What to Look for in Mac File Recovery Software

If you have an Apple Mac computer, then you should know that it isn’t 100% magical, and like other computers, it is subject to the nuances and vagaries of any other complex computing system. For example, you may need to recover a file from time to time. We’ll cover the ins and outs of that process in this article.

Mac file recovery software is needed when file loss occurs as a result of a power flicker, a frozen internet data stream, a computer virus, an abnormal shutdown of your Mac, a foreign object, accidental file deletion and more. No matter the how, the end result is that you’ll need some file recovery.

Knowing you have indeed lost one or more files, quick remedial actions are in order. You have a small window of opportunity to recover the file(s) since your Mac operating system directs your hard disk to overwrite the allocated file storage area once any new file of equal size is created for storage.

There are quite a few third-party programs for Mac file recovery. Affordable programs are in plentiful supply over the Internet and in stores. Such programs help you recover accidentally deleted files on good system volumes or lost files on corrupted system volumes of varying types including; HFS, FAT, HFS+, HFS Wrapper and HFSX.

Freeware can be found on the Internet to help you find deleted, but recoverable files removed from your trash bin. But be vigilant because some freeware is actually malware. The other ‘gotchya’ is that the ‘free’ part of freeware only allows you to find the lost files, but not actually recover them. You would have to pay a small registration fee to actually recover the file(s). If the program finds the file(s) but cannot recover them, you may (sometimes) be able to get a refund. Small consolation for important lost files but it’s better than nothing.

All Mac file recovery programs start with a scan of your system volume, your hard disk. File fragments, data and file and folder names will be displayed when found. Some programs allow you to view the file contents in case you don’t remember then based on just the file name alone. You can also direct where the files are to be recovered.

Note that photos, emails and data files can all be recovered so long as they have not had an equivalent file stored overwriting the ability to recover. Remember, the longer you take to act losing some files, the more likely the recover operation will not work, no matter how good the software is.

Frederic Lawrence is a freelance writer who writes about web applications, music, technology, computer hardware and software such as disk cleaners and of course, file recovery.