What are the Best Data Recovery Software for MacOS of 2019
Utilities • Updated on Dec. 26, 2018
No one likes to suffer from losing important from Mac computer or storage devices like external hard drive, digital camera, memory card, usb drive, etc.
If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to recover Mac data from Time Machine backup. Otherwise, you’ll need the help from reliable mac data recovery software.
However, Time Machine only works with your Mac’s main internal drive, so it can’t recover files that were deleted from an external drive, camera memory card, USB flash drive, or from a drive that has been damaged in some way.
And, not everyone remembers to back-up with Time Machine anyway, the built-in utility can only restore lost data unless you have a timely backup.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of superb third-party Mac data recovery software that aim to recover lost data.
We’ll take a closer look at what to know before recovery, what criteria for selecting a recovery software, as well as an in-depth review of the best data recovery software for Mac.
The basics to know before recovery
In case you didn’t know, data recovery works by reconstructing deleted files. In order to do this, the software may use a variety of algorithms as well. However, you have to keep a few things intact before you use these data recovery software.
- If you think you’ve deleted something from your computer, check the Trash first. There’s high chance that you can find the file/folder there.
- If you cannot find the file on Trash, stop working on the computer. If you deleted the file from a USB drive, don’t remove the drive. This will prevent making further changes to the file-system.
- Do not create new files in the particular directory. Creating new files may overwrite the chances of a successful data recovery.
- The success of data recovery also depends upon the type of drive you’re using. For instance, if you’ve got an SSD with encryption tech, recovery software wouldn’t be that easy.
- Also, if you’ve got a corrupted disk, recovery process would be equally tough. Nevertheless, you can find powerful data recovery software for these needs.
One more thing: you have to give proper permissions to the data recovery software for best results.
Now that we have cleared the basics, shall we move forward in finding the best Mac data recovery software?
How we chose the best recovery software
We paid attention to the following aspects while choosing the best data recovery software for macOS. Our idea was to pick something that is functional, powerful and yet easy to use. And, the following things matter a lot.
- Ease of use: The data recovery software must have an intuitive User Interface. We were looking for a GUI that comes with easy navigation as well. This way, even newbies can recover lost data from a Mac.
- Security: There are two aspects to security in the case of data recovery software. First, the software must be completely secure and should not contain any malware. Second, using the recovery software must not tamper with the macOS system.
- Data type support: This refers to the types of data the recovery software can recover from any drive. We recommend products that let you recover all sorts of files, including documents, photos, videos, audio etc.
- Storage device support: The data recovery software must be able to recover data from a wide variety of storage devices. The list includes the internal hard drive of Mac, removable drives like USB and a few other devices like digital cameras and MP3 players.
- File system support: By default, almost all the Mac data recovery software will support file systems like HFS and HFS+. This may not be enough if you want to recover from external devices with another file system. So, the idea data recovery utility would offer universal compatibility.
- File preview: This is one of the best features in a data recovery software. It must have an option for previewing the file before you actually recover it. It really helps in a way, because you wouldn’t have to recover everything from the drive.
- Speed: Of course, no one wants to wait for hours. So, we picked data recovery software that can get the job done as quickly as possible.
- Help & support: You have been warned, things may go wrong during recovery. At this time, you need as much as support you can get. We’ve chosen software that offers comprehensive support as well as resource materials for reference.
In addition to these, we wanted to pick software that are regularly updated. As a result, all our recommended products work fine with the latest version of macOS.
And, that’s how we picked the following tools.
Data Rescue 5 from Prosoft Engineering is one of the most popular data recovery utilities for macOS. It has been designed as a comprehensive data recovery solution for Mac users.
It works with devices running on macOS 10.10 or later and is up-to-date. During our testing, we checked out the various aspects of this data recovery tool and how quickly it recovers stuff.
Getting started with Data Rescue 5 is as easy as it gets. You can download the set-up from the official website and do the installation. During the installation, however, you have to provide File System permissions to this tool. Otherwise, Data Rescue 5 won’t be able to recover lost/deleted data.
Once you are done with the installation, you can see the fully-fledged User Interface of Data Rescue 5. It has no bells and whistles but gets the job done. In short, getting started with Data Rescue 5 takes just seconds.
The user interface
Data Rescue 5 has one of the simplest UIs we’ve seen in data recovery programs. It offers sufficient set of information to the user, but doesn’t cause confusion. Even for someone who hasn’t done recovery, it’s easy.
It’s true that Data Rescue 5 looks a bit rudimentary and old-school. However, as far as we see it, this tool is giving importance to functionality over looking good.
In all sectors, Data Rescue 5 offers the best level of compatibility.
- Data Rescue 5 lets you recover data from a wide variety of devices, including MacBooks, iMacs, HDDs, SSDs, External Drives, SD Cards, CF Cards, Thunderbolt Drives and FireWire Drives. It basically means that you can recover content from almost every device. As long as it has a disk interface, you will be able to connect your digital camera and get back photos that you deleted too.
- Data Rescue 5 supports almost every file format out there too. In our experience, we were recovering files from a USB drive that was in FAT32 file system. Obviously, you can use it to recover files from a macOS internal hard drive, which is now on AFPS. The best part is that you can actually deal with a few corrupted and damaged files using this tool.
- Last but not the least, Data Rescue 5 allows you to recover more than 100 file formats, pertaining to categories like Images, Videos, Documents and more.
In short, the compatibility aspect of Data Rescue 5 is just awesome.
Using Data Rescue 5 to recover deleted data
We wanted to see how well Data Rescue 5 performs when it comes to recovering deleted files. We took the commonest scenario: when you delete an important file from your USB drive and could not find them in the Trash. And we must say, we’re impressed.
Starting the Recovery process is quite easy, you know. You can click on the Start Recovering Files button to get started. On the upcoming menu, you have to choose one of the drives. In this case, we’re choosing the drive Untitled.
Now, Data Rescue 5 will ask you which type of scan you want — Quick or Deep. We’d recommend the Deep Scan, which increases the chance of getting more files. This, however, may take a few minutes. You have to keep yourself patient while the utility scans the drive for recoverable files.
In a few minutes, Data Rescue 5 showed a tree-based list of recovered files. Here, you can browse through a lot of files, based on the file format. In the screen below, you can see the list of PDF documents Data Rescue 5 has managed to recover.
Similarly, you can browse through the file tree and preview them.
Or, you can just go ahead and recover the files. Data Rescue 5 saves the recovered files to another directory so that there’s no clash. Everything goes like clockwork. Instead of doing a full recovery, you can select the individual files/folders to be saved.
After reviewing and testing, Data Rescue 5 was able to recover files that I had deleted long before. It even recovered a one-and-a-half-hour-long movie, which is off the charts. Personally speaking, I was amazed at how Data Rescue 5 could do that. I had deleted just three files for performing this test, but I was able to get back around 200 files.
Some features we loved in Data Rescue 5
Apparently, the data recovery software offers some cool features inside.
There is an in-built Search function that lets you find the desired files. You can find files based on the name, size, date modified and other criteria. This is a great feature when you have a lot of recoverable files but like to find a particular document.
Data Rescue 5 lets you clone data from a potentially dying drive to something better. You will have to connect both the devices to your Mac and use the Clone section of Data Rescue 5. In a few minutes, everything would be moved.
By default, Data Rescue 5 finds out the duplicate entries in the scan results. So, you can save a lot of space when it comes to recovery. Just so you know, Data Rescue 5 offers an easy way to organize and access past scan details as well.
What could be better
Data Rescue 5 is undoubtedly the best data recovery software for Mac you can get in 2019. However, there are a few things that could have been better.
For instance, Data Rescue 5 does not have multiple viewing options for the results. This would have made a lot of things easier, especially when it comes to navigation. Even now, things do work but it would have been a nice addition.
We also expected some additional features such as a Disk Health monitor. As we said earlier, data recovery can be a complex process sometimes. And, you will have to take some precautions. At this time, a disk health monitor can really come in handy.
But, to be frank, we can’t complain, since Data Rescue 5 does the job very well.
Availability & pricing
Data Rescue 5 is available for macOS and Microsoft Windows. If you have a Mac that is running macOS 10.10 or later, you can easily install Data Rescue 5. As we said, it offers full support for Mojave as well.
The Standard license of Data Rescue 5 is priced at $99. Using this license, you can use the product in up to 5 devices. There is no limit on the number of recoveries. You can always check out the free trial of Data Rescue 5, but it only allows you to preview the file — not recover it.
Disk Drill for Mac is way beyond the normal data recovery software you have seen. Sure, it can recover lost or deleted data from a wide variety of sources and file systems. But, that’s just a beginning. Disk Drill for Mac has so many features inside, helping you keep your file system secure and easily accessible. It’s available for Windows and macOS.
Disk Drill for Mac too has an impressive User Interface to offer. As soon as you launch the program, it will be listing all the available drives. In a single click, you can start the recovery and it may take a few minutes. You will have a simultaneous view of found/reconstructed files from the system. We were really impressed by a total performance of Disk Drill for Mac.
The recovery process
Just like we had seen in Data Rescue 5, Disk Drill for Mac also has the Preview option. You can preview each of the to-be-recovered files before you actually recover them. Here, for example, I’ve previewed one of the PDF files that Disk Drill for Mac managed to find from the trash. Making things even better, Disk Drill for Mac offers different viewing options as well.
Session Management is something we really loved in this data recovery tool. It means that you can save the details of a recovery session for later access. This is a great feature when you want to recover a big number of files from a particular storage device. One issue, however, is that many files were broken. The numbers were higher when compared to those of Data Rescue.
The additional features of Disk Drill for Mac also deserve some praising. It has in-built options to check Disk Health, Mac Cleanup, Duplicate Finder, Recovery Drive Creator, Data Protection and Data Backup. All these features are available for free, which is great. Whether they can compete with dedicated tool is yet another question, though.
Considering all these, Disk Drill for Mac is indeed one of the best Mac data recovery software for 2019. That having said, it could have focused on enhancing the recovery performance, instead of adding extra features. On the other hand, if you would love to have some extra features, we’d recommend it. The Basic version is free, but you can pay $89 and upgrade to PRO.
Other options we considered
Out of around 20 data recovery apps we tested, at least a few deserve a special mention. They are not the top options, but you can look at the features.
Stellar Mac Data Recovery
Stellar Mac Data Recovery is another reputed tool for recovering data from Mac devices. Compared to other software in the list, Stellar Mac Data Recovery is completely simple to use. For common users, it provides a better line of control altogether. For instance, you can select which files are to be recovered beforehand. It would help you do less filtering.
One thing we loved in Stellar Mac Data Recovery is its User Interface. This data recovery software shows an instant preview of the recovery process, and you can customize the view as well. There are, however, some areas of compromise, such as the overall speed and detection rates. Altogether, Stellar Mac Data Recovery is a great choice if you badly need an intuitive UI.
Stellar Mac Data Recovery is available for $79.99, but the free version will let you scan and preview files.
Wondershare Recoverit will easily be one of the most used data recovery software out there. It comes with an intuitive UI. Everything takes place in a second. You can launch the program, select the drive and it would start the scanning process in no time. We would not say that Wondershare Recoverit is exceptionally well at detection, though.
We really loved the User Interface. It provides a quick overview of what you can recover from the drive; the instant previews are also great. Also, being a product from Wondershare, Recoverit offers compatibility as well. You would be able to connect almost every removable device and recover data from them. Also, the data recovery dates are also impressive.
Wondershare Recoverit is available for $79.95, and offers a limited free version.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the practically-free data recovery software you can find for Mac. Using the free version, you can recover up to 2GB of data, which is great. You have a cleaner way to track how the disk scanning is going on.
From HDDs to USBs and from internal storage to SD cards, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard lets you recover data from almost every device. It also offers support for RAW recovery and Time Machine backup recovery. Considering the speedy performance we have seen overall, it’s surely an awesome choice for most people. You can always upgrade if you want unlimited data recovery.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is free to use, for recovering up to 2GB.
The Bottom Line
So, you have seen our top picks and the major contenders we came across. We have surely selected a piece of software that you can rely when it comes to data recovery on macOS. As far as Data Rescue 5 is concerned, it’s the perfect combination of intuitive User Interface, top-class performance and stability. There are others, like Disk Drill, who offer advanced features, but we always prefer functionality over style. This is the point: in 2019, you can go for Data Rescue 5 and get almost everything you accidentally deleted or lost.