Top 10 Best Disk Repair Software for Mac

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Best Disk Repair Software

Each year, data storage provider Backblaze publishes hard drive reliability statistics, and the results are always the same: the lifetime annualized failure rate for modern hard drives is around 2 percent. In other words, you can expect 2 out of every 100 hard drives to fail during a full year of use.

Since it’s only a matter of time before you become yet another victim of these gloomy statistics, you should familiarize yourself with the best Mac disk repair software tools right now so that you know what to do when the worst happens and you lose important data.

Brief selection
1
disk drill 5 for macos icon
Disk Drill
Platform:macOSWindows
Distributed as: Freemium
2457
2
techtool pro icon
Techtool Pro
Platform:macOS
Distributed as: Paid
11299
3
diskwarrior icon
DiskWarrior
Platform:macOS
Distributed as: Paid
2284
View complete ranking

What to Look for in Mac Disk Repair Software?

There are certain things we always look for when selecting Mac disk repair software. Let’s take a closer look at some of them so that you better understand what separates outstanding disk repair software applications from those that are merely good.

  • Compatibility with Mac file systems

    Mac computers rely on different file systems than Windows and Linux machines. The default file system of newer Macs is called Apple File System (APFS), while older Macs use Hierarchical File System (HFS+ or HFS Plus). For disk repair software to be useful, it must support all Mac file systems, and, ideally, also Windows and Linux file systems.

  • S.M.A.R.T. monitoring capabilities

    Prevention is worth a pound of cure, and S.M.A.R.T. monitoring can help you detect emerging hard drive issues a long time before they become a problem, giving you enough time to back up your data to a safe location and determine the best solution.

  • HDD management functionality

    When repairing a hard drive, it’s often necessary to move large quantities of files around, delete corrupted partitions, and perform other HDD management tasks, so selecting Mac disk repair software that supports them is always a good idea.

  • The ability to repair bad sectors

    Bad sectors can lead to stability issues and cause read/write operations to fail. Fortunately, there are many Mac disk repair software tool that can not only detect them but also repair them, and we describe several of them in this article.

  • Hard drive corruption repair

    Hard drive corruption often goes hand-in-hand with the presence of bad sectors, but it can also be caused by malware, buggy software, and various hardware issues. When addressed in a timely manner, hard drive corruption doesn’t necessarily have to cause data loss, especially when the best hard drive repair software is used.

  • Data backup & recovery

    To avoid data loss, it’s paramount to regularly back up all important data. To do that, you may not even need to install dedicated backup software because many disk repair software applications come with built-in data backup and recovery capabilities. Of course, it never hurts to have more than one copy of your files, so don’t hesitate to combine local backups with cloud backups.

  • Easy-to-use user interface

    It goes without saying that you don’t want to waste your time on a disk repair application that’s pain to use when there are so many excellent options available. The application of your choice should have a modern user interface that’s easy to understand and doesn’t require you to read a manual just to understand available options.

  • Availability of a free trial version

    The fact is that the best disk repair software solutions are not free—at least not entirely. We say that because many disk repair software solutions offer a free trial version that let’s you play with all key features without spending a single dollar, allowing you to decide whether the software is really worth it or not.

  • Positive online reviews

    The web is an excellent source of information, and we highly recommend you use it to read online reviews of disk repair software to learn which applications real users like and dislike. When hundreds of users from around the world praise certain software, there’s a very good chance that the software is worth downloading.

10 Best Disk Repair Software for macOS

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Disk Drill Logo

1. Disk Drill

4.79 Best choice for Mac users – Disk Drill for Mac combines ease of use with excellent data recovery capabilities and many extra features that greatly increase its overall value.

Read full Disk Drill review
Platforms

macOSWindows

Distributed as

Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest

Limitations

Free preview

Price range

$89...$598

Overview

Selecting the best disk repair software for Mac would be much more difficult if it wasn’t for Disk Drill for Mac. This popular data recovery and disk repair software has been around since 2010, offering a simplified approach to data recovery. Since the release of the first version, Disk Drill for Mac has received several major updates, and its latest version looks and feels modern and polished.

The average Mac user can simply launch Disk Drill for Mac, select the problematic hard drive and click the Recover button. Disk Drill for Mac will automatically run diagnostics on the hard drive to determine its condition. It will then select the optimal data recovery method and proceed to recover deleted and lost files. Once it’s finished, the user can browse through a list of recoverable files and mark individual files and even entire folders for recovery.

Disk Drill for Mac supports all major file systems (HFS & HFS+, FAT/FAT32/exFAT, NTFS, EXT3/EXT4), and it works with internal and external storage devices alike. Included with it are multiple Mac HDD repair tools, including a disk monitoring tool that can alert you when your hard drive starts to show signs of failure.

Disk Drill for macOS – Gallery
Top Disk Drill Pros
  • Two for one
  • Abundance of extra utilities
  • Structured scan results
  • Mount results as a virtual disk
  • RAID recovery capabilities
Top Disk Drill Cons
  • Phone support
  • No disk cloning
  • Bootable drives
  • Recovery over a network
  • Video and photo repair
Overall experience

Disk Drill for Mac is easily the best data repair software for Mac because it comes with several easy-to-use Mac HDD repair tools capable of diagnosing just about any hard drive issues you may run into.

Techtool Pro Logo

2. Techtool Pro

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOS

Distributed as

Paid Commercial software can be used only with a valid license.

Limitations

No trial

Price range

$159.99...$289.99

Overview

While not nearly as popular as it used to be some 10 years ago, TechTool Protogo, now part of the TechTool Pro product line, still remains one of the best disk repair software Mac users should know about. Unlike many other disk repair tools for Mac computers, TechTool Protogo can bypass the operating system and run directly from a bootable diagnostic device, which is essentially a convenient disk repair toolbox with the right tool for just about any disk repair job.

Because many hard drive issues are caused by external factors, such as overheating or a faulty power supply, it’s great to see TechTool Protogo include one of the most comprehensive hardware testing tools in the industry. With it, it’s extremely straightforward to spot temperature sensors that have exceeded the normal range and pinpoint the exact cause of your hard drive issues.

Another useful tool included in TechTool Protogo is the Volume Rebuild tool. As its name suggests, the Volume Rebuild tool can repair volumes that have suffered logical damage (caused by non-mechanical issues). Best of all, it can handle not just native Mac drive formats but also MS-DOS (FAT32) and ExFAT volumes.

TechTool Pro – Gallery
Top 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
  • Stand-alone hard disk repair tool Mac users can run from a bootable device
  • Offers comprehensive hardware diagnostics
Top TechTool Pro 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
Overall experience

TechTool Protogo is a Swiss Army knife-type repair disk utility that has been around since the days of Macintosh. Its latest version may not be as popular as some of the older versions, but its disk repair capabilities are still impressive.

DiskWarrior Logo

3. DiskWarrior

2.29 This warrior is ready for retirement – DiskWarrior claims to be the world's most advanced repair and data recovery tool, but the results it delivers tell a different story.

Read full DiskWarrior review
Platforms

macOS

Distributed as

Paid Commercial software can be used only with a valid license

Limitations

No trial

Price range

$119.95...$59.95

Overview

DiskWarrior specializes in eliminating directory errors on Mac computers. Its signature approach to disk repair prevents data loss by creating an error-free version of the damaged data and comparing it with the original data to verify its integrity. This approach has earned DiskWarrior multiple awards over the years, and users who have been able to avoid a disastrous loss of data with this Mac drive repair software swear by it.

The latest version of DiskWarrior runs on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, macOS 10.12 Sierra, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, macOS 10.14 Mojave, and macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Even if you don’t repair directory errors caused crashes, power loss, and other unexpected interruptions, you should still consider using DiskWarrior because it can greatly improve the performance of your system. How? By optimizing the directory structure for maximum performance. According to the developers of DiskWarrior, such optimization can result in up to a 60 percent decrease in the time it takes programs to scan the directory.

DiskWarrior for macOS – Gallery
Top DiskWarrior Pros
  • Repair capabilities
  • Bootable recovery
  • Disk optimization
  • Error detection
  • Disk monitoring
Top DiskWarrior Cons
  • Strange behavior
  • File system support
  • Trial version
  • Manual updates
  • Repair methods
Overall experience

There are many disk repair tools for Mac that make lofty promises even though they can’t do much more than the Disk Utility app, but DiskWarrior isn’t one of them. This disk repair tool for Mac has pioneered its own approach to disk repair, helping its customers solve challenging directory issues without risking data loss.

OnyX Logo

4. OnyX

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOS

Distributed as

Freeware All features are provided free of charge without any limitations.

Limitations

None

Price range

Free

Overview

Apple’s main goal is to make Mac computers accessible to as many users as possible. To make this happen, Apple sometimes hides more advanced features that might otherwise confuse less tech-savvy users. However, many of these hidden features are exactly what you need to diagnose and repair disk problems. OnyX is a versatile disk repair tool Mac users can use to access a large number of hidden features with ease.

The main window of OnyX is split into several tabs:

  • The Maintenance tab lets you access common system maintenance tasks and script, allowing you to rebuild cache files, repair file permissions, and more.
  • Next to it is the Cleaning tab, which is where you need to go it you want to delete system cache files or large logs.
  • The Automation tab is home to multiple routine tasks that you can automate with a single click to keep your Mac in the best possible condition without any manual work.
  • The Utilities tab is home to lesser-known Mac apps that most regular users don’t even know exist.
  • Worth mentioning is also the Parameters tab, which gives you a great degree of control over the look and feel of the operating system and individual apps.

Since OnyX is completely free, there’s absolutely no reason to not give it a try and see what it has to offer. Just make sure to download the right version for your Mac because there’s a specific version of OnyX for each major version of the operating system. The correct version for macOS 10.15 Catalina is OnyX 3.7.2, while the users of macOS 10.14 Mojave should download OnyX 3.6.8.

OnyX for macOS – Gallery
Top OnyX Pros
  • Completely free and supported by donations
  • Provides easy access to advanced Mac features and apps
  • Let’s you configure hidden macOS settings and parameters
Top OnyX Cons
  • No data recovery option
Overall experience

If you consider yourself to be an advanced Mac user, you need to have OnyX installed on your system because you would be hard-pressed to find a more convenient way how to access hidden features, especially one that’s free.

Data Rescue Logo

5. Data Rescue

3.26 Oldie but not goodie – Data Rescue for Mac is among the oldest applications of its kind, but its age is starting to show in multiple not-so-favorable ways.

Read full Data Rescue review
Platforms

macOSWindows

Distributed as

Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest

Limitations

Recover up to 1 GB for free

Price range

$79...$399

Overview

Data Rescue 6 for Mac has a lot in common with our favorite Mac disk repair software, Disk Drill for Mac. Both software applications are comprehensive data recovery solutions intended to recover permanently deleted files from a variety of storage devices. Just like Disk Drill for Mac, Data Rescue 6 offers two distinct data recovery methods: Quick Scan and Deep Scan. Last but not least, both data recovery solutions have been around for a long time and received many positive reviews from professional reviewers and customers alike.

Data Rescue 6 for Mac has a fairly barebones user interface, and it’s clear that its developers haven’t put much effort into making this hard drive repair software inviting for Mac users. The good news is that you won’t spend too much time interacting with Data Rescue 6 because all you need to do to start the recovery process is click the Start Recovering Files button and select a drive to scan. The Quick Scan data recovery mode takes just a short while to complete, but Deep Scan often requires multiple hours to finish. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to pause the scan, which is why it’s best to start it before going to bed.

With a single Data Rescue 6 license, you can perform an unlimited number of recoveries from up to 5 drives. Because you can often find Data Rescue 6 on sale, we recommend you wait a while before you pay the full price.

Data Rescue for macOS – Gallery
Top Data Rescue Pros
  • Mail alerts
  • Hex editor
  • Virtual RAID
  • Specify the starting point for scanning
  • Passwordless launch
Top Data Rescue Cons
  • Inability to scan system disks
  • Unreliable bootable recovery
  • Needs the internet at all times
  • Scanning duration
  • Limited number of saved sessions
Overall experience

Data Rescue 6 for Mac is a compelling alternative to Disk Drill for Mac with a few major shortcomings that prevent it from ranking higher on this list.

AppCleaner Logo

6. AppCleaner

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOS

Distributed as

Freeware All features are provided free of charge without any limitations.

Limitations

None

Price range

Free

Overview

Leftover application files eat up valuable storage space, and their presence on the hard drive can cause problems with newer versions of the applications that originally created them. To keep your hard drive clean and organized, you should uninstall applications with AppCleaner, one of the most useful free Mac utilities in the world.

When you drop an application into AppCleaner, the utility automatically finds all files that belong to it and safely deletes them. AppCleaner works on all versions of macOS from High Sierra up to Catalina, but you won’t find it in the App Store because its developer, FreeMacSoft, distributes it only on its website.

AppCleaner for Mac – Gallery
Top AppCleaner Pros
  • Thoroughly uninstalls unwanted apps
  • Is available for free
Top AppCleaner Cons
  • Supports only macOS up to Monterey
Overall experience

Apple should make AppCleaner the default uninstall method on macOS instead of allowing applications to leave behind files that do nothing but eat up valuable storage space and cause problems with other applications.

Drive Genius Logo

7. Drive Genius

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOS

Distributed as

Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest. 

Limitations

Limited functionality

Price range

$79...$299

Overview

Many hard drive issues can be prevented with proper maintenance, and Drive Genius has all the maintenance features you need to keep your hard drive in top condition. The features are split into three categories:

  • Protect: Consistency Check, Repair, Rebuild, Malware Scan, BootWell, Instant DrivePulse, Repair, Active Files.
  • Clean Up: Repartition, Find Duplicates, Find Large Files, Clone, Secure Erase, Initialize, IconGenius, Information.
  • Speed Up: Defragment, Speed.

That’s 18 features in total. Arguably the most interesting feature of them all is Instant DrivePulse, Repair. Its purpose is to check your hard drive for hardware-related problems, such as those that may result from a damaged drive, bad cable, or bad connection. Unfortunately, Drive Genius isn’t compatible with all recent versions of macOS, but there’s a demo version available that you can use to test if this hard disk repair tool runs on your Mac.

Drive Genius for macOS – Gallery
Top Drive Genius Pros
  • Comes with 18 useful disk repair features
  • Free demo version available
  • Professional version available for a one-time payment
Top Drive Genius Cons
  • Limited functionality for macOS 10.13 or later
Overall experience

For the average Mac user who doesn’t troubleshoot multiple disk issues on a daily basis, the Drive Genius is probably an overkill, but professionals can easily justify the steep price considering that they can get access to 18 useful disk repair features.

Carbon Copy Cloner Logo

8. Carbon Copy Cloner

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOS

Distributed as

Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest.

Limitations

30-day trial

Price range

$39.99...$100

Overview

Carbon Copy Cloner is the right Mac disk repair software to use when all other disk repair software applications fail. Its main feature is the ability to create bootable backups that can be stored anywhere and used in a minute. When a disaster strikes, you can simply boot from a Carbon Copy Cloner backup and repair the malfunctioning disk later.

Just like Time Machine in macOS, Carbon Copy Cloner can constantly back up your files, allowing you to go back in time and retrieve an older version of any file that was stored on your Mac. You can schedule backups to run as often as you want, and Carbon Copy Cloner can keep you informed about their progress via the Notification Center or email.

Carbon Copy Cloner for macOS – Gallery
Top Carbon Copy Cloner Pros
  • Ability to create bootable backups
  • Can seamlessly back up your files as you work on your Mac
  • Complex backup scheduling features
Top Carbon Copy Cloner Cons
  • Cannot monitor disk S.M.A.R.T attributes
Overall experience

After Apple’s Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner may just be the most popular backup application for macOS, and it’s easy to see why. Its ability to recover from bootable backups can save you when all other hard drive repair software fails.

AppleJack Logo

9. AppleJack

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOSWindows

Distributed as

Freeware All features are provided free of charge without any limitations.

Limitations

None

Price range

Free

Overview

Aimed at advanced Mac users, AppleJack is a command-line utility that runs in Single User Mode. You can use it to repair your hard drive, repair permissions, get rid of possibly corrupted cache files, and validate the system’s preference files. To boot into Single User Mode, all you need to do is boot up your Mac and hold down Command + S keys together as soon as the boot process begins. From there, you enter the admin password to log in and typing applejack, or applejack auto, or applejack auto restart.

Despite being aimed at advanced Mac users, AppleJack is fairly easy to use because it presents all available options on the screen in the form of a text-based menu. You simply enter your choice, press Enter on the keyboard, and let AppleJack do the hard work.

AppleJack for macOS – Gallery
Top AppleJack Pros
  • Command-line utility with a menu-based interface
  • Works even when your Mac can’t boot into macOS
Top AppleJack Cons
  • Project abandoned
Overall experience

AppleJack is an easy choice for advanced Mac users who are not afraid of the Single User Mode and command-line interfaces.

MemTest86 Logo

10. MemTest86

Suitable for basic data recovery tasks – We’re still testing this software. Wait until we’re done for our final verdict!

Platforms

macOSWindowsLinux

Distributed as

Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest.

Limitations

Limited functionality

Price range

$0...$4400

Overview

There’s a good reason why Memtest OX X occupies the last place on this list: it’s actually not a Mac HDD repair tool. Instead, it’s a memory testing software application capable of booting from a USB flash drive and testing the RAM in your Mac for faults.

We decided to include it on this list because many Mac issues that seem to be caused by a faulty hard drive can just as easily be caused by a faulty memory module. With Memtest OS X, you can confirm or rule out your suspicion and avoid fixing an imaginary problem.

The latest version of Memtest OS X has an easy-to-use graphical user interface with mouse support, and it offers 13 different RAM testing algorithms. Regular Mac users can stick with the free version of Memtest OS X, but professionals should also consider the Pro Edition.

MemTest86 for Mac – Gallery
Top MemTest86 Pros
  • Industry-standard RAM testing software application
  • Graphical interface with mouse support
  • 13 different RAM testing algorithms
Top MemTest86 Cons
  • Expensive pricing
Overall experience

When it comes to RAM testing, there’s no reason to look any further than Memtest OS X, and the free version is enough for confirming that you’re dealing with a disk-related issue.

Top Causes of Mac Hard Drive Damage

Even the most reliable hard drive in the world can fail or become corrupted for a number of reasons:

Software bugs

When privileged software applications misbehave, they can cause filesystem corruption or make it impossible to boot into the operating system. That’s why you should never give admin permissions to applications you don’t fully trust.

Human error

It’s natural for us to make mistakes, especially when we attempt something for the first time, such as partitioning a hard drive. Unfortunately, human errors can have disastrous consequences and lead to permanent loss of data, so be extra careful and never follow any online instructions without cross-referencing them first.

Hardware failure

Hard drive reliability statistics don’t lie: there isn’t a single manufacturer that produces hard drives with 100 percent reliability. To avoid data loss caused by a sudden hardware failure, use a disk health monitoring tool and replace the hard drive before its condition deteriorates too much.

Firmware issues

There have been several causes of faulty hard drive firmware leading to hard drive damage and data loss in the past. While hard drive manufacturers are usually quick to release an updated version of the firmware, it’s up to end-users to update their hard drives.

External factors

Hard drive damage can also be caused by external factors such as natural disasters, power surges, and various unforeseen mishaps. Having a reliable backup plan in place is the only way how you can always be prepared for the worst.

Benefits of Hard Disk Repair Software Solutions

When something goes wrong with your hard drive, you have several options on how to proceed. You can take the hard drive to a professional hard drive repair shop and ask them to fix the issue for you. You can also use hard disk repair software and attempt to fix the problem by yourself. Here are some reasons why the do-it-yourself approach is better:

  • Speed:

    Depending on which hard drive repair shop you choose, it can take as much as several weeks for your hard drive to return back to you. If that’s the only hard drive you have, you’re out of luck. With a hard disk repair software solution, you can repair your hard disk in just a few minutes.

  • Convenience:

    Modern hard disk repair software solutions like Disk Drill for Mac are extremely convenient to use. They walk you through the entire process, allowing you to fix your hard drive from the comfort of your home, allowing you to experience the satisfaction of repairing your own Mac.

  • Price:

    Professional hard disk repair services tend to cost a lot of money, and there’s no guarantee that the repair shop you choose won’t use the same software tool you could easily download from the internet, perhaps even for free. Before you give your hard-earned money to someone else, use the disk repair software for Mac listed in this article to fix the problem by yourself.

Did You Know?

Each year, data storage provider Backblaze gathers data about over 100,000 spinning hard drives used in its cloud storage ecosystem, summarizing the gathered data in comprehensive reports published on its website. On average, approximately 2 percent of hard drives used by Backblaze fail each year, which means that 2 out of every 100 hard drives go to Silicon Heaven.

Conclusion

After testing countless Mac disk repair software applications, we were able to narrow them down to just 10. Disk Drill for Mac earned the top spot thanks to its ease of use, excellent data recovery performance, and useful disk repair tools. Overall, Mac users can choose from a wide variety of disk repair tools, many of which are free or offer a trial version.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can you do a hard disk repair on a Mac when the hard drive does not boot up?

If you can’t boot in macOS to perform hard disk repair using any of the 10 tools listed above, you need to restart your computer in macOS Recovery and repair the hard disk using Disk Utility:

  1. Turn on your Mac and press and hold Command-R.
  2. Select Disk Utility from the utilities window and click Continue.
  3. Choose View and select Show All Devices.
  4. Select your hard disk in the side bar and click the First Air button.
  5. Click Run and Continue to repair the hard disk with Disk Utility.

You can run whole disk repair on a Mac by launching the diskutil application in Terminal:

  1. Launch Terminal from the Utilities folder.
  2. Type or paste in the following command: diskutil list
  3. Remember the name of your disk.
  4. Issue the following command to repair it: diskutil repairvolume [disk name]

Disk Utility can fail for many different reasons. The disk may have suffered mechanical damage, the file system may be corrupted, or there may be malware present on the system that’s blocking Disk Utility and preventing it from finishing the repair process.

David Morelo
Author

David Morelo is a professional content writer with a specialization in data recovery. He spends his days helping users from around the world recover from data loss and address the numerous issues associated with it.

When not writing about data recovery techniques and solutions, he enjoys tinkering with new technology, working on personal projects, exploring the world on his bike, and, above all else, spending time with his family.

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Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Approver

Yevgeniy Tolkunov is Hardware Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Yevgeniy has a Master's Degree in Physics, Information Technology; 15+ years of experience.