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16 Best Recovery Software for Mac in 2024 [Free & Paid]

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips on Mac Updated by Nancy on May 17, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

Data is a valuable resource in the digital age. However, their loss can be devastating due to accidental deletion, formatting, hard drive failure, etc. Fortunately, the Mac ecosystem is home to an array of file recovery tools that can help you rescue your digital life from the brink of oblivion.

But with many options available, from free to premium versions, finding the right tool that suits your needs can be overwhelming. This comprehensive guide is here to help you sift through the clutter and find the best recovery software for Mac in 2024.

Criteria for Evaluation

Understanding what to look for in the best file recovery software for Mac is the first step in making an informed decision. We evaluate each program on the following criteria:

Now, without further ado, here are the 16 tools for the best data recovery for Mac in 2024.

8 Best Free Mac Data Recovery Software

We put the free options first because they offer the greatest cost savings. Now, check them out:

1. iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac

It has been determined to be one of the best free data recovery software for Mac options available in 2024. Its user-friendly design, comprehensive recovery features, and repair-damaged file options make it an excellent choice for users facing data loss.

Pros:

  • In addition to powerful retrieval capabilities, this best file recovery software for Mac also provides file repair and backup options.
  • It has a clean, intuitive interface with a flexible filter function that simplifies the search for lost data.
  • Its availability for Mac and Windows users underscores its flexibility and broad appeal.
  • Users have the option to preview recoverable files before proceeding with the actual recovery.
  • iBeesoft Data Recovery provides a valuable free option by allowing the recovery of up to 2GB of data at no cost. This offering is particularly beneficial for users who need to recover small amounts of data without investing in a full version.

Cons:

  • Deep scan mode will take much time, especially for large-capacity hard drives.
  • Although data recovery can be completed even when macOS cannot be started, the effect is not good enough.

Best Suitable For:

  • This software best suits individuals or businesses requiring a reliable and easy-to-use data recovery solution. Whether the need is for recovering accidentally deleted files, retrieving data from formatted disks, or salvaging files from corrupted or inaccessible storage devices, iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac offers a versatile solution. Its cross-platform support further broadens its suitability, making it an excellent choice for users operating in multi-OS environments or switching between macOS and Windows.
Free Download

2. TestDisk

It is a powerful, free, open-source software tool designed to recover lost volumes (including files) and make non-booting disks bootable again. It's highly regarded for its effectiveness in dealing with various file system issues caused by human errors, malware, and hardware failures.

Pros:

  • It can be run on various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, making it accessible to a broad user base.
  • Being open-source, TestDisk is free to use and modify, ensuring that users have access to a powerful tool without cost restrictions.
  • A lightweight program that can be installed on a USB drive to use it flexibly.

Cons:

  • It lacks a graphical user interface (GUI) and runs from the command line, which is daunting for most users.
  • The found files cannot be previewed before recovery and cannot be selectively recovered.

Best Suitable For:

  • It is a popular option for technicians with a deep understanding of file systems and command-line interfaces.
Free Download

3. DMDE Free Edition

It is a robust and versatile tool that offers more than just the best data recovery for Mac; it also provides a comprehensive suite of disk editing and searching functions.

Pros:

  • It can recover directories and files in complex cases where other free Mac recovery tools might fail, including damaged and inaccessible disks.
  • It offers functionalities to recover, edit, and manage disk partitions, enhancing its utility for addressing partition-related issues.
  • It provides essential data recovery features at no cost, making it an affordable option for users looking to recover data without investing in premium software.

Cons:

  • The user interface is not as friendly for beginners, requiring a more technical understanding to maximize its potential.
  • It lacks necessary filtering options compared to such professional tools.

Best Suitable For:

  • DMDE's technical nature, especially its hex editor and manual data manipulation features, makes it best suited for those with a strong understanding of file systems and data recovery processes.
Free Download

4. Exif Untrasher for Mac

Unlike broader data recovery tools, it focuses solely on JPEG files, utilizing the EXIF data embedded in images to facilitate recovery. This makes it particularly useful for photographers and individuals looking to recover accidentally deleted photos. However, it only supports external storage devices.

Pros:

  • Its focus on recovering images makes it efficient for specific needs.
  • The application has a simple interface; any macOS user can easily use it.
  • It's completely free and doesn't have any ads.

Cons:

  • Given its singular focus, it doesn't handle a broad range of data types.
  • It lacks advanced features like deep scanning or recovery of corrupted files.

Best Suitable For:

  • Given its ease of use and focus on a single file type, it's well-suited for casual users who may not require the complexity of full-featured Mac data recovery software.
Free Download

5. Stellar Mac Data Recovery Free

It offers a solid starting point for macOS users facing data loss, providing a user-friendly approach to restoring data from various storage mediums. Its limitations in data recovery limits and advanced features make it best suited for individuals seeking to restore a modest amount of data.

Pros:

  • The best recovery software for Mac prioritizes user data safety, performing read-only operations to prevent further damage or data overwriting during the recovery process.
  • It supports a broad spectrum of file formats, making it versatile for different recovery needs.
  • Users can preview files before recovering, allowing them to recover what they need selectively.

Cons:

  • Data recovery is limited to 1 GB, which may be restrictive for those with larger recovery needs.
  • Some more advanced features are reserved for the paid versions.

Best Suitable For:

  • Those looking for a no-cost option to recover essential files on Mac without needing advanced features immediately.
Free Download

6. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free

Its user-friendly design and capability to handle various data loss scenarios make it suitable for casual Mac users and those with straightforward data recovery needs. However, for extensive recovery requirements, upgrading to the full version might be necessary to unlock the software's full potential.

Pros:

  • The software features an intuitive interface that simplifies the Mac file recovery process, making it accessible for users of all skill levels.
  • It supports recovery from file systems such as HFS+, APFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS, enhancing its compatibility with different storage media.
  • 2 scanning modes to suit different data loss situations.

Cons:

  • Only 500M files can be recovered for free, which is the least among the best data recovery software for Mac in the list.
  • Purchasing EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will be more expensive than that of competitors.
  • The success rate can vary depending on the specific situation and condition of the lost files.

Best Suitable For:

  • Individual macOS Users with Minor Data Recovery Needs.
Free Download

7. Data Rescue

It is a robust Mac data recovery solution that excels in recovering data from various scenarios, including severe corruption and physical damage. While its advanced features and depth of functionality are significant advantages, these same attributes may pose challenges for less experienced users.

Pros:

  • For Mac users, the BootWell feature allows for creating a secondary startup drive, which can be used to recover files from a primary system that fails to boot.
  • Users can preview files before recovering them, ensuring that they're retrieving the correct data.
  • Recover 1GB of data on Mac for free but only for new users.

Cons:

  • The interface has too many options, which can be overwhelming.
  • Its scans can take longer than other best recovery software for Mac.
  • Without repair options, there is a higher chance that the recovered files cannot be opened.

Best Suitable For:

  • Individuals who have tried simpler recovery methods but have failed to succeed may find Data Rescue's thorough approach more effective.
Free Download

8. Foremost

It is an open-source forensic utility designed primarily for the recovery of lost or deleted files based on their headers, footers, and internal data structures. Its command-line interface and open-source status provide flexibility and customization opportunities, making it particularly appealing to professionals in forensics, cybersecurity, and IT sectors who require a robust data recovery solution.

Pros:

  • It is known for its efficiency in recovering data and its ability to process large volumes of data quickly.
  • Users can modify the configuration file to add support for additional file types or adjust existing parameters for better file recovery on Mac results.
  • It can perform sector-level data recovery for Mac, giving you a more comprehensive approach.

Cons:

  • The lack of a graphical user interface (GUI) can make Foremost challenging for those unfamiliar with command-line tools.
  • As an open-source project, direct support options are limited. Users typically rely on community forums and existing documentation for troubleshooting.

Best Suitable For:

  • Given its origins and capabilities, Foremost is well-suited for use in digital forensics investigations and cybersecurity incident response.
Free Download

Comparison of Free Solutions for Best File Recovery for Mac

The above is our list of the best recovery software for Mac. If you want to know more about their advantages and disadvantages, then please check out the comparison below:

  • Recovery rate
  • Limits
  • Repair Options
  • Preview files
  • Ease of Use
  • iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac
  • ★★★★☆
  • 2GB
  • TestDisk
  • ★★★☆☆
  • -
  • DMDE Free Edition
  • ★★★☆☆
  • 4000 Files
  • Exif Untrasher for Mac
  • ★★★☆☆
  • Only Photos
  • Stellar Mac Data Recovery Free
  • ★★★★☆
  • 1GB
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free
  • ★★★★☆
  • 500MB
  • Data Rescue
  • ★★★☆☆
  • 1GB
  • Foremost
  • ★★★☆☆
  • -

8 Paid Best Recovery Software for Mac

Such programs often have greater performance and advanced features than free options. Here are the popular options today:

1. Disk Drill for Mac

It offers a range of features to make data recovery for Mac accessible and effective for a broad audience. It supports various file systems and can recover data from a hard drive, external storage device, memory card, and more. Its comprehensive file type support and additional features like data protection make it a versatile choice for various data loss scenarios.

Pros:

  • It is praised for its exceptionally simple-to-use interface, which makes data recovery accessible even to those with limited technical expertise.
  • Disk Drill offers excellent file signature support and can restore a wide array of file types, making it versatile for different recovery needs.
  • Includes unique features such as data protection and iOS recovery, adding value beyond just file recovery.

Cons:

  • It can be extremely scan speed slow compared to other best data recovery software for Mac, which might be a drawback for time-sensitive recoveries.
  • The support for video files is not good enough.
  • Pricing for the full suite may be on the higher side for some users.

Best Suitable For:

  • Users who value versatility and preventative features.
Free Download

2. R-Studio for Mac

It is a powerful solution for Mac data recovery, offering advanced features like network recovery and file system repair. Sophisticated algorithms that help in extracting files from disks that have been corrupted or repartitioned. It's an excellent choice for professionals who need a broad spectrum of recovery capabilities.

Pros:

  • Its ability to work across different file systems makes it a versatile tool for a multi-platform environment.
  • Offers the unique feature of network data recovery.
  • It also has useful options for disk management.

Cons:

  • While powerful, The software's interface and wealth of features can be overwhelming for casual or inexperienced users, presenting a steep learning curve.
  • While offering robust features, R-Studio for Mac comes at a price point that may be prohibitive for some individual users or small businesses looking for simple data recovery solutions.

Best Suitable For:

  • This best file recovery software for Mac is aimed at IT professionals, data recovery specialists, and advanced users who require a higher degree of control and flexibility in their data recovery tasks.
Free Download

3. FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac

It offers a user-friendly interface for recovering lost files on Mac. It supports many file types, including images, documents, audio, video, and emails. The quick scan and deep scan options maximize the chances of recovery.

Pros:

  • This best recovery software for Mac supports almost all storage devices.
  • It boasts a high recovery rate and offers a quick scan feature for fast recovery.
  • Users can preview recoverable files before proceeding with the resume.

Cons:

  • It has insufficient retrieval capabilities for severely damaged or covered files.
  • The pricing may be a bit steep for casual users with light recovery needs.

Best Suitable For:

  • Those seeking a balance between power and simplicity.
Free Download

4. Recoverit for Mac

It offers effective features to address a broad spectrum of data recovery needs. Its high recovery rate and user-friendly design make it a strong candidate for those willing to invest in a premium data recovery solution. However, users with limited needs or budgetary constraints might want to consider other options or the free version before committing to a purchase.

Pros:

  • Features like advanced video recovery are particularly praised, where it can restore and repair corrupted or fragmented video files, making it ideal for multimedia professionals.
  • The solution provides an intuitive interface that guides users through the step-by-step recovery process.
  • This best file recovery software for Mac creates a bootable drive, enabling users to resume data from a system that fails to start.

Cons:

  • While it offers a free version, its capabilities are limited.
  • The software can be slow or consume significant resources, particularly on older macOS systems.
  • Complex scenes may require more improvements.

Best Suitable For:

  • Multimedia professionals who need to retrieve and repair video and audio files.
Free Download

5. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac

It is a specialized program designed to help macOS users retrieve lost, deleted, or inaccessible files from their Mac and various external storage devices. It focuses on APFS, HFS+, and FAT file systems.

Pros:

  • This option offers quick and deep scan options, allowing users to choose the best scanning method suited to their situation.
  • It offers filters to tailor the scanning experience to your needs.
  • It supports various file formats, enhancing its utility across different recovery needs.

Cons:

  • Its scanning speed is slower than most competitors.
  • Advanced features like preview options are limited in the basic version.
  • Lack of support for large files.

Best Suitable For:

  • Those who value simplicity with a need for versatility in scanning modes.
Free Download

6. Alsoft DiskWarrior

It is not just a Mac data recovery tool but a comprehensive solution designed to maintain the health of your hard drive and resolve issues that may lead to data loss. DiskWarrior focus on directory repair sets it apart from conventional data recovery software, offering a preventative approach to disk maintenance.

Pros:

  • By focusing on directory health, DiskWarrior can prevent many types of disk corruption and the subsequent need for data recovery.
  • It can often fix the directory without recovering files, potentially saving you time and trouble.

Cons:

  • The best recovery software for Mac is dedicated to directory recovery and doesn't perform full-scale file recovery.
  • It is relatively expensive, which might deter some users, especially if they face a one-time issue.
  • DiskWarrior did not support Apple's newer APFS file system.

Best Suitable For:

  • Power users who want to maintain optimal performance of their Mac systems and are willing to invest in preventative maintenance.
Free Download

7. Ontrack EasyRecovery

It is a comprehensive data recovery software suite developed by Ontrack, a well-established leader in the data recovery industry. While the cost of its advanced versions may be a consideration, its comprehensive recovery and repair capabilities make it a valuable tool for addressing a wide range of data loss issues.

Pros:

  • This best file recovery software for Mac supports complex RAID recoveries.
  • It's a comprehensive tool that recovers files and repairs them if necessary.

Cons:

  • The user interface can be a bit overwhelming.
  • The basic version has no advanced features.

Best Suitable For:

  • Those prioritizing data recovery and disk repair in one package.
Free Download

8. Leawo Data Recovery for Mac

It provides a reliable choice for Mac users who want to retrieve permanently deleted files on Mac. Three recovery modes cater to different file loss situations. Leawo also focuses on speeds, ensuring you can return to work faster.

Pros:

  • Its simple and intuitive interface makes Mac data recovery accessible.
  • Wide range of supported file types and devices

Cons:

  • Its simplicity comes at the expense of advanced features.
  • Poor performance in retrieving data from SSD and trash bins.

Best Suitable For:

  • Speedy recovery of files with a simple interface.
Free Download

Comparison of Paid Options for Best Data Recovery for Mac

While paid solutions tend to offer more comprehensive packages, in terms of cost, they may not fit every user's wallet. If you decide to use one of them, then you also check out the following comparisons to choose one based on cost-effectiveness:

  • Recovery rate
  • Price
  • Additional features
  • Preview files
  • Ease of Use
  • Disk Drill
  • ★★★★☆
  • $89.00, Upgrade costs $19
  • R-Studio for Mac
  • ★★★☆☆
  • $79.99
  • FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac
  • ★★★★☆
  • $54.57
  • Recoverit for Mac
  • ★★★★☆
  • $79.99
  • Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac
  • ★★★☆☆
  • $59.95
  • Alsoft DiskWarrior
  • ★★★★☆
  • $119.95
  • Ontrack EasyRecovery
  • ★★★☆☆
  • $79
  • Leawo Data Recovery for Mac
  • ★★★☆☆
  • $69.99

Free VS Paid Recovery Software for Mac

Now that you have an extensive list of the best Mac data recovery software options, the inevitable question arises—should you opt for free or paid tools? There are essential differences to consider.

A crucial factor to remember is that the sooner you attempt recovery after data loss, the higher the chances of successful retrieval. Whether you choose a free or paid solution, act swiftly and decisively.

How to Choose the Right Tool for Your Mac

Selecting the right Mac data recovery software largely depends on your specific needs and the extent of the data loss. Here are a few tips to help you make an informed decision:

Overall, the correct file recovery software for Mac can be a true lifesaver during data calamities. Take your time to explore the options listed here and make an educated choice to keep your digital world intact.

Conclusion

The right recovery software for Mac safeguards your precious data and is essential for every user. Understanding your needs and evaluating these available options can ensure you have the best chance of returning lost files that are important to you. Whether you opt for a free tool or invest in a premium solution, data recovery on your Mac doesn't have to be daunting. With the right software, you can restore your files, have peace of mind, and focus on what matters most. Remember, data's worth is not in its capacity but in its content.

FAQs

  • They can reclaim many data types, including documents, photos, videos, emails, and system files. It can also restore data from various locations, such as your internal hard drive, external drives, SD cards, and even lost partitions.

  • Yes, Mac data recovery software is designed to handle reformatting scenarios. When you reformat a drive, the files are not usually erased; the operating system labels the space available for new data. They can often restore these 'lost' files by searching for and rebuilding file structures.

  • Several common scenarios for data loss on macOS include accidental file deletion, disk formatting, emptying the trash, and system crashes. In most cases, recovery software can help, but some situations, like severe hardware failure, severe overwriting, or physical damage to the storage medium, might be beyond the software's scope.

  • Yes, it is possible. If your Time Machine backup seems corrupt or you can't restore certain files, you can use recovery software to extract data directly from the backup disk. Some recovery tools are specifically designed to handle Time Machine backups, ensuring you can still access your data when the backup has issues.

  • Most recovery software is non-destructive, meaning it only reads from the drive, not writes to it. However, it is essential not to install it on the same drive from which you resume files. Doing so may overwrite deleted items and harm your chances of recovery.

  • Yes, file recovery software for Mac can often restore data even when a drive fails to mount. This common issue can be caused by logical file system damage. They have algorithms for such errors to extract the items in them.

  • Free Mac data recovery software can be a cost-effective solution for simple recovery tasks. However, premium tools often offer better recovery rates and a broader range of recovery options, such as fix corrupted files, creating disk images, and more. Premium software also typically comes with customer support, which can be invaluable in complex recovery situations.

    If the data you're trying to retrieve is important and free tools haven't worked, investing in a reputable premium tool will likely yield better results.