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Top 15 Best Data Recovery Software for Mac OS X

Data recovery software is something that you hope you never have to use. Unfortunately, many computer users will need to avail themselves of the power of this type of program at some time. We are going to review the top 15 data recovery software applications for the Mac to help you get your data back.
last update icon Last Updated: Aug 3, 2020
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Jeff Cochin
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Jeff Cochin Jeff Cochin

1. Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac

Disk Drill is one of the best data recovery software applications for Mac users. It is a full-featured and comprehensive data recovery tool that offers advanced features to raise the level of data protection on your computer and peripheral devices. Using this powerful tool, you can recover files on just about any type of external media, including iOS and Android devices.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.9.5+ Mac OS X 10.9.5+

Pros

  • icon pros Intuitive user interface
  • icon pros Great recovery rate for photos and documents
  • icon pros Proactive data protection
  • icon pros Extra free disk tools: disk cleanup, duplicate finder, disk health, etc.
  • icon pros Free version to preview recoverable files and recover what was protected
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Cons

  • icon cons No telephone support
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Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac

Overall experience

Disk Drill recognizes several hundred file types, making it the perfect choice for recovering your lost or deleted data. Photos, music files, videos, and important documents are just a few of the types of data that can be recovered with the app. You have the ability to preview the files that can be recovered before buying the full product.


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2. PhotoRec Recovery Software for Mac

PhotoRec is a free and open-source data recovery application capable of recovering much more than simply photos from your hard drive as well as a wide variety of peripheral storage devices.
Freeware Freeware
Mac OS X 10.5-10.14 Mac OS X 10.5-10.14

Pros

  • icon pros Freeware, so there is no cost to use the app
  • icon pros Recognizes many file types
  • icon pros Runs under many different operating systems
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Cons

  • icon cons Command-line interface
  • icon cons No customer support
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PhotoRec Recovery Software for Mac

Overall experience

PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, a partition recovery and repair software application capable of making non-booting disks bootable again. The idea is to first use TestDisk to repair file system damage and then safely recover any lost data with PhotoRec in read-only mode, which eliminates the chance of overwriting files during recovery.


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3. Data Rescue for Mac

Data Rescue is a data recovery tool for Mac OS X 10.10 or later. It can recover data from your hard drives as well as external drives, SD cards, solid-state drives, and other devices.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.10+ Mac OS X 10.10+

Pros

  • icon pros Free version for previewing potential file recovery
  • icon pros Email notifications
  • icon pros Duplicate file recognition to save recovery space
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Cons

  • icon cons More expensive than some alternatives
  • icon cons Recovery drive does not support Mac OS X 10.15
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Data Rescue for Mac

Overall experience

This well-known and popular data recovery software for Mac computers offers a straightforward recovery process and several unique features that make it stand out when compared with other similar software applications.


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4. RStudio for Mac

R-Studio for Mac can recover deleted data from all types of file systems using advanced scanning algorithms, restore formatted partitions and drives, and create an image file of a disk with bad sectors to facilitate recovery.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.5+ Mac OS X 10.5+

Pros

  • icon pros Free version available
  • icon pros Estimates the probability of file recovery
  • icon pros Graphically displays recoverable data
  • icon pros Support for Linux partitions
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Cons

  • icon cons Commercial version is expensive
  • icon cons Intimidating user interface
  • icon cons Demands a high level of computer knowledge
  • icon cons Free version can’t recover files larger than 256 KB
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RStudio for Mac

Overall experience

R-Studio for Mac is a feature-packed data recovery software for professional and regular home users alike. It can recover data from all commonly used Mac, Windows, and Linux file systems, including APFS, HFS+/HFS, FAT, NTFS, ReFS, UFS1/UFS2, and Ext2/Ext3/Ext4.


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5. Softtote Mac Data Recovery

Even though Softtote Mac Data Recovery doesn’t support the latest version of macOS, it still deserves the attention of all Mac users who are looking for a data recovery software application that provides a guided approach to data recovery.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.7-10.14 Mac OS X 10.7-10.14

Pros

  • icon pros Software wizards to assist with partition, file, and photo recoveries
  • icon pros Simple user interface with clear descriptions
  • icon pros Above-average recovery results
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Cons

  • icon cons The limited set of supported file types
  • icon cons Doesn’t support the latest version of macOS
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Softtote Mac Data Recovery

Overall experience

The next entry in our review of data recovery programs is Softtote Mac Data Recovery. This easy to use application runs on the macOS from version 10.7 through 10.14. Using this tool, you can recover files from a variety of file systems, including NTFS, HFS, HFS+, HFSX, HFS Wrapper, and FAT.


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6. Cisdem DataRecovery for Mac

This versatile recovery program enables you to recover just about any type of deleted, damaged, or formatted file in your Mac machine or peripheral device. The three-step recovery process lets you choose a data loss scenario, scan and preview recoverable files, and then perform the actual data restoration.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.11+ Mac OS X 10.11+

Pros

  • icon pros 30-day money back guarantee
  • icon pros 5 specific recovery modes to address data loss scenarios
  • icon pros Free lifetime updates
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Cons

  • icon cons No pre-scan filtering options
  • icon cons Doesn’t work with Mac OS X 10.10 and older
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Cisdem DataRecovery for Mac

Overall experience

Cisdem DataRecovery for Mac is a great example of a data recovery software application that succeeds because it doesn’t try to do too much. Instead of spreading themselves thin, its developers made it their priority to create an easy-to-use solution to all common data loss situations for Mac users who aren’t technically savvy.


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7. M3 Mac Data Recovery

M3 data recovery is free data recovery software compatible with all recent versions of macOS (from Mountain Lion to Catalina). It supports many file system formats, including encrypted APFS drives, and has the ability to recover files deleted from your Trash bin.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.8+ Mac OS X 10.8+

Pros

  • icon pros Free edition allows the recovery of 1 GB of data
  • icon pros Recovers data from encrypted drives
  • icon pros Frequently receives new updates
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Cons

  • icon cons Below-average performance recovering video and photo files
  • icon cons Makes you wait for the scan to finish
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M3 Mac Data Recovery

Overall experience

Regardless of if you need to retrieve lost files from a formatted hard drive or recover a lost partition, M3 Mac Data Recovery makes it easy to get the job done with just a few clicks. This Mac data recovery software comes with far more powerful features than its simple user interface suggests.


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8. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a freeware application that offers users a free method of recovering deleted files from Mac machines. You can use the tool to recover from damaged or deleted partitions, and the software allows you to restore data from a variety of external devices.
Freeware Freeware
Mac OS X 10.5-10.9 Mac OS X 10.5-10.9

Pros

  • icon pros Free unlimited recovery
  • icon pros You can preview your files even while the scan is still in progress
  • icon pros Offers several recovery options
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Cons

  • icon cons Does not officially support the newest macOS versions
  • icon cons Outdated user interface
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Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Overall experience

Truth be told, there are not many data recovery software applications for Mac OS X that offer unlimited recovery without charging a penny for it. In most cases, users are allowed to preview recoverable files for free but asked to purchase a license or subscription to recover them. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a notable exception in this regard, and this alone is enough to secure it a spot on this list.


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9. TechTool Pro

TechTool Pro is designed to help you test and repair a number of problematic conditions that you may experience with your Mac. Using this tool, you can perform drive testing and repair, monitor your network and connectivity, conduct memory tests, and more.
Commercial Commercial
Mac OS X 10.10+ Mac OS X 10.10+

Pros

  • icon pros Can recover deleted APFS files
  • icon pros Offers many features beyond that of data recovery
  • icon pros SMART drive check to alert you of potential drive failures
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Cons

  • icon cons Required to purchase additional licenses for application upgrades
  • icon cons Can be difficult to control startup parameters
  • icon cons Some reports of issues with the eDrive creation feature
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TechTool Pro

Overall experience

TechTool Pro is a comprehensive toolbox with a plethora of hard drive and system repair and maintenance tools. When it comes to data recovery, you’ll appreciate TechTool Pro’s Volume Rebuild tool, which can automatically repair the most common drive problems.


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10. Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac

Ontrack’s EasyRecovery application performs precision data recovery following accidental deletion or formatting of data from your storage media. You can use it to recover lost data from your main hard drive or just about any external storage device.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.7+ Mac OS X 10.7+

Pros

  • icon pros Fast data recovery tool
  • icon pros Can recover from damaged optical media
  • icon pros Repairs damaged and corrupted photo and video files
  • icon pros Recovers up to 1 GB of data free
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Cons

  • icon cons Multiple versions make it challenging to find the correct tool
  • icon cons Cannot create a disk image to be used for recovery
  • icon cons Less intuitive interface than competitive tools
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Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac

Overall experience

There’s a good reason why Ontrack EasyRecovery tends to receive more praise from professionals than regular Mac users: its user interface leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to its polish and intuitiveness.


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11. Tenorshare Data Recovery for Mac

Tenorshare UltData for Mac provides a real-time preview of the recoverable data so you can easily select which files to restore. You can recover your data with a simple three-step process that employs advanced scanning algorithms.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.8+ Mac OS X 10.8+

Pros

  • icon pros Supports recovery of over 550 file formats
  • icon pros Simple and intuitive interface
  • icon pros Can recover iPhone data
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Cons

  • icon cons Does not log recovery data
  • icon cons No filtering to recover specific folders or data
  • icon cons Some reports of slow recovery performance
  • icon cons Doesn’t support NTFS
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Tenorshare Data Recovery for Mac

Overall experience

Tenorshare has plenty of experience with developing software applications for macOS, and they used this experience to make Tenorshare UltData for Mac one of the most user-friendly data recovery software applications available.


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12. Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac

This application by Wondershare is designed to allow you to recover lost or deleted data, including videos, photos, music files, documents, and many other types of files, on a computer running macOS 10.9–10.15 (macOS Catalina).
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.9+ Mac OS X 10.9+

Pros

  • icon pros Free trial to preview recoverable files
  • icon pros Simple user interface
  • icon pros Great photo and video recovery rate
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Cons

  • icon cons Yearly subscription license
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Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac

Overall experience

The developers behind this data recovery software for macOS are known largely for their simple video editor, called Filmora, but they have also developed a broad range of utilities intended to solve issues Mac users around the world face on a daily basis, and Recoverit is one of them.


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13. Minitool Power Data Recovery

Minitool Power Data Recovery is a popular freemium data recovery application that should be more than able to satisfy the needs of most Mac users who have recently lost or accidentally deleted an important file and would like to restore it on their own.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.7-10.11 Mac OS X 10.7-10.11

Pros

  • icon pros Easy to use
  • icon pros Useful search function
  • icon pros Capable of recovering lost partitions
  • icon pros Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
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Cons

  • icon cons Below-average performance recovering video and music files
  • icon cons Free version makes it possible to recover only 1 MB of data
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Minitool Power Data Recovery

Overall experience

Minitool Power Data Recovery may be significantly more popular among Windows users than it is among Mac users, but that doesn’t mean the Mac version is any worse. The only reason why it doesn’t enjoy more popularity is the fact that it makes it possible to recover only 1 MB of data for free (the users of the Windows version can recover up to 1 GB).


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14. EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

This powerful data recovery tool supports macOS 10.9–10.15, and its notable features include the ability to create an emergency bootable USB drive and recover lost data from a Time Machine backup drive.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.9+ Mac OS X 10.9+

Pros

  • icon pros Recover up to 2 GB with the application’s free version
  • icon pros Live chat support
  • icon pros Makes it easy to sort recoverable files
  • icon pros Step-by-step recovery wizard
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Cons

  • icon cons Paid version is more expensive than some competitors
  • icon cons Sometimes displays files that can’t be recovered
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EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

Overall experience

EaseUS is a well-known software company with a strong lineup of useful applications, and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac demonstrates its ability to combine impressive features with great usability. Available for Mac and Windows, this data recovery software has already helped millions of people around the world recover data that many other similar applications were unable to recover.


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15. Stellar Mac Data Recovery Professional

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is a data recovery tool that enables you to restore deleted files on your Mac computer. It can help you recover many types of files, including photos, documents, and videos from accidental deletion or a mistakenly formatted HDD.
Free trial Free trial
Mac OS X 10.7-10.15 Mac OS X 10.7-10.15

Pros

  • icon pros Recovers data from Time Machine backups
  • icon pros Can recover deleted data from encrypted drives
  • icon pros Create clone drives for data recovery
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Cons

  • icon cons Fewer file formats supported compared to some competitors
  • icon cons Repairing volumes requires the Premium version of the tool
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Stellar Mac Data Recovery Professional

Overall experience

With its impressive data recovery capabilities and user-friendly interface, Stellar Mac Data Recovery Professional is a great choice for all Mac users who want to recover deleted documents, photos, videos, audio, and other data without much effort.


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Conclusion

Even if you follow best practices and regularly backup your machine, there are a number of reasons that you may need to recover deleted or missing files.

Your computer’s hard drive can experience physical or logical damage causing files to disappear. Operating system or software application upgrades can also result in inadvertently lost or deleted files. Plain old human error, such as remembering you needed a file right after you emptied the trash or recycle bin, is always a possibility.

Whatever the reason, if you experience deleted or lost files you will need to use some file recovery software for Mac. The key is not to panic and to stop using the drive where you will be attempting a data recovery as soon as possible. Continued use of your drive or partition can lead to your files being overwritten before they can be recovered, so stop using it and download and install data recovery software on another disk or partition.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

Data recovery can take a variable amount of time depending on the scope and type of recovery to be performed. If a deep scan is required to identify recoverable data, more time will be expended in the restore. The quantity of data being restored will also impact the speed of the recovery.

Data recovery works by taking advantage of the way modern operating systems perform deletions. Deleted files are marked as inaccessible and their storage space made available to the system if needed. The files are still physically present on the disk and can be recovered with specialized software.

Most of the quality data recovery applications for macOS offer a free trial during which you can get the functionality of the product. You may need to purchase the full program to actually perform data recovery on your machine. The program may provide a preview of files that it can recover.

Recovery mode is a feature of macOS that is used to help restore your computer if you are experiencing problems. You boot your computer into macOS Recovery mode to take advantage of the macOS utilities that can address the issues you are facing by restoring from Time Machine or reinstalling the OS.

Here is a list of the five best data recovery software applications for macOS:

  1. Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac;
  2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac;
  3. Softtote Mac Data Recovery;
  4. Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac;
  5. Stellar Data Recovery Professional.
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