Top 7 Free File Recovery Software for Mac OS Sonoma

Not all files can be replaced - at least not easily. But if you’ve lost or accidentally deleted an irreplaceable file, not all hope is lost just yet. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to get it back using one of the top 7 free file recovery software for Mac OS described on this page.
last update icon Updated on:Feb 5, 2024
Jeffrey Cochin
Written by
Andrey Vasilyev
Approved by
Andrey Vasilyev Andrey Vasilyev
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Our editorial team independently assesses each data recovery solution to produce accurate, high-quality content. Discover more about our testing process.

1. Disk Drill for Mac

🏆 Best overall

Disk Drill is a complete data recovery package designed to quickly and painlessly recover deleted files from your Mac’s internal drives as well as various peripherals, including iOS and Android devices. Disk Drill continues to be a top choice for data recovery on Mac, consistently updating to support the latest macOS versions, including Sonoma.

Disk Drill for Mac preview files

Overall Experience:

There are many file recovery software solutions for Mac, but only a few feel like true Mac apps. And out of those that are designed in accordance with Apple’s GUI guidelines, a small fraction delivers satisfactory results. Disk Drill is the best free file recovery software for Mac because it offers professional data recovery features in a sleek package.

With Disk Drill, it doesn’t matter what type of file you want to recover and from which device. This file recovery software supports hundreds of file formats and all commonly used storage devices.

Disk Drill iPhone recovery process

Regardless of whether you need to recover a single document from your system drive or thousands of pictures from a memory card, it always takes just one click on the Recover button to get the job done. To reassure you that you’re recovering the right files, Disk Drill can preview the same file formats as your Mac.

Included for free in the basic version of Disk Drill are Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery, two handy data protection features that allow Disk Drill to monitor your file deletion activity and retain metadata so that you can quickly and easily recover any deleted file with 100% success rate.


  • Deep scan of Macs with M2 chips
  • Supports hundreds of file formats
  • Restores data from Android and iOS devices
  • Time Machine scanning
  • Comes with extra free disk tools
  • Has plenty of options to search and filter the results of the scan


  • The free version can only preview files

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. (*For versions of Mac OS older than 10.15.7 you will need to download older versions of Disk Drill)

Supported Languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.


Disk Drill Basic Free
Disk Drill PRO $89.00
Disk Drill Enterprise $499
Competitive Upgrade 50% OFF

2. PhotoRec and Testdisk for Mac

Best free solution

TeskDisk and PhotoRec are data recovery tools that come in one package. They were developed by Christophe Grenier. TestDisk is mainly used to recover lost partitions and repair disks. Its companion, PhotoRec, is used to recover lost files in your drives or storage. Despite the lack of recent updates, the simplicity and robustness of PhotoRec and TestDisk allow them to run smoothly on the latest macOS Sonoma.

TestDisk for Mac disk list

Overall Experience:

First of all, these tools are safe to use. They offer the public a view of what’s going on behind the curtains. Their codes are open-source, which means that anyone has access to the software’s source code and can verify its integrity anytime. Using a tool with this kind of transparency gives you peace of mind that your data is safe and secure while you use it.

PhotoRec for Mac

TeskDisk and PhotoRec are just as effective as the other commercial recovery tools out there.TestDisk is very effective in bringing back corrupted and damaged partitions. On the other hand, PhotoRec can perform deep scans on your primary storage devices (HDDs, SSDs, SD Cards, flash drives, etc.) within minutes. You can use it on different file systems, including APFS, FAT32, NTFS, HFS, and HFS+, among many others. However, the software do not perform equally well on every file system.


  • Both tools are free to use

  • High recovery rate

  • Can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, and other operating systems

  • Supports different and the most basic file types

  • PhotoRec has two types of recovery methods to give you a more refined results


  • TestDisk is not beginner-friendly. You need to know how to navigate and use a command line interface.

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.6 and newer. (including macOS Sonoma)

Supported Languages: English.

Price: Free

3. iBoysoft Data Recovery

Best free trial

iBoysoft Data Recovery is a comprehensive and easy-to-use data recovery tool with versions available for Mac and Windows machines. iBoysoft Data Recovery's dedication to compatibility ensures that it runs efficiently on macOS Sonoma, providing a seamless recovery experience.

iBoysoft Data Recovery scan process

Overall Experience:

Recovering data with iBoysoft is a simple activity that can easily be performed by any Mac user. It involves an intuitive three-step process where you scan a selected device, preview its recoverable data, and choose what you want to recover. Scan results can be saved and reloaded, allowing you to complete data recovery at your leisure. A free download of the tool allows users to recover 1 GB of data and see how they like the product.

iBoysoft Data Recovery preview files

The tool supports over 1000 different file types for recovery covering virtually any data found on your Mac. It is compatible with just about all disk-based storage devices including external hard drives, removable USB storage devices, and SD cards. iBoysoft can help users recover from multiple data loss scenarios including accidentally formatting a disk, inadvertently deleting files, or emptying the Trash. It enables speedy data recovery on the newest Macs and MacBooks. iBoysoft provides professional-grade recovery capabilities in a tool designed to be easy enough for beginners to use.


  • Supports the APFS, HFS, HFSX, HFS+, FAT32, exFAT file systems
  • Compatible with all versions of macOS and Mac OS X operating systems
  • User-friendly interface and simple data recovery procedure
  • Supports over 1000 file formats including all popular media file types
  • Performs data recovery on Mac with a T2 security chip
  • Supports recovery from new Mac with Apple's M1 chip installed
  • Recovers files on a Mac hard drive that won’t boot using Recovery Mode


  • Licenses must be renewed yearly, making it more expensive than competitors
  • No support for RAID arrays

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.9 and newer.

Supported Languages: English, French.

Price: Free version allows 1 GB recovery.

1-month license $89.95
1-year license $99.95
Lifetime license $169.95

4. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Best for new users

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an incredibly capable file recovery program that excels at being easy to use for both tech-savvy users and newcomers. It’s chock-full of features, looks good, and gets the job done with minimal effort on your part. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard keeps up with Mac advancements, offering full compatibility with macOS Sonoma for hassle-free data recovery.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard preview

Overall Experience:

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an excellent data recovery option for Mac machines, offering a user interface that’s both aesthetically pleasing and accessible to both novices and veterans alike. It’s not all looks either. The app is capable of retrieving files from a healthy range of Mac-based storage devices and file systems, including fusion drives and even Time Machine backups.

It also comes with some excellent features, including a file filter that helps you easily narrow down results, a bootable media option that helps you get back files even if your operating system won’t start up, and a “Recover to Cloud” feature that allows you to save retrieved files directly to Cloud storage.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard cloud recovery destination

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard may be too pricey for some and its scans are slower than much of the competition, but these are minor tradeoffs to an otherwise fantastic data recovery app.


  • User interface is easy on the eyes and simple to use
  • Boasts impressive recovery results
  • Lots of useful features, including “Recover to cloud”
  • Built for Mac-based storage devices and file systems


  • Expensive subscription-based pricing system
  • Lackluster scanning speeds

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.9 and newer.

Supported Languages: 20 different languages.


Monthly $89.95
Annual $119.95
Lifetime Upgrades $169.95

5. R-Studio

Best for tech-savvy users

R-Studio is a more technical offering for Mac systems that’s geared towards advanced users looking for a robust and feature-filled data recovery program. In the right hands, it has all the tools you’d need to recover lost information. R-Studio's advanced features are continually refined, ensuring full functionality with newer macOS releases, including Sonoma.

R-Studio preview function

Overall Experience:

R-Studio is by no means a simple data recovery solution and requires tech-savvy hands to fully take advantage of the app. But if you know what you’re doing, this program offers a top-tier list of excellent tools and features, including advanced recovery algorithms, a built-in hex editor, imaging capabilities, network recovery, and more.

It also boasts superb recovery rates and speedy scans. Unfortunately, the overly complicated user interface may be a detriment to newbie users looking for a straightforward experience and the scarcity of available documentation makes the learning curve even steeper.

R-Studio for Mac recovery process

But if you think you have the technical know-how to fully utilize the app, then R-Studio will prove to be one of the best data recovery solutions in the business.


  • Includes tons of tools and features for all sorts of data recovery needs
  • Recovery results are rock solid
  • Mac pricing scheme is much simpler than the Windows alternative
  • Scans are quicker than some of the competition


  • User interface and functionality may be too complex for the common user
  • UI isn’t very pretty either

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.5 and newer.

Supported Languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.


R-Studio for Mac $79.99
R-Studio Technician $899.00
R-Studio Corporate for Mac $179.99

6. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Best for older machines

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a free file recovery software tool that enables you to recover an unlimited amount of data with no financial investment whatsoever. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is ideal for older macOS versions up to 10.11, but it's not compatible with newer versions like macOS Sonoma.

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery software

Overall Experience:

Even though Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery has been around for some time, most younger Mac users have never heard of it. That’s probably because it doesn’t officially support even the latest version of Mac OS X. That said, we were able to get it to run on macOS Catalina just fine and use it to recover deleted images.

Besides images, Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery can also recover audio files, videos, documents, and many other file format families from HFS/HFS+, FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT file systems. You can either run a fast scan to quickly recover files from a working storage device or select the deep scan option to first recover a lost, deleted, or damaged partition.

Regardless of which of these two options you select, you can start looking for your files even when the scan is still being conducted, which makes the recovery process go a bit faster. Unfortunately, it seems that developers of Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery will never update this file recovery software to officially support the latest version of Mac OS X because the last update was released in 2015.


  • Designed specifically for Mac users

  • Features an easy-to-use interface

  • Runs on older versions of Mac OS X


  • Doesn’t officially support the latest version of Mac OS X

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.5 - macOS 10.11.

Supported Languages: English.

Price: Free

7. Exif Untrasher

Best for image recovery

Exif Untrasher is a free Mac file recovery software tool that was developed with a single purpose in mind: to recover JPEG images from physical storage devices and disk images.

Exif Untrasher

Overall Experience:

Developed by software developer Carsten Blüm, Exif Untrasher is the most straightforward free file recovery software that we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to all Mac users. It’s designed to painlessly recover JPEG images from physical storage devices and disk images. Yes, this file recovery software doesn’t support any other image file formats, so you better look elsewhere if you need to recover documents or videos.

Because Exif Untrasher does just one thing, it can do it exceptionally well. To recover images with it, you simply select a physical storage device or disk image, specify the destination folder, and start the recovery process.

Exif Untrasher creating device image

Exif Untrasher runs on Mac OS X 10.10 or higher and is localized in English, German, French, and Italian. You can still download the latest version of Exif Untrasher from the developer’s website and install it just like you would any other third-party Mac application. Just know that the tool isn't supported anymore, so you may encounter bugs and other issues.


  • Freeware

  • Extremely easy to use


  • It can only recover JPEG files

Supported Mac OSs: Mac OS X 10.10 - macOS 10.15.

Supported Languages: English.

Price: Free

Comparison of the Best Data Recovery Software for Mac

Disk Drill for Mac
Disk Drill
PhotoRec and Testdisk for Mac
iBoysoft Data Recovery
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery
Exif Untrasher
Exif Untrasher
Recovery Results
Price $89 Freeware $89.95 $89.95 monthly subscription $79.99 Freeware Freeware
Mac OS support Mac OS X 10.5 and newer Mac OS X 10.5 - macOS 10.14 Mac OS X 10.9 - macOS 11 Mac OS X 10.9 and newer Mac OS X 10.5 and newer Mac OS X 10.5 - macOS 10.11 Mac OS X 10.10 and newer
Demo available
Modern interface
Data protection tools
Payment options PayPal, Credit Card, Wire Transfer PayPal, Credit Card PayPal, Credit Card, Wire Transfer PayPal, Credit Card

Other Tools We Considered

There are other Mac data recovery apps with promising features you can check out, but their drawbacks pushed them out of our final list. Here are the other tools we considered:
Stellar Data Recovery logo

Stellar Data Recovery App

Stellar Data Recovery App is a reliable software that delivers data recovery for various storage devices and supports a wide range of file formats. It provides different recovery modes for different data loss scenarios. It also allows you to preview files before initiating the recovery process. It delivers on its promise, but the scanning process can be time-consuming, particularly for Mac systems with large volumes of data.

iBeeSoft Data Recovery logo

iBeeSoft Data Recovery

iBeesoft Data Recovery is a solid data recovery option whose highlights include its catchy user interface and its ability to recover information (even partially) from a variety of different circumstances. It is, however, rather slow at scanning machines, especially when using Deep Scan, so you might end up having to wait for hours on end before you can start actually recovering. The free version also comes with a data recovery limit, after which you’ll have to pay up.

4DDiG Mac Data Recovery logo

4DDiG Mac Data Recovery

4DDiG Mac Data Recovery may seem like the perfect data recovery tool for simple file retrieval: it has a user-friendly interface, a high data recovery rate, quick and deep scanning modes, and more. The software can scan and recover over 1000 file formats, ranging from photos, videos, audio, documents, and so on. It also supports different file systems for Mac, such as FAT32, exFAT, APFS, and HFS+ file systems. However, it's important to note that the free version only allows users to preview files. To recover the data, you must purchase the software. Additionally, the preview feature is limited to only a few file formats.

Choosing the Best Data Recovery Software

We considered multiple characteristics of the data recovery solutions chosen for our list. Examining a single factor may not be enough to determine which solution is the right one for your data loss situation. Following are the attributes of the competing software solutions that influenced our decision and may steer you toward a specific application.

  • ⚙️ Data recovery performance.The recovery performance of the chosen solution is its most important characteristic. No matter how well a solution compares in the other categories we will consider, it needs to be able to successfully recover your lost data. That’s the bottom line for data recovery software.
    Recovery performance should be considered apart from factors like ease of use and pricing. A free tool that is extremely easy to use but fails to recover more than half your files is not very useful when faced with the loss of valuable data. So recovery performance is a crucial factor in determining the best solution.
  • 💡 Functionality. Recovery tools should provide the user with the required level of functionality to address their data loss scenario. A stable software solution will straightforwardly perform its recovery functions and enable data in many formats to be restored from a variety of storage devices.
    The functionality of a recovery tool can be hindered by issues like not recovering file names or not categorizing recoverable files. This reduced functionality makes it hard or impossible for a non-technical user to successfully recover data with the tool.
  • 💲 Pricing. The price of data recovery software ranges from freeware to expensive commercial products. In general, freeware recovery products have limited functionality and do not have user-friendly interfaces.
  • 💬 User reviews. User reviews can be a good source of information about a software product. Keep in mind that the review could have been submitted by the product’s marketing department or a competitor. Taking that into account, you should be able to glean some information regarding recovery results and ease of use from user reviews.
  • 👴 Ease-of-use. Data recovery is a stressful situation for the majority of computer users. Trying to restore your lost files using a complicated procedure or obscure interface will only increase the stress level. We like simple interfaces that make it easy to recover data with a few clicks. You should look for a user-friendly tool that simplifies the data recovery process.

Can Data Recovery Be Performed on All Versions of macOS?

While newer versions of macOS require users to grant data recovery apps some additional permissions, the actual recovery process remains the same regardless of which version you choose. That said, you need to verify that your data recovery app of choice supports the version of macOS you have installed on your computer.

Here’s a list of all versions of macOS and Mac OS X that were released in the last 10 years:
  • OS X 10.7 Lion - 20 July 2011
  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion - 25 July 2012
  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks - 22 October 2013
  • OS X 10.10 Yosemite - 16 October 2014
  • OS X 10.11 El Capitan - 30 September 2015
  • macOS 10.12 Sierra - 20 September 2016
  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra - 25 September 2017
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave - 24 September 2018
  • macOS 10.15 Catalina - 7 October 2019
  • macOS 11.0.1 Big Sur - 12 November 2020
  • macOS 12.0.1 Monterey - 25 October 2021
  • macOS 13.0. Ventura - 24 October 2022
  • macOS 14.0. Sonoma - 26 September 2023

As you can see, Apple decided to rename its operating system to macOS with the release of macOS 10.12 Sierra.

Mac models storage and recovery

The ability of data recovery software to recover files from a Mac depends on the type of storage device installed on or connected to the computer. If you have an SSD drive with TRIM enabled, recovery software won’t work. Fortunately, you can turn off TRIM if you wish with the sudo trimforce disable command.

New MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac models are equipped with an SSD. Older models may have either an SSD or a traditional hard drive as their main storage device. You should use the About this Mac -> System Report to determine which type of device is installed on your Mac. If it’s an SSD, you may want to disable TRIM for better results with data recovery software.

Data recovery software can address data loss situations on all types of Macs. Here are some examples:
  • MacBook Air - These computers are often used as portable laptops due to their size and weight. This exposes them to potential damage and data loss that can be resolved with data recovery software
  • MacBook Pro - Many users prefer a powerful MacBook Pro over a desktop machine. Data loss can involve business-related documents and other valuable items that can all be recovered with a reliable data recovery tool.
  • iMac - These machines are favorites of graphic designers and creative teams. When data loss occurs, it can affect essential videos or photos. Once again, recovery software can help resolve the problem.

Which Storage Devices Can Be Recovered?

The best data recovery apps for Mac can recover deleted and lost files from all storage devices available to Mac users, including:
  • Hard drives: Both internal and external hard drives can be recovered using a capable data recovery app, and that includes traditional spinning drives and modern solid-state drives. Some data recovery apps let you recover data from specific partitions, while other apps always scan the entire hard drive.
  • USB flash drives: Flash-based data storage devices with an integrated USB port are useful for transferring small files between computers, but it’s easy to accidentally format them, wiping out all data in just a few seconds. Fortunately, all USB flash drives (USB 1.x, 2.0, and 3.x) can be recovered just as easily as hard drives.
  • Memory cards: Available in a wide variety of types and form factors (SD, SDHC, SDXC, CF I and II, xD, and so on), memory cards are commonly used in cameras, smartphones, media players, and other portable electronic devices. As long as you have a compatible memory card reader, you can recover lost data from any memory card using the data recovery apps for Mac listed in this article.
  • Digital cameras: Files can be recovered from the internal storage of digital cameras and from the memory cards that provide additional capacity. If you accidentally format the device or delete the wrong images, you can recover them if you act before the storage location is overwritten by new data.
  • SSDs: Solid State Devices can be recovered under certain circumstances. The TRIM command is used to improve the efficiency of SSDs by erasing blocks of data when files get deleted. If TRIM is enabled, you will not be able to recover lost data with recovery software. If your SSD does not have TRIM enabled, data recovery software can recover deleted files.

More Methods to Recover Deleted Files on Mac

Here are some alternative methods that can be used to recover deleted files on a Mac.
  • 🗑️ Recover from Mac’s Trash bin. Your Mac’s Trash bin holds recently deleted files until it is manually or automatically emptied. Apple included this special folder to address the needs of users who may occasionally delete the wrong file. When you are searching for a lost or deleted file, the Trash is the first place you look. If the deleted file is found in the Trash, it is easily recovered to its original location with a couple of clicks.
  • 💽 Restore from a Time Machine Backup. Time Machine is Apple’s proprietary backup and recovery tool that ships with every Mac or MacBook. Best practices recommend regularly backing up the data on your computer, and Time Machine offers a convenient method of protecting your information. After backing up your files to an external storage device with Time Machine, it is a simple procedure to recover them in the event they are accidentally deleted. Just connect the storage device that contains the backups and use the Time Machine interface to locate the files to be restored.
  • 👨‍💻 Use a data recovery service. A reliable data recovery service can help you recover lost data when all other options have been exhausted. The staff of a data recovery center will employ advanced hardware and software techniques to recover your data when it may have looked hopeless. Using cleanrooms to physically protect your storage media, damaged drives can be cloned so their data can be extracted and returned to you by the technicians working at a data recovery service.
  • ⌨️ Use the CTRL-Z command. The CTRL-Z command is also known as the ‘undo’ command. Using this command essentially undoes the last thing you did on your Mac. You can execute the command repeatedly to go back and undo several actions, such as deleting a block of text or a file or folder. Use this command as soon as you realize you need to undo an action, as there is a limit to how far you can go back.
  • 🖥️ Terminal commands for data recovery. Several commands that are useful for data recovery can be executed from the Mac Terminal application. You can access the Mac Trash bin from Terminal to recover recently deleted files. Time Machine backups can also be accessed from Terminal and used to recover lost data. Another option is to run a data recovery tool from the command line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by 7 Data Recovery Team
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