Top 5 Completely Free Data Recovery Software for macOS/Mac OS X 2020

Cedric Grantham updated on Dec 27, 2019 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles


Top 5 complete free data recovery programs for Mac OS X/macOS are described below. These five tools vary from the functions and performance. You can choose the one that suits your needs best.

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, the first reaction might be a quick search for professional and reliable data recovery software. This article covers the top five completely free data recovery software for Mac, which varies from 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. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free is one of the top best 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 AFPS/HFS+ drives, and FAT/FAT32 file systems used in USB flash drives and external hard drives connected to Mac. 

completely free Mac data recovery software


  • Compatible with the latest macOS 10.14(Mojave) and all the former versions.
  • User-friendly interface, only three steps are required to complete data recovery.
  • Powerful restoring abilities to restore 200+ file types on Mac, including recovering lost Word/Excel/PPT documents, photos, videos, music files, emails, archived files, and more.
  • Deep scanning technology greatly enhances recovery probability.
  • The Data Protection in the free version automatically backs 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.
  • The preview feature is provided before proceeding data recovery.
  • It is regularly updated to perfect the restoring performance.


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

2. Disk Drill

Disk Drill is one of the most popular Mac data recovery applications developed to recover lost partitions or files from your Mac's internal and external hard drives. Also, you can use the Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery options in the free trial version to monitor your file deletion activity and retain metadata to allow for quick and easy file recovery.

completely free Mac data recovery software


  • 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.


  • The free version only allows a preview of data recovery.

3. PhotoRec

Although PhotoRec is not the best Mac data recovery tool, it is a free, open-source program that works very well with 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 camera, memory cards, USB flash drives and partitions/hard disks.

completely free Mac data recovery software


  • Strong capability with multiple platforms as described before.
  • Not only the software but also the source code is open.
  • Effective recovery for various kinds of files.


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

4. TestDisk

TestDisk mainly focuses on partition recovery. It enables users to find deleted/lost partitions, fix the partition tables and recover deleted partitions caused by software crash, virus attack, mistaken formatting, etc.. It's also an open-source, freeware product that allows for multiple file types recovery.

completely free Mac data recovery software


  • Completely free and open.
  • Runs on several operating systems, including macOS and Mac OS X versions.
  • Recover lost partitions and correct problems in bootable drives that are failing to boot.


  • 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 helps to restore deleted/lost JPEG files from digital camera, external drive, USB stick, SD card, etc.. You can easily download and install this software on your Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 and all the later versions.

completely free Mac data recovery software


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


  • Only works with JPEG files.
  • It doesn't allow to recover deleted photos from Mac internal hard drive.


When you are facing unexpected data loss on Mac, the programs demonstrated above can help you recover lost files effectively. In many aspects, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free is highly recommended as it provides the most user-friendly interface and most powerful data recovery function. What's more, if your lost data is less than 2GB, you can use this software completely for free.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.