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Top 5 Best External Hard Drive Recovery Tools For Mac Users

The majority of data recovery applications focus on a single objective, while advanced recovery algorithms allow them to locate the files they can still recover. After scanning your storage device, they will copy the familiar patterns on your data to denote its file format. This process allows them to retrieve the files from your external hard drive, internal system, and storage system.

Overwriting the missing or corrupted files can take a significant amount of time. You have to give it time to piece the document’s parts back together before you can fully recover it. Overall, the length of the process depends on the capacity of the hard drive recovery applications that you utilize. It is imperative to consider high-performing tools, especially if you want to recover important files. Although these tools may cost more, they often get the job done right then and there. In such cases, consider the following recovery software options for Mac:

Quick navigation:

  1. Disk Drill
  2. MiniTool
  3. Data Rescue 6
  4. Recoverit
  5. CrashPlan

Comparison of the Top 5 SD Card Data Recovery Applications on Mac

Hard drive data recovery is critical, especially if essential files are at stake. You can take advantage of the following applications to streamline your recovery. Consider their pros and cons to determine the program that works best for your situation.

Hard Drive Recovery Software

Advantages

Disadvantages

Disk Drill

  • Well-designed yet simplistic interface 
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Recovers data from the varying file systems
  • Filter, sort, and locate files by name
  • It offers a preview of the types of files that you can recover.
  • The free trial version can only recover 500MB of data. 
  • The scanned results failed to display the condition of the files you wish to retrieve.

MiniTool

  • The program is flexible and easy to customize. 
  • Works with SD cards, USB flash drives, and CDs/DVDs that have corrupted files
  • It takes some time to recover with large drives.
  • There are no backup options set.
  • Lacks Disk Partitioning

Data Rescue 6

  • Simple setup process.
  • Sleek and professional user interface
  • A large number of configuration options
  • Efficient Recovery Performance
  • Cannot Pause/ Resume from your scanned progress
  • Scanning takes a long time for deep scans and large-scale data.

Recoverit

  • It can recover video and other digital media even though the storage devices were already re-formatted.
  • There is a vast catalog of features that are easy to use and navigate.
  • Data recovery may change the quality of the file.
  • The time indicated for scanning and recovery is often inaccurate.
  • Recovering overwritten files is unlikely.
  • You cannot preview all recoverable files.

CrashPlan

  • The combination of data backup with recovery is unique and extremely useful.
  • Competitive pricing is ideal for small businesses.
  • Fails to back up data according to file type.
 

1. Disk Drill ($89)

Disk Drill

One of the most reliable external hard drive recovery tools in the market is Disk Drill. You can avail of its free trial version if you want to check the files you can recover. Users can examine the data they can retrieve, including complete details about the file names and modification dates. Additionally, you can take advantage of the free trial version to confirm whether your lost files have gotten corrupted. This version can establish a backup plan to recover failing volumes as disk image backup on an external drive. Otherwise, you can purchase a subscription model starting at $89 to enjoy limitless data recovery. Paying a small fee allows you to benefit from its in-depth scanning features, export files, and explore lost partitions. 

Recovery Vault is among the myriad of data recovery functionalities that this application offers. Once you have this on your system, you can automate system recovery in the event of data loss. This software prepares you for unprecedented events, including ransomware attacks, malware, data corruption, and system malfunctions. Instead of getting this software to fix what was lost, leverage its features to prepare for the worst.

Moreover, Disk Drill can recover files from any device as long as it connects directly to your Mac. So, with Disk Drill, you can retrieve lost data from your iOS devices, USB flash drives, and memory cards if you plug them into your computer.

Pros

  • Well-designed yet simplistic interface
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Recovers data from the varying file systems
  • Filter, sort, and locate files by name
  • It offers a preview of the types of files that you can recover.

Cons

  • The free trial version can only recover 500MB of data.
  • The scanned results failed to display the condition of the files you wish to retrieve.
 

2. MiniTool ($79)

MiniTool

MiniTool is a popular software known for its excellent customer services and features. Although you can only retrieve 1 MB of data in MiniTool’s free trial version, the paid versions can provide you a money-back guarantee within a month of usage. This guarantee assures that they will return your payment if you were not satisfied with their services. 

MiniTool offers three data recovery options for Mac users:

  • Lost Partition Recovery

Lost Partition recovery services are for those who want to avail well-rounded services. Besides going through your current partition, MiniTool can check your previous partition elements that might have gotten formatted in the past.

  • Damaged Partition Recovery

Damaged Partition refers to a more particular approach to data recovery. It focuses on capturing data that got lost in the partition.

  • Digital Media Recovery

Another more specific approach to data recovery is MiniTool’s Digital Media Recovery. It aims to retrieve media, including audio, video, and images, from your storage devices.

  • Undelete Recovery

Lastly, the Undelete Recovery tools let users scan a volume and locate as many recoverable files as possible. You can also pause the process if it takes longer than usual to continue it later on. It might be beneficial to take your time if you are dealing with a large volume of data.

Pros

  • The program is flexible and easy to customize.
  • Works with SD cards, USB flash drives, and CDs/DVDs that have corrupted files

Cons

  • It takes some time to recover with large drives.
  • There are no backup options set.
  • Lacks Disk Partitioning
 

3. Data Rescue 6 ($99)

Data Rescue 6

Data Rescue 6 is the latest version of the software that works for over 30 file formats. It comes equipped with features that allow you to check the files you can recover before initiating the process. With the price point starting at $99, up to 5 devices can already take advantage of unlimited data recovery. They can even retrieve files from external hard drives that have previously been formatted or cannot be mounted. From SD cards, USB flash drives, SSDS, and other storage devices, you can perform detailed scans. It supports around 150 recognized file types like images, videos, audios, documents, etc. Additionally, users can form a recovery drive when you fail to boot changes into your Mac operating system.

Pros

  • The seamless activation and installation make for a simple setup process.
  • The sleek and professional user interface is ideal for businesses and commercial use.
  • It offers a Secure Erase, which allows mass deletion of files without compromising data protection.
  • A large number of configuration options
  • Efficient Recovery Performance
  • Comprehensive and meticulous scanning capabilities

Cons

  • Cannot Pause/ Resume from your scanned progress
  • Scanning takes a long time for deep scans and large-scale data.
 

4. Recoverit ($79.95)

Recoverit

Recoverit is another valuable option for people who want more flexible and expansive options. It offers a free trial version that lets users examine their external hard drive and check for files to recover. After discovering the essential data you need to collect, you can avail their services, which start at $79.95.

Data recovery through Recoverit is relatively simple. All you need to do is perform a deep scan throughout your system for the files you can recover. The application displays small thumbnails of these to give you a quick snapshot of your situation. Not all files are available for preview. When you cannot locate a file in mind on recoverable data’s roster, it may either be overwritten or corrupted. There is also a possibility that the file is too large for a preview. It is important to note that the preview has a 15 MB limit.

Pros

  • Recover Data That You May Have Deleted By Mistake
  • It can recover video and other digital media even though the storage devices were already re-formatted.
  • There is a vast catalog of features that are easy to use and navigate.

Cons

  • Data recovery may change the quality of the file.
  • The time indicated when the scanning or recovery would be complete is often inaccurate.
  • Recovering overwritten files is unlikely.
  • You cannot preview all the recoverable files.
 

5. CrashPlan

CrashPlan

CrashPlan is ideal for personal use and small businesses with its competitive pricing. You can take advantage of the free backup solutions while enjoying unlimited data recovery for prices starting at $10 per month. 

This application has been the go-to application of many small businesses and enterprises for its flexibility. Although CrashPlan’s main objective is to provide a comprehensive backup plan for its users, many people overlook its data receiver features. Its backup plan includes placing copies of your data structure in storage in case of unexpected events. When your network gets breached, CrashPlan automatically backs up necessary files and provides you with a detailed backup report. Users can access the files seamlessly, with the most critical files placed foremost of the storage.

Moreover, Crashplan can also keep the files that you have previously deleted. Although you can opt-out of this feature, you can benefit from this feature for your data recovery needs. The application maintains your deleted files fully encrypted to keep them protected from getting into the wrong hands.

Pros

  • The combination of data backup with recovery is unique and extremely useful.
  • Competitive pricing is ideal for small businesses.

Cons

  • The recovery system fails to back up data according to file type.

Conclusion

Losing data can end up costing you significant liabilities and hefty costs. Moreover, jeopardizing confidential data can ruin your reputation as a business in the eyes of your clients. Therefore, you must invest in tools that can recover important files.

While there are many external hard drive recovery tools available for Mac devices, it is vital to know their key features before making an informed decision. These 5 data recovery applications gained a competitive advantage from their pricing, recovery performance, and user interface. Without a high-performing application in place, your Mac is susceptible to hard drive corruption and external drive crashes. These tools can eliminate the negative impact of either partial or complete data loss. It is essential to prioritize the features you need the most before making a valuable investment in dedicated recovery tools. In addition to a comprehensive data backup plan, file recovery is just as essential to retrieve the documents you need promptly.

FAQ

When selecting a Mac-compatible external hard drive recovery tool, look for compatibility with your macOS version, support for various file systems like APFS, HFS+, and exFAT, the ability to recover different file types, a user-friendly interface, advanced scanning algorithms, and a preview feature to verify the recoverable data before actual recovery.

Yes, most modern external hard drive recovery tools for Mac are designed to recover data from both Solid State Drives (SSDs) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), as well as other types of storage devices like memory cards and USB flash drives.

Many of the top external hard drive recovery tools offer features capable of locating and retrieving lost or deleted partitions on a Mac, provided the space has not been overwritten by new data.

No, you don’t necessarily need technical skills to use these tools. Most recovery tools are user-friendly and provide step-by-step guides, making the process accessible even to those with little technical background.

Reputable external hard drive recovery tools prioritize user data security by offering read-only processes, ensuring no data is written during the recovery process, thus maintaining the integrity of the original data.

The success rate of data recovery tools varies greatly depending on factors like the extent of damage to the drive and how long ago the data was lost. However, high-quality tools can provide a significantly high success rate for recently deleted files and uncorrupted drives.

Most advanced hard drive recovery tools offer a file preview option, allowing users to view recoverable files before proceeding with the full recovery, ensuring that the correct data is being retrieved.

Ensure reliability by choosing a recovery tool from a reputable provider, reading user reviews, verifying compatibility with your Mac, and testing its effectiveness with a free trial if available.

Not all tools support recovery from encrypted drives. You’ll need to select a tool that explicitly states its capability to handle FileVault or other encryption methods used on Mac.

Yes, several Mac external hard drive recovery tools can recover data from Time Machine backup drives that have been accidentally deleted or corrupted.

While there are free options available, they often come with limitations on recoverable data amount or supported features. However, tools like Disk Drill offer free versions with basic functionalities.

Yes, most recovery tools are designed to recover a wide range of file formats, including various multimedia files like photos, videos, and audio recordings.

A quick scan typically runs faster and will locate files that were recently deleted, while a deep scan is more thorough, searching for lost data throughout the entire drive, which can be more time-consuming but more effective in finding lost files.

Yes, many Mac external hard drive recovery tools support cross-platform file systems like FAT32 and exFAT, which are often used in devices intended for both Windows and Mac use.

If the software fails to locate your files, ensure you’ve selected the correct drive and scan mode. If no luck, it might be worth trying a different tool or considering the services of a professional data recovery service as a last resort.

It is often possible to recover data from a formatted drive using these tools, assuming that the drive has not been overwritten by new data since the format.

Licensing varies by software. Some offer one-time purchase licenses, others annual subscriptions, and some provide tiered options based on features or data recovery limits. Always check the licensing details before purchasing.

Most established providers of external hard drive recovery tools offer technical support in the form of user manuals, FAQs, online chat, email, or even phone support.

No, using a reliable recovery tool should not pose a risk of further data loss since most tools use a non-destructive read-only process to scan and recover files.

You can download reliable recovery tools from the official websites of the software vendors or trusted third-party app stores. Ensure the site is secure and reputable before downloading. For example, Stellar Data Recovery is a trusted source for such tools.