Top-Tier Data Recovery Software – Best data recovery software for external hard drive on Mac

Mastering Data Recovery: Your Comprehensive Guide

Losing crucial files can be a harrowing experience, be it cherished family photos or vital documents stored on a failing device. In such moments of desperation, a robust solution is essential. Enter data recovery software—the unsung hero in the digital realm. This comprehensive guide will unveil the nuances of data recovery, outlining the capabilities, limitations, and the best software options available.

Unraveling the Magic of Data Recovery Software

Data recovery software functions as a digital savior, excelling in restoring files from traditional hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, and even mobile phones. These applications prove invaluable when faced with common mishaps, such as accidental formatting of storage devices or unintentional file deletions.

Recovering from the Abyss: Traditional Hard Drives

For users with traditional spinning hard drives, a reliable data recovery app can seamlessly restore lost files. Even in scenarios where users have committed the cardinal sin of emptying the Recycle Bin, these tools excel at resurrecting data. Whether it’s a thumb drive, media card, or a mistakenly deleted partition, these applications work wonders.

The SSD Conundrum: A Stark Reality

However, the landscape changes when dealing with solid-state drives (SSDs). The prevalence of TRIM technology in current SSDs poses a unique challenge. Unlike their traditional counterparts, SSDs efficiently clear unused disk sectors, rendering file recovery by software virtually impossible. Once a file is deleted and the Recycle Bin emptied on an SSD, the data is lost forever unless a backup exists.

Navigating the Software Landscape

Choosing the right data recovery software is paramount. Our exhaustive research has identified two Editors’ Choice options for Windows users: Kroll Ontrack EasyRecovery and Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery. Kroll Ontrack emerged as the top performer in tests, slightly surpassing Stellar Phoenix in file recovery volume. Meanwhile, Stellar Phoenix boasts an interface that sets it apart from the competition.

Windows Editors’ Choice: Kroll Ontrack EasyRecovery

Kroll Ontrack stands out as a reliable option, exhibiting superior performance in recovering lost files. Its prowess extends to various storage devices, making it an optimal choice for users navigating data crises.

Windows Alternative: Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery

Stellar Phoenix, while slightly edged out by Kroll Ontrack in file recovery metrics, compensates with an unparalleled user interface. The user-friendly design enhances the overall data recovery experience, making it a strong contender.

Mac Editors’ Choice: Alsoft DiskWarrior

On the Mac front, Alsoft DiskWarrior takes the spotlight as an Editors’ Choice. Renowned for its ability to rebuild entire Mac directories, this software ensures a seamless recovery process for Mac users.

Mac Alternative: Prosoft Data Rescue

For Mac users seeking to recover specific documents or spreadsheets, Prosoft Data Rescue proves to be an excellent choice. Its efficiency in retrieving individual files sets it apart in the Mac data recovery landscape.

Beyond Software: Lab-Based Recovery Services

In scenarios where software falls short, specialized data recovery services come into play. Companies like Kroll, Prosoft, and Seagate offer laboratory-based recovery services, albeit at a premium. These services, equipped to handle SSD recovery, provide a last resort for users facing dire data loss situations.

The SSD Dilemma: A Cautionary Note

It’s crucial to acknowledge the limitations of data recovery software when dealing with SSDs. Despite claims by some applications, file recovery from SSDs is often impractical. The inherent nature of TRIM technology hinders software’s ability to resurrect deleted files, underscoring the importance of regular backups for SSD users.

Securing Your Digital Realm

As a preemptive measure, establishing a reliable backup system is paramount. While data recovery software serves as an effective second line of defense, a robust backup strategy remains the best option. Explore our recommendations for the Best External Hard Drives, the Best Backup Software, and the Best Cloud Backup Services to fortify your digital fortress.


In the ever-evolving digital landscape, mastering data recovery is a skill every user should possess. Armed with the right software and insights, you can navigate the treacherous waters of data loss. Remember, while technology has its limits, a proactive approach to data security can prevent heartache and financial strain. Explore our recommendations, safeguard your files, and rest easy knowing that, in the face of disaster, you’re well-prepared.

Mastering Mac Data Recovery: Unveiling the Top 10 Solutions in 2024


In the digital age, where data is king, facing the loss of crucial files can be a nightmare. Fortunately, Mac users have a plethora of data recovery software options at their disposal. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the top 10 data recovery solutions for Mac, dissecting their features, usability, and effectiveness. Whether you’re a novice or a tech-savvy professional, finding the right tool for your Mac data recovery needs is crucial.

1. Disk Drill for Mac: Unmatched Simplicity and Power

Disk Drill for Mac stands tall as one of the finest data recovery software options, seamlessly balancing simplicity with powerful functionality. Its support for over 400 file formats and compatibility with iOS and Android smartphones make it a versatile choice.

Key Features:

  • Extra Free Disk Tools: Disk Drill goes beyond recovery, offering free disk tools such as SMART Monitoring, Mac Cleanup, Duplicate Finder, and more.

  • One-Click Scanning: The one-click approach simplifies data recovery, making it accessible even to beginners.


  • Easy to use.
  • Delivers excellent results.
  • Free recovery evaluation.
  • Additional free disk tools.
  • One-click recovery initiation.


  • Previewing files is limited to the paid version.


  • Disk Drill PRO: $89
  • Disk Drill Enterprise: $499

2. Data Rescue 6 for Mac: Best Value in Data Recovery

Designed with regular users in mind, Data Rescue 6 for Mac offers exceptional value for data recovery. With Quick Scan and Deep Scan options, it caters to various recovery needs with a user-friendly interface.

Key Features:

  • Clone a Hard Drive: Unique feature allowing users to clone a hard drive if hardware issues are suspected.

  • Scan Source Selection: Enables users to choose the source for file scanning, whether internal or external hard drives.


  • Easy to use with a pleasant interface.
  • Time Machine compatibility.
  • Scan source selection.
  • Email notifications.


  • Limited functionality in the free version.
  • Basic data recovery features in the free version.


  • Standard: As low as $19
  • Professional: $399.96

3. R-Studio for Mac: Advanced Recovery over a Network

R-Studio for Mac caters to complex data recovery scenarios, supporting various file systems and excelling in recovering data over a network.

Key Features:

  • Versatile File System Support: Recovers files from Mac, Windows, Linux, and other partitions.

  • Recovery Over Network: Ideal for network administrators recovering data after a company-wide data breach.


  • Powerful data recovery algorithms.
  • Quick scanning process.
  • Recovery over a local network.
  • Professional hex editor included.


  • Relatively expensive.
  • Overloaded interface.


  • R-Studio for Mac: $79.99
  • R-Studio Technician: $899.00

4. Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac: Extensive Device Support

Recoverit is a commercial data recovery solution boasting extensive device support and a straightforward three-step recovery process.

Key Features:

  • Wide Device Support: Recovers data from external drives, SSDs, memory cards, and more.

  • Years of Experience: Established since 2003, with millions of satisfied customers.


  • Preview files before recovery.
  • Supports virtually any disk-based storage device.
  • Simple recovery process.


  • Limited functionality in the free trial version.
  • Lack of data protection tools.


  • Essential: $89.95
  • Standard: $139.95

5. DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software: Ideal for RAID Recovery

DMDE is a robust data recovery software, particularly suitable for RAID data recovery, offering a disk editor and partition manager.

Key Features:

  • RAID Constructor: Essential for recovering data from RAID configurations.

  • Disk Clone: Allows for cloning a disk, a crucial feature for preventing further data loss.


  • Large list of supported file formats.
  • Freeware features included.
  • Quick data recovery.
  • RAID recovery capabilities.


  • Not as user-friendly as other options.
  • Feels more like a file manager.


  • Express (1-Year): $20.00
  • Standard: $48.00

6. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac: Versatile and Apple Silicon Compatible

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac stands out for its versatility, supporting Apple Silicon and offering unique features like Time Machine extraction.

Key Features:

  • Format Compatibility: Recovers data in almost any format, appealing to users with multiple devices.

  • Time Machine Support: Extracts data from Time Machine backups, even if corrupt.


  • User-friendly layout.
  • Smooth operation.
  • Preview feature.


  • Priced higher than some alternatives.
  • Inaccurate timing estimates.


  • $69.95 per month (at the time of writing)

7. UFS Explorer Professional Recovery: Tailored for Commercial Use

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery targets commercial entities, providing high-performance data recovery and RAID support.

Key Features:

  • Advanced Storage Reader: Improved capabilities for reading diverse storage types.

  • RAID Recovery: Essential for organizations with RAID systems.


  • Supports all popular file systems.
  • RAID recovery capabilities.
  • Built-in algorithms for decrypting disks.


  • Outdated user interface.
  • Expensive for personal use.


  • Commercial: $699.95

8. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac: Free Recovery Option Included

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac offers a modern solution with the added benefit of recovering up to 2GB of data for free.

Key Features:

  • 2GB Free Recovery: Allows users to recover a limited amount of data without charge.

  • Time Machine Support: Compatible with Time Machine backup drives.


  • Up to 2GB of free data recovery.
  • Time Machine backup drive support.


  • Limited additional features.


  • Monthly: $89.95
  • Annual: $119.95

9. Stellar Data Recovery for Mac: Encrypted Drive Expertise

Stellar Data Recovery for Mac brings expertise in recovering data from encrypted drives and offers advanced features for a comprehensive recovery solution.

Key Features:

  • Encrypted Drive Recovery: Specialized in recovering data from encrypted drives.

  • APFS Compatibility: Fully compatible with the Apple File System.


  • Reliable data recovery.
  • Advanced features for encrypted and corrupt files.


  • No free recovery option available.
  • Compatibility issues reported by some users.


  • Professional: $126.64

10. TestDisk for Mac: The Best Free Data Recovery Option

TestDisk for Mac is the go-to option for those seeking a completely free data recovery tool, equipped with powerful algorithms.

Key Features:

  • Free and Open-Source: Cost-effective, making it suitable for users on a budget.

  • Powerful Data Recovery Algorithms: Effective in recovering lost files.


  • Mature data recovery solution.
  • Support for many file systems.


  • Command-line interface.
  • Results can be confusing for beginners.


  • TestDisk is free and open-source.


After meticulous testing and evaluation, Disk Drill emerges as the top choice for Mac data recovery in 2023. Balancing user-friendliness with powerful features, it caters to both novices and experts. Each software on this list caters to specific needs, so selecting the right one depends on your requirements and preferences. Remember, data recovery is a critical skill, and having the right tool in your arsenal ensures you’re prepared for the unexpected. Explore these options, safeguard your data, and navigate the digital realm with confidence.