Macs are more than just another hip and trendy must-have item. The Apple name is often synonymous with quality and future-proof technology. In a time when the average PC user is reacting to planned obsolescence every two years, the modern Mac platform has only suffered one major software and two hardware changes since it was introduced in 2001. The change had as much to do with transitioning from 32- to 64-bit computing as it did with supply and demand, but largely the Mac remains unchanged because it works. In fact, a surprising number of those old 32-bit PowerPC Macs are still in use today.
Apple’s testament toward continued quality, though, has its downsides. The frequent updates to the OS X environment have been a reported cause of data loss for new Mac users upgrading to the latest version after having skipped preceding versions or any of the iterations since the last one. Additionally, as each OS X release widens the divide between old and new Macs, veteran Mac users are left with fewer resources and unsupported software they can’t easily replace after a catastrophic failure. Easily a decade of work can vanish in the blink of an eye. That’s when you need file recovery software for your Mac.
There are lessons to be learned here. Newer Mac users should be interested in the challenges of the older Mac users, since they may one day be one. You are likely to have that Mac for more than just a few years. It’s good to learn now what works well with your system while compatible Mac recovery software is still available.
We have gone through some of the most popular Mac data recovery applications to find out which ones actually work. We rated them not only on their recovery capabilities, but also on their features that help you manage your recovered data. Read our articles on Mac data recovery software to learn more, but if you are just looking for something that fits your situation, Data Rescue 4 is perfect for your 64-bit Mac recovering data from older devices, and Stellar Phoenix is great for SSD-based devices, including SD cards and MP3 players. Advanced users might want to take a look at R-Studio, while PowerPC Mac users will want to check out Data Rescue 3.
Finding Mac recovery software should not be a challenge. You already have enough going on without having to wonder if the software actually works, much less work with your Mac. We wanted to take some of the guesswork from finding the best data recovery software for your Mac. We tested several popular brands and rated them by capabilities to bring you the 10 best.
Scan Speed & File Recovery
Judging a recovery application by how fast or slow it scans can be misleading when not compared to the overall recovery. Longer scanning times did not always correspond to better recovery results. We found that there were huge differences in the technology that even affected results based on hardware type.
When getting your files back is the goal, you may not care how it happens so long as you get them back. What’s frequently not realized is that sometimes recovery operations can take a long time and you might want to do multiple passes to find that file you need. Some Mac recovery applications have the unique ability to learn new formats, whereas others allow you to image your drive for deeper scanning.
Search & Recovery
What you’re able to do with your data once it’s been found is an area that deserves attention. Frequently your results will exceed the actual number of files that you thought were on there. Preview and filtering options help you limit duplicate files and other anomalies.
Help & Support
No matter how easy the software is to use, you might be missing something. More than a few of the reviewed applications had additional features that might have otherwise gone unnoticed if it weren’t for our penchant for reading user manuals, online FAQs and random message boards. You will have questions, and we want to make sure you can find answers.
Assuming you are in need of a quality Mac data recovery solution, right now is not the time to guess which recovery option will work for you. We have taken the guesswork out of your search. You lost your data. Let’s get it back.