Top 5 Completely Free Data Recovery Software for macOS/Mac OS X

This page uncovers 5 best completely free data recovery software for macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, older versions and morden Mac OS X, etc. All those Mac data recovery software share one commonality, they are free and useful for casual Mac users.

Table of Contents

This article covers the top five completely free data recovery software for Mac, which varies in features, functions, and performance. However, they all have one thing in common: they are free.

Compare the five tools carefully, and select the one that fits your needs best.

Top 5 Completely Free Data Recovery Software for Mac

When you get data loss on your Mac due to accidental deletion, partition/hard drive formatting, system crash, macOS upgrade, file system or hard drive corruption, stay calm and pick up one of the recommended data recovery software below for help. 

1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free is one of the free top and handy Mac data recovery software that enables you to recover data from the emptied trash bin, Mac notebooks, desktops, hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, memory cards, digital cameras, etc. It works on internal APFS/HFS+/HFS X drives, and FAT/FAT32/exFAT/NTFS file systems used in USB flash drives and external hard drives connected to Mac. 

Highlighted Features:

# 1. All-in-one data recovery software 

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free is fully compatible with the latest macOS  11.0 (Big Sur), 10.15(Catalina), 10.14 (Mojave) and all the former versions. It enables all Mac users to perform a full recovery of lost valuable data in only 3 steps: Scan > Preview > Recover.

# 2. HFS+ Fusion Drive Recovery 

The latest update of EaseUS Mac data recovery software has improved its support of Fusion Drive, which makes it work even better in retrieving files from Mac computers that are installed on fusion drives.

# 3. Encrypted Drive Recovery

Another great update in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is that it supports encrypted drive recovery by offering guidance to assist Mac users in decrypting and unlocking their drives with password.

# 4. Data Protection

Once the data protection feature is enabled, it will automatically back up the deleted files to a safe location. If you unexpectedly delete files and want to recover later, you can quickly restore the lost files from the created backup.

Pros:

  • Support to restore 200+ file types on Mac, including recovering lost Word/Excel/PPT documents, photos, videos, music files, emails, archived files, and more.
  • Quick Scan + Deep Scan technology greatly enhances recovery probability.
  • Real-time Preview allows you to preview found files while scanning and before proceeding with data recovery.
  • No quality-loss recovery brings your lost photos, videos perfectly back in its best performance.

Cons:

  • The completely free version is limited to a maximum of 2GB data recovery. (The outstanding Windows data recovery free version also provides 2GB free file recovery.)

2. Disk Drill

Disk Drill is a popular Mac data recovery application developed to recover lost partitions or files from Mac internal and external hard drives. Also, the Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery options in the free trial version support to monitor the file deletion activity and retain metadata so as to quickly undelete files.

completely free Mac data recovery software

Highlighted Features:

# 1. Undelete Protected Data (Not Available in Free Version)

Being similar to the Data Protection feature in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, Disk Drill also contains an undelete protected data feature that requires Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery features to be enabled in advance.

With these two features enabled, Mac users could quickly undelete files from a Trash Bin reference or shadow copy of each file to a user-specified folder.

# 2. Allocate Existing Files

When Finder fails to read data, Disk Utility reports the drive as unformatted, Disk Drill can scan the partition and retrieve data from Mac.

Pros:

  • Compatible with all the Mac OS X and macOS systems.
  • Recover 200+ file types.
  • It is packed with free and useful disk tools for all users.
  • An intuitive user interface to recover lost files effortlessly.

Cons:

  • The free version only allows a preview of data recovery.
  • Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery are not available in the free version.

3. PhotoRec

PhotoRec is a free, open-source program that works very well in data recovery on older operating systems like OS X, Linux, Free BSD, Net BSD, Open BSD, and Windows.

It allows users to restore most common files, like photos, audios, documents, ZIP archives, and others from internal or external devices, such as digital cameras, memory cards, USB flash drives and partitions/hard disks.

completely free Mac data recovery software

Highlighted Features:

# 1. Advanced File Carving

PhotoRec first searches for the data block or cluster size. The program will quickly load value from superblock like ext2/ext3/ext4 or volume boot record like FAT/NTFS if the file system is not corrupted. When the file system corrupted, PhotoRec will check the device at a sector level, using the first 10 found files to calculate the block or cluster size so as to locate and find more lost files.

# 2. Block or Cluster Level Recovery

This program will read the Mac device block by block, cluster by cluster, checking against different file signatures so as to recuperate available files. 

Pros:

  • Support data recovery cross-platforms, Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, etc.
  • 100% open-source program, not only the software but also the source code.
  • Nice tool to recover personal files.

Cons:

  • Not very user-friendly for ordinary computer users.
  • Technical skills required. It uses command lines to operate.

4. TestDisk

TestDisk, like PhotoRec, it's also an open-source, freeware product that allows for multiple file types recovery.

It mainly focuses on partition recovery. It enables users to find deleted or lost partitions by fixing the partition tables due to software crash, virus attack, mistaken formatting, etc.

completely free Mac data recovery software

Highlighted Features:

# 1. Partition Recovery 

When a partition lost or disappeared on Mac due to corrupted partition tables, Mac users can apply TestDisk to rebuild and repair the corrupted partition table. 

# 2. Rebuild Boot Sectors

When the Mac bootable drive fails to boot, it corrects problems in bootable drives that are failing to boot.

Pros:

  • Completely free and open.
  • Runs on several operating systems, including macOS and Mac OS X versions.
  • Recover lost partitions and rebuild the partition table.

Cons:

  • Use the command line to make data recovery.
  • Not user-friendly for regular computer users.  

5. Exif Untrasher

Exif Untrasher is another completely free Mac data recovery tool that mainly restores deleted or JPEG files from digital cameras, external drive, USB stick, SD card, etc. You can easily download and install this software on your Mac running Mac OS X 10.10 and all the later versions.

completely free Mac data recovery software

Highlighted Features:

# 1. Highly Efficient in JEPG Recovery

Exif Untrasher is a tool that mainly designed to locate photos in JEPG formats on any kind of storage device like SD card, CF card, memory stick or Mac hard disk. 

External storage device needs to be mounted as a volume on Mac for the utility to access and attempt a restore.

Pros:

  • Simple and quick to recover lost images from the memory card.
  • Free with no quantity limits.
  • It is updated by the developer regularly.

Cons:

  • It only works for JEGP file recovery. It doesn't support extra file formats.

3-Step Tutorial of Free Mac Data Recovery

To help more Mac users to bring their lost files are soon as possible, we are here to show you a 3-step tutorial of free Mac data recovery. If you are eager to bring your lost files back on Mac or external storage devices, apply the brief and innovative EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free for help.

Remember to connect your USB, SD card, or external hard drive to Mac computer if your lost data were saved on it.

Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane.

start scan on the Mac

Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click the "Recover Now" button to have them back.

click recover now button to recover lost data on your Mac

Conclusion

On this page, you are presented with the top 5 completely free Mac data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free, Disk Drill, PhotoRec, TestDisk, Exif Untrasher. When you are facing unexpected data loss on Mac, the programs demonstrated above can help you recover lost files effectively. 

What's more, if your lost data is less than 2GB, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free is highly recommended as it provides the most user-friendly interface and most powerful data recovery function. 

If you simply want to restore JEGP images, Exif Untrasher is worth to try.

People Also Ask

Some Mac users may still have doubts about Mac file recovery. Here we have collected the top frequently asked 4 questions and left brief answers below. Check out and find your own answers here.

1. Is Mac data recovery free?

It depends. If you lost deleted files to Trash, you can restore them from the Trash for free.

When you lost files on a local Mac hard drive or an external storage device, if you apply free Mac data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free for help, it's free.

If you take your computer to a local data recovery center, it will charge you a big bunch of money.

2. What is the best free data recovery software?

The Recommended software also works perfectly in Windows OS for data recovery and you can find out the most suitable for you to apply and restore lost files with ease. 

  • For Mac users, as we recommended on this page, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free, Disk Drill, PhotoRec, TestDisk, Exif Untrasher are all good to help.

3. Is there any free data recovery software?

Sure! Many data recovery software producers all have released their free data recovery software. Here we have collected some of them for you to pick up and apply to guard your own data.

10 Top Free Data Recovery Software for Windows Users:

  • 1). EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free
  • 2). Recuva
  • 3). Stellar Data Recovery
  • 4). Disk Drill
  • 5). R-Studio
  • 6). Acronis Revive
  • 7). Remo Recover
  • 8). Recover My Files
  • 9). Puran Data Recovery
  • 10). TestDisk

5 Top Free Data Recovery Software for Mac Users: (We have uncovered on this page)

  • 1). EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free
  • 2). Disk Drill
  • 3). PhotoRec
  • 4). TestDisk
  • 5). Exif Untrasher

4. How can I recover deleted files without software Mac free?

There are two ways for you to recover deleted files on Mac for free without using data recovery software.

  • One way is to undelete files from your Mac Trash bin.

When you mistakenly deleted files on Mac computer to the trash, and you didn't empty the trash, you can undelete them from your Trash for free.

  • The other way that you can try is to recover deleted files from your Mac Time Machine backup. 

If you have the habit of backing up files on Mac computer using the Time Machine, congratulations. When you delete some of them, luckily, you can bring them back immediately from your Time Machine backup. You can follow to Recover Files from Time Machine Backup for a detailed guide. 

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy is enthusiastic to share technical tips and solutions about computing and technology. Being an EaseUS member since 2013, she also writes instructional content about data recovery, file/disk partition/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Written by Cedric Grantham

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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