Recuva for Mac Unavailable? See 7 Best Alternatives Incl. Free

Connie Wisley
January 30, 2024 Preview 40.3K Preview 8
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If you deleted something accidentally on Windows, you are much probably recommended to use Recuva, which helps to recover files for free. But there are several similar questions that we encounter frequently: “Does Recuva work on Mac?”, “Is Recuva available for Mac?”, "Is there a Recuva for Mac?"...

The short answer is NO! Until now, there's no Recuva for Mac, no Recuva for Android and no Recuva for iPhone or any other smartphone platforms. But we’ve got the solution to download and use Recuva on Mac in this guide. If Recuva turns to be useless on your Mac, 7 best Recuva alternatives for Mac are at your disposal.


What is Recuva?

Recuva is a data recovery software developed by Piriform – also the developer of well-known CCleaner. The current version of Recuva is v1.53.2096, which was released on 13 Jun 2023. Recuva will work on any PC running Microsoft Windows 98 or later, including the commonly-used Windows 11, 10, 8/8.1, 7, Vista and XP. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported, but not RT tablet editions. Recuva software runs on NTFS, FAT, and exFAT format drives.

recuva for windows 01

Main reasons why users pick Recuva:

  • Quick to download and install
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Support the recovery of all popular file types, like pictures, music, videos, documents, compressed files, emails, etc. 
  • Scan storage devices by file type or by file size
  • Fast scanning and recovery speed
  • Both quick and deep scan to recover files at most
  • Preview before recovery
  • Support removable media, like flash drive, SD card, USB, or floppy disk
  • Affordable price or free to use
  • Offer impressive functions for its price tag


How to Download and Use Recuva for Mac?

Though Recuva doesn’t have a Mac version, we can still download and use Recuva on Mac, by setting up a virtual Windows system on your Mac. However, this is not easy. You need a Windows license first, then free download, or even pay for a virtual Windows system software to run it on Mac.

Virtual Windows machine, for example Parallels Desktop or VMare Fusion, is a kind of program that lets users clone an existing desktop system over a network to run Windows app on Mac. You’re allowed to have a free trial of these programs before purchase. Here I’ll walk you through creating a Windows virtual machine and then running Recuva on it.

  1. First follow the above instructions to install Windows system on Mac for free.  
  2. Free download Recuva and install it in your Mac using the virtual Windows machine.use recuva on mac 02
  3. Run Recuva software for Mac to recover your lost files.use recuva on mac 03

This method has worked for me, I’m now able to use Recuva and have Windows opened at the same time. If it’s not helpful in your case or you find it too complicated to run Recuva on Mac, proceed to check out its alternatives.


7 Best Recuva Alternatives for Mac

Another option to recover files on Mac as the way as Recuva does on a Windows PC is using a Recuva alternative for Mac that can work equivalently, even better than Recuva.

We’ve Tried and Tested 20 Mac Recuva Alternatives and Here’s Our Honest Feedback.

The closest equivalent to Recuva for Mac is Cisdem Data Recovery, which is definitely the best performer in our tests, with 97% recovery rate of photos, videos, documents, etc. While other apps may be priced higher and return less than half the results of Cisdem.

Coming in close behind Cisdem Data Recovery is Stellar Data Recovery for Mac. A more complex file recovery software that can recover data from Time Machine backups, corrupt BootCamp partitions, and inaccessible hard drives.

For free Recuva alternative on Mac, an open-source data recovery program - PhotoRec should be considered. Although it lacks a simple interface and has a lower recovering rate, it still offers an excellent data recovery solution for Mac users.


1. Best Overall --- Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac

I would recommend Cisdem Data Recovery to all our readers. With superior recovery rate, a secure overwrite feature and advanced scanning algorithm, Cisdem Data Recovery becomes one of the best Recuva for Mac alternatives out there. 

It exceeds the average recovery rate of other similar apps (as high as 97% for all major file types: documents, photos, videos, audios, archives, etc.). It also happens to be one of the most cost-efficient Mac data recovery software on the market currently. Its simple steps to achieve file retrieval enables it to be the top choice for any novice users, with no need of much professional knowledge.

Cisdem Data Recovery VS Recuva

Where Cisdem Data Recovery beats Recuva:

  • Both Mac and Windows versions available.
  • 3 steps only to rescue your data right away.
  • More straightforward recovery process with modern interface.
  • Recover more than 200 file formats, including keynote and numbers that are not supported by most of our tested tools.
  • Repair corrupted, damaged or unplayable videos.
  • Restore recently and permanently deleted files from iCloud.
  • Preview recoverable items before recovery.
  • Filter files with keyword, document type, file size, date created or date modified.
  • Extract data from iCloud backup, Time Machine backup, iTunes backup or disk image.
  • Recover files to local drive or to Cloud services (iCloud, DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, pCloud, Box).
  • 3 subscription plans and 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Free lifetime upgrades.
  • M1, M2 and T2 supported.

Where Cisdem Data Recovery loses to Recuva:

  • Its free version only allows for file scanning and preview.

Price: $69.95 for a month, $99.95 for one year, $149.95 for lifetime

Supported platforms: macOS 10.9 or later (including the latest macOS Sonoma 14), Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP


How to Use the Best Recuva for Mac Alternative?

  • Step 1. Download, install and open Cisdem Data Recovery on Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  • Step 2. Select the location.
    Go to Hardware Disk and select the location where you want to recover files from. If you have an external device, connect it to your Mac previously.recuva mac alternative 01
  • Step 3. Scan the location.
    Click “Search for lost files” button to start the scanning for your selected location. Cisdem will auto run both quick and deep scanning, and you can pause or stop the scanning at any time.recuva mac alternative 02
  • Step 4. Preview and recover lost files.
    After scanning, you’ll see a list of all the recoverable files. Preview them one by one and click “Recover” to restore all your deleted files on Mac.recuva mac alternative 03


2. Runner-up --- Stellar Data Recovery for Mac

Ranking only second to Cisdem in our tests, Stellar Data Recovery is also a feature-rich data recovery software we can opt for. You can select which file types to search and recover beforehand, which is pretty suitable for beginners and non-technical users.

stellar data recovery

Stellar Data Recovery for Mac VS Recuva

Where Stellar beats Recuva:

  • Recover deleted emails.
  • Restore data from Time Machine backups.
  • Recover data from corrupt BootCamp partitions.
  • Customized scanning plan.
  • In-app previews of recovered files.
  • Support recovery from CD/DVD drives.

Where Stellar loses to Recuva:

  • Return fewer deleted files.
  • Its free version only recover data up to 1GB, also it has a limit on one file size which should not be more than 25MB.
  • Scanning speed not stable.
  • File preview feature fails sometimes.

Price: $89.99 for Professional, $99.99 for Premium, $149 for Technician

Supported platforms: macOS 14 and lower

A video tutorial on how to use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac here.


3. High Recovery Rate --- Data Rescue 6 for Mac 

Data Rescue 6 for Mac from Prosoft Engineering is the data recovery app that does give excellent recovery rates, picking up more missing files than most. But it doesn’t quite measure up to Cisdem and Stellar when it comes to recovery options. You can’t scan by file type and file size, neither pause during the scanning process.

data rescue

Data Rescue VS Recuva

Where Data Rescue beats Recuva:

  • Offer a “Clone” feature that clones your drive (even a failed one) onto a healthy one, and then scan the cloned drive for recoverable files. 
  • Support 150 recognized file types. 
  • Scan virtual machines and recover data from BootCamp partitions.
  • Duplicate file recognition to find duplicates in the scan results.
  • SSD and RAID compatible.

Where Data Rescue loses to Recuva:

  • More expensive than other alternatives.
  • Not support file size and file type filtering.
  • Slow data scanning and recovery speeds.
  • A little complicated for beginners.
  • Free version requires email registration for activation, limited to recover 2GB of data.

Price: $79 for 30 days, $399 per year

Supported platforms: macOS 10.12 or later


4. Multifunctional --- Disk Drill for Mac

Disk Drill for Mac is different from the normal data recovery software. In addition to recover data on Mac, this tool also has the ability to monitor, protect, backup, clean up, remove and erase Mac files. It also provides advanced features for data protection and system maintenance. disk drill

Disk Drill VS Recuva

Where Disk Drill beats Recuva:

  • Recover data in the form of a disk image (ISO).
  • Provide extra disk tools: disk clean-up, duplicate finder, disk health, etc.
  • Allow filtering of scanned files by types and date.
  • Save the recovery session for later use.
  • Support HFS, HFS+, FAT, FAT32, ex-FAT, NTFS, or EXT3/EXT4 file system.

Where Disk Drill loses to Recuva:

  • Restart required after installation.
  • Scan time more than average, even for drives that are not very large.
  • Only 500MB space can be recovered in the free version.
  • Too many functions in one interface, difficult to navigate and cluttered for a novice user.
  • Not show a file's condition before recovering it.

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

Supported platforms: macOS X 10.5+


5. Perfect for Partition Recovery --- Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery gives an outstanding performance during partition recovery in our practical tests. It’s able to go back to the previous state of your partition, recovering a lost or corrupted partition and the data on the original partition easily.


Recoverit Data Recovery VS Recuva

Where Recoverit beats Recuva:

  • Different recovery modes for different data lost conditions.
  • Support lost partition recovery.
  • Pause midway during scanning process.
  • Recover data from system crashed computer.
  • Free tech support.

Where Recoverit loses to Recuva:

  • Below-average performance in recovering video and music files.
  • Many features only work in the paid version.
  • Massive file type supported but slow.

Price: $79.95 per year

Supported platforms: macOS 14 or lower


6. Best Free Recuva Alternative for Mac 

Free alternative 1: PhotoRec

Developed by cgsecurity, PhotoRec is an open-source and free data recovery application trusted by people all around the world. Influenced by its name, PhotoRec might be misunderstood to restore photos only, while it’s a tool that can deal with more than 400 formats of file on Mac. Moreover, it is available on almost all major platforms to recover deleted/lost/formatted data.photorec

PhotoRec VS Recuva

Where PhotoRec beats Recuva:

  • Recover in read-only access, which means it won’t overwrite files during recovery.
  • Work on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Support file systems like FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4 and HFS+.

Where PhotoRec loses to Recuva:

  • Command-line interface which may intimidate beginners.
  • No customer support.
  • Recover all deleted files at once, not selectively restoring the specific ones you need.
  • Lower recovery rate. 

Supported platforms: macOS 10.6+

Here’s a tutorial on how to use PhotoRec step by step.


Free alternative 2: TestDisk 

Coming in the same installation package with PhotoRec, TestDisk could be another free alternative of Recuva for Mac you can try. TestDisk specializes in getting back corrupted partitions, fixing non-booting disks and rebuilding boot sectors.


TestDisk VS Recuva

Where TestDisk beats Recuva:

  • Recover/rebuild boot sector.
  • Available on all major platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, etc. 
  • Recover files from lost partitions.
  • Fast recovery speed.

Where TestDisk loses to Recuva:

  • Recovering lost partitions takes a very long time.
  • Low data retrieve percentage.
  • Command-line UI. More suitable for expert users, not ideal for computer newbies.
  • No technical support.

Supported platforms: macOS 10.6+

A video tutorial on how to use TestDisk here.


Wrap Up

Are you sad that you can not use Recuva for Mac? Don’t be! It’s true that Recuva is a good free data recovery app, and there isn’t any reason why you can’t use a Recuva alternative for Mac. Plentiful Mac data recovery apps with much-needed features of Recuva are out there, so please try those software we have recommended after tests and reviews. Who knows, you might start to fall in love with one of it.
Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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Comments (8) Leave a Reply

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  • Renata Taggart

    To be honest, Recuva's interfaces are not that friendly to us computing beginners. I've met quite a few troubles when using it, though it's completely free. I think I might try other alternatives you write about later......

    0 months ago commonReply

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  • Eason

    I just switched from a Windows PC to a Mac. I used to use Recuva on my PC, but now I will use Cisdem data recovery, I like it, a good alternative to Recuva, thanks for recommendation!!

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • Jenkins11


    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Gilbert

    Hey. Does this only recover MAC type files? what if I have some windows executable files in my MAC partitioned hard drive?

    8 years ago commonReply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      Cisdem DataRecovery is especially designed for Mac. If it is stored in your Mac partitioned hard drive and readable in your Mac, then they can be recovered. But if not, you need then try recovery tool for Windows users, maybe pandora recovery tool?

      8 years ago
  • Hackney19

    It is with regret that there is no recuva for Mac. But recuva alternative for Mac is also great. I tried Cisdem DataRecovery, it also recovered all my lost files. It is good.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Helen

    The steps of how to use recuva alternative to recover lost files on Mac is very detailed. I can learn using it easily. This article is very useful.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Robin984

    I found this article from Google when I search Recuva for Mac. there are so many data recovery tool, I don't know which one is the best. This article analyzed 4 tools and summarized features can disadvantages. Cisdem Data Recovery is OK. It recovered all my lost photos. It is great!

    9 years ago commonReply

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