Cannot Open TextEdit Files on Mac? Here are the Methods to Retrieve the Previous Files

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Yulia Ilina

Why you cannot open TextEdit files on Mac, which used to open just fine? Of course, you can simply update TextEdit to find out whether it works. If it still does not work, the TextEdit files might be damaged. Just check the file size of the file and retrieve it on your MacBook accordingly. If you are not familiar with the process, here is the ultimate guide about how to retrieve the TextEdit files on Mac that you cannot open.

Can't Open TextEdit Files on Mac

Part 1: Cannot Open TextEdit Files on Mac, What Should You Do

Besides the TextEdit app, is there an alternative to open TextEdit files on Mac, especially when you need to open a text file as root? The Terminal is another way to open TextEdit and check the status, especially when you need to find out whether the text file is damaged.

Step 1: Go to the Applications folder and choose the Utilities folder. After that, you can simply double-click the Terminal app to open the application on your MacBook.

Step 2: To open TextEdit on your MacBook, you can enter the command line sudo -b /Applications/ After that, you can import the text files to TextEdit.

Step 3: Once your root instance is open, you can start browsing for your files via the following command line to open widsmob.conf file with the TextEditor app on your MacBook accordingly.

sudo su - root -c "open -e /etc/apache2/widsmob.conf"

Part 2: How to Retrieve TextEdit Files You Cannot Open on Mac

If you cannot find any content with Terminal or TextEditor on your MacBook, the file might be damaged. What should be the best alternative to retrieve the lost TextEditor files on Mac? Here are 3 workable methods you should know to get them back.

Method 1: How to Retrieve TextEdit Files via AutoSave

TextEdit has the default autosave feature to recover lost documents and HTML files. When the TextEdit app crashes or is frozen, you can reopen it to show the unsaved file and retrieve TextEdit files on Mac.

Step 1: Launch TextEdit on Mac and check whether the files are available on your Mac. If you cannot find the desired file, you can find the Unsaved TextEdit Document.rtf with the TextEdit autosave location.

~/Library/Containers/ Information

Step 2: Go to the Finder app and press the Shift + Command + G buttons to launch the Go to Folder app. After that, you can copy and paste the TextEdit autosave location above to enter the destination folder.

Step 3: After that, you can search for the files with the RTF extension. Open and retrieve the lost or unsaved TextEdit files with the default app. You can save the re-opened file with the desired file name.

Open TextEdit Mac

Method 2: How to Retrieve TextEdit Files through iCloud

If you have already set your TextEdit files to be saved in iCloud, you can also retrieve them from the backup files. iCloud can store items for up to 30 days that find your unsaved documents with a named Untitled.rtf.

Step 1: Open your web browser and go to You can select the Settings button from the main menu and choose the Advanced section. After that, you can select the Data Recovery option.

Step 2: Go to the Data Recovery window, you can choose the Restore Files menu to choose the desired files. Just select the unsaved or deleted files you want to restore via name, size, and other parameters.

Step 3: Locate the .rtf file you’ve lost, tick the checkbox for the files and press the Restore button. When you get the desired files, you can retrieve TextEdit files on your MacBook before deletion.

Restore TextEdit Via iCloud

Method 3: How to Recovery TextEdit Files with Mac Data Recovery

When you cannot recover TextEdit files on Mac, Mac Data Recovery is all-featured data recovery software to get back more than 100+ file formats. It enables you to retrieve the RTF files from crashed Mac, hard drive, recycle bin, and virus attack. Moreover, you can also search for the desired files from the retrieved files.

1. Retrieve the lost, unsaved, and deleted RTF files via all connected devices.

2. Search for RTF files from the restored files via file name, path, and file type.

3. Provide a high success rate to recover the TextEdit files on your MacBook.

4. Scan the lost RTF with both a quick scan and a deep scan to find the lost files.

Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Download and install Mac Data Recovery on your MacBook. Launch the program and click the Start button in the Mac Data Recovery tab to get back the unsaved TextEdit files you cannot open with the application on your MacBook.

Mac Data Recovery

Step 2: Choose the disk drive and lost data type. When you need to retrieve the lost TextEdit files only, you can only select Email, Document, as well as Others before clicking the Scan button. It will retrieve the lost RTF files as well as Word, Excel, and more.

Scan Mac

Step 3: Once you have retrieved the TextEdit files on Mac, you can locate and preview the lost files. Moreover, you can also enter the name or path in the Filter column to locate the files. Click the Recover button to get the TextEdit files back to your Mac.

Deep Scan Mac Win Download Mac Download


If you cannot open the TextEdit files on Mac, especially when the files are unsaved or damaged, here are the workable methods you should know. To open and check the files on Mac, you can simply use the command line to find the detailed status. When you need to retrieve the TextEdit files on Mac, here are 3 simple and workable methods you can follow.