Best Photo & Music Recovery Software for Mac macOS Monterey Ready!

Hundreds – even thousands – of photos and songs are stored on our devices these days. Which is great, until something goes wrong. Whatever the cause of your lost data, Disk Drill can help recover your deleted pictures and recover your iPod music on Mac.

Free Mac Photo Recovery Tool That Easily Retrieves All Your Lost Photos and Music

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Key benefits include:

  • Restore lost pictures, videos, music or other types of multimedia files Restore lost pictures, videos, music or other types of multimedia files.
  • Recover deleted photos on Mac with a free preview of the recoverable files before spending a cent Recover deleted photos on Mac with a free preview of the recoverable files before spending a cent.
  • Free data protection tools like Recovery Vault designed to keep your data safe Free data protection tools like Recovery Vault designed to keep your data safe.
  • The ability to create a disk image backup that contains all of your photos and music files The ability to create a disk image backup that contains all of your photos and music files.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface that simplifies the photo recovery process Intuitive and user-friendly interface that simplifies the photo recovery process.
  • Sophisticated scanning algorithms that can recover over 400 types of lost files Sophisticated scanning algorithms that can recover over 400 types of lost files.
  • Scans can be paused and resumed to allow users to recover photos at their convenience Scans can be paused and resumed to allow users to recover photos at their convenience.

Accidentally formatting an MP3 player or camera is very easy to do. The constant use to which these devices are subjected makes it extremely possible that data will be lost due to human error or technical failure.

Disk Drill employs advanced scanning algorithms that can search your drive on a sector-by-sector basis to reconstruct and recover image files in many formats including proprietary digital camera files. Deleted music files can also be easily recovered with MP3, WAV, and WMA among the supported file formats.

To achieve the best results with Disk Drill, we recommend you perform a full scan of the storage device. Using the Deep Scan option gives you the highest probability of a successful recovery.

Storage Devices Supported by Versatile Mac Photo Recovery Software

A wide range of storage devices are supported for recovery by this Mac photo recovery freeware. You can recover a lost image from digital cameras, internal hard disks, external USB devices, even an iPhone or Android device. If you need to recover iPod music to your Mac or restore deleted files from an MP3 player this flexible tool has you covered. When you are using a disk-based storage device, photo recovery software can probably recover its data.

PC / MacPC / Mac
PC / Mac

Dell®, HP®, Acer®, Asus®, MacBook Pro®, MacBook Air®, Apple iMac® and more


HP®, Samsung®, Seagate®, Toshiba®, WD®, LaCie®, Intel®, Adata® and more

USB Drive
USB Drive

SanDisk®, Samsung®, Kingston®, Corsair®, Patriot®, PNY®, Verbatim®, Silicon Power® and more

SD / CF Card
SD / CF Card

SanDisk®, Transcend®, Toshiba®, Lexar®, Integral®, SP®, PNY®, Kingston® and more

Digital Camera
Digital Camera

Samsung®, HP®, Sony®, GoPro®, Canon®, Sigma®, Nikon®, Epson®, Panasonic® and more

iPhone / Android (Mac ONLY)*
iPhone / Android (Mac ONLY)*

Samsung Galaxy®, iPhone®, Lenovo®, Huawei®, OnePlus®, Google Pixel®, LG® and more

Supported Files Type For Recovery

Disk Drill’s scanning technology can identify and reconstruct files in hundreds of different file formats. This means it can find that deleted picture no matter what type of general of proprietary format was used to create the image. The same goes for audio files with mainstream formats like MP3 supported as well as those that are less popular. Recover iPod music to your Mac in virtually any existing audio format.

BMP, JPEG, JP2, GIF, TIFF, PSP. Polaroid/Sigma: X3F. Pentax: PEF. Adobe: AI, APM, IDML, INDB, INDD, INDL, INX, LRCAT, PSB, PSD.
Camera Raw Photo Formats
Camera Raw Photo Formats
Polaroid/Sigma: X3F. Pentax: PEF. Fujitsu: RAF. Fujifilm: RAF. GoPro: GPR. Leica/Panasonic: RW2, RAW, RWL. Leica X2: DNG.
MP3 (MPEG Audio Stream, Layer III), AIF, AIFC, AIFF (Audio Interchange File), WMA (Windows Media audio files)

How to Recover Deleted Photos or Music on Mac

The instructions for how to recover deleted photos on Mac or how to recover deleted music on Mac are basically the same. Here is the step-by-step procedure to follow to get your media files back safely.

1. Download and Install Disk Drill Free Mac Software for Image & Music Recovery

Download Disk Drill and take advantage of the free trial that allows you to preview recoverable files and use the data protection tools included with the software. When prompted during the installation, provide the program with your administrator’s credentials. If the lost files are on an external device, now is the time to connect it to your Mac.

how to recover permanently deleted photos from mac

2. Choose the location and start scanning for lost Pictures and Music

Launch the program to begin searching for lost music and photos. You will be presented with a disk list in the application’s main window where you select the disk that will be used for the recovery. Choose the disk or partition that contained the missing files and click the Recover button to begin the scanning process.

how to recover deleted photos on mac

3. Select the files you want to recover

Once the scanning process is initiated, the files that can be recovered will be displayed by the app. Here is where you make your selections regarding the files that you want to program to restore for you. By default, all file types are available to be searched and will be shown in this window.

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3.1 To make the process easier, select the category "Pictures" or "Audio" on the program’s top menu bar

You can minimize the search time and make it easier to find the files you want by filtering the results. In this case, select Pictures or Audio files instead of the default setting by selecting them from the menu bar at the top of the program window. Other files found by Disk Drill will not be displayed.

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3.2 Search for audio and picture files

As the scan proceeds or when it finishes, you will be presented with the list of image and audio files that can be recovered from your SD card or another storage device. Found files can usually be recovered intact with names and meta-data recovered during the scan. If all the expected file are not there, look to the next step.

how to recover deleted music on mac
3.3 Look at the "Reconstruction" section

In the Reconstruction section of the recovery results you will find files found by Disk Drill’s deep scanning algorithms. They were recovered based on the program’s knowledge of the signatures of their file types and don’t contain meta-data. They will need to be previewed to determine if they are files you want to retrieve as there will be no valid filename displayed.

4. Recover the deleted files with image recovery freeware

After the scan is finished, you select the files that you want to recover as well as a safe location at which to store them. Do not use the original disk to avoid potentially overwriting the files as they are recovered. After making your selections, click the Recover button a second time to complete the recovery.

photo recovery software for Mac
cleverfiles PROTECT

Consider protection in advance!

Two unique protection mechanisms of Disk Drill are Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery. Activating these options improves scanning speed and efficiency, and easier photo and music recovery on Mac OS X. These options will map the way for Disk Drill to deleted files and keep track of every file moved to Trash. Recover music from iPhone and other important media files this way! Recovery Vault can be used on all HFS/HFS+ and FAT/FAT32 systems, and Guaranteed Recovery can be used on HFS/HFS+ systems.

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Other Ways to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac

There are some native methods with which to recover deleted photos on a MacBook or Mac machine. Depending on the application that was used with the photos, different tactics can be tried to get them back. Here are some things to try when you need to recover deleted pictures from your Mac.


Recover Deleted Pictures in the Photos App for Mac OS X

The Mac OS X Photos App saves recently deleted photos for up to thirty days. It’s the first place you should look for deleted photos on your Mac.

  1. Open the Photos App.
  2. Click on the Recently Deleted folder in the navigation window.
  3. Right-click on the photo you want and select Recover to restore the image.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from iCloud

Photos that have been taken with your iOS devices or simply stored in iCloud can be recovered easily for 30 days after deletion. Follow these simple steps to recover your pictures.

  1. Open and navigate to Photos.
  2. Click the Recently Deleted album in the Sidebar.
  3. Select the items to restore and click Recover.
how to recover permanently deleted photos from mac

How to Recover Photos haven’t been in Recently Deleted

You have several options if the lost photos aren’t in a Recently Deleted folder. You might be able to use backups made with Time Machine or another backup product. You may have emailed the photos or posted them on a social media site, giving you other potential avenues of recovery. Data recovery software may be required to get your images back.

how to recover deleted photos on mac

Disk Drill is an excellent MP3 recovery program for Mac

Disk Drill can perform Deep Scan that is exceptionally efficient when there is hardly any file structure left. It is the best choice for deleted photo recovery on Mac and will do its best to recover music from iPhone or iPod or your Mac. Disk Drill applies its great knowledge of file signatures to find the needed ones and restore all your pictures, music and other files like XLS, DOC, AVI, MP4, etc.


Alternative Methods to Recover Deleted Music on Mac

In addition to using data recovery software, you might be able to use Mac freeware that comes installed on your computer to recover deleted music files. Here are a couple of options which might help get those tunes back into your hands that can be tried with tools on your Mac.


How to recover deleted music from iTunes

Here are some ways to attempt recovering deleted music from iTunes.

  1. If you originally purchased the music from iTunes and subsequently deleted it, you can simply download again for free.
  2. The file may have been removed from iTunes but can still be in the iTunes > iTunes Music or Media folder. Navigate to the folder and search for the missing tunes.
recover deleted photos mac free

Recover deleted music files from the Trash Bin

When you are recovering deleted music or any other type of file, the first place to look is the Trash Bin. It holds all files that have been recently deleted from your Mac.

  1. Click on the Trash Bin icon to open it.
  2. Select the music file that you want to recover.
  3. Right-click on the file and select Put Back.

How to Recover Emptied Trash on Mac

retrieve music from ipod to mac

See what Disk Drill fans say user TCalhau user TCalhau
This application simply just saved my life! He regained the most important file I have and that I had accidentally deleted! Simply Phenomenal!
Read more
Disk Drill scans your drive, offers a list of recoverable files and lets you preview and retrieve them. A company spokesperson told me that, "if recovery is done fast and right, data recovered is between 70-100 percent of the lost amounts." The app uses a variety of retrieval methods that range from simple scanning to "Deep Scan." Erica Sadun , @ericasadun
Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

How do I recover permanently deleted photos from my Mac?

Here’s how to recover permanently deleted photos from your Mac.

  1. Download, install and launch Disk Drill recovery software for Mac.
  2. Select the drive and click Recover to scan it.
  3. Preview the files that were found and select the ones you want to be restored.
  4. Choose a location to store the recovered data on your Mac.
  5. Click Recover again to finish restoring your lost photos.

How do I recover photos from a formatted USB drive on Mac?

You can easily recover your photos from formatted flash drive by using Disk Drill Photo Recovery for Mac. Just follow these simple steps to recovering deleted photos on Mac:

  • Connect your USB/flash drive to the Mac system.
  • Download, install and run Disk Drill Photo Recovery for Mac.
  • Select your USB drive from the list of drives and external media.
  • Click Recover to scan it.
  • Preview the photos that were found and select the pictures you want to be restored.
  • Choose a location to store the recovered photos on your Mac.
  • Click Recover again to finish restoring your lost photos.

What is the best photo recovery software for Mac?

Best 5 Photo Recovery Software for Mac in 2021:

  1. Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software for Mac
  2. Picture Rescue for Mac
  3. Exif Untrasher Photo Recovery for Mac
  4. PhotoRec for Mac
  5. Remo Media Recover

How do I recover a lost song on my Mac?

Accidentally deleted songs or playlists can be recovered from iTunes with the following steps.

  1. Close iTunes.
  2. Navigate to the Home/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media
  3. Remove the iTunes Music Library.xmlfile from the folder and save it.
  4. Delete the iTunes Library.itl
  5. Restart iTunes and in File > Library > Import Playlists select the iTunes Music Library.xml file previously saved.

Where do deleted pictures go on my Mac?

Deleted pictures can go to several different temporary locations on your Mac. Apple built-in some remedies for accidental deletion. Your photo may be in the Trash Bin or the Recently Deleted folder of the Photos apps. Files are only kept in this temporary storage for about 30 days before being permanently deleted.

How do I recover a deleted iPhoto library?

Use the following procedure to recover a deleted iPhoto library.

  1. Open iPhoto and click on the Trash folder in the Sidebar.
  2. Control+Click on the photo you want to recover.
  3. Select Put Back to restore the image.

The file will be put back in the iPhoto library where you can use it in whatever way you like.

How do I transfer my music from iPod to Mac?

Here’s how to transfer your music from an iPod to your Mac.

  1. Stop iTunes from synching before proceeding.
  2. Connect your iPod to your Mac.
  3. Enter these commands in Terminal to view the iPod’s hidden files:

    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
    Killall Finder

  4. Open the iPod Control folder and then the Music
  5. Use Finder to copy the files to your Mac.

Where are Apple music files stored?

By default, Apple stores your music files at Home/Music/. Apple documentation suggests that for the best results with other applications running on your computer you do not change this location. Doing so may affect the performance of some programs or force you to update their configuration settings to keep them operating.

Where is my music library on Mac?

If you use iTunes and have allowed the program to use its default setting for storing files, your music library will be located at Home/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media.

The default location for general music files on your Mac is Home/Music/.

It is recommended that you not change these locations unless you have a good reason to do so.

How do I recover deleted photos from Photo Booth on my Mac?

You can use several methods to attempt the recovery of Photo Booth images.

  1. Right-click on the Photo Booth library and select Show Package Contents > Pictures. The photos may be found there.
  2. Recover from a Time Machine backup if one is available.
  3. Use Mac recovery software such as Disk Drill to restore your lost Photo Booth pictures.

Where are Photo Booth photos stored?

Images that are in Photo Booth are stored in a special folder. This is the path to that folder: /Users/UserName/Pictures/Photo Booth Library where UserName is the name of the current user.

Use Cases and Tips for Photo Recovery Software

Disk Drill can be used to recover from many types of data loss scenarios. Your valuable pictures may have been located on a variety of devices when you discover that they have been accidentally deleted. The recovery application supports restoring your lost images from virtually any type of disk-based storage media. Here are some specific recovery cases that can be addressed with this versatile software tool.
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Do you want to restore deleted photos to Windows? Disk Drill is the best free photo recovery software for Windows.