How to Recover Files from Mac That Won't Boot

It’s very important to backup data from unbootable Mac or recover data from Mac that’s won’t boot. Here in the article, 3 ways are covered for how to get files off won’t bootable Mac. Among them, one way is making use of iBeesoft Data Recovery to recover files on Mac. You can download it on your Mac and follow the guide below to make it.

"How to backup data from unbootable Mac? It won’t boot up but turn on, and then you see it freezes. I do not know what to do with it."

Your Mac won’t boot for some reason. You may fix it with Disk Utility or you can’t fix it at all. It depends on how lucky you are. What worries is the data trapped on the Mac that’s won’t boot. The data includes your important pictures, videos, documents, audio files, emails, and more. Read the guides below to learn how to recover files from Mac that won’t boot.

Part 1. How to Backup Data from Unbootable Mac with Recovery Mode

Part 2. How to Recover Files from a Mac That’s Won’t Boot with iBeesoft Data Recovery

Part 3. How to Recover Data from Mac that Won’t Boot with Time Machine

Part 1. How to Backup Data from Unbootable Mac

The very first you need to learn is how to backup data from unbootable Mac when your Mac is not bootable. It’s the basic and best way to prevent your data loss. After the backup, you can restore the backed-up image file to a new Mac, getting all the files off the unbootable Mac. Here are the steps for how to backup data from unbootable Mac as an image file.

1st, please prepare an external hard drive with enough storage to save the upcoming backup image. The bigger the better. Next, connect it with your unbootable Mac, making sure it will appear as an external hard drive.

2nd, restart the Mac that’s won’t boot and hold down Command and R keys until you see the App logo appears on the Mac.

3rd, select Disk Utility when you see the macOS Utilities appears.

4th, the select disk you want to backup data from unbootable Mac, and click File > New Image > Image from [drive name from where you’re going to back up data].

5th, enter a name for the image you’re going to back up and choose the external hard drive you connected to Mac in step 1.

6th, from the format options: read-only, compressed, read/write, or DVD/Cd master, select one. I suggest you select compressed and click Save.

Later, if you have a new Mac or fixed the problem of the unbootable Mac, you can make use of the backup image file to restore to your Mac. Please note that if your Mac hard drive is damaged, then the backup image might not be useable at all.

Part 2. How to Recover Data from a Mac That’s Won’t Boot with iBeesoft Data Recovery

Another way to recover files from mac that won't boot is making use of Mac file data recovery software as well as a working Mac. The theory is using the data recovery software to recover files from the unbootable Mac, which is used as an external hard drive connected to the working Mac. Let’s see how to get down to the task.

What Need to recover data from Mac that won't boot:

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac – Recover Files from A Mac that Won't Boot

how to recover files from a mac that won't boot
  • It is a great but trustworthy tool specially designed for individuals to recover files from Mac due to deletion, macOS crash, drive failure, hard drive formatted, files disappear during transferring, and more.
  • The Mac file data recovery supports various file types, covering almost all the most widely used files, like videos, pictures, audio files, documents, emails, and more.
  • Easy-to-use, recovering files from Mac in 3 simple steps: scan, preview, and restore.
backup data from unbootable mac

Here is the guide for how to recover files from mac that won't boot with iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac on a working Mac.

Step 1. Use a data cable to connect the working Mac and the unbootable Mac. Then, Download the best Mac data recovery software on the working Mac. It’s fully compatible with all the macOS and it’s a safe and trustworthy tool. Feel free to install it on your Mac. If you haven’t enabled the system preferences "allow apps downloaded from App Store and identified developers", please do it since it is not available at App Store yet.

Step 2. Launch this program. From the first window, select file types you want to recover from the unbootable Mac. By default, all files are selected. My suggestion is to go ahead and click "Start".

recover data from mac that won't boot

Step 3. In the next window, all hard drives on and connected with the Mac are listed. Please select the one that represents as the unbootable Mac, and click "Scan". It means the data recovery software begins to scan the hard drive, looking for files trapped there.

recover files from mac that won't boot

Step 4. When it finished the whole scanning process, you can see all found files are sorted into categories. Click the file category in the left panel and check out the details on the right panel. When find the target files, select them and click "Recover" to recover lost files on Mac.

recover files from a mac that won't boot

That’s the process of how to recover files from a Mac that won't boot. In the result window, you can also see the option "Deep Scan". It’s a feature more powerful than the default Quick Scan. You can try it to scan your Mac, looking for more files.

Part 3. How to Recover Data from Mac that Won’t Boot with Time Machine

The last available way to recover files from mac that won't boot is restoring files from Time Machine. The premise is that you had backed up your Mac to Time Machine before it can’t boot and you fixed the unbootable problem.

1. You must have fixed the unbootable problem on Mac. After then, connect the Time Machine backup drive with your Mac.

2. Open Migration Assistant in the utility folder of the Application folder. Select the option "From a Mac, Time Machine backup or startup disk" and click Continue.

3. Select your Time Machine backup and continue. Next, select the files and click Continue to restore files from Time Machine backup.

recover data from unbootable mac

It will take a long time to recover files from unbootable Mac with Time Machine. Just be patient.

It’s very important to back up your Mac regularly either with Time Machine (use an external hard drive as the storage) or with a third-party tool. It’s very helpful when your Mac is unable to boot or system failure or files are lost. It will fix complicated problems by restoring the macOS system and files. If you only need to recover files trapped in unbootable Mac or lost, deleted, then try iBeesoft Data Recovery. It will save your data.

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