You can lose a Mac partition in an instant by pressing the wrong button by mistake or being hit with a power outage. Fortunately, the damage can be undone with the use of Disk Drill. It is an effective data recovery solution that can help you recover from lost or deleted partitions and many other data loss scenarios. MacOS Big Sur Ready!
Disk Drill restores lost or deleted partitions on your Mac using three powerful recovery methods.
Universal Partition Search
This method scans the disk for known partition headers. Discovered partitions are mounted as a virtual disk image that can be scanned to recover lost files.
Scan for Lost HFS+ Partition
In this method, Disk Drill locates reformatted HFS+ partitions and rebuilds them using the backup copy of the header. It uses the header to attempt recovery of data structures present before the reformatting occurred and mounts found data as a virtual disk image.
Rebuild HFS+ Catalog File
In cases where HFS+ partitions cannot be mounted correctly, this recovery method tries to rebuild the catalog file. The rebuilt file is mounted as a virtual disk image and can be scanned for lost data.
Steps to Recover Lost Partition on Mac
1. Install Disk Drill for Mac
Once you have downloaded Disk Drill partition recovery software by CleverFiles, you can add it to the dock right from your Applications menu. This will let you launch Disk Drill quickly whenever you need to recover partitions or change your settings.
Download Disk Drill
Drag to Applications Folder
Launch Disk Drill
2. Connect External Drive
If you are recovering a lost partition from an external drive (USB drive, smart card, etc.), go ahead and connect it now.
Even if you are recovering a lost partition from your Mac's internal hard drive, you may still want to have an external drive to save the found data to. Now launch the Disk Drill app.
3. Select the Disk to Recover Deleted Mac OS Partition
Once Disk Drill opens, you will see the list of available disks. Select the disk you wish to recover a missing partition from. Click the "Recover" button (or it may say "Rebuild") next to the main disk name, rather than selecting any individual partitions below it.
4. Alternatively: Select Unpartitioned Space
Sometimes you will want to recover data only in an unpartitioned disk space. This may happen when not all partitions are lost or erroneously formatted. First, click and select the disk as you did in step 3.
Then click and select the newly appeared unpartitioned space (it will be shown as a separate partition titled "Unallocated", "Not partitioned" or "Basic Data Partition"). This means that Disk Drill will only scan and search for lost data in disk space which is not part of any existing partition. The actual data is probably still there untouched and recoverable, but that depends on many factors.
Make sure you have selected the whole disk or unpartitioned space. Now click Recover (or Rebuild). The scanning may take some time. Just sit back and relax until it completes. Partitions that are found will immediately be scanned for lost files and folders.
6. Review & Recover Found Data
Everything Disk Drill finds after scanning will be displayed in the resulting list. You must preview the files by clicking the "eye" icon next to the name in order to determine if the file is fully recoverable or if it is corrupted. In case of deep scanning, the original file names are most probably lost, so you might need to go through the whole list of found items to locate the ones you need. Once you have identified the files you want, check the box next to their name, select the destination folder and click "Recover" to complete Mac recovery of your partition.
7. Prevent Partition Loss with Recovery Vault
If you enable Recovery Vault to protect your drives in Disk Drill, your files will be recovered much faster and with much higher accuracy. If you ever need to recover missing partition on Mac OS X, the Recovery Vault database will be found during scanning and you will be able to recover your files using our award-winning unique Mac partition recovery software.
That's it! You now know how to recover deleted partition on Mac OS X. Why not download the free Disk Drill Basic today and give it a try?
Lost Partition Scenarios on Mac
There are multiple ways you can lose a partition full of important data on your Mac. Here are some of the most common issues you may face that may require you to restore a partition on Mac.
You can easily make a mistake and manually delete one of your disk’s partitions.
Formatting the wrong partition can lead to substantial amounts of lost data.
Incorrect command usage
You may have used some operating system commands that damaged the partitions.
Sudden power failures can wreak havoc on your system and delete a disk partition.
Problems with operating system upgrades can result in logical partition damage.
Corrupted partition table
The partition table can become corrupted, making it impossible to access its data.
Malware and viruses
Malware and virus infections can be responsible for deleting a Mac partition.
Exposing a disk to excessive heat or moisture can lead to a lost partition.
Recover Deleted Partitions from any Storage Device
Disk Drill enables you to recover a deleted partition from any type of disk-based storage media. Here are some of the devices that can have their partitions restored with this versatile recovery tool.
PC / Mac
Dell®, HP®, Acer®, Asus®, MacBook Pro®, MacBook Air®, Apple iMac® and more
HDD / SSD
HP®, Samsung®, Seagate®, Toshiba®, WD®, LaCie®, Intel®, Adata® and more
SanDisk®, Samsung®, Kingston®, Corsair®, Patriot®, PNY®, Verbatim®, Silicon Power® and more
SD / CF Card
SanDisk®, Transcend®, Toshiba®, Lexar®, Integral®, SP®, PNY®, Kingston® and more
Samsung®, HP®, Sony®, GoPro®, Canon®, Sigma®, Nikon®, Epson®, Panasonic® and more
iPhone / Android
Samsung Galaxy®, iPhone®, Lenovo®, Huawei®, OnePlus®, Google Pixel®, LG® and more
File Types Supported for Mac Partition Recovery
No matter what types of files were stored on your list partition, Disk Drill can get them back. Its scanning algorithms have the ability to locate and reconstruct over 400 different file signatures. Here are some examples of the file types that can be restored.
Prevention is the key! Use outstanding Disk Drill capabilities to keep your partition safe and avoid data loss. Guaranteed Recovery keeps invisible copies of the files you moved to Trash for anytime recovery. If ever lost, files will be restored with names and locations thanks to Recovery Vault. S.M.A.R.T. Monitoring keeps an eye on your hard drive health.
Supported File Systems for Partition Recovery on Mac
Disk Drill can recover data from a deleted partition regardless of the file system used for storage. The tool is fully compatible with all of these file systems that you might be using on your Mac.
Apple File System is the newest file system format used by macOS and iOS systems. It supports full disk encryption and is optimized for use with modern solid-state drives and is designed to be used with large storage volumes.
HFS stands for Hierarchical File System and is the original file system used for organizing files on a Macintosh hard disk. It was not designed to handle large disks and does not make very efficient use of disk space.
The Hierarchical File System Extended was developed by Apple to address shortcomings in the HFS format. It reduces the minimum cluster size which enables the operating system to use disk space more efficiently.
The New Technology File System was developed as the file system for Windows NT. It is a Windows specific files system that can be scanned from a Mac with Disk Drill.
The File Allocation Table and Extended File Allocation Table file systems are native to the Windows operating system. You can scan a disk formatted in this way with Disk Drill for Mac and recover its lost files.
Disk Drill supports the Linux EXT3/EXT4 filesystems for scanning and data recovery. These file systems provide large file support for Linux systems.
Technical Specifications for Disk Drill for Mac
Versions of Disk Drill are available for all versions of macOS from 10.5 through the newest version 11.0 named Big Sur.
Disk Space: 150 MB minimum free space CPU: at least with x86 RAM: at least 128MB
Disk Drill 4 Version: 4.3.316
Tips to Help Prevent Lost Partitions
Here are some tips to help you minimize the chances of a lost disk partition on your Mac. Following these recommendations gives you the best chance of recovering a deleted partition on Mac with recovery software.
Stop using the disk
To preserve the physical data on the disk or partition, stop using the device immediately when you suspect data loss.
Don’t attempt to reformat the drive until you have completed the macOS partition recovery procedure with a software tool.
Don’t write any data to other unaffected partitions on the disk as this risks overwriting the items you hope to recover.
Don’t recreate partitions
Trying to recreate a partition may make it impossible to use recovery software to restore the data it contains.
No disk utilities
Do not run disk utilities before you undelete the partition. Disk maintenance activities reduce recovery chances.
Use reliable software
Make sure to use a reliable Mac partition repair application. An ineffective tool can cause additional damage and data loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated on by Disk Drill Team
How to recover a lost partition on Mac?
To recover a lost partition on Mac using Disk Drill, follow these steps.
Download and install Disk Drill for Mac. Don’t perform the download and installation on the disk that lost a partition to protect the data from being overwritten or corrupted.
Launch the app and choose the device with the lost partition from the disk list. If you are recovering from an external device, connect it to your Mac computer before starting Disk Drill.
Click the Recover button to start scanning the device for lost files and folders.
Preview the files that can be recovered and make your selections. Choose a safe storage location for the recovered data that is not on the affected device.
Click Recover again to perform the recovery.
What is the best recovery partition tool?
Here are the best software tools to recover lost a partition on Mac. Most of them are paid solutions but some apps will enable you to recover deleted partitions on Mac for free.
Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac
Data Rescue 5 for Mac
R-Studio for Mac
DiskWarrior for Mac
Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery
Ontrack Easy Recovery for Mac
Minitool Power Data Recovery
How do I recover a partition on my Mac's hard drive?
Use these steps to recover data from a lost partition on your Mac.
Download, install and launch Disk Drill for Mac.
Select the partition from the list of available devices.
Click the Recover button to scan for lost data.
Preview the recoverable files and choose the ones you want to restore.
Click Recover again to finish the recovery.
What is the recovery partition on a Mac?
The Mac recovery partition is an alternative method of restoring system software without the use of an installation DVD. The partition allows you to repair or erase your hard drive and install a new copy of the operating system. You can also use the partition to restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup.
Does my Mac have a recovery partition?
By default, macOS is installed with a small recovery partition that can be used to recover data and software on your system.
How do I recover my recovery partition on a Mac?
Follow this procedure to recover your Mac’s recovery partition. You can also just reinstall the operating system on your machine which will also restore the partition.
Go to the App Store and download the Install Mac OS X installer application version that matches the software on your Mac.
Disk Drill is a professional but extremely simple Mac data recovery software that helps you rescue data on your Mac disks, external or internal hard drives, memory cards, cameras, iPods Classic, etc. Disk Drill will recover deleted files on your Mac!
We'll all experience data loss at some point in our computer-using lives so the more we can prevent it, the better. But when that fateful day does happen, you now know that there’s still a lot more you can do and data recovery isn't as scary (or expensive) as it sounds! Jordan Merrick