R-Studio for Mac Review – Powerful Features in an Intimidating Package
Out of 5 Total Score
No. 3 Among all macOS solutions
R-Studio for Mac offers a wide range of features aimed at data recovery professionals. The same features, however, make it somewhat inaccessible to casual users. But what about advanced Mac users who are not data recovery professionals but, at the same time, are not afraid of reading documentation and spending some time figuring things out? For such users, R-Studio for Mac is an interesting option for the reasons we discuss in greater detail in this review.
Runs even on old Macs. R-Studio is compatible even with Mac OS X Tiger, which was released back in 2005.
Extensive file system support. You can recover many different file systems.
RAID reconstruction module. The program can automatically reconstruct broken RAID arrays, and it supports many different RAID modes.
Good scanning performance. Usually, R-Studio can restore the file structure across all supported file systems.
Network recovery. You can remotely recover data from a computer connected to the same network.
Compressed byte-to-byte backup creation. With R-Studio, you can create both regular and compressed byte-to-byte backups.
Emergency version. There’s a special version of R-Studio that can run from a flash drive or CD. This version is useful when recovering data from computers that refuse to boot from the system drive.
Recovery chances estimations. The software can display how likely a file can be successfully recovered.
Support for legacy storage devices. Various legacy storage devices, such as CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, and ZIP drives are supported.
Cross-platform software. R-Studio runs on all major platforms (Windows, macOS, and Linux), and the software provides the same user experience across the board.
Professional features. One reason why R-Studio is loved by data recovery professionals is the fact that it supports external devices such as DeepSpar Disk Imager or USB Stabilizer, which make it easier to recover data from problematic storage devices.
Custom file signatures. You can add your own custom file signatures to recover file formats that are recovered by default.
Forensic mode. R-Studio comes with the so-called forensic mode, which can be enabled to generate forensic data collection audit logs containing detailed information about scanned files and the hardware configuration of the computer in question.
Scanning speed. The software boasts an industry-leading scanning speed, allowing it to deliver results quickly even when recovering data from large storage devices.
Limited previews. Only a few file formats can be previewed. Raw photos, for example, are not supported at all.
Complicated. R-Studio is designed with data recovery professionals in mind, and casual users may find it to be too complicated.
Unintuitive scanning process. After the disk is scanned and you try to open scan results, a new scanning process opens, and that can take a very long time.
Very complex scan results. When the scan is complete, the program interface shows a bunch of found partitions, and it’s not clear.
S.M.A.R.T. The program can’t display S.M.A.R.T. data of many modern NVMe and external drives.
Scanning of system disks on T2 and M1 Macs. The program can’t scan system disks on T2 and M1 Macs.
Signature scanner. Signature scanner doesn’t support many modern audio/video/photo formats.
Selecting a source to scan. The source selection window is so overloaded that choosing the right drive to scan is a real hassle.
No automatic scan resume. R-Studio doesn’t automatically resume interrupted scans.
No built-in preview window. To preview individual files, you have to click the preview button every time because there’s no built-in preview window that would automatically display selected files.
Can’t browse scan results in real-time. While scanning, the program doesn’t allow you to see the results and navigate and preview them.
Scan results. Scan results are not displayed in an intuitive manner, and it can take a lot of time to find what you’re looking for.
Working with bad sectors. The program can recognize that it takes too long to read from the disk, but it doesn’t remember the sectors where it happened, and it also doesn’t allow you to build a map of bad sectors yourself.
Session management. R-Studio doesn’t come with a scan session manager.
Slow previews. The preview feature is very slow.
Video and photo repair. You can’t repair corrupted photo and video file formats.
Recovery during a scan. You have to wait for scanning to finish in order to recover your files.
|Trial version available|
|Trial version limitations|
|No credit card to try|
|Money back guarantee|
Buying an R-Studio for Mac license can be a confusing experience because there are multiple options available, and they range from $79.99 all the way up to $899.00. In reality, having multiple licenses to choose from is a great thing because you can pick the one that meets your needs the best and avoid paying money for features you don’t need.
As the pricing details below explain, the cheapest R-Studio for Mac license is the best choice for most home users because it includes all essential features as well as several more advanced features that many competing software solutions don’t offer, such as RAID recovery.
Businesses and data recovery professionals should go with R-Studio Corporate or R-Studio Technician depending on whether they want to use the software for commercial purposes. Both of these versions include the ability to recover data over network.
There’s also R-Studio T80+, which is essentially a time-limited version of R-Studio Technician that costs just $80. You can use this version for 80 days, which means that individuals and businesses can gain access to the most powerful features this data recovery software product has to offer for just $1 a day.
Everything in R-Studio for Mac plus:
Everything in R-Studio Corporate for Mac plus:
Developer — R-Tools Technology Inc.
R-Studio is developed by R-Tools Technology, a reputable Canadian software company that was founded more than two decades ago.
1% 8.7% than avg
Reflects the share of online traffic within the niche occupied by data recovery software, based on data taken from ahrefs.com (from Google US search engine).
100 76.5% than avg
Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to ahrefs.com.
Despite being around for a long time, R-Tools Technology hasn’t really turned R-Studio into a popular brand. That’s largely because the software has limited mass appeal, but it’s also because R-Tools Technology doesn’t focus on marketing nearly as much as some of its competitors.
2000 • 23 years on market
10520 Yonge Street, Unit 35B, Suite 232 Richmond Hill, ON, L4C 3C7, CANADA
Even though R-Tools Technology clearly doesn’t play the marketing game nearly as well as some other companies in the same space, it does have a decent social media presence, and you can also get in touch with its employees over the phone or via email.
How We Test
We at Pandora Data Recovery Review take pride in our comprehensive data recovery software testing methodology, which allows us to produce repeatable test results that can be used for comparison purposes.
|1||Installation||Our tests always start with the installation of the software in question. A complicated or broken installation process is guaranteed to make users run away and look for alternatives.|
|2||Source selection||Selecting the storage device you want to scan should be straightforward, but it sometimes isn't. What's more, not all data recovery software applications support the same file systems.|
|3||Scanning process||This is where data recovery software solutions for professionals and casual users differ the most, with the former kind typically providing plenty of customization options.|
|4||Managing found data||The best data recovery software applications make it easy to manage found data thanks to their ability to preview recoverable files and filter them according to a variety of different criteria.|
|5||Recovery and post-processing||Your recovery chances can take a nosedive if you select the wrong recovery destination. A good data recovery software application should help you pick a suitable one.|
Now that you understand our data recovery software testing methodology, it’s time for us to apply it in practice to see how accessible and capable R-Studio for Mac is.
We started by downloading R-Studio for Mac from its official website. We then opened the downloaded installer file and were presented with easy-to-understand installation instructions telling us to move R-Studio to the Applications folder.
After completing the straightforward installation process, we launched R-Studio for the first time and were asked to open System Preferences and give the software full access to the system disk.
This is where things got confusing. If you have one or two storage devices connected to your Mac, then you probably expect to see one or two sources to scan, right? Well, R-Studio for Mac lists not just physical storage devices but also individual volumes by default, so selecting the right one may require some detective work.
As one of the screenshots above illustrates, system disks connected to M1-powered and T2-encrypted Macs can't be scanned at all without disabling System Integrity Protection—something you shouldn't do if you care about your security and privacy. At least everything works fine on older Macs.
Once you have the right source selected, you can click the Scan button. Alternatively, you can right-click the desired source and choose the Scan option from the context menu.
R-Studio for Mac doesn't immediately start scanning when you press the Scan button. Instead, it opens a scan settings window where you can specify the area you want to scan, the file systems and file types you want R-Studio to look for, and more.
You can also click the Advanced button to reveal even more options. The good news is that you can safely ignore all available options when dealing with most data loss scenarios and simply click the Scan button.
When you do that, R-Studio for Mac will finally begin scanning, and its progress will be displayed in great detail. The application always tells you how much time is remaining, and the estimation is more or less accurate.
Managing found files
We're not fond of how R-Studio for Mac presents scan results, but what we don't like most of all is that scan results are not opened automatically. Instead, you have to view them manually by double-clicking the corresponding source.
Found files are organized in a hierarchical fashion according to their type, and you can change how they are sorted and displayed.
Commonly used multimedia file formats can be previewed in a dedicated pop-up window, and you can open any file in R-Studio's capable hex editor.
Recovery and post-processing
All you have to do to add a recoverable file to your recovery queue is to click the checkbox next to it. Once you've selected all files you want to get back, you can click the Recover Marked button.
R-Studio for Mac will ask you to specify the recovery destination, and it will provide multiple recovery options for you to configure. For example, you can choose if you want to recover metafiles or skip files with bad sectors.
We were happy with the default settings and proceeded forward by clicking the OK button. R-Studio instantly recovered all selected files to the specified recovery destination, automatically closing the recovery progress bar.
R-Studio for Mac – Tutorials and Other Videos
R-Studio for Mac is one of the more difficult data recovery applications out there, so it can be helpful to watch some tutorials that explain how it works.
Developed by one of the most respected software companies in the data recovery market segment, R-Studio is a highly trusted and respected application. All paying customers receive excellent customer support, but they don’t receive updates as frequently as we would like.
More than 6 months
Available (View full update history)
|4||Latest macOS supported|
Yes, all good
|5||Runs natively on M1/M2 Macs|
|6||Genuine or clone?|
|7||Brand name popularity|
|8||Online market share|
|10||Extensive knowledge base|
R-Studio for Mac offers great value because you can install it for free and use it to recover an unlimited number of files that are no larger than 256 KB. To recover larger files, you can purchase one of several available licenses, the cheapest of which costs $79.99.
Yes (limited to files that are no larger than 256 KB)
|4||Is it free?|
|6||Unlimited recovery in full version|
Only minor upgrades
|8||Commercial rights in the cheapest license|
Because of its confusing user interface and the lack of some quality-of-life features, R-Studio for Mac doesn’t score too many points in the usability department. The application could really use a beginner-friendly mode that would hide some information and options to provide a simplified data recovery experience.
|1||Modern user-friendly interface|
|4||Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction|
|5||Auto-resuming scans of failing drives|
|6||Auto-resuming backups of failing drives|
|7||Convenient source selection on start|
|8||Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items|
|9||Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items|
|10||Mount recoverable items as disk|
|12||Multiple view modes in scan results|
|13||Hex view for recoverable items|
|14||Filter recoverable items by type|
|15||Search recoverable items by file names|
There’s no doubt that R-Studio for Mac is packed with powerful data recovery features, but they’re sometimes not enough to deliver the desired results because some relatively commonly used file formats are not supported. It also doesn’t help that the application can’t recover data from system drives of M1- powered and T2-encrypted Macs.
|1||Clever in-depth scan|
|Supported file types can be reliably recovered.|
|Supported file types can be reliably recovered.|
|3||Other types of scan|
|Can't scan system drives on M1-powered and T2-encrypted Macs.|
|Most storage devices are supported.|
|5||Real-life recovery challenge|
|Results can be a hit or miss.|
|6||Other notable recovery features|
|Many useful recovery features are supported.|
R-Studio can recover the original folder structure and file names across all supported file systems, but recovery attempts involving the FAT32 and exFAT file systems produce the worst results.
Again, R-Studio can reliably recover recently deleted files from HFS+, APFS, NTFS, and EXT4 partitions, but FAT32 and exFAT recovery is less reliable.
Other scan types
|1||The number of formats supported by deep scan|
|2||Native deep scan of system drives on M1/M2-powered Macs|
|3||Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted Macs|
|4||Native data recovery from local Time Machine snapshots|
|5||Scan for lost partitions|
|6||HFS+ directory rebuild|
|7||Recovered files' labeling|
|8||Partial file recovery|
|9||Disk images: scan and recovery|
By far the biggest limitation of R-Studio for Mac is its inability to recover data from systems drives connected to M1-powered and T2-encrypted Macs. Additionally, the software can’t recover data from local Time Machine snapshots, and you need to go with a different solution if you want to rebuild an HFS+ directory.
|1||Internal and external HDD|
|2||Internal and external SSD|
|3||USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices|
|7||Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD|
|11||Encrypted device support|
All versions of R-Studio focus on recovering lost data from computers and the various storage devices that are typically attached to them, such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, and so on. As such, there’s no version of R-Studio capable of helping you recover missing files from iOS or Android devices, let alone their backups.
Real-life recovery challenges
|1||Document formats recovery|
|2||Raw photo recovery|
|3||Video formats recovery|
Raw photo recovery
|1||3fr (Hasselblad 3F raw image)|
|2||arw (Sony alpha raw)|
|3||bmp (bitmap image file)|
|4||cr2 (Canon raw version 2)|
|5||cr3 (Canon raw version 3)|
|6||crw (Canon raw CIFF image file)|
|7||dcr (Kodak digital camera raw)|
|8||dng (digital negative lossless raw image)|
|9||CinemaDNG (Blackmagic, Penelope, Pocket)|
|10||erf (Epson raw file)|
|11||exr (high dynamic-range file format)|
|12||fff (Hasselblad raw image)|
|13||gpr (GoPro raw format)|
|14||heic (high efficiency image file format)|
|15||iiq (intelligent image quality raw Leaf, Phase One)|
|16||insp (panoramic image Insta360)|
|17||jp2 (bitmap image format JPEG 2000)|
|18||jpg (joint photographic experts group compressed image)|
|19||kdc (Kodak digital camera raw image)|
|20||mef (Mamiya raw image file)|
|21||mos (Leaf and Mamiya raw image file)|
|22||mpo (multi picture stereoscopic object file)|
|23||mrw (Konica Minolta raw image format)|
|24||nef (Nikon raw image file)|
|25||nrw (Nikon raw image file)|
|26||orf (Olympus raw format)|
|27||pef (Pentax raw image file)|
|28||raf (Fujifilm raw image file)|
|29||raw (native digital camera file)|
|30||rw2 (Panasonic LUMIX raw image file)|
|31||rwl (Leica raw image format)|
|32||sr2 (Sony raw 2 image file)|
|33||srf (Sony raw file)|
|34||srw (Samsung raw image file)|
|35||tiff (tag image file format)|
|36||x3f (Sigma camera raw picture file)|
|37||x3i (Sigma super fine detail picture file)|
As you can see by looking at the summary table above, R-Studio for Mac can’t recover many commonly used raw photo file formats, such as CRW, KDC, SRF, and X3F, just to give some examples. That’s not great because raw photos in general are becoming more and more popular, and they can now be captured even by some modern smartphones.
Video formats recovery
|1||360 (GoPRO 360 degree videos)|
|2||ari (ARRI professional digital video camera)|
|3||arx (ARRI professional digital video camera)|
|4||avi (GoPRO CineForm intermediate codec)|
|5||avi (MJPG, H.264, MSMPEG4 v2 codecs)|
|6||braw (Blackmagic raw video file)|
|7||insv (Insta360 panoramic AVC H.264 video file)|
|8||insv (Insta360 panoramic HEVC HVC1 video file)|
|9||mov (Apple ProRes 422 Proxy/LT/HQ)|
|10||mov (Apple ProRes 4444 Raw/HQ)|
|11||mov (advanced video coding H.264)|
|12||mov (CineForm HD codec)|
|13||mov (HEVC, HVC1 codecs)|
|14||mp4 (advanced video coding H.264)|
|15||mp4 (HEVC, HVC1, Apple ProRes codecs)|
|16||mxf (advanced video coding H.264)|
|17||mxf (DVCPRO HD codec)|
|18||mxf (ARRI raw, Apple ProRes codecs)|
|19||mxf (XDCAM HD422, HD35 MPEG2 codecs)|
|20||r3d (Red digital camera company raw video file)|
|21||wmv (pro raw 9 codec)|
We wouldn’t use R-Studio for Mac as our video file recovery software of choice because multiple popular video file formats are not supported. The good news is that you can add a custom file format to R-Studio, but doing so is anything but straightforward.
Document formats recovery
|1||accdb (Microsoft Access 2007+ database file)|
|2||djvu (compressed image format)|
|3||doc (Microsoft Word 97 – 2003 document file)|
|4||docx (Microsoft Word 2007+ document file)|
|5||fb2 (FictionBook 2.0 File)|
|6||key (Apple Keynote)|
|7||mdb (Microsoft Access 97 - 2003 database file)|
|8||numbers (Apple Numbers)|
|9||odp (OpenOffice presentation file format)|
|10||ods (OpenDocument spreadsheet file format)|
|11||odt (OpenDocument text document file format)|
|12||pages (Apple Pages)|
|13||pdf (portable document format)|
|14||ppt (Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - 2003 presentation file)|
|15||pptx (Microsoft Powerpoint 2007+ presentation file)|
|16||rtf (rich text format)|
|17||xls (Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 spreadsheet file)|
|18||xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2007+ spreadsheet file)|
Documents are among the most frequently recovered files, but R-Studio’s performance doesn’t reflect this. We were unable to recover sample files in the DJVU file format, and even such commonly used file formats as DOCX, KEY, and PPT gave the software trouble.
Other notable recovery features
|1||Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms|
|3||Effectively filters out corrupted scan results|
|4||Byte-to-byte device backups|
|5||Bootable recovery drive creation|
|6||Runs in macOS native recovery mode|
|7||Convenient scan session management|
|8||Bad sector management|
|9||Recovery chance prediction|
|11||Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan|
|13||Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices|
|15||Scan free space only|
|16||Start file recovery without interrupting the scan|
|17||Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan|
R-Studio for Mac (at least the more expensive versions of the software) brings to the table a whole host of notable recovery features, including the ability to remotely recover data from computers connected to the same network or the ability to reconstruct RAID arrays. Still, some nice-to-have features are missing in the current version, and it would be nice to see them introduced with a future update.
It has become a common practice for the developers of data recovery software applications geared toward regular users to include all kinds of extra features to help the users of their products better manage their files and prevent data loss by regularly backing them up.
|1||Disk space mapping|
|2||Disk clean up|
|3||Corrupted video repair tool|
|4||Corrupted photo repair tool|
|Can display S.M.A.R.T. data of some storage devices|
|7||Built-in disk space secure eraser|
|9||Disk surface test|
|10||Secure data shredding|
Because R-Studio for Mac is aimed predominantly at professionals and not regular users, it doesn’t come with virtually any extra features that would expand its capabilities beyond data recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some questions Mac users frequently ask about R-Studio for Mac.
Yes, R-Studio works on M1 Macs, but the software can’t recover data from their system drives.
You can check for updates directly from R-Studio:
- Open the Help menu.
- Click the Check for Update option.
Not really. R-Studio for Mac is intended for data recovery professionals, and its user interface reflects this.
The demo version of R-Studio for Mac can recover an unlimited number of files, but they must be smaller than 256 KB.
To uninstall R-Studio for Mac:
- Launch Finder.
- Navigate to the Applications folder.
- Move R-Studio to Trash.
Disk Drill for Mac combines ease of use with excellent data recovery capabilities and many extra features that greatly increase its overall value.
Thanks to its generous free data recovery limit, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is worth trying despite its shortcomings.
There’s a good reason why R-Studio for Mac is loved by professionals, but regular home users have different priorities.
Even though the software doesn’t look like it, it’s actually a one-trick pony that can be recommended mainly to those who want to recover damaged video files.
PhotoRec for Mac delivers decent data recovery performance, but the lack of a graphical user interface makes it more difficult to take advantage of it.
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 is Hardware Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Yevgeniy has a Master's Degree in Physics, Information Technology; 15+ years of experience.