Summary: This post compares popular free Mac Data Recovery tools with the paid Mac Data Recovery tool from Stellar Data Recovery. It also highlights the differences between the two, thus making it easy for users to make a clear choice.

Data Recovery is a popular point of discussion owing to the anxious feeling people get when they imagine losing their important work files, classic music collection, personal photo, or home video collection. If you wish to safeguard your precious data, the sooner you become aware of the correct tools that can help you do it, the better. That’s because data loss doesn’t ring a warning signal.

Data recovery on Mac Hard Drive, Free VS Paid Recovery
Data recovery on Mac Hard Drive, Free VS Paid Recovery

Keeping this in mind, we’re highlighting some of the best free as well as paid Mac data recovery tools available in the market in this post. We’ll also acquaint you with the tools that can help you out in varied situations so that you’re covered at all times.

Free Mac Hard Drive Recovery Tools

Let’s look at some of the most widely used free Mac Data Recovery tools:

UndeleteMyFiles Pro

UndeleteMyFiles Pro helps recover specific items from MacBook, iPod, iPad, and other Mac devices. The recovery process is quick if you are looking at the recovery of a single item or file. The tool clicks a snapshot of all the deleted files and puts that shot into a bigger file. Thereafter, it allows you to search that bigger file for the items that are missing. This helps in saving time as it minimizes the search area from the entire hard drive to just a snapshot of deleted items. The software also includes a preview function to help you view files before recovering.


PhotoRec is a proficient photo recovery tool that deeply scans the storage media you target and makes copies of deleted information. Without affecting anything else on the hard drive, the software safely delivers the deleted information to you. With this tool, you can accurately recover lost videos, documents, and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and pictures from digital camera memory. The best part of this software’s working is the fact that it ignores the file system and targets the underlying data. Thus, it can work perfectly even if the storage media has been severely damaged.


TestDisk is an open source application developed with the aim to assist in recovering lost partitions and making non-booting disks bootable again. Additionally, the software can be used to collect detailed information about a non-booting drive which can then be sent to a technician for further analysis. The tool is command-prompt based and is ideal for industry experts.

Why choosing paid tools is a better option?

Although the fact that the above-mentioned tools are totally free-of-cost and may lure several users if you wish to achieve results, you should rely on premium paid data recovery Mac tools. There are several areas where paid utilities outshine free ones as mentioned below:

  • Free Mac data recovery products might often fail to achieve the results they promise
  • Such tools might turn up data that’s half missing
  • Most free tools are command-prompt based are very difficult to use for non-technical users
  • Often, free tools focus on recovering only a single file or a file type

Additionally, some of the free tools might aggravate the damage to your storage media while carrying out the recovery process. Thus, if you want to perform safe, accurate, and risk-free Mac data recovery, sticking to paid premium tools would be the best way to go.

Mac Data Recovery with Premium Tools

When it comes to premium tools, none can beat Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery. This software is one of the most trusted paid Mac hard drive recovery applications that you can find online.

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery

It safely and accurately recovers lost or deleted files (documents, photos, music files, or videos) from a variety of file systems (HFS, HFS+, FAT, exFAT, and NTFS). Moreover, it lets you reclaim missing data from iMac, MacBook Pro, Air, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and other Mac based devices. Some of the best features of the software are:

  • RAW recovery on lost Mac volumes
  • Recovery from encrypted file systems
  • Recovery from un-mounted OS X volumes
  • Time Machine backup hard drive recovery
  • Recovery of permanently deleted data
  • BootCamp partition recovery
  • Data recovery from damaged or improperly burnt optical media
  • Hard drive image creation
  • Capable of recovering unbootable Mac hard drives
  • Facilitates previewing files before recovery

Over and above these impressive features, you can try out this software’s demo version before investing in it. With the demo version, you can recover up to 1 GB of data. If you’re satisfied with the results, you can then upgrade to the Professional version and recover an unlimited amount of data.

The Bottom Line

We hope our analysis will help you make an informed decision about whether to go for a free hard drive recovery Mac software or a more reliable paid products. If you do decide to invest in a premium tool, Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery, with its easy and hassle-free data recovery, would undoubtedly be the preferred choice.


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