[7 Apps Truly FREE] 16 Best Mac Data Recovery Software

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Jose Henline
April 26, 2023 Preview 68.8K Preview 10
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It’s really a great pain for us to lose important files from Mac or other storage devices due to different situations, but no one can avoid. Now, you’ve lost precious data, how to get it back?

If you always backup data, you can recover it from Time Machine or other backup locations. Otherwise, you’ll need a piece of Mac data recovery software that aims at recovering deleted or lost data from your storage device. But what is the best Mac data recovery program? Here, we’ll show a full list of 16 best Mac data recovery applications, of which seven are free to use, including one data recovery utility built in macOS.

Does Mac Have Built-in Data Recovery?

Before probing into the third-party software solutions, some of you may wonder if there’s a way to recover Mac data without extra tools. Gladly the answer is YES! An useful built-in data recovery app on all macOS systems is called Terminal, whose operations are based on the command line. In case you just recently deleted a Mac file by accident, it’s still highly possible to restore it by executing specific command lines in Terminal.

How to use Terminal --- built-in data recovery software on Mac

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac > input the command: cd .trash > hit Enter.
  2. Continue to type ls -al ~/.trash > press Enter. You can view all the contents in your Trash.mac terminal 01
  3. Type another command: mv filename .. > hit Enter again. Use the full name of the file that you need to recover in the command line.mac terminal 02
  4. Quit Terminal > go to find the recovered file in Finder.mac terminal 03

If Terminal proves to be of no avail, your lost Mac files are likely to be permanently removed. Now you’re in an emergency to look for a suitable Mac data recovery software to retrieve them back before data overwritten.

Top 9 Best Mac Data Recovery Software

Actually, over the past 5 years, we’ve tested dozens of Mac data recovery programs, most of which are similar in function and performance. Here we just pick 9 classic and best apps for your information.

#1 Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac

Taking performance, specification and value for money into considerations, we conclude that Cisdem Data Recovery is the top best software on data recovery.

This software scans the lost data on your drive, identifies the types of files and helps you recover them, in an extremely easy way. You don’t have to be tech savvy or know much about data loss, this intuitive program will take your lost data back to you effortlessly.

Cisdem Data Recovery is 100% Safe to Use

It is 100% clean without any virus or malware, provided that you download it from the official website. You can click below download button to download it safely or click the safe link to try it for free:https://download.cisdem.com/cisdem-datarecovery.dmg. And it only performs read-only procedures on your device, so it is secure as well and won’t do any damage to the device.

Free Download

Main Features:

  • Recover deleted, missing, unsaved, trash emptied, formatted and corrupted files
  • Apply both quick and deep scan to find the most files
  • Support restoring 200+ types of files: video, image, audio, document, archive, etc.
  • Repair damaged videos
  • Fast scanning: pause and resume at anytime
  • Estimate Scanning Time
  • Quickly search files with filters
  • Preview before recovery. You can preview each file before you recover it
  • High recovery rate
  • Support latest M1, M2, T2, Sonoma OS

Specifications:

  • Supported Data Loss Situations: Recover data under many data loss situations like improper operation, power off, factory reset, accidental deletion, formation, virus attack, etc.
  • Supported File Types: Photos, videos, music, documents, archives, packages, and many other files. Also supports multiples formats of each type of file.
  • Supported Storage Devices: Internal Mac hard drives, external hard drives, SSD, digital cameras, iPods, USB flash drives, MP3 players, memory cards, pen drive and more.
  • Supported File Systems: HFS, HFS+, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, ext2, ext3, ext4 and NTFS.

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac Review

What we like about Cisdem Data Recovery is the interface. It is adequate for all levels of computer users and the recovery process is quite straightforward. You can make necessary changes on the specific data you prefer to recover in advanced settings. This can be very handy if you only need a few GBs of data rather than 100GB+!

We also exceptionally like the file preview option, so you can check if the files you have found are the ones you want to restore. Cisdem Data Recovery works with all recent versions of macOS. It is definitely a good Mac data recovery tool worth considering if you’re dealing with recovering precious data.

Price: $69.95~$149.95

Platform: macOS Sonoma and earlier

Pros:

  • The cheapest data recovery software in the market
  • Both versions for Mac and Windows
  • Free lifetime upgrades
  • Preview before recovery
  • Pause and resume scanning at anytime
  • Repair corrupted videos that recovered or saved on your device
  • Offer a free trial for scanning and data checking

Cons:

  • Some files couldn’t be previewed
Taking all things into consideration, Cisdem Data Recovery is an efficient and user-friendly application for the Mac that can help you deal with the awful situations when you have lost precious files, regardless of what storage device they were on.                                                                                                                    --- Softpedia
Cisdem DataRecovery Mac hard drive recovery software is inexpensive and has fast scanning and recovery speeds. It does a great job recovering image files.                                   --- Business

How to use Cisdem---The Top Best Mac Data Recovery Software

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac.
    Free Download
  2. Choose the location where you want to recover files from.best data recovery software cisdem 01
  3. Click Search for lost files to start scanning lost files, then go to Type/Path and find the files in a specific folder.best data recovery software cisdem 02
  4. Preview the found files and select them, then click Recover to get them back.best data recovery software cisdem 03

You can also refer to the following YouTube video to recover lost files with Cisdem.

#2 Disk Drill for Mac

Disk Drill is a feature-rich disk utility tool to monitor, protect, backup, clean up, remove, erase and recover data on Mac. There are 4 data recovery methods in Disk Drill: deep scan, quick scan, allocate existing data and scan for lost HFS+ partition. Users can recover data from Mac internal and external disks, also recover files from mobile devices.

Price: $89 for single user, $499 for enterprise

Platforms: macOS X 10.5+

Pros:

  • Support macOS internal and external disk recovery
  • Restore data from iOS and Android devices
  • Disk utility tools: monitor, protect, backup, clean up, erase data, find duplicates, etc.
  • Preview recoverable items
  • Recent scan records available

Cons:

  • No ability to scan for specific file types.
  • Large size installer
  • Not good at recovering videos.

diskdrill for mac

#3 Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

You’re allowed to get a customizable Mac file recovery with Stellar Data Recovery Professional software. It’s capable of scanning certain types of file as you wish, like documents, emails, videos, audios and photos. Also, you can choose to scan everything from your device. Stellar belongs to a popular name in data recovery, overall ensuring a relatively stable performance.

Price: $89.99 per year

Platforms: macOS 13 and lower

Pros:

  • Customized scan plan
  • Real-time scan progress showed
  • Restore data from crashed or non-booting Mac
  • No registration required

Cons:

  • Unstable scanning speed
  • Unresponsive buttons
  • Long time to show file preview
  • Documents unable to be recovered sometimes

stellar

#4 Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery provides an enhanced recovery feature to restore your lost videos or photos from all devices, such as Canon, Sony, DJI, GoPro, Seagate and SD card. It also offers versions for Windows and Linux. Its clear interface and wide range of features give beginners the effective and simple recovery experience.

Price: $89.99 per year

Platforms: macOS 13 and lower

Pros:

  • Support data recovery from system crashed computer
  • Recover NAS data
  • Repair damaged video
  • Clear and advanced interface

Cons:

  • Fail to support APFS and HFS file systems
  • Remaining recovery time unknown
  • Massive filetype support but not quick

recoverit

#5 Data Rescue for Mac

Data Rescue offers 4 options to deal with data loss: scan drive and recover files, view previous scan results and recover from Data Rescue, duplicate failing drive to a healthy drive, and create recovery drive to safely recover files. These options make a high recovery rate and give users more freedom to recover files lost under different situations. It additionally supports RAID recovery and allows erasing files 

Price: $399.96 for full license

Platforms: Windows and macOS

Pros:

  • High recovery rate
  • Support different data loss situations
  • Improved RAID recovery
  • Support virtually all devices and file formats

Cons:

  • Deep scan takes a long time
  • Need internet connection all the process
  • Extra storage device required for recovery

data rescue 01

#6 R-Studio for Mac

Gearing toward data recovery professionals, R-Studio for Mac boasts an assortment of advanced features like virtual RAID, network recovery and disk imaging, but accordingly is not that easy-to-use for regular home users. Analysts will love it for its powerful ability on data analysis and statistical modeling.

Price: $79.99 for one user, $143.99 for corporate

Platforms: macOS 12 Monterey or earlier

Pros:

  • Clear scanning progress bar
  • Damaged RAID recovery
  • Recovery over Network
  • Helpful for statistic analysis

Cons:

  • Different installation packages for new & old macOS
  • Complicated interface not friendly to beginners
  • Distorted classification of scan results

rstudio

#7 Tenorshare 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery

Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery for Mac always offers an instant data loss solution for beginners and veterans. Compared to other competitors, this software will take less time for you to regain your lost Mac files with its easy-to-follow 3-step recovery process. You can get free scanning and preview of recoverable files, but need to pay for a subscription to rescue items back.

Price: $89.95 per month, $109.95 per year, $169.95 lifetime

Platforms: macOS 10.12 and above

Pros:

  • Support photo/video repair
  • Filter file type before scanning to get wanted items faster
  • Responsive and flexible buttons

Cons:

  • No access to specific folders
  • Some feedback about poor performance
  • Inability to recover original names of missing files

tenorshare

#8 iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac has been designed for recovering files from external encrypted disks as well as unreadable drives and memory cards. One obvious shortage is that iBoysoft has no option to preview music or video files, which will lead to inconvenience when you’d like to locate the desired music and video files in a efficient manner.

Price: $89.95 per month, $99.95 per year

Platforms: macOS and Mac OS X

Pros:

  • Recover 1GB data for free
  • Support 1000+ file formats
  • Direct access to specific folder like Downloads, Documents, Applications, etc.
  • Scan records can be reloaded

Cons:

  • Limited preview feature
  • Some scan results fail to be previewed
  • No file format filters for quick navigation

iboysoft

#9 UFS Explorer Standard Recovery for Mac

By utilizing UFS Explorer Standard Recovery software, you have to go through 4 steps before finally getting back the lost data on Mac. They’re Storage to scan, File systems to search, Recovery by content and Run the scan. It’s suggested to do the free trial of Mac data recovery before deciding to purchase any of its licenses, to make sure that this software exactly matches your requirements.

Price: $64.95 for personal, $129.95 for commercial, $189.95 for corporate

Platforms: macOS 10.15 and above

Pros:

  • Free of advertising
  • Raw data recovery
  • Scan results can be saved and loaded

Cons:

  • Not support too-old macOS versions (older than 10.15)
  • Complicated installation procedure
  • Messy recovery interface
  • Take long time to save a recoverable file

ufs explorer

Best 6 Free Data Recovery Software for Mac

Data recovery is a challenging task, even the best data recovery software cannot guarantee a 100% recovery rate, let alone free data recovery tools. Therefore, most of the time data recovery software claims to be free may be just a trick from a data recovery program developer, trying to have you purchase a license to recover the data found by their free data recovery software. But some open source data recovery tools are truly for free and allow to access to their full features. As follows the best 6 pieces of free Mac data recovery software will be unmasked.

#1 PhotoRec

PhotoRec may be misunderstood as a data recovery program to recover photos only, while it is not. It is developed by cgsecurity, which is a personal website, helps users to recover lost photos, videos, archives, documents and 400+ types of file on Mac. Users can utilize all its full features and recover all found items. However, it is not user friendly because it uses command lines to run the program for recovery process.

Platforms: macOS 10.6+

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Recover file from both Mac internal and external storage disks
  • Restore 400+ types of files

Cons:

  • Not user friendly, complicated for beginners
  • Lower recovery rate than other paid data recovery programs.


best free data recovery photorec03

#2 TestDisk

TestDisk comes in the same installation package with PhotoRec, but these 2 companions don’t perform equally in every aspects. PhotoRec focus on lost file recovery on your drives or other storage sources, while TestDisk is good at bringing back corrupted partitions and further repairing disks. TestDisk is also a data recovery utility based on command lines. Being reliable and secure, public can feel assured to use it.

Platforms: macOS 10.6+

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux
  • Fast recovery speed

Cons:

  • Difficult for novices to operate
  • No technical support

testdisk

#3 Free Mac Data Recovery

Yes, this software is just called Free Mac Data Recovery. Developed by Thundersoft, this utility sets itself apart from other Mac data recovery applications by being absolutely free. It’s not a multi-feature tool though, its major purpose is to recover users’ lost data from Mac computer. Non-techie users will not get confused thanks to its easy install process and simple UI.

Platforms: macOS

Pros:

  • Free but efficient
  • Small file size of installer
  • Easy to install
  • Simple and clear interface

Cons:

  • Slow scanning
  • Limited functions

free mac data recovery

#4 DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software

DMDE, short for DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software, has a free edition armed with useful features including file recovery, disk editor, simple partition manager, RAID constructor and disk imaging. The free version is only accessible to personal users. Data recovery is limited to 4000 files at one time, but there’s no limit on how many files to recover if they’re divided into batches of 4000.

Platforms: macOS

Pros:

  • Free and advanced
  • Prompt dialog box in each step
  • Low-level disk editing

Cons:

  • Found files have been renamed after scanning
  • Undefined scan results
  • No file filters

dm disk editor

#5 Exif Untrasher for Mac

Suppose you just need to recover JPEG images from Mac, Exif Untrasher will be highly recommended. This is a Mac data recovery program aiming to bring back JPEG images from digital cameras’ memory cards or memory sticks. Surely it’s unable to support other image formats and file types. To do the image file recovery, select a volume or disk image as data source, choose the destination folder to save the recovered images and start the data recovery.

Platforms: macOS 10.6 or higher

Pros:

  • Freeware
  • Easy to use
  • Simple photo recovery

Cons:

  • Recover JPEG only
  • Works under macOS only
  • No ability to recover data from internal Macintosh HD

exif untrasher

#6 Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Specially designed for macOS system environment, Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a real freeware to offer unlimited recovery without one penny. It has 4 Recovery Modes: Fast Scan, Undelete, Unformat and Deep Scan, from which you’re free to choose to suit your needs. One downside of this freeware is that it can’t work properly sometimes since the version is old.

Platforms: macOS 10.5 or later

Pros:

  • Free
  • Scan unmounted drives
  • Recovery during scanning
  • Support data recovery from formatted partition

Cons:

  • Low scanning speed
  • Recoverable file limited to 50MB
  • Outdated (no support/upgrade anymore)
  • Corrupted file can’t be previewed

lazesoft

How We Pick The Best Data Recovery Software for Mac?

As a piece of best data recovery software for Mac, it should have capabilities as below:

  • Security. Best data recovery software shouldn’t have adware or malware attached to it. And it should be downloaded from https protocol website.
  • Easy of Use. It should be very user-friendly and handy even for novices.
  • Scan & Recovery Speed. A high scanning speed simply means that you’ll recover your lost data faster.
  • Recover All Types of Data. It should support the recovery of file types such as Photos, Videos, Documents, Audio, Emails, Archives and many more.
  • Preview before Recovery. Good data recovery software should offer you the option to preview your files before initiating the recovery process. Thus you can directly know what can be recovered and which one you need to recover.
  • Support Storage Devices. As data loss can always happen to external devices, so best data recovery software must be able to recover data from internal as well as external drives like pen drive, SSD, USB drive, SD card, etc.
  • Support File Systems. No doubt that Mac data recovery should be compatible with file systems such as HFS and HFS+. And a better one can also support other file systems like NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, ext4 and more.
  • Help & Support. The best data recovery software should come with exceptional support like FAQs, manuals, and tutorials to make the recovery process as smooth as possible.

Where Software Fails, These Tips May Help

If you can't recover data from your Mac or other drives with a data recovery tool, then you can consider getting it back by an in-lab service. In-lab data recovery services are always at high price, but it worth a try when data recovery software fails. There are many professional data recovery service providers like Secure, Seagate, Kroll Ontrack, Data Rescue, etc.

To recover your data by in-lab data recovery service, first you’d better contact with the provider to know how much it will cost. And you need to delivery your device to the provider if you can accept the price. At last, wait for the provider to recover your data and send back the device.

Last but not least, backup your important files regularly. There are many ways to backup your files. You can backup them to Time Machine drive or external drive. Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive can also be used to backup important data online. Thus, you can always get lost files back without the help of data recovery software or services.

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Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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Comments (10) Leave a Reply

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  • Jenny

    To be honest, though free data recovery tools are free, they do have many limitations. Like their operations are too complicated for beginners, low recovery rate, slow scanning speed... In such a case, obviously, paid programs have their own advantages. This post talks across the board.

    0 months ago commonReply

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  • Bennett

    I have ever used Easeus (almost $90). It seems that your Cisdem recovery tool is much cheaper.

    8 years ago commonReply

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    • Megan Charles

      Yes. The price of Cisdem DataRecovery for Mac is the most competitive in the market.

      8 years ago
  • L.Hughes

    Is the Cisdem program workable to Windows 7?

    8 years ago commonReply

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    • Megan Charles

      Hi, L.Hughes. I'm afraid not. It is especially-designed for Macs.

      8 years ago
  • michaelyoussef

    i need this program

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • michael

    i need it

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Perry

    Comprehensive article. I will try Cisdem DataRecovery and I will read other articles. Keep on.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Danny Heppner

    I deleted my data by accident and I ask help for Google, and I found this article from it. I read it and tried Cisdem DataRecovery for Mac. It is powerful!!! Now my data is recovered. Thank you!!!

    9 years ago commonReply

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  • Albert

    Final Verdict is useful, it means that writer had tested 3 data recovery software. Maybe Cisdem DataRecovery is a good choice, I will try.

    9 years ago commonReply

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