6 Best Free Disk Drill Alternatives for Mac Data Recovery in 2024

The best 6 free Disk Drill alternatives are available here to help you free recover deleted, formatted, or lost files like pictures, videos, documents, etc from hard drives, memory cards, USBs, digital cameras and other storage devices on Mac.

Table of Contents

This page answers some top questions about Disk Drill asked online and lists the 6 best Disk Drill free alternative software for Mac users to apply and restore deleted, formatted, and lost data on Mac computers and other external storage devices with ease:

Is Disk Drill Really Free? Any Disk Drill alternative?

"I accidentally deleted some files on my Macbook and attempted to use Disk Drill to retrieve them back. The free "basic" version lets me wait a full 8-9 hours to see the data is there, then it tells me I can't recover a single file without purchasing a serial key for the PRO version. Is Disk Drill really free? I'm a sophomore high-school student and I don't have the money to pay. So, is there any free Disk Drill alternative software that can help?"

Disk Drill Basic .vs Disk Drill Pro

Actually, Disk Drill is advertised to recover deleted files on Mac and perform Mac data recovery in some other data loss cases for free. However, according to users' feedback, the Basic Free version of Disk Drill only scans and lists the lost files. Check the following comparison table, and you will find the differences between Disk Drill Basic Free and Disk Drill Pro:

Information source: Disk Drill 

Comparison Disk Drill Basic Free Disk Drill Pro
  • Support free data protection
  • Support to create backups of failing disks
  • Support to preview all recovery methods
  • Support unlimited recovery
  • Support data recovery for home users
  • Support all storage types and file systems
Price Free $89.00

According to the table, you can see that Disk Drill Basic works mainly for data protection and data backup. But when it comes to real data recovery, you will have to pay up to $90 to 'upgrade' to Disk Drill Pro for unlimited data recovery on Mac. So is there any free Disk Drill alternative to restore data on Mac? Yes!

6 Best Disk Drill Free Alternatives for Mac

Check the list of 6 best Disk Drill free alternatives and find the best one to bring your lost Mac data back immediately:

  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition
  • PhotoRec
  • Data Rescue for Mac
  • TestDisk for Mac
  • Exif Untrasher
  • Cisdem Data Recovery

Continue reading to find the Pros of each free Mac data recovery software, and you can pick up any Disk Drill alternative to restore your lost files on Mac immediately.

#1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Editon - Best Disk Drill Alternative

It is not easy to find a perfect free Disk Drill alternative as many Mac data recovery software only support to preview lost files for free. When it comes to recovering the data, you must register or pay for the license code first.

Fortunately, EaseUS free Mac data recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition is different. If fully supports you to recover universal types of files and data from hard drives or other storage devices like memory card, USB drive, digital camera, etc., on Mac for free.

Learn more information about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition:  

Specifications EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free 
Supported System macOS 10.15, 10.14, 10.13, 10.12, OS X 10.11, 10.10, 10.9.
Supported File System APFS, HFS+, HFS X, FAT (FAT16, FAT32), exFAT, NTFS
Data Recovery Process 3-Step Recovery: Select Location - Scan - Preview & Recover
Free Data Recovery Capacity 2GB
Notice: If you need to restore large files (more than 2GB) without data recovery limitation, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is still your best choice. To save your money, we can give you a special offer of a 30% discount on the serial key of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

EaseUS recommend:

3-Step Data Recovery: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard enables you to restore more than 200+ types of lost Mac data due to deleting, formatting, virus attack and other issues in only 3 steps.

You may refer to the 3-step Mac data recovery tutorial in the next part for help. All levels of Mac users can fully restore their lost files using this software. Windows users can also apply the Windows version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition for help.

#2. PhotoRec 

Screenshot of fPhotoRec

Unlike Disk Drill, PhotoRec is a piece of free and open-source software for restoring Mac data with a text-based interface using carving techniques. Users can apply it to restore the most common files, especially photos, from internal and external storage devices on Mac OS X.

EaseUS recommend:

  • Photo recovery: PhotoRec specializes in photo recovery and if you lost some precious photos, let it help. It will bring your lost files without losing quality. It's a good choice for photography lovers and designers who lost their pictures. 
  • Advanced File Carving: PhotoRec will check your device by a sector level, locating and find more lost files for you.

#3. Data Rescue for Mac

Screenshot of Data Rescue for Mac

Data Rescue for Mac provides a Free Demo for users to scan and preview lost or deleted files on an external or internal hard drive on Mac. It is compatible with macOS 10.10 and later. 

It works effectively in restricting photos, videos, and documents for business and home users.

EaseUS recommend:

  • Create a clone: Data Rescue for Mac allows you to create a clone of Mac hard drive. With the clone, you can quickly access data with Quick and Deep scan mode.
  • Create a recovery drive:  It also supports you to create a bootable disk so as to safely recover files from your main hard drive.

Notice: Data Resecu for Mac also use the same data recovery policy as Disk Drill that Mac users can only preview the found files using the Free Demo. You'll have to activate it to the full version so as to restore any lost files. What's more, it's not compatible with macOS 10.15 in recovery drive. 

#4. TestDisk

Screenshot of TestDisk

Being similar to PhotoRec, TestDisk is also an open-source data recovery utility. It enables Mac users to restore lost data from Mac volume and repair unbootable disk to work again. With it, you can also fix partition tables that were corrupted due to software crash, virus attack, or mistaken formatting, etc.

EaseUS recommend:

  • Partition Recovery: TestDisk supports you to rebuild and repair the corrupted partition table, restoring lost or even disappeared partition on Mac.
  • Rebuild Boot Sectors: When Mac bootable drive fails to boot, you can correct this issue using TestDisk, making the disk bootable again.

#5. Exif Untrasher

Screenshot of Exif Untrahsfer

Exif Untrasher, unlike Disk Drill, is completely free in retrieving deleted or lost files on Mac. Being similar to PhotoRec, Exif Untrashier also works efficiently in JPEG file recovery on digital cameras, external hard drive, USB, SD, etc., devices.

It's fully compatible with macOS 10.10 and later new macOS. 

EaseUS recommend:

  • JPEG Recovery: Exif Untrasher can locate your JPEG format photo on any kind of storage media and save them back to your Mac.

#6. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac

Screenshot of Cisdem Data Recovery

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac supports you to recover lost files in 5 modes - Basic Mac Data Recovery, Trash Recovery, Formatted Drive Recovery, External Devices Recovery, and Advanced File Recovery.

Users can use this software to perform a 3-step recovery of photos, music, documents, etc., on Mac or external storage devices. 

Note that Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac also offers a free trial version for you to scan and preview lost data. But you need to activate it to execute data recovery operation on Mac.

EaseUS recommend:

  • Full Data Recovery: Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac supports to fully restore data in 5 data recovery modes from various data loss situations after activation. 

Tutorial: 3-Step Mac Data Recovery using Disk Drill Free Alternative

If you need a direct guide to recover deleted files, valuable data on Mac, or lost files on macOS and Mac OS X, download and install the best Disk Drill free alternative - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition on your Mac.

Then follow the 3-step tutorial to learn how to recover your data in all the data loss cases:

Step 1. Search for lost files

Select the disk location to search for lost files (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or an external hard drive) where you lost data and files. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your HDD/SSD to avoid further data loss. After backing up, the software can recover data from your disk backup, and you can use the HDD or SSD again.

Recover Data Step1

Step 2. Go through the scanning results

This software will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display pictures, documents, audio, videos, and emails on the left pane.

Recover Data Step2

Step 3. Select the file(s) and recover

Click the data to preview, and click the "Recover" button to have them back.

Recover Data Step3

Conclusion & Disk Drill FAQs

On this page, we collected 6 best Disk Drill free alternatives to assist you in retrieving Mac data and lost files from multiple data loss cases for free. 

For 100% free and functional Mac data recovery software, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition is the best for you. 2GB free data recovery capacity exceeds all the other similar utilities.

For free photo recovery, PhotoRec and Exif Untrasher are good for you to try.

Besides Disk Drive free alternative, some of you may also have more questions about Disk Drill. Check the Disk Drill FAQs below and find answers immediately if you are having the same concerns:

1. How do you use Disk Drill for free?

As you have noticed from the above Disk Drill review - Disk Drill Basic Free .vs Disk Drill Pro. It's clear that Disk Drill doesn't have a free data recovery option for Mac users to undelete files, recover data from Mac or external storage devices.

You can only use Disk Drill Basic to protect or back up data for free on Mac. But for real data recovery, you will need to upgrade this software to a pro version by purchasing a license.

If you need a 100% free data recovery utility for Mac, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition is capable of helping you bring all lost files back with ease.

2. How to recover lost Mac data without Disk Drill?

When you lost data on Mac, you can try three methods to bring lost data without using Disk Drill:

Method 1. Undelete files from Mac Trash by performing Mac Trash recovery.

Method 2. Restore lost data from Time Machine backup.

Method 3. Use Disk Drill alternative free software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to restore 

3. How do I recover files from my external hard drive for free on Mac?

When you lost files on an external hard drive, you can try to restore the data from your backup if you have created one in advance. 

Usually, external hard drive data recovery on Mac can be done by trash restoration, Time Machine/Cloud backup, Mac drive data recovery software, and manual data recovery services. For a complete guide to restoring files from external hard drive, refer to External Hard Drive Data Recovery on Mac for help.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

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