Mac users are typically a more tech-savvy bunch, but even the most knowledgeable user can sometimes be caught unawares. Digital accidents are fairly common these days. Whether it’s an external drive failure or a simple mistake that leads to the accidental deletion of an important file, data loss is all too common on Mac as well as other computers. Even if you back up your files regularly, things can still go wrong in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. It’s essential that you know how to respond appropriately should such an event occur. There are many different software solutions available for recovering data when disaster strikes. In this article, we will explore the 5 best data recovery software options for Mac OS users so that you can choose the one that suits your individual needs.
We will also list the pros and cons of each tool so you can compare them from different aspects, for example, support for a T2-secured computer, disk formats compatibility, file type support, ease of use, etc. So, let’s dive in…
1.iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
Platform Compatibility: macOS 13 to OS X 10.11
iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is a professional and easy-to-use tool that helps users safely recover data from Macbook SSD, Mac HDD, SD cards, USB flash drives, and many other external storage devices.
On a Seagate hard drive, we used the software for testing purposes and recovered every lost file on a Mac, including pictures, photographs, notes, documents, spreadsheets, videos, and audio files. You can filter scanning results and preview recoverable data. Whether you are skilled or not, your data is only a few clicks away with iBoysoft Data Recovery’s user-friendly graphical interface.
You can rely on it to recover Word documents on Mac and more than 1000 file formats of office files, as well as photos, videos, audio, emails, and archives on hard drives. This fantastic program can restore deleted Mac files that have been moved to or removed from the Trash.
The iBoysoft Data Recovery app can be used to recover files from formatted drives (no disk unformat tool is required), as well as from unreadable, unmountable, or unrecognized hard disks, in all types of data loss circumstances.
It is not only a trustworthy Intel-based Mac recovery solution but also a reliable M1 Mac data recovery program. Additionally, even when your Mac won’t fully start, it can tackle tricky situations like Apple T2 data recovery.
iBoysoft Data Recovery can make a bootable installer for an unbootable Mac, like a few other data recovery programs, but even that won’t help if you can’t boot from an external USB flash drive! In this regard, iBoysoft Data Recovery differs from its rivals because it gives users the option to use Mac data recovery when the system is in Apple’s Recovery Mode.
In a nutshell, iBoysoft Data Recovery is among the finest free data recovery software for Mac since it combines advanced features with a pleasant user interface.
Pros of iBoysoft Data Recovery (Mac version)
- Support Apple's T2 Security Chip-equipped Macs without any issues.
- can be used with Apple M1 Pro/Max hardware
- Regain the files from the deleted partitions.
- Perform data recovery from unbootable Mac machines
- Before data recovery, utilize the file review option.
- Can save and continue data scanning at a later time.
- Broad support for file systems, including (encrypted) APFS, HFS+, FAT32, and exFAT
Cons of iBoysoft Data Recovery (Mac version)
- has no features for repairing corrupt photos and videos.
- not compatible with the NTFS file system
2.PhotoRec for Mac
Platform Compatibility: macOS 10.6 to 12.0
When speaking of free Mac file recovery software, PhotoRec may come to mind. Data that is lost due to deletion, disk formatting, file system corruption, etc., may be recovered using this open-source, free photo recovery software for Mac. However, it is not advised for those who have never used a command-line interface.
Users of DSLR cameras can access photo recovery features using PhotoRec. However, in addition to Mac internal hard disks, this recovery program also works with external hard drives, memory cards, CD-ROMs, and USB drives.
With this free Mac data recovery program, we were able to successfully recover certain Microsoft Office documents, MP4 files, and JPEG image files during our test.
However, because PhotoRec's user interface mimics Terminal, it should be noted that command-line familiarity is necessary in order to use it to retrieve files from a Mac (the Command Prompt on Mac). The procedure is not friendly for beginners.
Even though it might not be compatible with the newest Mac operating systems like macOS Monterey and Big Sur, you can use PhotoRec to recover deleted data on Mac OS X.
Pros of Photorec
- 100% free to use on a Mac
- dispense with a potent file-carving technology
- Recover data from the damaged hard drive.
- Supported file systems include NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, FAT32, exFAT, and HFS+.
Cons of Photorec
- For regular users, the command-line interface is not user-friendly.
- unable to support the APFS encrypted file system
- Data recovery and scanning are relatively slow.
- does not provide customer service or technical assistance.
- Only Mac OS X is supported by this free software.
3. Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac
Platform Compatibility: macOS 12 to OS X 10.10
Wondershare Recoverit for Mac is a free data recovery tool designed for Mac computers. This software has a claimed success rate of 96% for data recovery from Mac's internal and external hard drives. However, as with all data recovery software, there is no guarantee of success. In a test, the software was able to recover the majority of data erased from various devices, including trash, external hard drives, and memory cards. Wondershare Recoverit for Mac also has additional features that make it appealing to users.
In a test of Wondershare Recoverit for Mac, the software was able to recover the majority of data erased from a variety of devices, including trash, external hard drives, and memory cards. The software was also able to retrieve several images, MP3 files, and Microsoft Office files. Wondershare Recoverit for Mac is designed to help users recover lost or deleted office documents, emails, videos, and other media. It is praised for its advanced video recovery technology. However, it is only able to recover up to 100 MB of lost files for free, which may not be sufficient for some users. Additional features, such as corrupted video repair and recovery, require a subscription.
Pros of Recoverit:
- Free data recovery up to 100 MB on Mac
- Support for HD data recovery on crashed Macs
- Advanced video recovery and repair capabilities
- Compatible with T2 and M1 Macs
- File review feature available
- Supports encrypted APFS, encrypted HFS+, FAT32, exFAT, ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems
Cons of Recoverit:
- Does not support the NTFS file system
- Can slow down hard drive reading and writing speeds when running in the background
- The paid version is expensive compared to competitors
4. Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery
Platform Compatibility: macOS 12 to OS X 10.11
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is a tool for recovering lost or deleted files on Mac computers. It is compatible with MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, and portable HDDs. The free version allows users to scan and preview lost data, but recovering data from an APFS partition or an SSD, SD card, USB flash drive, or portable hard drive requires the purchase of the professional edition. The basic professional version license key costs $79.99 per year.
One of the standout features of this program is its ability to restore damaged images and movies, which is useful for professionals working with Mac applications like Logic Pro, InDesign, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie. The free trial version allows users to preview lost files, but does not allow for file recovery until the professional version is purchased.
Pros of Stellar Phoenix
- Recovery of deleted and lost files on Mac
- Data recovery from unbootable Macs
- Drive health monitoring and cloning features
- Preview of recoverable files
- Compatibility with M1 and T2 Macs
- Supports APFS, HFS+, FAT32, NTFS, and ExFAT file systems
Cons of Stellar Phoenix
- The free version only allows for data scanning and file previewing
- Does not support encrypted APFS data recovery
5. Disk Drill (the Mac version)
Platform Compatibility: macOS 12 to Mac OS X 10.5
Disk Drill is a free Mac file recovery tool that was first introduced in 2010. In addition to restoring deleted files, the software's Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery functions can prevent unintentional data loss from failing hard drives by backing up files with Time Machine. This is useful for restoring data from an empty Trash on a Mac.
Disk Drill is compatible with a variety of devices, including hard drives, USB flash drives, iPhones, digital cameras, Android phones, and memory cards. It is available for macOS, iOS, and Android devices. The software is known for its powerful ability to restore damaged photos and videos.
Additionally, Disk Drill offers several other features, including free S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring, a duplicate file finder for Mac, Mac storage cleanup, data protection, and data backup.
Pros of Disk Drill:
- Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery functions prevent data loss from failing hard drives
- Compatible with a variety of devices, including hard drives, USB flash drives, iPhones, digital cameras, Android phones, and memory cards
- Available for macOS, iOS, and Android
- Known for its ability to restore damaged photos and videos
Cons of Disk Drill:
- It is not clear if there are any significant drawbacks to using this software.
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