Data Rescue for Mac Review – Has It Aged Like Wine or Milk?


Out of 5 Total Score

No. 8 Among all macOS solutions

Price range $19...$399.96 • Prosoft Engineering, Inc. • macOS

Last update on

Data Rescue for Mac is among the oldest data recovery software applications for macOS. The latest version (6.0.7) has been available since June 2022, and we’re excited to see what it has to offer.

Karma 67% - Karma


Bang for the buck 24% - Bang for the buck


Bang for the buck
Recovery performance 45% - Recovery performance


Recovery performance
Usability 33% - Usability


Extras 23% - Extras



Top Pros

  • Mail alerts. Software can notify its users by email when it finds bad sectors.

  • Hex editor. The software comes with a Hex editor that can be used to analyze the entire content of the connected storage device.

  • Virtual RAID. Data Rescue for Mac can assemble virtual RAID arrays, which can help in repairing broken disk sets.

  • Specify the starting point for scanning. Advanced users can set the desired starting sector to focus scanning on a specific area of the storage device.

  • Passwordless launch. No need to enter the password every time one starts the program.

  • Dark mode. Although Data Rescue for Mac has an old-fashioned user interface, the developers have introduced support for dark mode.

Top Cons

  • Inability to scan system disks. Since macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Data Rescue can’t scan system disks directly. The user has to boot into Recovery Mode first.

  • Unreliable bootable recovery. To scan system drives, Data Rescue offers a bootable recovery option, but it didn’t work well on our Mac running the latest version of macOS.

  • Needs the internet at all times. Data Rescue for Mac requires a constant connection to the internet to validate the license.

  • Scanning duration. The data recovery software doesn’t display an estimated scanning duration.

  • Limited number of saved sessions. You can only save up to 15 scanning sessions, and Data Rescue won’t let you start another scan unless you delete all saved sessions first.

  • Pricing. Users can either pay $19 to recover one file or purchase an unlimited license for $399 per year, which is very expensive in comparison to other similar solutions.

  • Hidden pricing information. To see how much Data Rescue actually costs, you need to download the software first.

  • Limited file system support. Data Rescue can recover file names and directory structures of HFS-formatted storage devices but not other file systems.

  • Hidden file size limitations. The size limitations for the searched files are set in the settings menu. For example, you can limit the program to ignore all files that are larger than 10 GB. The average user wouldn’t know the option exists in the first place, which would compromise the data recovery results.

  • Lackluster quick scanning capabilities. Recently deleted files can be quickly recovered only from APFS, HFS, NTFS, and exFAT disks. However, exFAT performance is lackluster at best, with only 10-20% of data recovered.

  • Bad sector management. The data recovery software knows when a scan is taking too long, but won't check for bad sectors and is unable to avoid them to minimize the ETA.

  • Complicated configuration. The default settings are mostly not ideal, and it takes a lot of work to figure out and adjust them.

  • Lack of M1 support. Data Rescue doesn’t work on M1 Macs without the Rosetta 2 compatibility layer.

  • Inability to resume an interrupted scan. When a storage device is disconnected while being scanned by Data Rescue for Mac, you don’t get a chance to resume the scan. Instead, you have to start it all over again.

  • Limited RAID support. The program can only work with RAID 0 and JBOD configurations.

  • macOS installer creation. Data Rescue doesn't allow creating USB installers for the latest versions of macOS.

  • Challenging scan session selection. The saved scan sessions don't have a sufficient description, thus it can be quite difficult to find the one you actually need to resume.

  • Usability issues. Data Rescue for Mac frequently refreshes the user interface after scanning, hiding search results in the process and potentially confusing the user.

  • Lack of translations. No other language besides English is supported.

  • Scan results filtering and ordering. There’s no way to change how found files are displayed, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to find what you’re looking for.

  • Device selection. It can be difficult to select the right storage device because Data Rescue doesn’t display much information about them. What’s more, the available devices can’t be sorted in any way.

  • Search for lost partitions. There is no method to search for lost partitions.

  • Encrypted storage devices. Data Rescue can’t scan encrypted APFS and HFS storage devices. What’s worse, the software doesn’t inform the user that encrypted storage devices are not supported—it simply doesn’t deliver any results.

Top Competitors


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Best choice for Mac users

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Respectable free data recovery limit

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This warrior is ready for retirement

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Data Rescue for macOS – Overview


Developed by a US-based software company, Data Rescue seems like a safe bet for anyone interested in mature data recovery software. The line between mature and outdated software can be thin, however.

Discounts and coupons

30% Off Data Rescue 5 for Mac

Coupon code - DRMAC30.

Get the Deal
Have you found a better discount coupon and would like to share it with our readers? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll update this section promptly.

Developer — Prosoft Engineering, Inc.

Prosoft Engineering, Inc. has been around as a company since the 80s. Data Rescue is the company’s flagship product. 

1% 10.6% than avg

Online market share
Reflects the share of online traffic within the niche captured by the data recovery software based on data taken from and Google US.

840 96.4% than avg

Brand name popularity

Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to

If you wanted to visit Prosoft Engineering, Inc. in person, you would have to travel to sunny California. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that to get tech support or questions answered, because Prosoft Engineering, Inc. has multiple customer support channels open during standard business hours.

Developer website
Support email

1985 • 38 years on market

HQ location

5424 Sunol Blvd Suite 10-253 Pleasanton, CA 94566



Social media

We like that it’s possible to speak to one of Prosoft’s US-based representatives Monday – Friday (8AM – 5PM PST). You can also contact the company via email and receive a reply within 1-2 business days.


Distributed as Freemium Some features are provided free of charge, but money is required to unlock the rest
Trial version available
Trial version limitations

With trial version you can:

  • Preview your recoverable files
Paid plans
  • Standard
  • Professional
Price range $19.00...$399.96
License model Subscription
No credit card to try
Money back guarantee

Despite offering four pricing options, Data Rescue is anything but customer-friendly:

  • Per file recovery: It costs $19 to recover each file.
  • Bulk recover: For $49, you can recover 100 files.
  • Drive-based recovery: For $99, you can recover an unlimited number of files from a single drive.
  • Unlimited recovery: For $399, you can unlock unlimited recovery for one year.

Considering that many competing data recovery software tools let you recover an unlimited number of files for less than $100, Data Rescue is anything but affordable.

It also doesn’t help that pricing information isn’t published on the website. You have to download and run the software first.

Pricing details

11 File Recovery $19.00
2100 File Recoveries $49.00
31 Drive Recovery $99.00
  • Finds all your lost files for free
  • Only pay for the files you want to recover
1Unlimited License for 1 Year $399.96
  • Unlimited system activation
  • Unlimited drive recovery
  • Annual Subscription

Data Recovery with Data Rescue

Tested on: macOS 12.1 (21C52)

We’re always excited to test any popular data recovery software application—let alone the one that has been on the market for such a long time.

How We Test

We test data recovery software by following a meticulously crafted testing process whose purpose is to reveal all strengths and weaknesses of the test subject in the most objective and repeatable manner possible.

1InstallationWe downloaded and installed the latest version of Data Rescue on our testing Mac computer.
2Source selectionNext, we created data sets spanning virtually all types, including document, image, video, audio, and archive file formats.
3Scanning processWe created virtual testing drives containing the various data sets to guarantee that our testing emulates the real-life situations. We then scanned the drives using Data Rescue for Mac.
4Managing found dataAfter completing multiple scanning tests, we gathered recovered data for subsequent analysis, paying attention to the software's ease of use.
5Recovery and post-processingFinally, we analyzed the recovery results to determine how well Data Rescue performs when compared with other similar data recovery software applications.

When testing data recovery performance, we evaluate all available recovery modes against our diverse data sets. In addition to how many files a data recovery software application can recover, we also focus on recovery speed and user-friendliness.

Step 1


To get started, we first downloaded the free demo version of Data Rescue from its official website. To install it, we opened the downloaded image file and copied the application to the Applications folder. 

When we launched Data Rescue for the first time, we were asked to give it Full Disk Access, which is a common requirement of all data recovery software applications for macOS.

Data Rescue requires the user to enter the admin password only for the first time. Subsequent launches are instant. 

Step 2

Source selection

While not immediately obvious, Data Rescue actually has two different user interfaces. The default one is intended for beginners, and it offers four self-descriptive options: Start Recovering Files, View Previous Scan Results, Clone, and Create Recovery Drive.

To access the other user interface, you need to click the View menu and select the Switch to Professional Mode option. As you can guess, Professional Mode is aimed at advanced users, and it gives you access to the application's hex editor and more.

We used the standard user interface, so starting a scan was as easy as clicking the Start Recovering Files option. We then selected our testing disk image and proceeded.

Step 3

Scanning process

After selecting our testing disk image, we were asked to choose from two scanning modes: Quick Scan and Deep Scan.

Data Rescue provides a handy description of each mode, going over its characteristics, advantages, and potential disadvantages. Because we wanted to examine the test image using advanced techniques to find every recoverable file, we selected Deep Scan.

Scan progress was displayed in real time, which was reassuring because we could see the application doing what it's supposed to do, however Data Rescue doesn't display an estimated remaining time.

Step 4

Managing found files

When it comes to the management of found files, Data Rescue doesn't offer much more beyond the basics. You can see files grouped into their original folders (when such information is available), preview the supported file formats, and search for specific files, but that's about it.

You can't filter the scan results in any way, and it's not even possible to change how the results are sorted, even though the user interface suggests that such functionality is supported. 

Step 5

Recovery and post-processing

Before you can recover any deleted file found by Data Rescue, you need to select it. To do that, you simply click the checkbox next to it. Data Rescue displays the total number of selected files at the bottom, along with their total size.

Once we had made our selection, we clicked the Recover button and were asked to specify the recovery directory. We confirmed our choice, and Data Rescue displayed a pop-up message, telling us the recovery had been completed. 


Data Rescue for Mac – Tutorials and Other Videos

To help you better understand how Data Rescue works, we’ve put together a collection of useful tutorials and other video resources.

How to Recover Files From a Mac That Fails to Boot (or hard drive that won't mount)

This video shows you how to run a Quick Scan with Data Rescue 4.

How To Use Data Rescue ONE - All-In-One Recovery Solution

Data Rescue ONE is a self-contained computer hard drive recovery solution, which integrates software, services and hardware into ONE product.

Data Rescue for Mac – Full Review

Let’s take a closer look at what Data Rescue can offer as a data recovery software application by evaluating everything from its reputation to its usability and data recovery performance.

Karma 67% by 13 rating criteria



13 rating criteria

Prosoft Engineering, Inc., the developers of Data Rescue, are headquartered in California, and they’ve been around for a long time. You can reach them during standard business hours and speak to one of their US-based representatives.

Data Rescue receives updates fairly often, but the developers have yet to implement native support for Apple Silicon Macs. And because it’s not possible to directly scan system drives on newer Macs, it’s clear that Prosoft Engineering, Inc. is struggling to keep up with the operating system for which they develop their software.

1Update frequency
Every 6 months
2Updated recently
3Changelog available
4Latest macOS supported
Yes, all good
5Runs natively on M1/M2 Macs
Does not support
6Genuine or clone?
7Brand name popularity
8Online market share
10Extensive knowledge base
11Helpdesk support
12Live chat
13Phone support
Bang for the buck 24% by 8 rating criteria


Bang for the buck

8 rating criteria

Data Rescue doesn’t display pricing information on its website, and that alone should make you suspicious. When any software company hides pricing information, there’s usually a good reason. In this case, the reason is simple: Data Rescue is so expensive that most potential customers would turn around immediately. 

As a customer, you can choose between paying to recover each file and purchasing an annual subscription to recover an unlimited number of files.

Paying for each recovered file can theoretically be cost effective if you want to recover only one or two files, but experience tells us that it’s usually necessary to recover far more files than that to regain access to important data. What’s more, it takes just a few files for the cost of Data Rescue to exceed the cost of many competing data recovery software tools.

1Competitive pricing
2Price-quality ratio
3Free trial
Free demo is available
4Is it free?
Paid license is required to recover files
5Pricing policy
Per file recovery + unlimited subscription plan
6Unlimited recovery in full version
7Free upgrades
Yes, with an annual subscription
8Commercial rights in the cheapest license
Usability 33% by 18 rating criteria



18 rating criteria

Data Rescue isn’t a modern data recovery application with a beautiful user interface. The software has been around for a long time, and not all parts have aged equally well (and not all parts have received the same attention from the software’s developers).

Selecting the right storage device is fairly easy (as long as you know which volume you want to scan), but from there it’s a parade of usability issues. For example, Data Rescue doesn’t show the remaining scanning time, and the tool also doesn’t make it easy to browse recoverable files and select the right ones from them.

The Expert mode seems like a lazy way to provide more advanced users with extra options without making the software too complicated for beginners. Many other data recovery software applications are both capable and accessible, so why can’t Data Rescue be the same?

1Modern user-friendly interface
2Dark mode
3Easy-to-locate features
4Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
5Auto-resuming scans of failing drives
6Auto-resuming backups of failing drives
7Convenient source selection on start
8Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items
9Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
10Mount recoverable items as disk
11Built-in updater
12Multiple view modes in scan results
13Hex view for recoverable items
14Filter recoverable items by type
15Search recoverable items by file names
16Sort results
17Multilingual UI
18Simple deployment
Recovery performance 45% by 126 rating criteria


Recovery performance

126 rating criteria

The price of any software application is setting the expectations. Data Rescue is priced like a professional data recovery software tool, but its recovery performance more closely matches a free tool. 

The biggest issue we have with Data Rescue is the lack of support for certain commonly used file systems. It doesn’t help that encrypted storage devices are not supported as well, regardless of which file system they use.

As if that wasn’t enough, Data Rescue can’t even scan the system drive on newer Macs without you first booting into Recovery Mode, which is anything but convenient.

1Deep scan
Only the HFS+ file system is supported.
2Quick scan
Some of the most popular file systems, including FAT32, exFAT, and ext4, are either not supported at all or are supported poorly.
3Other types of scan
Data Rescue doesn't offer too much when it comes to advanced data recovery capabilities.
4Device support
Except for mobile devices and encrypted drives, the software can scan all storage devices.
5Real-life recovery challenge
Data Rescue sometimes performs surprisingly great and sometimes surprisingly poorly.
6Other notable recovery features
You can use Data Rescue to create a byte-to-byte copy of any storage device, among other things.

Clever scan

1HFS+ partitions
2APFS partitions
3FAT32 partitions
4exFAT partitions
5NTFS partitions
6EXT4 partitions

Data Rescue can recover files with their original names and folder structure only from HFS+ partitions—no other file systems are supported.

Quick scan

1HFS+ partitions
2APFS partitions
3FAT32 partitions
4exFAT partitions
5NTFS partitions
6EXT4 partitions

The Quick scan mode works fine when scanning supported file systems (with the exception of exFAT), but several commonly used file systems are not supported at all.

Other scan types

1The number of formats supported by deep scan
2Native deep scan of system drives on M1/M2-powered Macs
3Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted Macs
4Native data recovery from local Time Machine snapshots
5Scan for lost partitions
6HFS+ directory rebuild
7Recovered files' labeling
8Partial file recovery
9Disk images: scan and recovery

Despite the fact that Data Rescue has a special Expert mode that you can activate to reveal additional options, the data recovery software doesn’t offer much in terms of advanced recovery capabilities.

Device Support

1Internal and external HDD
2Internal and external SSD
3USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices
4Memory cards
5iOS devices
6iOS backups
8Android devices
9Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
10Encrypted device support
11Unmountable partitions

Data Rescue doesn’t support mobile devices (of course, you can still remove a memory card from your Android smartphone and scan it directly). Unfortunately, it also doesn’t support encrypted storage devices, which are becoming more and more common.

Real-life recovery challenges

1Document formats recovery
2Raw photo recovery
3Video formats recovery
Raw photo recovery

Strangely, some RAW photo file formats, namely KDC, MEF, and NEF, can be recovered without any struggle, but most other file formats used by modern digital cameras fall through the cracks during scanning. 

Video formats recovery

Your experience with Data Rescue will depend greatly on which file format you want to recover. File formats like MP4 or AVI can be recovered easily, but the likes of MOV or WMV will give you trouble.

Document formats recovery

Commonly used document file formats, including DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, and XLSX files can be recovered without any serious issues. Less popular document file formats are often not supported, unfortunately.

Other notable recovery features

1Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms
2Network recovery
3Effectively filters out corrupted scan results
4Byte-to-byte device backups
5Bootable recovery drive creation
6Runs in macOS native recovery mode
7Convenient scan session management
8Bad sector management
9Recovery chance prediction
10RAID reconstructor
11Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan
12Data protection
13Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices
14Scan speed
15Scan free space only
16Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
17Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
18Forensic features

Data Rescue focuses on the recovery of lost data, and all available features reflect this. It would be nice to also see at least some data management features because such features can prevent data loss from occurring in the first place.

Extras 23% by 12 rating criteria



12 rating criteria

Data Rescue isn’t exactly a feature-packed data recovery software application, which should be evident just by glancing at the table below. 

1Disk space mapping
Not supported.
2Disk clean up
Not supported.
3Corrupted video repair tool
Not supported.
4Corrupted photo repair tool
Not supported.
5Time Machine backups parser
Not supported.
Not supported.
7Bootable macOS installer
Data Rescue can create a bootable recovery drive. In fact, you need to create one if you want to recover a system drive.
8Duplicate finder
Not supported.
9Built-in disk space secure eraser
The Erase Drive/Volume feature allows you to easily erase the selected drive or volume.
10Disk cloning
Data Rescue can clone any storage device, and the feature can be accessed directly from the main menu.
11Disk surface test
Not supported.
12Secure data shredding
Not supported.

Considering how many data recovery software applications these days come packed with extra features to help their users manage data, the developers of Data Rescue should strongly consider introducing additional extra features to make the software more competitive.

What Users Say about Data Rescue

I bought data rescue several years ago after we had a few issues with corrupt SD and CF cards. It has done an excellent job over the years even still running an old version.

Andrew H.

When I first bought DR4 years ago it worked great. I was able to recover data with it, no problem. It worked up through 10.14 Mojave and I was happy with it. Then it suddenly stopped working. It couldn't contact the licensing servers. I emailed Prosoft support and they gave me a link for an updated version. Okay, fine. This updated version would not work on anything later than Mac OS 10.10. Even though they were selling it up until the release of 10.13 and were advertising it as compatible with the latest version of Mac OS, so it should at least be functional in 10.12. They had switched off the licensing servers, then gave paying customers a kneecapped version and told me to just pay to upgrade to DR5 instead. I can't help but think that was a deliberate move to try and milk more money out of people. Fat chance. This is an unbelievably awful move and probably grounds for a class-action lawsuit, but I'm not a lawyer. In any case, I didn't take their lousy upgrade offer and I will never purchase another product from this horrible scum company for as long as I live.


If I could give it zero stars, I would. Useless, worthless, confusing, overpriced, over complex, not user friendly, useless customer support, upgrade pricing is ridiculous. NOT worth $0.99 based on my experience. Bought/paid a riduclous $99 for my mom's Mac and the documentation did not clearly indicate what it would work on. DOES NOT WORK/ they greedily want to charge for upgrade instead of doing great customer service and offering to replace for my $99 to a version that does. P.O.* pure....Crapware


Data Rescue used to be about helping the customer - it now seems more about helping the developer make money. They have lost their way and in the process come up with a product inferior to Data Rescue 3. Thumbs down


Bottom line

Data Rescue for Mac is a trustworthy data recovery application developed by a company that has been around for a long time, but the latest version leaves a lot to be desired in terms of how much value it provides. 

With so many other excellent data recovery software applications available, many of which we have already reviewed on this site, justifying the expensive Data Rescue subscription is not just difficult—it’s unwise. 

We hope that future versions of this data recovery software will improve compatibility with ARM-based Macs and introduce a new user interface. Then, Data Rescue could once again deserve our recommendation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the frequently asked questions about Data Rescue.

Data Rescue is a data recovery software application developed by Prosoft Engineering, Inc. The application can be used to recover permanently deleted files from hard drives, external USB flash drives, and other devices.

Yes, Data Rescue is developed by a reputable company, Prosoft Engineering, Inc., and it won’t harm your Mac in any way even though it does require elevated access permissions. 

A free demo version of Data Rescue can be downloaded from the official website of the application. 

To install Data Rescue on your Mac, you need to:

  1. Download the free demo version.
  2. Open the installer image.
  3. Drag the Data Rescue icon to your Applications folder.

To completely remove Data Rescue, you can use a third-party app uninstaller. Alternatively, you can simply drag the application from the Applications folder to Trash. 

To access Data Rescue, open the Applications folder and double-click the Data Rescue icon. Alternatively, you can launch the software using Spotlight.

You can use Data Rescue on your Mac to scan most internal and external storage devices by selecting the Start Recovering Files option.

No, Data Rescue for Mac isn’t free, but there’s a free demo version that you can use to evaluate the application before purchasing a license.

When scanning a fast SSD, the entire scan process shouldn’t take a lot of time, but the same can’t be said about traditional hard drives, which may take over an hour to scan.

To know if Data Rescue has found the files you’re looking for, you need to go through the list for recoverable files. Fortunately, there’s a handy search feature that can help you locate files by name. 

To create a recovery disk so that you can recover data from a Mac that refuses to boot properly, launch Data Rescue for Mac and click the Create Recovery Drive button on the welcome screen. 

👍 Worth a try

Data Rescue for Mac Review – Has It Aged Like Wine or Milk?

Out of 5 Total score

No. 8 Among all macOS solutions

Because of its steep price and limited performance, we wouldn’t recommend Data Rescue as the first data recovery software to try. But if you’ve already used multiple solutions and have yet to see any positive results, then don’t hesitate and give Data Rescue a try.

Visit developer website
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David Morelo

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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Nikolay Lankevich
Nikolay Lankevich

Nikolay Lankevich has over 15 years of strong experience in various fields and platform includes Disaster Recovery, Windows XP/7. System analysis, design, application (Inter/Intranet) development, and testing. Provided technical supports on desktop and laptops on Win-XP and Macintosh for about 2000 employees.

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