Data Rescue for Mac Review – Has It Aged Like Wine or Milk?
Out of 5 Total Score
No. 5 Among all macOS solutions
Data Rescue for Mac is among the oldest data recovery software applications for macOS. The latest version (6.0.5) has been available since August 2021, and we’re excited to see what it has to offer.
Mail alerts. Software can notify its users by email when it finds bad sectors.
Hex editor. The software comes with a Hex editor that can be used to analyze the entire content of the connected storage device.
Virtual RAID. Data Rescue for Mac can assemble virtual RAID arrays, which can help in repairing broken disk sets.
Specify the starting point for scanning. Advanced users can set the desired starting sector to focus scanning on a specific area of the storage device.
Passwordless launch. No need to enter the password every time one starts the program.
Dark mode. Although Data Rescue for Mac has an old-fashioned user interface, the developers have introduced support for dark mode.
Inability to scan system disks. Since macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Data Rescue can’t scan system disks directly. The user has to boot into Recovery Mode first.
Unreliable bootable recovery. To scan system drives, Data Rescue offers a bootable recovery option, but it didn’t work well on our Mac running the latest version of macOS.
Needs the internet at all times. Data Rescue for Mac requires a constant connection to the internet to validate the license.
Scanning duration. The data recovery software doesn’t display an estimated scanning duration.
Limited number of saved sessions. You can only save up to 15 scanning sessions, and Data Rescue won’t let you start another scan unless you delete all saved sessions first.
Pricing. Users can either pay $19 to recover one file or purchase an unlimited license for $399 per year, which is very expensive in comparison to other similar solutions.
Hidden pricing information. To see how much Data Rescue actually costs, you need to download the software first.
Limited file system support. Data Rescue can recover file names and directory structures of HFS-formatted storage devices but not other file systems.
Hidden file size limitations. The size limitations for the searched files are set in the settings menu. For example, you can limit the program to ignore all files that are larger than 10 GB. The average user wouldn’t know the option exists in the first place, which would compromise the data recovery results.
Lackluster quick scanning capabilities. Recently deleted files can be quickly recovered only from APFS, HFS, NTFS, and exFAT disks. However, exFAT performance is lackluster at best, with only 10-20% of data recovered.
Bad sector management. The data recovery software knows when a scan is taking too long, but won't check for bad sectors and is unable to avoid them to minimize the ETA.
Complicated configuration. The default settings are mostly not ideal, and it takes a lot of work to figure out and adjust them.
Lack of M1 support. Data Rescue doesn’t work on M1 Macs without the Rosetta 2 compatibility layer.
Inability to resume an interrupted scan. When a storage device is disconnected while being scanned by Data Rescue for Mac, you don’t get a chance to resume the scan. Instead, you have to start it all over again.
Limited RAID support. The program can only work with RAID 0 and JBOD configurations.
macOS installer creation. Data Rescue doesn't allow creating USB installers for the latest versions of macOS.
Challenging scan session selection. The saved scan sessions don't have a sufficient description, thus it can be quite difficult to find the one you actually need to resume.
Usability issues. Data Rescue for Mac frequently refreshes the user interface after scanning, hiding search results in the process and potentially confusing the user.
Lack of translations. No other language besides English is supported.
Scan results filtering and ordering. There’s no way to change how found files are displayed, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to find what you’re looking for.
Device selection. It can be difficult to select the right storage device because Data Rescue doesn’t display much information about them. What’s more, the available devices can’t be sorted in any way.
Search for lost partitions. There is no method to search for lost partitions.
Encrypted storage devices. Data Rescue can’t scan encrypted APFS and HFS storage devices. What’s worse, the software doesn’t inform the user that encrypted storage devices are not supported—it simply doesn’t deliver any results.
Data Rescue for macOS – Overview #
Developed by a US-based software company, Data Rescue seems like a safe bet for anyone interested in mature data recovery software. The line between mature and outdated software can be thin, however.
|Latest version||6.0.6 • Released 28th Dec, 2021|
|Download size||18.1 MB|
|Category||Data Recovery Software|
Discounts and coupons
30% Off Data Rescue 5 for Mac
Coupon code - DRMAC30.
|Get the Deal|
Developer — Prosoft Engineering, Inc.
Prosoft Engineering, Inc. has been around as a company since the 80s. Data Rescue is the company’s flagship product.
1% 33.3% than avg
Reflects the share of online traffic within the niche occupied by data recovery software, based on data taken from ahrefs.com (from Google US search engine).
1200 37.6% than avg
Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to ahrefs.com.
If you wanted to visit Prosoft Engineering, Inc. in person, you would have to travel to sunny California. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that to get tech support or questions answered, because Prosoft Engineering, Inc. has multiple customer support channels open during standard business hours.
1985 • 37 years on the market
5424 Sunol Blvd Suite 10-253 Pleasanton, CA 94566
We like that it’s possible to speak to one of Prosoft’s US-based representatives Monday – Friday (8AM – 5PM PST). You can also contact the company via email and receive a reply within 1-2 business days.
|Trial version available|
|Trial version limitations|
|No credit card to try|
|Money back guarantee|
Despite offering four pricing options, Data Rescue is anything but customer-friendly:
- Per file recovery: It costs $19 to recover each file.
- Bulk recover: For $49, you can recover 100 files.
- Drive-based recovery: For $99, you can recover an unlimited number of files from a single drive.
- Unlimited recovery: For $399, you can unlock unlimited recovery for one year.
Considering that many competing data recovery software tools let you recover an unlimited number of files for less than $100, Data Rescue is anything but affordable.
It also doesn’t help that pricing information isn’t published on the website. You have to download and run the software first.
|1||1 File Recovery||$19.00|
|2||100 File Recoveries||$49.00|
|3||1 Drive Recovery||$99.00|
|1||Unlimited License for 1 Year||$399.96|
Data Recovery with Data Rescue
Tested on: macOS 12.1 (21C52)
We’re always excited to test any popular data recovery software application—let alone the one that has been on the market for such a long time.
How We Test
We test data recovery software by following a meticulously crafted testing process whose purpose is to reveal all strengths and weaknesses of the test subject in the most objective and repeatable manner possible.
|1||Installation||We downloaded and installed the latest version of Data Rescue on our testing Mac computer.|
|2||Source selection||Next, we created data sets spanning virtually all types, including document, image, video, audio, and archive file formats.|
|3||Scanning process||We created virtual testing drives containing the various data sets to guarantee that our testing emulates the real-life situations. We then scanned the drives using Data Rescue for Mac.|
|4||Managing found data||After completing multiple scanning tests, we gathered recovered data for subsequent analysis, paying attention to the software's ease of use.|
|5||Recovery and post-processing||Finally, we analyzed the recovery results to determine how well Data Rescue performs when compared with other similar data recovery software applications.|
When testing data recovery performance, we evaluate all available recovery modes against our diverse data sets. In addition to how many files a data recovery software application can recover, we also focus on recovery speed and user-friendliness.
To get started, we first downloaded the free demo version of Data Rescue from its official website. To install it, we opened the downloaded image file and copied the application to the Applications folder.
When we launched Data Rescue for the first time, we were asked to give it Full Disk Access, which is a common requirement of all data recovery software applications for macOS.
Data Rescue requires the user to enter the admin password only for the first time. Subsequent launches are instant.
While not immediately obvious, Data Rescue actually has two different user interfaces. The default one is intended for beginners, and it offers four self-descriptive options: Start Recovering Files, View Previous Scan Results, Clone, and Create Recovery Drive.
To access the other user interface, you need to click the View menu and select the Switch to Professional Mode option. As you can guess, Professional Mode is aimed at advanced users, and it gives you access to the application's hex editor and more.
We used the standard user interface, so starting a scan was as easy as clicking the Start Recovering Files option. We then selected our testing disk image and proceeded.
After selecting our testing disk image, we were asked to choose from two scanning modes: Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
Data Rescue provides a handy description of each mode, going over its characteristics, advantages, and potential disadvantages. Because we wanted to examine the test image using advanced techniques to find every recoverable file, we selected Deep Scan.
Scan progress was displayed in real time, which was reassuring because we could see the application doing what it's supposed to do, however Data Rescue doesn't display an estimated remaining time.
Managing found files
When it comes to the management of found files, Data Rescue doesn't offer much more beyond the basics. You can see files grouped into their original folders (when such information is available), preview the supported file formats, and search for specific files, but that's about it.
You can't filter the scan results in any way, and it's not even possible to change how the results are sorted, even though the user interface suggests that such functionality is supported.
Recovery and post-processing
Before you can recover any deleted file found by Data Rescue, you need to select it. To do that, you simply click the checkbox next to it. Data Rescue displays the total number of selected files at the bottom, along with their total size.
Once we had made our selection, we clicked the Recover button and were asked to specify the recovery directory. We confirmed our choice, and Data Rescue displayed a pop-up message, telling us the recovery had been completed.
Data Rescue for Mac – Tutorials and Other Videos
To help you better understand how Data Rescue works, we’ve put together a collection of useful tutorials and other video resources.
Data Rescue for Mac – Full Review
Let’s take a closer look at what Data Rescue can offer as a data recovery software application by evaluating everything from its reputation to its usability and data recovery performance.
Prosoft Engineering, Inc., the developers of Data Rescue, are headquartered in California, and they’ve been around for a long time. You can reach them during standard business hours and speak to one of their US-based representatives.
Data Rescue receives updates fairly often, but the developers have yet to implement native support for Apple Silicon Macs. And because it’s not possible to directly scan system drives on newer Macs, it’s clear that Prosoft Engineering, Inc. is struggling to keep up with the operating system for which they develop their software.
Every 6 months
Available (View full update history)
|4||Latest macOS supported|
Nope, macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) and older
|5||Runs natively on M1 Macs|
Does not support
|6||Genuine or clone?|
|7||Brand name popularity|
|8||Online market share|
|10||Extensive knowledge base|
Data Rescue doesn’t display pricing information on its website, and that alone should make you suspicious. When any software company hides pricing information, there’s usually a good reason. In this case, the reason is simple: Data Rescue is so expensive that most potential customers would turn around immediately.
As a customer, you can choose between paying to recover each file and purchasing an annual subscription to recover an unlimited number of files.
Paying for each recovered file can theoretically be cost effective if you want to recover only one or two files, but experience tells us that it’s usually necessary to recover far more files than that to regain access to important data. What’s more, it takes just a few files for the cost of Data Rescue to exceed the cost of many competing data recovery software tools.
Free demo is available
|4||Is it free?|
Paid license is required to recover files
Per file recovery + unlimited subscription plan
|6||Unlimited recovery in full version|
Yes, with an annual subscription
|8||Commercial rights in the cheapest license|
Data Rescue isn’t a modern data recovery application with a beautiful user interface. The software has been around for a long time, and not all parts have aged equally well (and not all parts have received the same attention from the software’s developers).
Selecting the right storage device is fairly easy (as long as you know which volume you want to scan), but from there it’s a parade of usability issues. For example, Data Rescue doesn’t show the remaining scanning time, and the tool also doesn’t make it easy to browse recoverable files and select the right ones from them.
The Expert mode seems like a lazy way to provide more advanced users with extra options without making the software too complicated for beginners. Many other data recovery software applications are both capable and accessible, so why can’t Data Rescue be the same?
|1||Modern user-friendly interface|
|4||Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction|
|5||Auto-resuming scans of failing drives|
|6||Auto-resuming backups of failing drives|
|7||Convenient source selection on start|
|8||Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items|
|9||Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items|
|10||Mount recoverable items as disk|
|12||Multiple view modes in scan results|
|13||Hex view for recoverable items|
|14||Filter recoverable items by type|
|15||Search recoverable items by file names|
The price of any software application is setting the expectations. Data Rescue is priced like a professional data recovery software tool, but its recovery performance more closely matches a free tool.
The biggest issue we have with Data Rescue is the lack of support for certain commonly used file systems. It doesn’t help that encrypted storage devices are not supported as well, regardless of which file system they use.
As if that wasn’t enough, Data Rescue can’t even scan the system drive on newer Macs without you first booting into Recovery Mode, which is anything but convenient.
|1||Clever in-depth scan|
|Only the HFS+ file system is supported.|
|Some of the most popular file systems, including FAT32, exFAT, and ext4, are either not supported at all or are supported poorly.|
|3||Other types of scan|
|Data Rescue doesn't offer too much when it comes to advanced data recovery capabilities.|
|Except for mobile devices and encrypted drives, the software can scan all storage devices.|
|5||Real-life recovery challenge|
|Data Rescue sometimes performs surprisingly great and sometimes surprisingly poorly.|
|6||Other notable recovery features|
|You can use Data Rescue to create a byte-to-byte copy of any storage device, among other things.|
The ability to restore original folder structure and file names. Most consumer-oriented data recovery software applications can attempt to not only restore deleted files but also recover their original file names and folder structure. We call this type of functionality Clever scan
Data Rescue can recover files with their original names and folder structure only from HFS+ partitions—no other file systems are supported.
Recovery of recently deleted files Every lost minute can significantly worsen the outcome of a data recovery attempt, and Quick scan certainly doesn’t waste your time because it’s designed to find as many recently deleted files as quickly as possible
The Quick scan mode works fine when scanning supported file systems (with the exception of exFAT), but several commonly used file systems are not supported at all.
Other scan types
Advanced scan types for solving complicated data loss situations Basic data recovery algorithms aimed at recovering recently deleted data cover only a small subset of the data loss issues users experience every day. That’s why developers also implement all kinds of advanced scan types
|1||The number of formats supported by deep scan|
|2||Native deep scan of system drives on M1-powered Macs|
|3||Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted Macs|
|4||Native data recovery from local Time Machine snapshots|
|5||Scan for lost partitions|
|6||HFS+ directory rebuild|
|7||Recovered files' labeling|
|8||Partial file recovery|
|9||Disk images: scan and recovery|
Despite the fact that Data Rescue has a special Expert mode that you can activate to reveal additional options, the data recovery software doesn’t offer much in terms of advanced recovery capabilities.
Supported internal and external storage devices Ideally, data recovery software applications should be able to recover from internal and external hard drives, external USB flash drives, memory cards, smartphones, and other commonly used storage devices
|1||Internal and external HDD|
|2||Internal and external SSD|
|3||USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices|
|9||Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD|
|10||Encrypted device support|
Data Rescue doesn’t support mobile devices (of course, you can still remove a memory card from your Android smartphone and scan it directly). Unfortunately, it also doesn’t support encrypted storage devices, which are becoming more and more common.
Real-life recovery challenges
Results of real-life data recovery tests performed under controlled conditions It’s one thing to advertise support for hundreds of file formats, and it’s something else entirely to recover them in practice. Our tests reveal whether the data recovery software lives up to its promises
|1||Raw photo recovery|
|2||Video formats recovery|
|3||Document formats recovery|
Raw photo recovery
The ability to recover raw photo file formats used by digital cameras and mobile devices Most modern digital cameras and increasingly many mobile devices let their users capture raw image data in a variety of raw file formats, so having the ability to recover them can be extremely helpful
|1||3fr (Hasselblad 3F raw image)|
|2||arw (Sony alpha raw)|
|3||bmp (bitmap image file)|
|4||cr2 (Canon raw version 2)|
|5||cr3 (Canon raw version 3)|
|6||crw (Canon raw CIFF image file)|
|7||dcr (Kodak digital camera raw)|
|8||dng (digital negative lossless raw image)|
|9||CinemaDNG (Blackmagic, Penelope, Pocket)|
|10||erf (Epson raw file)|
|11||exr (high dynamic-range file format)|
|12||fff (Hasselblad raw image)|
|13||gpr (GoPro raw format)|
|14||heic (high efficiency image file format)|
|15||iiq (intelligent image quality raw Leaf, Phase One)|
|16||insp (panoramic image Insta360)|
|17||jp2 (bitmap image format JPEG 2000)|
|18||jpg (joint photographic experts group compressed image)|
|19||kdc (Kodak digital camera raw image)|
|20||mef (Mamiya raw image file)|
|21||mos (Leaf and Mamiya raw image file)|
|22||mpo (multi picture stereoscopic object file)|
|23||mrw (Konica Minolta raw image format)|
|24||nef (Nikon raw image file)|
|25||nrw (Nikon raw image file)|
|26||orf (Olympus raw format)|
|27||pef (Pentax raw image file)|
|28||raf (Fujifilm raw image file)|
|29||raw (native digital camera file)|
|30||rw2 (Panasonic LUMIX raw image file)|
|31||rwl (Leica raw image format)|
|32||sr2 (Sony raw 2 image file)|
|33||srf (Sony raw file)|
|34||srw (Samsung raw image file)|
|35||tiff (tag image file format)|
|36||x3f (Sigma camera raw picture file)|
|37||x3i (Sigma super fine detail picture file)|
Strangely, some RAW photo file formats, namely KDC, MEF, and NEF, can be recovered without any struggle, but most other file formats used by modern digital cameras fall through the cracks during scanning.
Video formats recovery
Video recovery performance measured against commonly used video formats Video file formats have evolved a lot during the last decade, and not all recovery software tools support modern formats used by the latest digital cameras, camcorders, and mobile devices
|1||360 (GoPRO 360 degree videos)|
|2||ari (ARRI professional digital video camera)|
|3||arx (ARRI professional digital video camera)|
|4||avi (GoPRO CineForm intermediate codec)|
|5||avi (MJPG, H.264, MSMPEG4 v2 codecs)|
|6||braw (Blackmagic raw video file)|
|7||insv (Insta360 panoramic AVC H.264 video file)|
|8||insv (Insta360 panoramic HEVC HVC1 video file)|
|9||mov (Apple ProRes 422 Proxy/LT/HQ)|
|10||mov (Apple ProRes 4444 Raw/HQ)|
|11||mov (advanced video coding H.264)|
|12||mov (CineForm HD codec)|
|13||mov (HEVC, HVC1 codecs)|
|14||mp4 (advanced video coding H.264)|
|15||mp4 (HEVC, HVC1, Apple ProRes codecs)|
|16||mxf (advanced video coding H.264)|
|17||mxf (DVCPRO HD codec)|
|18||mxf (ARRI raw, Apple ProRes codecs)|
|19||mxf (XDCAM HD422, HD35 MPEG2 codecs)|
|20||r3d (Red digital camera company raw video file)|
|21||wmv (pro raw 9 codec)|
Your experience with Data Rescue will depend greatly on which file format you want to recover. File formats like MP4 or AVI can be recovered easily, but the likes of MOV or WMV will give you trouble.
Document formats recovery
Determining how well the software recovers document file formats Documents are among the most commonly recovered file formats because their importance can be tremendous, especially when they're related to work or school. Because of how many document file formats exist these days, older and less developed data recovery software often struggle recovering and recognizing all of them
|1||accdb (Microsoft Access 2007+ database file)|
|2||key (Apple Keynote)|
|3||pages (Apple Pages)|
|4||numbers (Apple Numbers)|
|5||djvu (compressed image format)|
|6||doc (Microsoft Word 97 – 2003 document file)|
|7||docx (Microsoft Word 2007+ document file)|
|8||fb2 (FictionBook 2.0 File)|
|9||mdb (Microsoft Access 97 - 2003 database file)|
|10||odp (OpenOffice presentation file format)|
|11||ods (OpenDocument spreadsheet file format)|
|12||odt (OpenDocument text document file format)|
|13||pdf (portable document format)|
|14||ppt (Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - 2003 presentation file)|
|15||pptx (Microsoft Powerpoint 2007+ presentation file)|
|16||rtf (rich text format)|
|17||xls (Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 spreadsheet file)|
|18||xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2007+ spreadsheet file)|
Commonly used document file formats, including DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, and XLSX files can be recovered without any serious issues. Less popular document file formats are often not supported, unfortunately.
Other notable recovery features
Additional recovery features and their performance These additional recovery features are what often separates average data recovery software solutions from those that can satisfy the needs of professionals and power users
|1||Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms|
|3||Effectively filters out corrupted scan results|
|4||Byte-to-byte device backups|
|5||Bootable recovery drive creation|
|6||Runs in macOS native recovery mode|
|7||Convenient scan session management|
|8||Bad sector management|
|9||Recovery chance prediction|
|11||Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan|
|13||Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices|
|15||Scan free space only|
|16||Start file recovery without interrupting the scan|
|17||Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan|
Data Rescue focuses on the recovery of lost data, and all available features reflect this. It would be nice to also see at least some data management features because such features can prevent data loss from occurring in the first place.
|1||Disk space mapping|
|2||Disk clean up|
|3||Corrupted video repair tool|
|4||Corrupted photo repair tool|
|5||Time Machine backups parser|
|7||Bootable macOS installer|
|Data Rescue can create a bootable recovery drive. In fact, you need to create one if you want to recover a system drive.|
|9||Built-in disk space secure eraser|
|The Erase Drive/Volume feature allows you to easily erase the selected drive or volume.|
|Data Rescue can clone any storage device, and the feature can be accessed directly from the main menu.|
|11||Disk surface test|
|12||Secure data shredding|
Considering how many data recovery software applications these days come packed with extra features to help their users manage data, the developers of Data Rescue should strongly consider introducing additional extra features to make the software more competitive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the frequently asked questions about Data Rescue.
Data Rescue is a data recovery software application developed by Prosoft Engineering, Inc. The application can be used to recover permanently deleted files from hard drives, external USB flash drives, and other devices.
Yes, Data Rescue is developed by a reputable company, Prosoft Engineering, Inc., and it won’t harm your Mac in any way even though it does require elevated access permissions.
To install Data Rescue on your Mac, you need to:
- Download the free demo version.
- Open the installer image.
- Drag the Data Rescue icon to your Applications folder.
To completely remove Data Rescue, you can use a third-party app uninstaller. Alternatively, you can simply drag the application from the Applications folder to Trash.
To access Data Rescue, open the Applications folder and double-click the Data Rescue icon. Alternatively, you can launch the software using Spotlight.
You can use Data Rescue on your Mac to scan most internal and external storage devices by selecting the Start Recovering Files option.
No, Data Rescue for Mac isn’t free, but there’s a free demo version that you can use to evaluate the application before purchasing a license.
When scanning a fast SSD, the entire scan process shouldn’t take a lot of time, but the same can’t be said about traditional hard drives, which may take over an hour to scan.
To know if Data Rescue has found the files you’re looking for, you need to go through the list for recoverable files. Fortunately, there’s a handy search feature that can help you locate files by name.
To create a recovery disk so that you can recover data from a Mac that refuses to boot properly, launch Data Rescue for Mac and click the Create Recovery Drive button on the welcome screen.