One of the most annoying and possibly catastrophic occurrences that can impact a computer user is the experience of a data loss event. You go to open a program and get an error due to missing files. Maybe you are sorting through your digital photos and realize that a folder that documented your last vacation has disappeared.

This is where data recovery software can save the day. Recuva, a completely free recovery tool, is a popular go-to for Windows users. Mac users may be disappointed to discover that it’s not available on macOS. Despite there being no Recuva for Mac, there are lots of other reliable options. In this article, I’m going to list some of the best Recuva alternatives that are available for macOS.

What is Recuva?

Recuva is a data restoration program designed to recover lost files on Windows computers. It’s available in both a free and a paid professional version and can come in handy if you discover that you have inadvertently deleted files from your machine.

The software is easy to use and provides a Wizard to guide the user through the process of selecting data recovery options. You can choose the types of files you are interested in recovering as well as the device or drive where the files resided before being deleted. Quick and deep scanning modes are available to help find all of your lost data.

Recuva for Windows

The free version can recover files directly from your hard drive, which is fine when your drive is functioning properly. In cases where your drive is failing or experiencing issues, you will want to instead make a full copy of the drive and restore data from that to preserve the original data. It is a great tool for data recovery that is designed to be useful to any Windows user.

5 Best Alternatives to Recuva for Mac

Let’s take a look at five alternatives to Recuva, some free and some paid, that will perform data recovery for a Mac. As a macOS user, I too have experienced the anguish of data loss. Rather than have you randomly search for recovery software on the Internet, I am going to show you some software tools that I have used in my recovery efforts. These applications were tested on a MacBook Air and a removable USB drive.

1. Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac

Disk Drill is a full-featured data recovery and protection tool for your Mac. The program uses multiple scanning methods to dig up as much data as possible. For any data it can’t find using the file system, it relies on its signature scanner which currently supports over 370 file types.

Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac

Any data that Disk Drill finds can be previewed prior to recovery to ensure it’s intact and usable. It works well with all main file systems, including HFS+, APFS, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3/EXT4, and others. Also, it supports Apple Silicon Macs (M1/M2 and M3), running the latest macOS Sonoma version.

Unlike Recuva, it is a paid tool. The free version allows you to scan your drive and preview your data, but a paid license is required for any recovery. Even so, I found that the advanced recovery algorithms paired with the user-friendly interface make it a worthy investment and a great tool to have in any data loss situation.

👍 Pros:

  • Advanced recovery algorithms.
  • Recover data from any disk-based device including SD cards, hard drives, RAID configurations, and NAS systems.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Preview of recoverable files.
  • Predicting recovery chances for each found file.

👎 Cons:

  • Free version allows scanning and previewing only, full recovery requires Pro upgrade.

Steps that you need to perform to recover deleted files on a Mac:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill. To preserve the integrity of the deleted files, it is recommended that you install and run the program from a different drive or partition than the one with the files you wish to recover.
    Disk Drill
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  2. Launch the program and select the drive or partition where the files to be recovered were stored.
  3. Click “Search for lost data” to begin scanning for data by utilizing all supported scan modes in an optimized sequence.Select disk for scan in Disk Drill
  4. Preview recoverable files and select the ones that you want to recover. When ready, click the “Recover” button.preview found files in Disk Drill
  5. Choose a safe location to store the recovered files. To avoid overwriting files as you recover, choose a unique storage location on a separate partition or storage device. In order to recover the files, you will need to upgrade to the Pro version of the application.

Video Tutorial:

2. TestDisk (PhotoRec)

testdisk partition recovery utility for Mac


  • Free to use.
  • Open Source allows for modification.

👎 Cons:

  • Not user-friendly.
  • Better for recovering partitions rather than files.

TestDisk is a freeware program that is primarily used for recovering lost disk partitions on a variety of platforms. It comes packaged with PhotoRec, another recovery tool from the same developer that focuses on recovering data by file signature.

This free and open-source partition recovery tool is completely portable and able to recover data by repairing the underlying issues with your file system or partition table. Even though it uses a command-line interface (CLI), I found it very straightforward to use, though it may pose a challenge to some users.

I’d recommend TestDisk in cases where your drive has sustained logical damage, as it prioritizes fixing your hard drive and restoring it to a working state. However, as its primary function is partition recovery, it’s not ideal for recovering multiple individual files at once. Additionally, you can only recover individual files from a limited number of file systems.

3. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery


  • Completely free.
  • Allows you to scan only a select range of disk sectors.
  • Provides a recovery chance indication.

👎 Cons:

  • Incompatible with the latest version of macOS.
  • Signature scan cannot find files larger than 9 GB.
  • Only recognizes FAT, HFS, and NTFS file systems.

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a recovery tool for macOS that allows you to recover unlimited data for free. The program supports quick, clever, and signature recovery. Additionally, it can scan your drive for lost partitions.

Advanced users have the benefit of being able to select a range of disk sectors to scan, thus reducing the overall scan time. Following the scan, Recuva assigns a value to each file based on its state to estimate the likelihood of successful recovery (similar to how it’s done with Recuva).

In my time testing the tool, I found it to be very difficult to use, primarily due to its outdated interface. Seeing as the tool hasn’t received an update since 2015, it doesn’t support any modern file formats with its signature scan. Therefore, I would only recommend it for users with macOS Mojave 10.14 or prior.

4. Data Rescue for Mac

Data Rescue for Mac

👍 Pros:

  • Supports virtual RAID assembly.
  • Specify which sector to start scanning from.
  • Includes a Hex editor.

👎 Cons:

  • System disks can only be scanned in Recovery Mode.
  • Requires an active internet connection.
  • Limited file system support.

Data Rescue for Mac is a lightweight recovery tool that, even though it has been around for a long time, is still receiving updates. In my experience, it does a good job of recovering recently deleted files from HFS+ and APFS partitions. Its ability to recover the original file names and folder structure is also good, but it only works on HFS+ partitions right now.

The program is easy enough to use but could be more intuitive. I was able to select which sectors I wanted to scan and noticed it allows you to clone a failing drive to another healthy, working drive.

New users can recover up to 1 GB of data for free. After that, however, a paid license is required, which starts at $79 every 30 days or $399 every year.

5. R-Studio Data Recovery for Mac

R-Studio Data Recovery for Mac

👍 Pros:

  • Supports a wide range of file systems.
  • Can automatically reconstruct broken RAID arrays.
  • Allows recovery over the network.
  • Includes many advanced recovery features.

👎 Cons:

  • Complex UI designed for recovery professionals.
  • Limited preview support for certain files.
  • Cannot scan system disks on T2 and M1/M2/M3 Macs.

R-Studio Data Recovery for Mac is an advanced recovery solution designed for recovery professionals and specialists. It’s packed with an abundance of useful features that are great for recovering data from a range of storage devices, even legacy ones like CDs, DVDs, and floppy disks.

The program is available on macOS, Windows, and Linux, and works the same on all of them. It offers some of the best recovery performance of any data recovery tool on the market, most notably with its ability to recover recently deleted files and restore the original file names and folder structure of your data.

As it’s a tool designed by professionals for professionals, the average user may find the user interface quite intimidating. However, if you’re willing to tackle the learning curve, I can attest to R-Studio’s ability to recover data quickly and efficiently from any Mac.

The Best Recuva Alternative for the Mac

So maybe there is no Recuva for the Mac, but you definitely have some options to help you recover lost files on your Mac OS X or external devices like SD cards, USB flash drives and external HDD. I believe that Disk Drill is your best bet when you need to recover from a data loss event on your Mac machine. The combination of its user interface, advanced scanning technology, and data protection features set it above the competition when searching for a data recovery tool for the Mac. Download it for free and see what it can do for you.

Jordan Jamieson-Mane

Jordan Jamieson-Mane is a technology content writer with a passionate interest in technology. Starting from a young age, this interest gradually turned into a career, with Jordan studying in the field of IT and moving int...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.