Data is invaluable. Some have monetary value, like your bank account details or official paperwork. Others have emotional value attached to them and are irreplaceable, like family pictures. All these are stored in your hard drive, where anything can go wrong. It can encounter technical errors like malware attacks or drive failures, or you could accidentally delete a file and realize afterward that you needed the contents within it.
Keeping a Mac data recovery software can help you recover all the lost data from your Mac hard drive. There are various recovery software available, each suited for different types of users. Hence, before committing to a program, it is important to understand the functionality so you can choose the best Mac data recovery software for yourself.
What is Mac Data Recovery Software?
A Mac data recovery software is a program that retrieves lost data from a Mac. It does this by first scanning the hard drive or disk partition. Afterward, it extrapolates all the files previously stored inside that drive and presents them to you.
How Do Mac Data Recovery Programs Work?
These programs work because deleted files aren’t completely “deleted” from your computer. In most cases, deleted files are just marked as “deleted” and are ready to be overwritten with new data. Until they are overwritten, recovery programs can still scan and collect these files.
Macs with TRIM enabled are the exception to this since TRIM is a feature that automatically overwrites deleted data when your Mac is idle to preserve the SSD’s lifespan.
Besides file restoration, many of these data recovery software for Mac are also great data management tools.
How We Tested and Picked the Best Mac Data Recovery Software in 2024
With new Mac software updates every year, it is important to use a Mac data recovery software that is compatible and gets the job done with a high success rate. As well as considering the most optimized and up-to-date program, the following criteria also guided us in picking the best Mac data recovery software for you:
- Ease of use – The entire recovery process is quick and feels seamless.
- Amount of data retrieved – Only the software with extensive scanning abilities and high recovery rates were picked.
- Availability of extra features – Having extra features on top of restoring files is a bonus.
- Versatility – They are capable of retrieving data from various data loss cases.
- Popularity – We chose software with a respectable brand reputation and a lot of positive reviews from customers.
Top 10 Best Mac Data Recovery Software in 2024
Here is an intricate guide on the best Mac data recovery software and what sets each one apart.
- Best for: Total hard drive recovery in original form
- System Requirements: macOS X 10.10 or higher
- Price: Free version available. $55.95 for a monthly subscription. $59.95 for a yearly subscription. $69.95 one-time payment for a lifetime subscription. $119.95 one-year business license for 5 Macs.
If you are looking for a complete recovery suite, then the 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery Software is a great option. The smart scanning and filtering features within the software will help you effortlessly restore lost files in their original form. Additionally, this tool’s success rate is satisfactory on all platforms, like hard drives, SD cards, camera storage, and more.
Another benefit of this software is the algorithm inside that helps identify lost data from CPU failure, Disk format, or Disk damage. In such scenarios, even if the data is corrupt to some extent, 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery Software repairs the data structure and uploads it back into your Mac.
The 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery Software is a complete package for someone who doesn’t want to meddle with the technical details of Mac data recovery too much while availing of the premium features of a comprehensive package that will help solve all problems related to data loss.
- Recover data from crashed Macs
- Restores files deleted from Trash
- Shows the path of the deleted files
- Scans can get lengthy if the file size is too big
- Best for: Retrieving formatted files as well as corrupt files
- System requirements: macOS Monterey 12.0 and lower
- Price: Free version available. $89.99 yearly subscription for the professional package. $99.99 yearly subscription for the premium package. $149 yearly subscription for the technician package for 3 systems.
If you feel like getting into the technical details of data recovery by tweaking the software to your needs, then Stellar Data Recovery for Mac will serve you well. Moreover, it includes tools to repair corrupt images and videos after recovery.
There are two types of scans. The “Quick Scan” scans smaller storage volumes for efficient retrieval of data. On the other hand, “Advance Scan” helps restore data from complicated platforms like formatted volumes. It takes more time and pays fine attention to detail to recover all files from the formatted storage.
Then, it recommends the correct data repair tools to use in case any restored file is corrupt. These easy steps make Stellar Data Recovery for Mac a great choice for Mac recovery software.
- Restores data from external drives as well
- Includes repair tools for corrupt image and video files
- Allows you to create clone drives for data recovery
- Can recover data from encrypted drives and storages
- Limited features in the free version
- Best for: Professionals and tech-savvy people
- System requirements: macOS 10.6 and higher
- Price: Standard package is $79.99 one-time payment. The recovery over network package is a $179.99 one-time payment. The commercial use package is an $899 one-time payment.
Often, data recovery software for Mac fail to gauge the proper data structure for complex file types, hence the restoration process is incomplete. And with new technology, data structures are getting even more complex. If you are a professional working with various file formats and want a smart tool to safely recover your data, then R-Studio for Mac is a reliable option.
On top of recovering all the deleted or lost data on Mac, this software provides excellent disk monitoring tools that notify you of the current disk status of your Mac and how prone it is to damage your data in the future.
R-Studio for Mac’s interface has a steep learning curve, so it is better suited for people who have previously used Mac data recovery software and want a professional upgrade.
- Can recover all file formats
- Helps gauge the probability of file restoration
- Comes with disk monitoring tools
- Repairs damaged or corrupt RAID arrays
- Complex interface
- Hard to locate features within the software
- Best for: Recovering data damaged from malware attacks
- System Requirements: macOS 12.0 or higher
- Price: Free version available. The Essential package is $79.99 per year. The Standard package is $99.99 per year. The premium package is $139.99 per year for two Macs.
Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac includes a three-step data recovery process to provide one of the fastest data restoration services. The developers have taken the feedback of users into account and prepared a user-friendly interface that is very easy to navigate through.
The software displays an overview of the data to make it easier to filter out unnecessary ones before it starts the recovery process. Similarly, the versatility of this software makes it an amazing choice for commercial usage as it supports multiple file and storage types.
However, this software does not come with data protection tools. So if your goal is to use a reliable program for data retrieval only, Recoverit Data Recovery will help ease your headache.
- Gives a preview of files before recovering to filter out unnecessary data
- Compatible with all disk types
- Easy to set up
- Limited features in the free version
- Best for: Beginners and first-time Mac recovery software users
- System requirements: macOS 10.9 to MacOS 10.15
- Price: Free trial available. $89.95 per month. $119.95 per year. $169.95 one-time payment.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard does magic when it comes to recovering your lost files on Mac, especially images and videos. Most of the options within this software are preset so it is easy for beginners to understand and start using quickly. The software optimizes the file scans to backtrack on the file path so that the entire process is completed in the fastest time possible.
EaseUS offers up to 2GB of free data recovery for anyone looking to experience how this tool functions before purchasing it. And even if you do not like the software after purchase, you can avail of the 30-day money-back policy to get a complete refund.
The quick data scanning and the short step-by-step tutorials make it an amazing choice for beginners who accidentally deleted essential data and do not want to sit through long tutorial processes.
- Recovers up to 2GB of data for free
- Conducts super-fast scans for missing files
- Includes step-by-step tutorials for beginners
- Has a limited number of features
6. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac
- Best for: Accidental file deletions
- System requirements: macOS 10.11 or later
- Price: Free trial available. $49.99 one-time payment for one Mac. $74.99 one-time payment for two Macs. $137.99 one-time payment for five Macs.
A major reason why Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is on this list is its ease of use. Upon launching, it greets you with a question on the type of data loss problem you are facing. Then, you are presented with the various methods you can choose to recover your data. Once you select an option, the software optimizes the rest of the tasks on its own, leaving you carefree while it restores your lost data.
This software is most handy in recovering data that you deleted from the Trash. Other software tend to skip out on a few bugged files, but Cisdem will carefully scan each item and analyze any threats before recovering all the essential data back to your Mac hard drive.
Compatible with around 200 different file types, Cisdem is constantly updating to strengthen all its internal features. This convenient software has a 30-day money-back policy to refund your money in case you do not like the product.
- Constantly giving out updates to enhance user experience
- Easy to use
- Includes 5 different types of data recovery methods for different file types
- Lacks pre-scan filtering options
7. DiskWarrior for Mac
- Best for: Disk health checkups, as well as recovered data analytics
- System requirements: macOS 10.5.8 to MacOS 11.0
- Price: $119.95 one-time payment.
If you are not able to access a particular disk on your Mac, chances are it’s broken. You will have to look for a disk repair and data recovery tool to restore the corrupt data within that disk. And both these features are available on DiskWarrior for Mac.
DiskWarrior specializes in repairing and recovering data from damaged disks. You just have to rebuild the disk using the software and then let the SMART technology scan and fix the disk while retrieving the data within it.
Besides these, DiskWarrior gives in-depth statistics about your disk health status, enabling you to make smart decisions about your Mac’s future storage options. Having this tool at your disposal will surely save you from future headaches.
- Provides in-depth analysis of disk status
- Gives useful statistics about files
- Helps avoid future drive malfunctioning
- Disk scans can take some time to finish
8. SoftTote Mac Data Recovery
- Best for: Recovering images and lost data from disk partitions
- System requirements: macOS 10.7 to MacOS 10.14
- Price: $59.99 one-time payment
A major drawback in many Mac data recovery software is that the developers compromise the UI to enhance performance. As a result, many new users find it hard to get to know the technical know-how of a data recovery software. However, SoftTote does an amazing job at providing the best performance with a simple UI for users. It is an amazing choice for beginners as it will guide you through the important steps quickly.
With this program, you can specify which type of file you are looking to restore. It supports most file types, including NTFS, HFS, HFS+, HFSX, HFS Wrapper, and FAT.
This software is best used right after you detect a loss of data files. This is because the data detection tools are more efficient at finding the latest data path across your storage. Even though SoftTote is not available on the latest macOS, it is still a great option for users running macOS 10.7 to MacOS 10.14.
- Great at assembling partitioned files
- Guides through the entire recovery process for newbies
- Executes fast and efficient scans to locate lost data
- Supports a limited number of file types
9. TechTool Pro
- Best for: Large file restoration
- System requirements: macOS X 10.10 or higher
- Price: $149.99 one-time payment for the full version. $289.99 one-time payment for the business package.
TechTool Pro includes a plethora of features, not only to retrieve lost data but also to monitor other parts of your Mac, like the RAM, network connectivity, and CPU clock speed.
This comprehensive tool also comes with a Volume Rebuild tool, which will fix any basic problems with your drive. In case any bug develops in your hardware, you can use the testing suite of TechTool Pro to verify which parts are problematic and how to fix them.
Another fantastic feature it has is the TechTool Protection, which allows you to create a backup of the directory structure of important files on your Mac. So, in case you accidentally delete an important file, you can track it to the backup created by TechTool Protection and quickly recover it without any hassle.
- Alerts you to potential drive glitches and failures
- Includes memory tests to check RAM health
- Displays processor clock speed
- Helps monitor the data recovery process
- Requires purchase of additional licenses to avail more features
10. Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac
- Best for: Recovering deleted media files
- System requirements: macOS X 10.7 or higher
- Price: Free trial available. Multiple packages start from $85 to $299.
Ontrack EasyRecovery is an interactive Mac data recovery software. It stands out because it takes proper instructions from you and subsequently recovers the missing data in the correct order. For instance, you can input a specific file name and its contents to recover it directly.
Another noteworthy feature of the Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac is the Advanced RAID recovery, which helps restore lost data from inaccessible or corrupt RAID 0, 5, and 6 volumes. This comprehensive data recovery tool conducts precise scans across various storage media, such as HDDs, SSDs, and optical drives. The extensive scanning ability coupled with the hard drive health monitoring tools makes it a complete data management toolkit.
- Quick user prompt and scan
- Filters out irrelevant data
- Categorizes according to file types to make searches easy
- Layered design makes it hard to navigate through at first
Free Data Recovery Software for Mac
Although data recovery for Mac might seem like a demanding task, you can get it done for free too. There are Mac data recovery programs that are not only free but are great options for beginners to learn the technicalities of data restoration. Therefore, we’ve filtered out the best free data recovery software for Mac to make things easier for you.
11. TestDisk for Mac
- Best for: Command prompt users
- System requirements: macOS X 10.5 to MacOS 10.14
- Price: Free
Presenting to you an extremely familiar Mac recovery software for command prompt users, TestDisk for Mac. The software has an intimidating look for someone who has no prior experience with the CP interface. However, the efficiency with which this program gets your data back is praiseworthy for a free software.
On top of having a substantial data retrieval success rate, this program is very lightweight with minimum RAM usage, so it will put little to no strain on your Mac. The interface needs some getting used to if you are just starting, but it will do a satisfactory job of restoring your lost data for free.
- Open-source file recovery program
- Works on multiple storage types such as SSDs, HDDs, M.2 nVME
- Backdated user interface
12. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery
- Best for: People looking to learn how Mac recovery software works
- System requirements: macOS X 10.5 to MacOS X 10.9
- Price: Free
Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is another free tool that allows you to recover images, videos, audios, and documents of HFS/ HFS+ FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT file types. Quite a considerable amount, considering that this is freeware.
Other praiseworthy features this software has are options to Quick Scan and Deep Scan disks to retrieve files depending on their complexity and size. As a result, the entire process is more efficient and will save you a lot of time.
A downside to this free data recovery software for Mac is that the developers stopped giving out updates after 2014. Therefore, the software is not compatible with any OS after MacOS X 10.9. But if you have the correct system requirements, then you will be astonished at the successful recoveries this freeware can execute.
- Filter files while the software keeps scanning
- You can choose the file type you want to recover
- Offers multiple recovery options
- Does not include data protection tools
- Does not support APFS
Here are some fantastic Mac data recovery software that are worth mentioning but did not make the list. You can take a look at them and go with any one of them.
13. Data Rescue 5 for Mac
The Data Rescue 5 for Mac is a one-stop solution for lost data recovery. Though it does a good job when restoring smaller files, it tends to lag whenever you start scanning for bigger ones.
14. Disk Drill for Mac
Disk Drill for Mac is a popular choice among many users. The results are satisfactory with little to no problem in recovering the data within a hard drive. However, the recovery speed is slow compared to the other software on this list.
15. DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software
The DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software is a tool for data editing, searching, and recovery on Macs. It uses a special algorithm to extract complex data structures from the deleted files. Sometimes, this unique algorithm overcomplicates simple file restoration and takes a long time to finish the entire process.
16. Mac Data Recovery Guru
The Mac Data Recovery Guru is a good solution, but only if you use it a few times. Some users started noticing glitches within the software upon using it multiple times.
17. Remo Recover (Mac)
Remo Recover is a nice substitute for Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery despite its out-of-date UI design and lack of performance upgrades. It is a free data recovery software Mac and is a good option for anyone wanting to scan and retrieve a small amount of lost data.
18. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is another amazing tool that is great at recovering corrupted and unreadable drive data, especially on the M1 chipset. So if your MacBook houses the powerful M1 chipset, you can look into this data recovery software for Mac, though you can only recover 1GB of data with the free version.
Reasons for Data Loss on Mac and How to Prevent it
There are some essential reasons for data loss on Mac. The most common one is accidental deletion. If you delete a file from your Mac only to realize after a while that it was important, fret not because you can easily restore it from your Trash bin.
However, there are other factors that lead to data loss on Mac, which we have listed in the table below, along with tips on how to prevent it from happening.
|Accumulation of dust in hard drive
|Keep your Mac clean and dust-free
|Damage of hardware due to excessive heat
|Use a Mac temperature monitoring software
|Install a reliable anti-virus
|Disk health deterioration
|Regularly monitor disk health for any changes
|Improper disk formatting
|Carefully check the disk before formatting or making any changes to it
Are free data recovery software for Mac safe?
Yes, free data recovery software for Mac are safe. However, you will notice inconsistent success rates while recovering data as most free data recovery software for Mac are not very well optimized. However, TestDisk for Mac and Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery are two reliable options that will bring back your data consistently.
What’s the best time to recover lost data from your Mac?
The best time to recover lost data from your Mac is as soon as possible! The earlier you notice the missing data and start the recovery process, the better. Mac data recovery software can trace the missing data more efficiently when activated soon after the data loss.
When can you no longer recover lost data from a Mac?
You can no longer recover lost data from your Mac when that data has been overwritten by another data file. Typically, whenever a data is deleted, it’s only labeled as “deleted” and waits to be replaced by new files. If the file is not yet overwritten, you can still recover that data. Some Macs, however, will overwrite data that’s deleted because of TRIM, decreasing the chances of recovering data even more.
How long does it take for deleted files to be overwritten?
It depends on how often you add new files to your computer and how long it’s been since you deleted those files. If you generate new files frequently, then there’s a huge chance that the deleted files have already been overwritten.
Losing data is never a good feeling, be it by accident or by some technical failure. Luckily, various data recovery software for Mac were built to address this problem. You can start restoring your missing data with just a few clicks on these software, and some can even be used for free!
We hope that this comprehensive guide on the best choices for data recovery software for Mac in 2024 was able to help you choose a viable option that’s suited for you and is a bang for your buck.