Data Recovery involves scanning any storage device to retrieve deleted or damaged data. This is useful in such a case as when your hard drive is damaged by fall & break or water but although it is malfunctioning, it is still readable.
Data recovery applications are programs developed to facilitate data recovery processes and retrieve files as quickly as possible with the fewest possible steps.
While all data recovery apps work in similar ways, not all of them are created equal. Some are faster, better looking, more affordable, easier to use, etc. than others. Here’s my list of the best available Data Recovery Software for Mac OS.
1. Disk Drill
Disk Drill is a multi-platform freemium data recovery utility for recovering files of almost any type of format (e.g. text messages and iPad voice memos) from all major storage devices including cameras, mobile phones, Kindles, iPods, Mac hard drives, memory cards, and even disks without a file system.
It offers 2 types of scans descriptively named Quick Scan and Deep Scan which takes a longer time to complete. In both cases, you can preview files before going ahead to piece them back together and recover them.
Disk Drill features a beautiful UI and extra disk tools for free in the form of:
- Disk health for monitoring potential disk issues.
- Mac cleanup for deleting unnecessary files.
- Duplicate Finder for eliminating redundancy,
- Recovery Drive for creating bootable USBs.
- Data Protection for implementing a recovery vault.
- Data Backup for creating byte-to-byte disk & partition backups.
There are how-to guides on its website that walk you through scanning, recovering, and protecting your disks.
2. Data Recovery (EaseUs)
Data Recovery by EaseUs is a freemium GUI recovery utility for retrieving files from damaged and/or formatted partitions on Windows and Mac. It enables users to recover scanned files from SSD, memory cards, USB storage, etc. in as little as 3 easy steps.
It is free to use as long as the data for recovery is at most 2GB – a convenient limit for most users, I imagine. The premium, unlimited version costs $69.95 at the moment (discounted from $89.95).
3. Data Recovery (Wonder Share)
Wonder Share’s Data Recovery software is a beautiful utility for recovering files in different types of storage devices including mobile phones, camcorders, floppy disks, and storage devices with file systems e.g. NTFS and exFAT, etc. on Mac and Windows with a 96% successful recovery rate.
It is free to try with all the premium features except that you’ll be limited to recovering data of at most 100MB. The subscription prices start at $39.95/year – a heavy price.
4. Data Rescue 5
Data Rescue 5 is a paid data recovery utility for recovering data from hard drives, SD cards, SSDs, and other peripheral storage devices with built-in support for Time Machine in order to prevent recovering duplicate files. It works with devices that no longer respond or even appear when connected coupled with the ability to inform you about scan details via email.
Data Rescue‘s free version features a clean, simple UI with the main options for you to Recover files, View scan history, Clone a potentially failing drive onto a healthy disk, and Create a recovery drive.
However, you can only scan and preview items to see that they are recoverable as you will need to make a one-time payment of $99 for standard use or $299 per year for professional use.
5. Softtote Data Recovery
Softtote Data Recovery is a data recovery tool for Mac users to recover lost documents, files, and photos. It supports different file systems including FAT, NTFS, EXT3, and EXT4, etc. and works with multiple media storage devices including USB disks, SATA, sd and cf cards, etc.
Softtote Data Recovery comes with a wizard to assist file, photo, and partition recoveries which you can try for free and buy for $69.99 if you want the premium version.
PhotoRec is a free and open source, command line data recovery app released alongside TestDisk (which focuses on hard disk partitions) for recovering partitions in read-only mode from a variety of storage devices including CD-ROMs and digital cameras.
Although it has “photo” in its name, PhotoRec is capable of recovering many other file formats including at least FAT, NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, and ex2 and above file systems. And if you don’t mind working from the terminal then check it out.
7. Stellar Data Recovery Professional
Stellar Data Recovery Professional is a beautiful paid DIY utility app for recovering deleted files on any Mac and from external storage devices in simple, quick steps. Its feature highlights include customized scanning for data recovery, drive health monitoring, and drive cloning.
Stellar Data Recovery Professional has a free version with which you can scan and preview files but you will have to shell out $99 for the pro version in order to recover any files.
8. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery
Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a free data recovery utility app that enables users to recover an unlimited amount of deleted or damaged data. It has support for any mountable media such as USB and hard disks, memory cards, iPods, etc. and it supports a variety of file formats including HFS/HFS+, NTFS, exFAT, etc. You can also view files while conducting scans and searches and there are no ads or hidden costs whatsoever.
9. M3 Data Recovery
M3 Data Recovery is a freemium data recovery utility software for APFS and Mac systems. With it, you can recover data from unreadable/unmounted drives, recover deleted files from an emptied Mac trash, recover data from damaged partitions, and preview files before choosing which to restore.
M3 Data Recovery works in 3 simple steps: Download/Install/Launch, Select & Scan, and Recover and you can use it to recover as much as 1GB of data for free. Anything more and you will have to shell out cash for a lifetime subscription which starts at $69.95.
10. MiniTool Mac Data Recovery
MiniTool Mac Data Recovery is a freemium data recovery utility for Mac and Windows users to retrieve lost or damaged files. It is designed to be user-friendly especially since most data loss issues are experienced by the not so tech-savvy computer users.
My favorite feature in MiniTool Mac Data Recovery is the option for users to pause scans midway and continue at a later time. The free version is limited to a data recovery limit of 1MB of data with 30-days money back guarantee. The full version costs $79.