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.

  1. 1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free
  2. 2. Stellar Data Recovery for Mac
  3. 3. Disk Drill
  4. 4. PhotoRec
  5. 5. TestDisk
  6. 3-Step Tutorial for Free Mac Data Recovery

Mac Data Recovery Software Testing Statistics

The best free data recovery software for Mac is described below. To find out the best free data recovery software, we have tested 20 software and picked out the best five data recovery software. Here is a glance at the testing statistics.

Criteria  Details
Number of tested tools 20
How long have we tested Four weeks
OS version macOS 13 Ventura & macOS 12 Monterey
Minimum cost Free
Average cost $70
The storage device Seagate SSD (128GB)
Number of files  2000+ files

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 a free top and handy Mac data recovery software that enables you to recover deleted files on Mac, 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 recover lost valuable data in only 3 steps fully: Scan > Preview > Recover.

# 2. HFS+ Fusion Drive Recovery 

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

# 3. Encrypted Drive Recovery

Another great update in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is that it can recover data from encrypted hard drives by offering guidance to assist Mac users in decrypting and unlocking their drives with passwords.

# 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 them later, you can quickly restore the lost files from the created backup.

Pros:

  • Support to restore 200+ file types on Mac, including recovering unsaved Word documents on Mac, and Excel/PPT files, 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 returns your lost photos and videos to their best performance.

Cons:

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

2. Stellar Data Recovery for Mac

Stellar Data Recovery for Mac is a DIY tool that can recover data from all types of Mac-based internal or external storage drives. This Mac data recovery tool helps retrieve photos, videos, documents, and other files from all Mac HDDs, SSDs, Thumb Drives, memory cards, and more.

stellar data recovery software for Mac

Highlighted Features:

# 1. Recover Lost Data from Unbootable Systems

You can recover data without booting into macOS. Stellar Mac data recovery software helps to get back Mac files without entering your system.

# 2. SMART Drive Monitor and Clone

This software also examines various complex drive attributes, like performance, drive health, and temperature. Exploring these features reduces the chances of data loss in the future.

Pros:

  • Free to use for 1GB data recovery
  • Can recover data from any storage device
  • Include a lot of advanced features

Cons:

  • You need to pay for the software if your data is more than 1GB.

3. 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 monitoring the file deletion activity and retaining metadata to undelete files quickly.

completely free Mac data recovery software

Highlighted Features:

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

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 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.

4. 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 the most common files, like photos, audio, 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 superblocks like ext2/ext3/ext4 or volume boot records like FAT/NTFS if the file system is not corrupted. When the file system is corrupted, PhotoRec will check the device at a sector level, using the first ten found files to calculate the block or cluster size 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.

5. TestDisk

TestDisk, like PhotoRec, is 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 crashes, virus attacks, mistaken formatting, etc.

completely free Mac data recovery software

Highlighted Features:

# 1. Partition Recovery 

When a partition is lost or disappears 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 failing to boot.

Pros:

  • Completely free and open.
  • Run 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.

3-Step Tutorial for Free Mac Data Recovery

To help more Mac users bring their lost files as soon as possible, we 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 a Mac computer if your lost data is saved.

Step 1. Select the location to scan

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac and choose the hard drive, SSD,  SD card, USB flash drive, or TF card where you lost data. Click "Search for lost files" to start scanning.

select a location and click search for lost files

Step 2. Filter lost Mac data

The software will automatically scan for lost data on MacBook/iMac. When the scan completes, filter wanted data through the "Type" and "Path" buttons.

filter lost files in types

Step 3. Recover lost data or files

Double-click a file to preview it. Then, click the "Recover" button to restore the lost data to another place. 

click recover to recover lost data

How to Choose the Best Free Data Recovery Software for Mac

What's the best free data recovery tool for Mac users among the many competing products on the market? To find out the best data recovery software, we provide a comparison table of the top 5 free data recovery tools and programs and their features. Choose the best one that meets your needs and start recovering lost data on your MacBook Pro/iMac/Mac as soon as possible.

Feature EaseUS Disk Drill Stellar TestDisk PhotoRec
Free recovery 2GB 500MB 1GB Free Free
Supported file systems FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32) /exFAT /NTFS /NTFS5 /ext2 /ext3/ext4 /HFS+ FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32) /exFAT /NTFS /NTFS5 /ext3 /ext4 /HFS+ FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32) /exFAT /NTFS /NTFS5 /ext2 /ext3/ext4 /ReFS FAT /NTFS /ext2 FAT /exFAT /NTFS /ext2 /ext3 /ext4
Supported file types 1000 400 200 10 20
Ease of use Easy Moderate Moderate Hard Hard
Recovery speed Fast Fast Average Average Average
Recovery rate High Moderate High Average Average
Filter found results
RAID capability Partial Partial
NAS recovery
File repair
RAW devices scan Partial
Large disk auto-recovery

Updates in November 2022

We have removed Exif Untrasher from our review as it is no longer available. You can't download and access this data recovery software when accessing the website. It asks you to find it on GitHub. There are better options that don't try to redirect you to another site.

Conclusion

This page presents you with the top 5 completely free Mac data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free, Disk Drill, PhotoRec, TestDisk, and Stellar data recovery software. When facing unexpected data loss on Mac, the above programs 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 powerful data recovery function.

People Also Ask

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

1. Is Mac data recovery free?

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

When you lose 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.

Taking your computer to a local data recovery center 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 easily find the most suitable for applying and restoring lost files. 

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

3. Is there any free data recovery software?

Sure! Many data recovery software producers 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 delete files on your Mac computer to the trash and don't empty the trash, you can undelete them from your Trash for free.

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

Congratulations if you have the habit of backing up files on a Mac computer using the Time Machine. Luckily, when you delete some of them, you can bring them back immediately from your Time Machine backup. You can follow Recover Files from Time Machine Backup for a detailed guide. 

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Cedric

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 loves various electronic products.

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