10 Best Data Recovery Tools for Mac with Pros, Cons and Pricing

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Best Data Recovery Software for Mac

Data loss is a common problem that costs countless people and businesses large amounts of money every day. What’s worse, some files don’t have just monetary but also emotional value, making them irreplaceable and leaving data recovery as the only satisfactory solution.

The good news is that Mac users can choose from many different data recovery tools, and we’ve created this list of the top 10 best data recovery software for Mac in 2021 to help you recover your lost files as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Quick Overview of the Best Data Recovery Software on Mac

 Limitations Full versionCompatibility Big Sur macOSDeveloped by
Disk DrillMust purchase to recover data$89macOS 10.11.6 or later+CleverFiles
Data Rescue 6Limited functionality with the free version$19macOS 10.12 or later (Intel only)-Prosoft
R-Studio for MacExpensive$79.99Mac OS X 10.9 or later+R-tools Technology
Recoverit Data Recovery for MacLimited functionality with the free version$79.95Mac OS X 10.6 or later+iSkysoft Toolbox
DiskWarrior for MacMust purchase to use$119.95Mac OS X 10.5 or later+ALSOFT
UFS Explorer Professional RecoveryOutdated interface$723.27Mac OS X 10.7 or later+SysDev Laboratories
DM Disk Editor and Recovery SoftwareInterface feels like a file manager$20Mac OS X 10.5 or later+DMDE
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for MacNot a ton of extra features$119.95Mac OS X 10.9 or later+EaseUS
Stellar Data Recovery for MacNo free data recovery$99.99macOS 10.11 or later+Stellar Information Technology
TestDisk for MacNo graphical interfaceFreeMac OS X 10.4 or later-CGSecurity

1. Disk Drill for Mac

Good for: Modern and powerful data recovery.

Disk Drill is one of the best data recovery software apps for Mac that there is out there and it’s easy to see why.

recovering pages document using disk drill

Features

No other app on this list is as easy to use as Disk Drill for Mac, which is a huge compliment considering that Disk Drill for Mac delivers unmatched results. Not only does it support over 300 different file formats, but it also lets you scan all major devices, including your iOS or Android smartphone. Let’s take a look at some of the best features that Disk Drill has to offer.

  • Extra Free Disk Tools. Bundled with Disk Drill for Mac are several additional free disk tools—Disk Health, Mac Cleanup, Duplicate Finder, Recovery Drive, Data Protection, and Data Backup—whose purpose is to keep your files better organized and protected so you’re less likely to lose them.
  • One-Click Scanning. What makes Disk Drill for Mac so much more accessible compared with other data recovery apps for Mac is its one-click approach to data recovery. It really takes just a single click to initiate the recovery process, allowing even complete beginners to take data recovery into their own hands and avoid spending money on professional data recovery services.
  • Fast and Powerful. Disk Drill for Mac features two major data recovery methods: Quick Scan and Deep Scan. When you initiate a Quick Scan, Disk Drill compares the content of your hard drive with its massive database of file headers, which allows it to deliver outstanding results in a matter of seconds. Deep Scan takes considerably longer than Quick Scan, but it can recover even those files that Quick Scan can’t find.

Data Recovery Process

The data recovery process in Disk Drill is simple and intuitive. After you have installed the software, you choose what hard disk you would like to scan and wait for the scan process to complete. Then, you can review the files that Disk Drill was able to find and use the preview feature to recover them to a destination on our Mac. Disk Drill didn’t take a long time to scan my Mac and it was able to find and display a large number of files. It has a very intuitive preview feature as well that lets you see a file before you recover it. If Apple were to make a data recovery app, it would be this one.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Delivers excellent results
  • Free recovery evaluation
  • Comes with extra free disk tools
  • Two distinct data recovery method
  • Preview function for recovering files

Cons:

  • You can only preview files for free

2. Data Rescue 6 for Mac

Good for: best value when it comes to data recovery.

data rescue for mac

Designed with regular users in mind, Data Rescue 6 for Mac is another well-rated recovery app when it comes to the best Mac data recovery software available for Mac.

Features

Just like Disk Drill for Mac, Data Rescue allows you to recover data from your Mac hard drive using two recovery methods—Quick Scan and Deep Scan—and it also has a simple graphical user interface that exposes all features at a glance.

Data Rescue 6 for Mac boasts the ability to clone your hard drive if it appears that you’re having hardware issues with it. You can also select which source you would like to scan files from rather than be an internal or external hard drive.

Data Recovery Process

Data Rescue has both the quick scan and deep scan options when it comes to scanning your Mac for recoverable files. The quick scan feature is fast as you would assume it to be but the deep scan does take some time. Once the scan has completed, you can use the preview feature to look at a file before recovering it. The experience just isn’t as modern and smooth as Disk Drill but with the price, you get a cheaper data recovery software option that I can’t complain much about.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Time Machine compatibility
  • Clone a hard drive
  • View previous scan results
  • Email notifications
  • Scan source selection

Cons:

  • The free version has limited functionality

3. R-Studio for Mac

Good for: recovering data over a network.

r-studio for mac

R-Studio for Mac is a feature-packed data recovery solution for Mac computers that can be used even for heavily damaged or unknown file systems.

Features

R-Studio for Mac can recover files from APFS/HFS+/HFS (Macintosh), FAT/NTFS/ReFS (Windows), UFS1/UFS2 (FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD/Solaris) and Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 FS (Linux) partitions, and it effortlessly handless even heavy file damage. Included with R-Studio for Mac is a professional hex editor, which increases the value of this otherwise fairly expensive data recovery tool. If you’re a network administrator and would like to recover data after a company-wide data breach, you will be pleased to know that R-Studio for Mac supports data recovery over a local network.

Data Recovery Process

R-Studio is not as pretty as either Disk Drill or Data Rescue in my opinion, however, looks are subjective and it gets the job done. R-Studio takes function over design and it shows here. I wasn’t able to test the recovery over a network feature, but when scanning my own Mac it was able to find and show me files which I could then recover. I didn’t have any issues with stability. However, I feel like I wasn’t able to use this tool to its full potential like some other professionals who are offering tech support or manage a large number of computers might be able to. This is just something to keep in mind.

Pros:

  • Power data recovery algorithms
  • Bundled with professional data recovery tools
  • Recovery over network
  • Aimed at professionals

Cons:

  • Expensive

4. Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Good for: large device support data recovery.

Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Recoverit is a commercial data recovery solution for Mac computers. It provides users with a three-step recovery process that takes the pain out of recovering your lost data.

Features

This software tool has been helping users recover lost data since 2003. During that time it has been used by millions of customers to recover from a wide variety of data loss scenarios. The application can restore lost files deleted from the Trash, recover data from accidentally formatted disks, and recover data lost due to a virus attack. Recover data from external drives, SSDs, and memory cards among other supported devices. Support is provided for hundreds of file types including all popular video, image, audio, and document formats.

Data Recovery Process

Recoverit worked just as you would have excepted it to. I started up the app and scanned my Mac. It was able to find files and I was able to preview them and recover them. There isn’t really anything special for me to call out here. It delivered on what it said that it was going to do.

Pros:

  • Preview files before recovery
  • Supports virtually any type of disk-based storage device
  • Simple recovery process

Cons:

  • Limited functionality in the free trial version
  • Lack of data protection tools

5. DiskWarrior for Mac

Good for: repairing the hard disk on your Mac.

Choose a Disk in DiskWarrior for Mac

DiskWarrior for Mac describes itself as the world’s most advanced repair and data recovery tool. We’re not sure about that, but it does deliver satisfactory results and is particularly great when it comes to solving the dreaded “Initialize Disk” issue that so many Mac users have encountered.

Features

DiskWarrior for Mac excels when it comes to repairing damaged hard drives and finding all salvageable files and folders. If you have a hard drive that your Mac can’t access anymore, all you need to do to rebuild it using DiskWarrior for Mac is click the Rebuild button, and the rest will happen automatically. In addition to helping you solve existing problems, DiskWarrior for Mac can help you prevent avoid drive malfunctions using SMART technology.

Data Recovery Process

DiskWarrior can be run two ways. You can either boot it up from a DiskWarrior bootup disk or you can run it from another Mac to recover files on another Mac that may be having a hard drive issue. Simply start the application on a Mac that is working and you can connect them via a cable and search your Mac for files that you would like to recover. This is the best way to go about data recovery as you don’t want to start the process on the device that is currently having an issue.

Pros:

  • Advanced repair features
  • SMART technology
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Expensive and no free trial available.

6. UFS Explorer Professional Recovery

Good for: commercial companies and corporations.

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac helps you recover your data and this option should be looked at more for commercial and corporations as the price will reflect that. It is not the prettiest Mac data recovery software option out there, but you can get the job done with this one and it supports unlimited users.

Features

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery makes data recovery easy as it is high-performance software designed to solve complex cases of data loss. It also comes with a RAID tool that has a built-in script handler. This would be an awesome feature as most organizations usually have some sort of RAID system built-in to help them protect their data and keep operations running smoothly.

Data Recovery Process

UFS did a good job at finding my data and recovering it but I am not a fan of the interface and while this would be good for larger commercial operations and corporations, it just isn’t something that I would want to use personally. It found my data and was able to recover it with no issue, but it reminds me of an old outdated 90s program that needs to have its graphical user interface updated to meet modern times. I am not the target customer for this one, but if you’re an organization, this one is worth a consideration.

Pros:

  • Improved storage reader capabilities
  • Support for all popular file systems
  • Supports RAID recovery
  • Built-in algorithms for decrypting disks

Cons:

  • Outdated user interface
  • Expensive for personal use, better for larger companies

7. DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software

Good for: RAID data recovery.

dm disk editor and data recovery software for mac

DMDE is a powerful data recovery software for Mac that allows you to do data searching, editing, and recovery on your disks.

Features

DMDE comes with a disk editor and a simple partition manager which allows you to undelete a partition which could be a cause of data loss. It also comes with file recovery which while it works, isn’t as intuitive as some of the other options on this list.

Data Recovery Process

The data recovery process on DMDE took me a minute to understand as it’s a file system-like interface without a ton of modern design elements that help you understand what you need to do without having to think about it first. With Disk Drill and Data Rescue, I knew how to operate them just by using them, I didn’t really have to think about what I was doing. Once you’re within the DMDE app interface, you select the disk that would you like to scan and click on OK. Files will then show up in a list form. It’s not as clear as to what you’re scanning as the devices list for me showed /dev/rdisk0 when other apps name your storage devices “Macintosh Hard Drive” making it much more clear what I am scanning.

Pros:

  • Large list of support file formats
  • Has a lot of nice freeware features
  • Data recovery
  • RAID constructor
  • Disk Clone

Cons:

  • Not as easy to use as others
  • Feels more like a file manager

8. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

Good for: 2GBs of free data recovery.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

EaseUS is a software company behind the popular partition manager, EaseUS Partition Master, but it also deserves recognition for its data recovery tool, called EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

Features

EaseUS Data Recovery for Mac is a modern data recovery solution that can recover up to 2 GB of deleted and formatted data for free. It supports Time Machine backup drives, recovers photos, videos, music, documents, and emails, and works with all recent versions of macOS, including macOS 10.14, 10.13, 10.12, OS X 10.11, 10.10, 10.9, 10.8, 10.7, and 10.6. Data recovery with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a three-step process, and the app even lets you create a bootable media to recover data when macOS is unable to boot up.

Data Recovery Process

EaseUS has a nice user interface that I actually quite enjoy as it’s clean and easy to use. Right when you launch the app, you’re greeted by your internal devices which you can then select one to scan. There is a big blue scan button that you can’t miss making it easy to use. When you first use the app, you will have to restart your Mac as it requires you to enable an extension but most of the options above also require this. After you have completed that, I scanned my device and it found files above just like the rest. This one also allows me to recover 2GB of data for free which is a nice added feature.

Pros:

  • Recover up to 2 GB of data for free
  • Supports Time Machine backup drives
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a ton of extra features

9. Stellar Data Recovery for Mac

Good for: encrypted drive recovery.

Stellar Data Recovery for MacEven though Stellar Data Recovery for Mac is probably overkilled for most Mac users who want a simple solution that would allow them to recover a couple of lost files, it still deserves a place on our list because it offers a lot of interesting features.

Features

To start with, Stellar Data Recovery for Mac recovers data from Time Machine, Fusion Drive, encrypted, and NTFS drives, and it comes with full APFS compatibility. Depending on which version of Stellar Data Recovery for Mac you buy, you get to enjoy such advanced features as corrupt photo and video file repair, corrupt thumbnail restore, and others. Unfortunately, the free version can’t actually recover any files because it’s basically just a teaser.

Data Recovery Process

Stellar Data Recovery for Mac has always given me a hard time and this time is no exception. I am running a MacBook Pro 16″ with Big Sur 11.2.3 at the time of writing and it does not run on my machine. It is included in this list though as it might work on yours and other users have had success with it so it may come down to something with compatibility with my current operating system.

Pros:

  • Reliable
  • Corrupt photo and video repair
  • Recovers data from encrypted drives

Cons:

  • No free recovery option available
  • I couldn’t get it to run on my new machine

10. TestDisk for Mac

Good for: best free option on Mac.

testdisk for mac

If you’re looking for a completely free data recovery tool for Mac computers, TestDisk for Mac is a great option.

Features

Unlike Disk Drill for Mac, TestDisk for Mac doesn’t have a well-designed user interface that allows even complete beginners to use it without feeling intimidated by it. That’s because it doesn’t have any graphical user interface at all! What it does have are powerful data recovery algorithms and support for virtually all file systems you may ever come across. Just don’t let its command-line interface intimidate you.

Data Recovery Process

TestDisk uses a textual interface which takes some getting used to. It can be daunting at first trying to understand it, but it’s free so you have nothing to lose by downloading it and giving it a try. There is a guide here for how to use TestDisk step by step. For the actual data recovery, it does a good job. I was able to find files on my Mac and I was able to recover a file from the Trash with no issues. If you’re into tinkering or want something for free, I would recommend trying out TestDisk.

Pros:

  • Mature data recovery solution
  • Support for many file systems
  • Great data recovery results

Cons:

  • Command line interface

How We Tested and Picked

To test the top 10 most rated data recovery apps for Mac featured in this article, we created a virtual machine with macOS 10.15 Catalina and used it to simulate a data loss scenario that included several different file formats (MP3, JPG, DOC, DOCX, TXT, AVI, just to name a few). Nine clones of the original virtual machine were created to duplicate the data loss scenario, which allowed us to obtain highly accurate results that were not influenced by the order in which we tested the data recovery apps. Data recovery was also tested on a 2019 MacBook Pro 16″ as well for comparison.

Data Recovery Software Review Summary

🔢 Number of tested tools21
⌛ How long we tested2 weeks
💻 Our macOS version10.15 Catalina
💰 Average cost$80 - $100
💸 Minimum costFree

Conclusion

After spending a sufficient amount of time with all 10 data recovery apps for Mac featured in this article, we understand why Disk Drill Data Recovery Tool is the best data recovery software option from our review. By making data recovery accessible to anyone and consistently delivering excellent results, it outshines its competition and establishes itself as the best data recovery macOS apps in 2021.

Recovering data from your Mac hard drive is something that we all should know how to do in case something happens. Now you have 10 options to consider that can help you not only recover your data but ensure that if something should happen that you’re prepared!

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