Data Recovery on a Mac

Many users prefer Mac machines due to their speed, portability and aesthetically-pleasing operating system. But Macs are just as vulnerable to data loss as Windows machines. Essentially though, the process of getting your data back is the same, strictly speaking. 

Although all Macs now ship with solid state drives (SSDs), historically Macs used hard disk drives (HDDs) to store data. Data recovery from Mac drives no different from Windows drives, although the processes are slightly different due to the differing operating system. It goes without saying that the best way to protect your data is to have a solid backup strategy; that way, if your hard disk or solid state drive does fail, you have a quick and easy data recovery strategy waiting. But unfortunately, not everyone does back up. If your Mac stores data on a hard drive and it’s suffered a mechanical failure, then don’t try and carry out DIY data recovery – leave it to a professional data recovery specialist. But if your Mac has simply crashed, or if you’ve accidentally deleted a file, there are a few things you can try at home. Here are a few tips on what to do if your HDD/SSD fails without a backup, and how you can recover files.

If your Mac’s drive is having any sort of problem, but is still bootable, your first port of call should be Disk Utility, the operating system’s built in tool to repair disks. Disk Utility can be found in the Utilities folder, or by using Spotlight Search. Click your Mac’s disk and there will be an option to Repair Disk. So when should you use the Repair Disk tool? It’s a useful option when your Mac’s performance is degraded or if you’ve lost data. Your Mac stores your data in a directory on the hard drive or solid state drive, and this helps your operating system find the data and make sense of it. If this information is damaged in some way, your Mac might have difficulty finding it, which can slow your machine down. The Repair Disk tool can repair this data.

There’s also the option of using data recovery software to recover lost or accidentally-deleted files on your Mac. We’ve written extensively on the best free data recovery software, but many of these programs are Windows-only. If you’ve used Recuva for data recovery on a Windows machine, and you want to use it on your Mac, you’re in for a disappointment – there is no Recuva for Mac. Disk Drill is one you might recognise, as it’s one of the few data recovery programs that can be used on both Mac and Windows machines. If you need to recover deleted files, have partitions missing from your drive, or are having trouble accessing a USB flash drive or external hard drive, Disk Drill data recovery might be the program for you. This piece of free data recovery software can recover over 200 file formats, and supports all major devides – including Android and iOS mobile phones. Disk Drill makes Mac data recovery super easy, and with one click the software will display a list of files on your media that can be recovered.

If your Mac’s hard drive is making a clicking or ticking noise, it’s possible it has suffered a head crash or motor failure. There is no data recover software that can magically fix a physical hard drive fault, and you should not attempt DIY data recovery. Instead, consult a data recovery specialist who will be able to repair your Mac’s drive while preserving as much data on it as possible.  

Data Recovery