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 10 data recovery software applications for the Mac to help you get your data back.

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.


Best data recovery software for Mac

Disk Drill is aware of more than 300 different 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.


The application uses a number of powerful scanning algorithms as it searches your disks for lost and damaged files. Quick scan will quickly locate files that can be recovered and the more time-intensive Deep scan can be used on any type of disk, even one with no file system. You can limit the scanning results by choosing the file types that you are interested in recovering before initiating the process.


Free version recovers up to 500 MB

An easy-to-use graphic interface makes this data recovery tool simple to use. You just select the drive you are interested in recovering, click the "Recover" button, and Disk Drill will show you which files can be recovered.

Taking advantage of Disk Drill’s “Recovery Vault” and “Guaranteed Recovery” functions adds an extra level of data protection to your Mac machine. These features keep track of metadata regarding deleted files and can make recovering files deleted from the Trash bin a simple matter. Using Disk Drill in this proactive manner takes the guesswork out of recovering lost and deleted files.


Pros

  • Intuitive user interface

  • Great recovery rate for photos and documents

  • Proactive data protection

  • Extra free disk tools: disk cleanup, duplicate finder, disk health, etc.

  • Free version to preview recoverable files and recover what was protected

2. PhotoRec Recovery Software for Mac

PhotoRec is an open-source, freeware data recovery application. It is a companion program to TestDisk which is used to recover lost partitions. The program recovers your data in read-only mode, eliminating the chance of overwriting files during recovery. PhotoRec can recover lost data from your hard drive as well as a wide variety of peripheral storage devices. Don’t be fooled by its name, as this free file recovery software for Mac can recover much more than simply photos.


PhotoRec for Mac

Pros

  • Freeware, so there is no cost to use the app

  • Recognizes many file types


Cons

  • Command-line interface

  • No customer support

3. Data Rescue 5 for Mac

Data Rescue 5 is a data recovery tool for the Mac OS X 10.10 or later. It can recover data from your hard drives as well as external drives, SD cards, and solid-state drives. Standard and professional licenses are available to customers, with the professional version offering unlimited data recovery and an intuitive user-interface. It features built-in Time Machine support to eliminate the recovery of duplicate files.


Prosoft Data Rescue 5

Pros

  • Free version for previewing potential file recovery

  • Email notifications

  • Duplicate file recognition to save recovery space


Cons

  • More expensive than some alternatives

4. Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac

This application by Wondershare is designed to allow you to recover lost or deleted data on a computer running the macOS from version 10.6 through the newest iteration of Mojave. It can be used to recover videos, photos, music files, documents, and many other types of files on your computer or other storage devices. This app can be used for file, partition, and raw hard drive recovery. An easy to use interface lets you select the file type to recover, scan for files that fit your criteria, and then restore them.


Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac

Pros

  • Free trial to preview recoverable files

  • Simple user interface


Cons

  • Yearly subscription license

5. Softtote Mac Data Recovery

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 10.6 through 10.14. Using this tool you can recover files using various file formats including NTFS, HFS, and HFS+. The program enables recovery on your system hard drive or most peripheral storage devices. It offers flexible file filtering to minimize scanning time and is able to recover deleted, damaged, or corrupted files in many different file formats.


Softtote Mac Data Recovery

Pros

  • Software wizards to assist with partition, file, and photo recoveries


Cons

  • The limited set of supported file types

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. A free download is available to preview the files that the application can recover.


Cisdem DataRecovery for Mac

Pros

  • 30-day money back guarantee

  • 5 specific recovery modes to address data loss scenarios


Cons

  • No pre-scan filtering options

7. M3 Mac Data Recovery

M3 data recovery is free data recovery software for the Mac operating system from version 10.7 through High Sierra. It supports many file system formats including encrypted APFS drives. It has the ability to recover files deleted from your Trash bin and can be used on your computer's internal drives as well as most peripheral devices.


M3 Mac Data Recovery

Pros

  • Free edition allows the recovery of 1GB of data


Cons

  • Below-average performance recovering video and photo files

8. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Lazesoft 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.


Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Pros

  • Free unlimited recovery


Cons

  • Does not support the newest macOS versions

9. Minitool Power Data Recovery

This data recovery application is compatible with Mac OS versions from 10.5 up until the newest Mojave, and can be used to recover any type of file that may have been deleted from your storage device. The tool includes functional modules that assist in addressing specific data loss scenarios, making it easier to find those important files.


MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Pros

  • Free Version allows 1MB of file recovery


Cons

  • Below-average performance recovering video and music files

10. Easeus Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

This powerful data recovery tool runs on Mac machines running OS 10.6 through 10.14. Notable features include the ability to create an emergency bootable USB drive and the ability to recover lost data from a Time Machine backup drive. You can recover files of virtually any type from most peripheral devices.


Easeus Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

Pros

  • Recover up to 2GB with the application’s free version


Cons

  • Paid version is more expensive than some competitors

11. 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. This tool can recover data from your Mac’s internal hard drive as well as external storage and the Windows Bootcamp partition. A free version is available for testing.


Stellar Mac Data Recovery Professional

Pros

  • Recovers data from Time Machine backups

  • Can recover deleted data from encrypted drives

  • Create clone drives for data recovery


Cons

  • Fewer file formats supported compared to some competitors

  • More expensive than some of the competitive products

  • Repairing volumes requires the Platinum and more expensive version of the tool

12. TechTool Pro

TechTool Pro is a tool designed to allow a user to test and repair a number of problematic conditions that you may experience with your Mac. Using the tool you can perform drive testing and repair, monitor your network and connectivity, and conduct memory tests. Other features enable you to perform file and volume optimization as well as to completely test your Mac’s hardware. You can download the tool for free to test its performance.


TechTool Pro

Pros

  • Can recover deleted APFS files

  • Offers many features beyond that of data recovery

  • SMART drive check to alert you of potential drive failures


Cons

  • Required to purchase additional licenses for application upgrades

  • Can be difficult to control startup parameters

  • Some reports of issues with the eDrive creation feature

13. Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac

Ontrack’s EasyRecovery application performs precision data recovery following accidental deletion or formatting of data from your storage media. It can be used on your Mac’s hard drive aa well as just about any kind of external storage device. You can use either its quick or deep scan feature to identify and restore files that are hard to recover. The tool also provides advanced RAID recovery capabilities. Try the tool with a free download.


Ontrack EasyRecovery for Mac

Pros

  • Fast data recovery tool

  • Can recover from damaged optical media

  • Repairs damaged and corrupted photo and video files


Cons

  • Multiple versions make it challenging to find the correct tool

  • Cannot create a disk image to be used for recovery

  • Less intuitive interface than competitive tools

14. Tenorshare Data Recovery for Mac

Here is another data recovery tool for your Apple computer that can help you get your data back after accidental deletion. It 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. The tool can be downloaded for a free test drive.


Tenorshare Data Recovery for Mac

Pros

  • Supports recovery of over 550 file formats

  • Simple and intuitive interface

  • Can recover iPhone data


Cons

  • Does not log recovery data

  • No filtering to recover specific folders or data

  • Some reports of slow recovery performance

15. RStudio for Mac

You can obtain the RStudio tool for the Mac in both open-source and commercial versions. The application can recover deleted data from all types of file systems using advanced scanning algorithms and can restore formatted partitions and drives. Create an image file of a disk with bad sectors to facilitate recovery. RStudio supports all Mac low-level partition schemes to increase the chances of a successful recovery. A freeware version of the tool is available before investing in the commercial product.


RStudio for Mac

Pros

  • Open-source versions are available

  • Estimates the probability of file recovery

  • Graphically displays recoverable data


Cons

  • Commercial versions are expensive

  • Basic user interface

  • Demands a high level of computer knowledge

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

The latest operating system available for Mac computers was introduced in September of 2018 and is macOS 10.14, also known as Mojave. It replaced High Sierra, which became available in 2017. Apple has announced the next iteration of macOS. Version 10.15, called Catalina, is coming in Autumn of 2019.

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.

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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