Top 11 Free SD Card Data Recovery Software for Mac in 2021

Selecting the best SD card recovery software for Mac can be time-consuming. First, you need to figure out which applications are available. Then you need to compare their features, performance, price, and other characteristics. Finally, you need to read user reviews to verify whether the applications actually live up to their promises. Who has time for that!

Luckily for you, we’ve already done all the research and came up with the following list of top SD card recovery software Mac users can download in 2021:

  1. Disk Drill for Mac
  2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
  3. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
  4. MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac
  5. Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac
  6. Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac
  7. FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac
  8. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery
  9. iBeesoft for Mac
  10. iSkysoft for Mac
  11. PhotoRec

All you need to do is pick the SD card recovery software application you like the most (or simply download the top solution) and use it to recover your data.

Best SD Card Data Recovery Software Summary of Our Picks

💗 Best overall: Disk Drill for Mac
👐 Best open-source: PhotoRec
🤑 Best completely free: Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery
💸 Best money-back guarantee: iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac
🖼️ Best video recovery: Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

How to Choose SD Data Recovery Software for Mac?

Regardless of if this is your first time choosing SD card recovery software for Mac or tenth, we have a few tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Verify OS and file system compatibility: Not all Mac data recovery software is compatible with all versions of macOS and macOS-supported file systems. If you want to recover data from, let’s say, an exFAT-formatted SD card on macOS Big Sur, then you need to make sure that your recovery software supports both NTFS and macOS Big Sur otherwise you won’t get anywhere.
  • Do a background check on the developer: These days, it’s relatively easy for scammers to purchase a barely working white-label software application, reskin it, and market it as the next best thing. To avoid spending your hard-earned money, you should always do a background check on the developer. We recommend you look for answers to the following questions: Where is the developer based? How long have they’ve been developing software? Do they provide customer support?
  • Avoid outdated Mac data recovery software: There are many comparisons of Mac data recovery software that recommend outdated applications that haven’t been updated in ages. Such applications are unlikely to deliver the best recovery results possible because they don’t support the latest file formats and are not compatible (at least not fully) with newly released versions of macOS.
  • Be ready to spend some money: While it’s possible to recover lost data using free SD card recovery software, there are many good reasons to spend some money on paid software. For example, paid software is often easier to use, and time is absolutely critical when it comes to data recovery in general. Professional developers also tend to have more experience than amateurs because software development is what they do day in and day out, so their products are usually (but not always) more polished and functional.
  • Don’t blindly trust marketing promises: Marketing departments are known for making lofty promises that sometimes exceed the real capabilities of the products they’re promoting. Just because a data recovery solution claims to be best at something doesn’t mean it actually is. That’s why you should always read independent reviews written by real users when selecting any software application.

Top 11 SD Data Recovery Software Applications for Mac

All top 11 SD card recovery software applications for Mac listed below can recover lost data from any SD card (full-size, microSD, etc.), but they don’t all deliver the same great results. The higher an application ranks on our list, the more recommendation-worthy we’ve found it to be.

1. Disk Drill for Mac

ℹ️ Best for
We recommend Disk Drill to all Mac users who don’t want to take any chances with lesser SD card data recovery software.

Recovery speed: Average | File formats: 400+ | File systems: NTFS, NTFS5, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT3/EXT4, HFS, HFS+, APFS | Developer: Cleverfiles | Requirements: macOS 10.11.6+

Disk Drill Data Recovery for Mac

Overview:

Based on our experience and extensive testing, Disk Drill is the best SD card recovery software for Mac for three key reasons:

  1. Easy to use: From the moment you first launch Disk Drill, it’s clear that a lot of effort has been made to make it as accessible as possible. All options are clearly labeled, and you never have to wonder where to click next.
  2. Extensive file system and file format support: Disk Drill can recover over 400 file formats from all file systems most macOS users will ever encounter. Regardless of if you’re SD card is formatted using the FAT, exFAT, or NTFS file system, you can be sure that Disk Drill will be able to scan it.
  3. Developed by a reputable company: Disk Drill’s developers, Cleverfiles, have been in the data recovery business for years, and they’ve established themselves as leaders in their industry, so you can trust them to provide ongoing customer support and stand behind their product.

Combined, these three key advantages make Disk Drill ideal for all seasoned and inexperienced Mac users alike, but that’s not all! Disk Drill comes packed with extra disk tools to help you keep your data organized and prevent data loss from ever happening.

Disk Drill for Mac OS

Pros:

  • Accessible to seasoned and inexperienced users alike
  • Can handle virtually all data loss situations
  • Developed by a reputable company
  • Comes with extra free disk tools
  • Fully compatible with the latest version of macOS

Cons:

  • No phone support
  • Average recovery speed

Pricing plans:

  • Disk Drill Basic: Free preview
  • Disk Drill Pro: $89.00
  • Disk Drill Enterprise: $499.00

Free Download

Customer reviews:

Disk Drill’s users agree that the full version of the Mac data recovery software is well worth the money, and they praise its simplicity, performance, and extra features. A few users failed to achieve the desired recovery results after purchasing the full version, but this problem can be easily avoided by taking advantage of the unlimited preview functionality included in the free trial version.

I thought all was lost on an encrypted external HFS journaled hard drive when it would no longer mount. I had many photos and media on the 4tb drive that were not redundant on other drives, so recovery was crucial. I tried fsck at the command line to no avail. With the academic discount, the price was just under 80 bucks, after a deep scan, voila my files were recovered. I highly recommend. A discount data recovery job runs about 500-700 bucks, so this was much cheaper and efficacious. You can also make an image of a drive that doesn’t mount in your os. I will have to try the delete duplicates on my SSD which boots my OS, seems like nifty feature. Final verdict: highly recommend. Its worth the money over competitors.

2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

ℹ️ Best for

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is best for those who can appreciate 24/7 instant live chat and email support and are willing to pay extra for it.

Recovery speed: Fast | File formats: 200+ | File systems: APFS, HFS/HFS+, NTFS/NTFS5, FAT/FAT32/exFAT | Developer: EaseUS | Requirements: macOS 11.2–10.9

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

Overview:

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a great SD card recovery software for those who enjoy the perks of buying software from established companies that care about their reputation and, by extension, their customers.

When you purchase EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, you automatically get a 30-day money-back guarantee and instant live chat and email support within 24 hours. Just know that lifetime upgrades require a separate purchase.

In terms of recovery performance, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac lives up to its promises, delivering great results regardless if you want to recover just a few lost pictures or thousands of files.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

Pros:

  • Developed by an established company
  • Around-the-clock chat and email customer support
  • The trial version can recover up to 2 GB of data
  • Great data recovery results

Cons:

  • Expensive paid version due to the subscription-based model
  • Unlimited upgrades require a separate purchase

Pricing plans:

  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Trial: recover up to 2 GB of data for free
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro: $89.95/month or $119.95/year
  • Optional lifetime upgrades: $169.95

Free Download

Customer reviews:

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is praised by regular Mac users as well as IT professionals for its impressive data recovery capabilities, with many people saying that it saved their lives.

Unlike very expensive software of this type, EaseUS delivers instantly without those empty promises. We never got to the situation when stuff is totally unrecoverable by this piece of software, so it’s hard to say what is the downside of EaseUS would have been.

3. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

ℹ️ Best for

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is best for those Mac users who have no issue paying a premium price for software that works perfectly with their operating system of choice.

Recovery speed: Average | File formats: 1,000+ | File systems: APFS, HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 | Developer: iBoysoft | Requirements: OS X 10.7 – macOS 11.3

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Overview:

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac was one of the first SD card recovery software for Mac to achieve full compatibility with macOS Big Sur and Macs equipped with the T2 security chip. Even though there are now many other Mac data recovery software applications that also support the latest Macs, it still remains one of the best options out there.

Besides flawless macOS Big Sur compatibility, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can offer the ability to recover hard drives that were formatted with Disk Utility as well as storage devices corrupted due to damaged partition table, file system, or bad sectors.

The latest version claims to recover over 1,000 file formats from any Mac-based storage devices such as hard drives, solid-state drives (SSDs), CF cards, digital cameras, USB flash drives, and, of course, SD cards.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Pros:

  • Excellent compatibility with macOS Big Sur
  • Polished user interface
  • Claims to recover over 1,000 file formats

Cons:

  • Rather expensive
  • No support for NTFS drives

Pricing plans:

  • Free trial: recover up to 1 GB for free
  • 1-month: $89.95
  • 1-year: $99.95
  • Lifetime: $169.95

Free Download

Customer reviews:

Users agree that iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac gets the job, and they like that it makes everything easy for them with its intuitive user interface. They just with the software was better documented.

iBoysoft Data Recovery can recover lost, deleted or inaccessible files from different drives, flash, optical, SDD and more. It has an interface that executes a scan with just a click. It allows to carry out backup copies of the data and restore them in other computers. I also like that their customer service is so attentive, they really answer any question in seconds.

4. MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac

ℹ️ Best for

MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac remains a great option for Mac users who can appreciate advanced features, such as the ability to repair photos and videos.

Recovery speed: Average | Supported file systems: APFS, HFS, HFS+, exFAT, and NTFS| File signatures quantity: around 200 | Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 or later

MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac

Overview:

MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac isn’t a new kid on the block. In fact, it has been available for what seems like ages now, which is one reason why it has such a large following of dedicated users.

Other reasons include its extensive list of features, which include the ability to repair not opening, pixelated, grainy, frozen, and distorted photos and videos, integrated disk health monitoring, and two scan modes.

As is often the case, however, great features don’t come cheap, and the more feature-packed editions of MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac confirm this.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac

Pros:

  • Mature SD card recovery software
  • Ability to repair photos and videos
  • Disk health monitoring

Cons:

  • Recovers only around 100 file formats
  • Not updated anymore (MiniTool has merged its data recovery software with Stellar Data Recovery for Mac)

Pricing plans:

  • MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac Trial: recover up to 1 GB of data for free
  • MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac Professional: $99.00
  • MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac Premium: $149.00
  • MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac Technician: $299.00

Free Download

Customer reviews:

There are many customer reviews from users who have been using MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac for almost a decade now, and they swear by its usability and efficiency. Of course, there are also some reviews from users who haven’t been convinced by MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Mac, but such reviews are relatively rare.

My first contact with MiniTool Power Data Recovery was about 9 years ago. I was surprised of usage and efficiency . All my photos lost with broken partition was recovered successfuly. Since then I used it several times, always with 100% recovered data. Of course, I do not wish anyone to lose data, but I recommend this software any case 🙂

5. Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

ℹ️ Best for
We can wholeheartedly recommend Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac to all videographers who have lost important videos and would like to get them back.

Recovery speed: Fast | File formats: 1,000+ | File systems: APFS, exFAT, FAT16, FAT32, HFS+, Encrypted HFS, HFSX, NTFS, ReFS, RAID, RAW, JFS, ext2, ext3, ext4 | Developer: Wondershare | Requirements: macOS 11 and older

Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Overview:

Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac is hands down our favorite video recovery software for macOS. That’s because it features Wondershare’s exclusive advanced video recovery technology with support for most commonly used file formats, including MP4, MOV, AVI, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, M4A, ASF, MPEG, and MXF.

Unlike many other SD card recovery software applications for Mac, Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac can handle even video files that are heavily fragmented, partially damaged, and otherwise corrupted.

All this and more makes Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac perfect for avid videographers who are looking for the best way to recover lost video files from an SD card.

Wondershare Rercoverit Data Recovery for Mac

Pros:

  • Exclusive advanced video recovery technology
  • Free trial to scan and preview lost data
  • Three-step video recovery process
  • Support for 1,000+ file formats

Cons:

  • Limited customization options

Pricing plans:

  • Trial: recover up to 100 MB for free
  • Essential: $59.95 a year or $69.95 for a lifetime license
  • Standard: $69.95 a year or $79.95 for a lifetime license
  • Advanced: $79.95 a year or $89.95 for a lifetime license

Free Download

Customer reviews:

Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac users love that the software successfully combines usability with excellent data recovery performance, allowing them to enjoy a high data recovery rate without requiring them to decipher complex menus and obscure options.

Only 3 Steps to recover the Data. 1. Install the software and buy a license 2. Select the storage media from you want to recover files. 3. Just click on Recover and it does its job. It is fast, efficient and recovers pretty much everything by reading the sectors effectively. Recovery rate is over 95%. It did a great job in recovering old data from my old hard drive without a fuss. And since then I am using it whenever it’s needed to recover data from many storage media. There are many features which I have actually not used it yet.

6. Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

ℹ️ Best for

If you’re someone who prefers simplicity over complexity even if it means sacrificing some features, then Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac may just be the best SD card recovery software for you.

Recovery speed: Average | File formats: around 200 | File systems: APFS, HFS, HFS+, exFAT, and NTFS | Developer: Stellar| Requirements: macOS 10.11 and above

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Overview:

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac is frequently recommended as one of the best SD card recovery software solutions for Mac, and it’s not difficult to see why.

The application can recover deleted documents, photos, videos, audio, and other file formats from all kinds of storage devices with a few simple clicks, and it even features handy disk imaging, drive health monitoring, and cloning tools.

The more expensive editions of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac can repair corrupted photos and videos, so you should definitely consider them if photo or video recovery is the reason why you’re reading this article.

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac

Pros:

  • Photo and video repair capabilities
  • Tried-and-tested solution
  • Comes with extra disk tools

Cons:

  • Can be used only on a single system

Pricing plans:

  • Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac Trial: recover up to 1 GB of data for free
  • Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac: $79.99 for 1 year or $99 for a lifetime license
  • Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac Premium: $99.99 for 1 year or $149 for a lifetime license
  • Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac Technician: $149 for 1 year (no lifetime option available)

Free Download

Customer reviews:

Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac regularly receives praise from its users on online review sites, with usability, price, and customer support being most commonly mentioned as the app’s pros.

I lost all my files because i make my external driver bootable, so everything was erased, then i decide to take a look about a legit app for data recovery, i try stellar. The only problem i had was with the activation key, i provide remote access to them and the problem solved.

7. FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac

ℹ️ Best for

FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac is great for Mac users who don’t rely too much on Mac-specific file systems, such as APFS.

Recovery speed: Average | File formats: 500+ | File systems: NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT | Developer: FonePaw | Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10 and above

FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac

Overview:

FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac is a fairly affordable Mac data recovery software application that stands out with its affordable price and a recovery rate of 90 percent.

You can use it to recover more than 500 file formats, including images, videos, audio files, documents, archives, and email messages from NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, and EXT file systems. All storage devices recognized by macOS are supported, including SD cards, hard drives, USB flash drives, and digital cameras.

FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac has two distinct data recovery scan modes: deep and quick scan. The former is great for complex recoveries of permanently deleted files, while the latter is primarily intended for quick and easy data recovery jobs.

FonePaw Data Recovery for Mac

Pros:

  • 90 percent recovery rate
  • Recovers more than 500 file formats
  • Straightforward to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support native Mac file systems

Pricing plans:

  • Trial: free for 30 days
  • Single-user license: $39.95
  • Family license: $79.95

Free Download

Customer reviews:

As a company, FonePaw has received its fair share of negative reviews because its mobile recovery software doesn’t really meet the expectations of its users. However, its SD card recovery software is a different story, as many users themselves point out.

I have read all the reviews before, and I feel sad at the first time. But when I purchase the data recovery for recovering my computer deleted files. I think this software will be better than the mobile’s softwares. Because it helps me to find the important deleted documents and the photos. These files are my baby girl’s birthday records.

8. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

ℹ️ Best for
Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is a great choice for all Mac users who want to recover a couple of files from an SD card while paying as little money as possible.

Recovery speed: Slow | File formats: 50+ | File systems: HFS/HFS+, FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT | Developer: Lazesoft | Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 or later

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Overview:

Who said that the best SD card recovery software for Mac has to cost a serious amount of cash? Definitely not the developers of Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery because this application is completely free and unlimited.

That’s right, you can use Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery to recover an unlimited number of files from your SD cards, internal hard disks, external hard disks, USB flash disks, and other storage devices.

Of course, you can’t really expect best-in-class performance or the most polished user interface for the lovely price of exactly $0. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery can’t recover even 100 file formats, and it looks like it came straight from the early 2000s. But you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say.

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Pros:

  • Completely free and unlimited
  • Supports many file systems

Cons:

  • Can recovery only around 50 file formats
  • Doesn’t support the APFS file system
  • Outdated user interface

Pricing plans:

  • Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is completely free and unlimited

Free Download

Customer reviews:

As you might expect, Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery users love the fact that his SD card recovery software lets them recover an unlimited number of files without requiring them to spend a single dollar. They just wish it had a nicer user interface and supported more file formats.

It does the job on mac for free! just a bit slow transition between screens and after press any button but important is it works! Easy to use, however if you want to perform a different task after finish a recover, need to close the program and open again because it doesnt return to initial screen.

9. iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac

ℹ️ Best for

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is great for careful buyers who hate risky purchases because it offers an industry-leading 60-day money-back guarantee.

Recovery speed: Fast | File formats: 1,000 | File systems: FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32), exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2, ext3, HFS+, APFS | Developer: iBeesoft | Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and newer

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac

Overview:

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is a well-rounded Mac data recovery software application capable of undeleting data from any storage device that uses one of the file systems listed above.

The latest version of iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is fully compatible with APFS volumes, which are supported by macOS Sierra and later. All customers automatically get a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can verify the compatibility yourself without risking anything.

Like many other similar applications, iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac has two scanning modes, one for quick scans and the other one for deep scans. Together, the two scanning modes support more than 1,000 file types, which is a truly respectable number.

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac

Pros:

  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Fully compatible with APFS volumes
  • Supports more than 1,000 file types

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with any extra tools

Pricing plans:

  • Trial version: recover up to 1 GB of data for free
  • Personal license: $55.95
  • Family license: $89.95
  • Company license: $299.95

Free Download

Customer reviews:

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac users love the application’s 60-day money-back guarantee, which gives them plenty of time to evaluate how it works without forcing them to make a potentially costly commitment.

I have been using the iBeesoft data recovery tool for recovering data from old data storage devices and I was satisfied with the quality it offers to its customers. It has different data recovery options which can be used for different scenarios to recover data.

10. iSkysoft Recoverit Data Recovery

ℹ️ Best for

iSkysoft Recoverit Data Recovery is a good fit for users who can appreciate the ability to recover over 1,000 file formats with a single application.

Recovery speed: Average | File formats: 1,000+ | File systems: APFS, HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 | Developer: iSkysoft | Requirements: Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and newer

iSkysoft Recoverit Data Recovery

It’s almost too easy to dismiss iSkysoft Recoverit Data Recovery as yet another white-label Mac data recovery software that doesn’t bring anything unique to the table, but that’s not really the case.

In reality, iSkysoft Recoverit Data Recovery does just about everything you could possibly want data recovery software to do and more. For instance, it can recover more than 1,000 file types, including documents (XLS/XLSX, DOC/DOCX, PPT/PPTX, HTML/HTM, PDF, etc.), graphics (PNG, JPG, TIFF, TIF, BMP, GIF, PSD, RAW, etc.), videos (AVI, MOV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, etc.), and audio (AVI, MOV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, etc.).

The latest version of the software can even repair damaged video files, making it great for photographers and videographers who have lost irreplaceable files.

iSkysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Pros:

  • Recovers over 1,000 file formats
  • Can repair damaged video files
  • Has an easy to use user interface

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support NTFS drives
  • Mixed user reviews
  • Poor customer support

Pricing plans:

  • Free trial: recover up to 1 GB for free
  • 1-month: $89.95
  • 1-year: $99.95
  • Lifetime: $169.95

Free Download

Customer reviews:

iSkysoft Recoverit Data Recovery doesn’t have the best online reviews. It seems that the company behind it sees customer support as an unnecessary expense, and some users even complained about their refund requests not being honored.

after 3 hours of very slow processs(52% completiotion) i tried other aviable software, which did complete scan in betweeen 2-3 hours to 100% completition, and there was even free limited free option to recover, instead charging me for single file. So my question now is do i buy 1year license from iskysoft ? Or will pay bit more and get software which works better and will stay with me more than a year ?

11. PhotoRec

ℹ️ Best for

PhotoRec is best for fans of open-source software that are willing to jump through a few hoops just to use a Mac data recovery software solution whose development hasn’t been motivated by profit.

Recovery speed: Slow | File formats: almost 500 | File systems: FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4, HFS+ | Developer: Christophe Grenier | Requirements: supportsall recent versions of macOS

PhotoRec

Overview:

PhotoRec is easily the best open-source SD card recovery software for Mac. Developed by Christophe Grenier and volunteers from around the world, this potentially intimidating application can recover almost 500 file formats completely free of charge.

We say that PhotoRec is possibly intimidating because it lacks a graphical user interface, running entirely in Terminal instead. Yes, there’s a Graphical User Interface (Qt-based GUI) version of PhotoRec called QPhotoRec, but it lacks some essential features, such as the ability to stop recovery and resume it later.

The installation process on macOS is also a bit complicated, requiring you to first install brew, a free and open-source software package management system. But if you can overcome all these obstacles, you’ll be rewarded with a flexible solution that doesn’t cost a cent to use.

PhotoRec

Pros:

  • Completely free and open source
  • Supports all recent versions of macOS
  • Can recover almost 500 file formats

Cons:

  • Lacks a graphical user interface
  • Difficult to install

Pricing plans:

  • PhotoRec is completely free & open source

Free Download

Customer reviews:

Criticizing any software that’s completely free and open-source on top of that always feels a bit wrong, but we have no reason to believe that PhotoRec’s customer reviews are not telling the full story since most reviewers admit that the application is anything but user-friendly, but that doesn’t prevent them from loving it anyway.

PROS: Impressed that this software recovered photos when several other programs have not been able to do so. The memory card had been corrupted at some point, and it appeared there was nothing on it. PhotoRec found the photos that were supposed to be there. CONS: The user interface nonexistent. I do not use command line but I was able to follow instructions.

How to Recover Files from an SD Card on a Mac

Recovering lost files from an SD card on a Mac isn’t difficult—at least not if you’ve picked one of the best SD card recovery software applications available.

Regardless of which software application you’ve decided to use, you can follow the instructions below for general guidance:

1. Connect your SD card to your Mac

connect sd card mac

First, you need to connect the SD card from which you want to recover lost data to your Mac. If you’re using an older MacBook, then there should be a built-in SD card slot that you can conveniently use. If you’re using a newer MacBook that doesn’t have a built-in SD card slot, then you can use a USB-C card reader.

2. Download & install your SD card recovery software application of choice

install disk drill

Next, you need to download the SD card recovery software application you’ve decided to use and install it on your system drive or some other storage device except for the SD card you want to recover. Why? Because you could overwrite the same files you’re trying to recover and thus make them completely irrecoverable.

3. Launch the application and scan your SD card

sd card disk drill select annotated

Once you have the SD card recovery software application installed on your Mac, you can go ahead and launch it. You want to select your SD card from the list of available storage devices and scan it. Depending on which application you’ve selected, you might be presented with multiple scan options, so use your best judgment when deciding which one to pick.

4. Select files for recovery

disk drill sd card file select recover

The scan of your SD card may take a while depending on its size and speed, so be patient and don’t interrupt it. Most applications will then present you with a list of recoverable files, allowing you to specify which of them you want to get back and which you’re happy to leave behind. If your application has file preview capabilities, then we highly encourage you to take advantage of them to verify that your files are recoverable.

5. Recover selected files to a safe destination

disk drill 4 safe recovery location

Finally, you need to pick your recovery destination. Don’t underestimate the importance of this last step. You definitely don’t want to recover your files to the same SD card because you could overwrite them and instantly cause all your efforts to go to waste.

Conclusion

Our extensive testing has revealed that Disk Drill is the best SD card data recovery software for Mac because it boasts an impressive array of powerful features while remaining accessible even to regular Mac users with no previous data recovery experience. That said, there are many other excellent SD card data recovery tools that are worth considering, so we encourage you to do your own research and weigh in the pros and cons of each tool listed in this article yourself.

With his keen understanding of technology and his ability to make it accessible to a general audience, David has been covering technology-related topics for the greater part of his career. When not researching, writing, or proofreading, David likes to spend time with his wife and young daughter.

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