What is The Best SD Card Recovery Software for Mac?

Megan Charles
time July 13, 2018 Preview 20.0K
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Many people are in the habits of using SD card to store photos, videos and other files. But, some bad situations may lead to file loss in SD card, for example, mistakenly erasing data, SD card broken, SD card locked, etc. Once those situations have occurred, what should we do to recover lost files from SD card?

Fortunately, many app developers provide SD card recovery software for users to solve the issue. So, what is the best SD card recovery software on Mac? Today, we will talk about 5 pieces of SD card recovery software for Mac including the best one. And then we will show you how to perform SD card recovery on Mac.

5 SD Card Recovery Software for Mac

Cisdem Data Recovery

Cisdem Data Recovery is one of the top best SD card recovery software for Mac that will help you to recover deleted, lost, formatted or inaccessible files from your memory card including SD, XD, CF, MMC, SDHC, SDXD, micro SD, mini SD, and memory stick.

Surely, the data storage media it supporting is far more than SD card, also including internal/external hard drives, USB drives, optical media, memory cards, digital cameras, iPods etc. With Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac, you can recover your deleted files fast and efficiently from all kinds of SD cards.

The main features of Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac:

  • Recover data from Mac hard drive, memory card, SD card, USB drive, etc.
  • 5 Recovery Modes: Basic, Trash, Formatted Drive, External Drive, Advanced.
  • Various disk formats are supported.
  • Undelete accidentally deleted, lost or formatted File.
  • Recover photos, documents, videos, audios and archives.
  • Clear output & preview scanning results.
  • Effective, safe, and easy to use.

Free Download


  1. Excel at recovering photos and documents, preview files before recovery
  2. Recover files with original names.
  3. Can navigate to the recovered files directly.


  1. Deep Scan speed is a little low.


CardRescue is a piece of remarkable SD card recovery software for Mac OS to recover lost pictures due to deletion, format, or damage in your SD card. It helps you recover your lost photos and movies from SD card, CF card, Memory Stick, xD-Picture card in minutes.

The main features of CardRescue:

  • Recover your lost pictures from SD, CF, xD card, Memory Stick and more.
  • Support common image formats (e.g. JPG, TIF) and most raw image formats (e.g. Nikon NEF, Canon CRW and CR2 and many more).
  • Support video and movie clips files retrieval, which includes AVI, MOV, AVCHD and more.
  • Easy and safe to Use.


  1. Preview files before recovery.


  1. Only allows you recover files in less than 15 formats.
  2. Only support memory card.


PhotoRec, as the name implies, it is a piece of top free photo recovery software designed to recover lost pictures or photos from digital camera memory. Although its main feature is photo recovery, it also can recover video, documents and archives from SD cards, hard disks, CD-ROMs. Whatever your storage media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted, PhotoRec will still work.

The main features of PhotoRec:

  • Recover lost files from FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4 and HFS+ file system.
  • Work with hard disks, CD-ROMs, memory cards (CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital/SD, SDHC, SDXC, SmartMedia, Microdrive, MMC, etc.), USB memory drives, DD raw image, EnCase E01 image, etc.
  • Support various portable media players including iPod, Canon EOS 60D, 300D, 10D, Casio Exilim EX-Z 750, HP PhotoSmart 620, 850, 935, Nikon CoolPix 775, 950, 5700, Olympus C350N, C860L, Mju 400 Digital, Stylus 300, Sony Alpha DSLR, DSC-P9, NEX-6, Pentax K20D, Praktica DCZ-3.4.


  1. Totally free.
  2. Support various portable media players.


  1. Difficult to use.
  2. Not compatible with macOS High Sierra.
  3. No preview.

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery can effectively scan your SD card for lost or deleted photos, videos, audio files and documents. This SD card recovery software for Mac offers three different versions including Pro, Platinum and Technician to fulfill different file recovery requirements. Its interface is straightforward and suitable for novices.  

The main features of Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery:

  • Recover Documents, Emails, Videos, Audios and Photos
  • Offer Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
  • Display files in Classic List, File List and Deleted List.
  • Preview found files before performing SD card recovery on Mac.
  • Support kinds of SD card and easy to use.


  1. 5 file recovery modes to scan.
  2. Preview files before recovery.


  1. Scan speed is low.

Disk Drill

Disk Drill is an all-in-one SD card recovery for Mac users to recover deleted, lost and formatted files. It also allows you to backup data, clean up junk files and find useless duplicates from your SD card, hard drives and other external storage devices. More importantly, it can monitor your disk health and protect data with Recovery Vault or Guaranteed Recovery.

The main features of Disk Drill:

  • Provide two scan modes including Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
  • Recover pictures, videos, audios, documents and other files.
  • Support Mac hard drive, SD card, USB drive, iPod, iOS and Android devices, etc.
  • Automatically save sessions for resuming a scan anytime.
  • Protect Mac data and clean up Mac hard drives.


  1. Can also rebuild file path.
  2. Quick Scan can find files with original names.


  1. Can't preview details of files.
  2. Find many files that are not deleted.
  3. Some of the recovered files are corrupted. 

Which is the Best SD Card Recovery Software for Mac

Below are basic criteria in selecting best SD card recovery software for Mac that you should know before choosing.

  • Ease of use.
  • 100% Safe.
  • Support all files types
  • Support almost all storage devices
  • High Scan and Recovery Speed
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Compatible with latest macOS

The 5 pieces of SD card recovery software for Mac are all 100% safe to use, but not all of them are compliance with above 7 criteria. Here I made a comparison table of these tools after test, please check below.

SD Card Recovery for Mac

Supported File Types

Supported Devices

Easy of Use


Cisdem Data Recovery

Photos, Videos, Auidos, Documents, Archives, etc

Hard Drives, SD card, memory card, USB drive, iPod, MP4/MP3 player, Digital camera, etc

Free trail and $49.99 for lifetime

Card Rescue

Photos, Videos

Memory card

Free trial and $39.95 for lifetime


Photos and other files

Hard disk, digital camera,CD-ROMs,USB drive, memory card, iPods, etc

Need expert skills

Open Source

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery 

Photos, Videos, Auidos, Documents, Emails

Hard Drives, memory card, USB drive, Digital camera, etc

Free trial and Pro ($99) for lifetime

Disk Drill

Photos, Videos, Auidos, Documents, Archives

Hard Drives, memory card, USB drive, iPod, Digital camera, iOS and Android

A little complex

Free trial, Pro ($89), Enterprise ($399), no free lifetime upgrade. 

The above 5 SD card Recovery software all have their own strengths and weakness. Except PhotoRec, other tools are compatible with macOS High Sierra. And PhotoRec also needs expert skills to operate. Card Rescue is function limited and recovers files in a few common formats. Although Disk Drill does well in scan speed, it may find many files that we don’t need or can’t be previewed. And Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is overpriced.

Take all things into consideration, Cisdem Data Recovery is highly recommended as the most cost effective SD card recovery software for Mac. Despite the low Advanced Data Recovery speed, it is outstanding in recovery result and it has many features like file filter and file recovery modes. No matter how complicated your data loss situation is, Cisdem Data Recovery always helps you get data back. You can try it for free now!

Free Download

How to Perform SD Card Data Recovery on Mac

As for how to recover deleted files from SD card on Mac, I will use the best SD card recovery software for Mac - Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac as an example to show users the steps of performing SD card recovery on Mac.

Before you start Mac SD card recovery

  • Stop using the SD card as soon as possible after data loss. The more you work with the SD card, the less chance the data will be recovered.
  • Connect your SD card to your Mac. If there is a SD card slot in your Mac computer, insert the card directly. If not, you can plug in the card to Mac with the aid of a card reader.
  • Free download Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac and launch it. Remember not to install this SD card recovery software on your SD card. Then you can start to perform SD card recovery on Mac.

Choose A Recovery Mode

After you open Cisdem Data Recovery, you will see 5 recovery modes, select one of the modes according to your requirements.

choose a recovery mode

Scan your SD Card for your deleted files

Cisdem Data Recovery will display all of hard drives on your Mac and connected external storage media including your SD card.

choose your device

Preview SD Card Data before Recovery

After scanning, all of your deleted files in your SD card will be displayed in categories and formats. This SD card recovery software for Mac provides there modes including List, Thumbnail and Preview to let you view lost files. You can expand every file type and click each file to preview detail. This allows you to tell if a file is damaged and decide which one you need to recover.

Recover Files from SD Card on Mac

Then you can choose the files you want to recover. Click “Recover” and select a safe location, then confirm it and you will finish the entire SD card recovery process on Mac. At last, tap “Show in Finder” to find the files and backup them.

Key Points about SD Card Recovery on Mac

  • There are many situations that can cause data loss on SD card, including formatting, improper removal or insertion, mistaken deletion, virus attack, physical damage, switching SD card between different devices, etc.
  • When you delete or lose a file on your Mac, it doesn’t get out of the hard drive permanently and only becomes invisible. Its space is marked as free and waits to be overwritten by new data. That’s why data recovery software works before the files are overwritten and gone for good.
  • Make sure your SD card can be detected by your Mac computer. If not, check if the card slot or card reader is in a good working order. If they are OK and the SD card is still not showing up on Mac, then it may be heavily damaged and no data recovery tool can help you recover data from it.
  • Not all files can be recovered no matter which SD card recovery software for Mac you choose. Before the SD card recovery process, some of your files may have already been corrupted, damaged or even overwritten.
  • 99% of SD card data recovery tools for Mac in the market are not free. Many of them claim to be free, but they are feature limited and only allow you to recover data in limited size.
  • The best method to protect data is frequent backup. Backup your important files to external hard drive, cloud, or other safe places.
  • A piece of SD card recovery for Mac like Cisdem Data Recovery can be used as a precaution to deal with emergency data loss situations. Once you find a file missing, you can use the best SD card recovery software immediately to get it back.
Megan Charles
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Megan has an impressive deal of experience with Mac software and has the ability to explain tech stuff in a simplified, straightforward and easy to understand way.

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  • fdshkl

    Well. The cisdem data recovery is indeed user-friendly to let users preview the files to recover firstly after scanning. I like its simple interface and the reasonable price.

    6 years ago Reply

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