents folder might not show up in the Finder. However, you can find the Documents folder only on iCloud in such cases.
  • Accidentally Removed Documents folder from the Finder’s Sidebar: It's very likely that you might have switched off the Documents option visibility in the sidebar by accident. As a result, the Documents folder will no longer be visible in the Mac Finder Sidebar. 
  • Documents Folder Disappeared From Mac Dock:  You might accidentally remove the Documents folder from the Mac Dock.  
  • Human Error and Mistakes: You might have intentionally or accidentally deleted your Documents folder from your MacBook or iMac. 

How Can I Get the Disappeared Documents Folder Back on Mac?

Method 1: Get Back your Documents Folder on Mac from iCloud Drive

iCloud helps you synchronize your Documents folder on all Mac devices. Due to some iCloud Drive syncing errors, the files would fail to synchronize with the Mac. you can try the below steps to restore the Documents folder with the help of iCloud Drive.

How to Retrieve Documents Folder from iCloud?

  • Click on the System Preferences option from the Apple menu.
  • Click on the iCloud option.
  • Now click on the Desktop & Documents Folders to uncheck the option.
Click on the icloud drive to unhide Documents folder on Mac
  • Note: Now, you will likely receive a notification on the screen, as shown in the below image. Then you can click on the Turn Off button.  
click on the Turn Off button
  • Then finally, click on the Done option.

You can go back to your iCloud Drive to check your Document folder. Verify if you are able to view your files or not. If it is empty, drag them from iCloud Drive into the Documents folder. This will make the files reappear in the Documents folder. 

If you have deleted files from iCloud, refer to this article to find out how to recover deleted files from iCloud

Method 2: Fix the Documents Folder Missing on Mac Finder Sidebar  

There might be a possibility of accidentally removing your Documents folder from the Mac Finder’s Sidebar. Follow the steps below to make the Documents folder visible on the Sidebar again.

  • Click on the Finder option > then select the Finder Preferences option from the Finder menu. 
  • Now go to the Sidebar tab > and click on the Documents option.
Click on the Finder Sidebar

Now this will easily restore the missing or disappeared Documents folder on Mac. In case you are unable to find the Documents folder, then move to the next section of the article. 

Method 3: Fix the Unable to Find My Documents Folder on Mac Dock

If the Documents folder is missing from the Mac Dock, you must re-dock them in the Finder window.

  • To re-dock the missing Documents folder, go to the Finder icon > and then Control-click on the Document option.
  • Now click on Add to Dock option.
add the documents folder to dock

Method 4: Debilitate Desk Stacks to View Disappeared files from the Documents folder on Mac

The Desk Stacks feature is available in the macOS Mojave and later versions.  This feature will help you free up your space by organizing your desktop files extemporaneously.

Sometimes updating your Mac from Catalina to Big Sur or any later versions.   like macOS, Mojave, and later versions. You might experience losing files due to an update. However, with the Desk Stack feature (which is supported in macOS Mojave and later versions), these files get grouped in Desk Stack. Follow the steps below to recover missing files.

Note: Use the below steps if you are using (macOS Mojave or the later versions).

  • Select the View option on the top of your desktop and check the Use Stacks option.
  • Click on the Group Stacks By option to see if the files have been grouped.
  • Find your lost files and restore them to the place you want.

How to Recover Deleted or Lost Documents Folder on Mac?

Method 1: Recover Disappeared Documents Folder on Mac Using a Powerful Mac Data Recovery Tool

In case you have deleted/lost files from the Documents folder on Mac, for which you have no backup. Then it is recommended to use a powerful data recovery software like Remo.

Remo Mac File Recovery Software is a powerful data recovery software built with an advanced scan engine that scans every sector of the drive to recover deleted or lost files from the Documents folder on Mac. The tool is designed to recover data from APFS, HFS+, HFS, and exFAT file systems. 

Download the tool now and start recovering the deleted Documents folder on Mac.

How to Recover Deleted Documents Folder on Mac Using Remo File Recovery Software for Mac?

Step 1: Download and install Remo Recover Mac on your computer.

Step 2: Launch the software, select the volume from where the documents folder was present, and click on Scan.

select the volume and click on scan to recover documents folder

Step 3: Click on Dynamic Recovery View to see the files and folders being recovered from the volume.


Step 4: Double-click to preview the recovered files from the volume.

preview the recovered files

Step 5: Click on the Recover button to save the recovered files and folders in your preferred location

save the recovered files

Apart from recovering deleted Documents folders and other data like user downloads folder can be recovered using Remo Recover.  

Method 2: Recover Lost Files from the Document Folder on Mac using Time Machine

In some instances, even after unhiding the Documents folder on Mac, the files might not reflect, and the Documents folder will still be empty. Time Machine comes in handy to restore lost files from the My Documents folder. Follow the steps below to recover the deleted Document folder on Mac.

  • Connect your external hard drive on which you have taken backup.
  • In order to enable iCloud in System Preferences, click on the Apple menu (which is found on the top line of your Mac screen) and select System Preferences.  
  • Now click on the Time Machine.  
  • After clicking on the Time Machine icon on the menu bar, select Enter Time Machine option.
  • Select the files which you want to restore and click on the Restore option.

Now you will be able to access the files again; in the case you have not taken the backup of your files, then it is recommended to make use of a reliable data recovery tool like Remo to recover deleted files on Mac.

If you are looking to recover disappeared Mac desktop files, refer to this article to find out how to recover disappeared or missing desktop files on Mac.

deleted My Document folder on Windows, then refer to this article on how to restore the My Documents folder on Windows

If you are still using older versions of Mac, why not upgrade to the latest macOS? Follow this article to find out how to upgrade to Ventura without losing data

Final Words:

I hope this article was helpful in recovering the missing or disappeared Documents folder on Mac. It is quite a common problem faced by Mac users. However, with the methods mentioned above, you should be able to get back the data from the Documents folder without any hassle. It is recommended to take a backup of your data regularly to avoid such data loss scenarios in the future. If you end up in any data loss scenarios in the future, you can always rely on Remo Mac File Recovery Software. 

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…