May 26, 2011

Truly Free Mac Data Recovery Software to Rescue Files on Mac OS X

Today I am going to introduce several 100% FREE data recovery software for Mac OS X, NO Kidding. I noticed that there were too many mac data recovery program providers claimed their products are free to download or free to try (just take a try and search "free mac data recovery" on Google), but only limited with scan stage which means if you want to recover the found files you've got to pay money. And the price usually not cheap. But the question is whether it is worth paying for a third party program if you accidentally deleted or formatted devices and need recovery on your Mac. To be honest I doubt it. Why? The answer is obvious because that's the reason why I wrote this post. Note: all apps below support OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion & latest OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

#1 – Time Machine


You may think it's inappropriate to put Time Machine in the line of data recovery software on Mac. But I insist doing this and put it in the top first place. As you know, Mac computers manufactured after November 2007 are equipped with an important feature - Time Machine. The backup and recovery utility is able to backup almost everything on your Mac every hour with its unique functions. You can easily recover data from Time Machine backup once you deleted or lost your some critical files such as applications, documents, photos etc. Learn how to set up and restore backup from this Apple Support page. Most of the case Mac users tend to forget backup or not so interested in using Time Machine. So when you lost files by means of emptying Trash bin, quick formatted the drive, partition became inaccessible etc. without backup. The only way is to try a third-party mac data recovery software. Here are several file recovery freeware based on Mac.


#2 – MacKeeper Files Recovery
MacKeeper has word of mouth among Mac users and is described as "911 for a Mac". The fact is it is a not a single Mac data undelete software, it is a software package which contains 16 essential utilities such as anti-theft, file recovery, data backup, cleanup and more. One of the nice features is that the program is pretty easy-to-use with interactive user interfaces. However, it is not freeware. But the 15-day free trial version is fully functional (oh, sorry to say that it is not available now), which means you can recover your Mac files as long as you act quickly as possible. Download MacKeeper 2013 Here.

#3 – TestDisk & PhotoRec


TestDisk was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally erasing your Partition Table). PhotoRec is designed to recover lost lost files from external device (memory card, pen drive, removable disk), even hard disk and CDRom. As a result, if you have lost partition or strange problem with your hard disk partitions, try TestDisk. To recover lost digital pictures or files, try PhotoRec.Note: This recovery tool operates through command line (similar to DOS) without GUI. But it won’t be hard for you handle it as there are corresponding instruction texts within steps.Download TestDisk & PhotoRec from CNET.See TestDisk Step by Step Tutorial and PhotoRec Step by Step Tutorial.

#4 – Exif Untrasher


Exif Untrasher(version 1.4.3) is able to recover deleted or formatted photos(with only JPG format) from external device such as digital camera or USB flash drive etc on Mac OS X for free. But it won’t support internal Mac hard drive. So I’d like to tag it with “Digital Media JPG Photo Recovery for Mac”. This Mac recovery freeware can be used when you want to recover those lost JPEG photos from digital camera or camcorder etc if you have your own Mac machine. If your camera saves in the RAW format, you are out of luck.Note: versions 1.4 and newer will require Mac OS X 10.3 or newer. Language options: English, German, French and Italian.Download from its official site.

The programs talked above are completely freeware without any limitations though each has its own shortcoming. There are many other providers on the market claiming its products as "free Mac data recovery software" or "free version" but it's not real freeware.

[updated on 2012.1.30] "Also if you are comfortable with using paid Mac data recovery program, one of my Mac readers ever successfully recovered a lot of documents from a formatted Mac hard drive with the Mac data recovery software, programs with GUI(Graphic User Interface).You can take that a try if you are not used to handle through command line."

Not like Windows, few software manufacturers offer data recovery freeware on Mac OS X. But I hope it won't be too long for more freeware to float up as I believe "all software will be free one day". Once such truly free Macintosh data recovery software, I'll get you updated here.

26 comments:

  1. You definitely did a great job. I successfully recovered my tons of deleted photos on my Macbook. Thanks a million.

    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for intimating, John!! My concern was to provide information about one more recovery software not the promotion. I found three recovery software here which I have not used and that make me add about the software I recently used. Anyways John, sorry if you feel so.

    ReplyDelete
  3. John Zhang,

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I restored about 400+ photos through Exif Untrasher which I accidentaly deleted. I almost have given up hopes.

    So grateful that I found your article.

    Carina

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Carina. Pretty glad to hear that :) Enjoy the day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Jefferson. Have updated your story to the main content. Glad to hear the good news.

    ReplyDelete
  6. i downloaded the software but dont know how to recover my deleted pics? can you tell me step by step how to recover it? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was nice to see this informative blog with all the information over here. Thanks for sharing.

    Stages in Datastage

    ReplyDelete
  8. Look like a great data recovery software. I hope it will provide me good results.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Graet post. The information you have provided is really helpful for Mac users, no doubt about that. These data recovery programs are of great help. Thank you for sharing. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Neat post. Besides these there are some other must have yet free apps for the mac. They've even been updated to be lion compatible.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice post. Yes, for Mac users, if they take good care of the secret weapon - Time Machine, no data will be at risk. Only when time machine backup fails, then mac data rescue programs may come to help. Looks like you don't mention if the programs above is compatible with the latest Mac 10.7 Lion. Here is a Mac OS X Lion data recovery solution.Regards

    ReplyDelete
  12. I back up using Time Machine, but it suddenly lost all emails prior to a month ago. Any idea what happened to Time Machine?

    ReplyDelete
  13. i have a hard drive which i think crashed...its in fat 32 format with tons of stuff in it and i cant seem to repair it with disk utility to open it pls recommend a software(free) to help!!! thanks alot!

    ReplyDelete
  14. John. As a Mac user, I am a computer newbie without too much technical experience. I accidentally formatted the hard drive and those documents (mostly PDF and Word files, plus some photos and videos) very important gone. I downloaded both TestDisk and Exif you recommended, but the results are disappointing. I can't even know how to run TestDisk while Exif is unable to detect my hard drive. OMG. But I found this program runs under Mac OS X, it is called Stellar Macintosh Data Recovery, It helped me out and rescued 25 papers I lost, though I paid about 99$ for that program. But it is worth for the paying as it is very powerful and easy to use. I don't mean the freeware you recommended is not good. Just share my personal experience. Thank you too. Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 'MiniTool Mac Data Recovery 2.0' allows you to recover and SAVE for FREE up to 1 Gig of data. If you have more to recover than 1 Gig then you need to purchase but the first 1 Gig is free.

    I tried Stellar Phoenix but after nearly two days scanning my 2TB drive just for photos, it required a fee. MiniTool Data Recovery did the job looking at all files for free in half the time.

    http://mac.powerdatarecovery.com/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. If possible, utilize all applications in your computer to maximize data storage. Thankfully, Mac has a built-in program that can take care of that, but PC users should be careful with their files. Flash drives are worth the investment, and you shouldn't wait for your files to be lost before getting one!

    - Ruby Badcoe

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mac does provide the requisite software to retrieve lost data in an efficient manner.

    ReplyDelete
  18. i'm trying to use mackeeper but it only works up to 800 mb, and asks me to activate to use. i need to recover more than pics so exif doesnt work.. test disk was an exe file so didnt work...will time machine work on an external?

    ReplyDelete
  19. The trial of MacKeeper after 6 hours scanning the hard drive it shows the files BUT to recover them it asks to purchase the software... so is not possible to use for free as stated.

    ReplyDelete
  20. MacKeeper does not allow to recover my files without license activation :(

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the great article here at your blog. You've post outstanding review here. As a topic continuation I would like to suggest the article about data recovery from iPod and MacBook Air. Quite interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  22. some really crucial information here .Can anyone recommend any free recovery software for sandisk CF cards thanks Adrian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adrian, you can check this site for a list of reviewed photo recovery programs. Regards!

      Delete
  23. Thanks i will check it out and give yo feedback

    ReplyDelete
  24. hi...Im student from Informatics engineering nice article,
    thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete