Mac Data Recovery Software 2017 Reviews Rating: 9,6/10 3924 reviews

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery (for Mac)

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This free data recovery programming Mac can recover data from Mac note pads, desktops, hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, memory cards, computerized cameras, and so forth. It deals with inward drives bolstered by HFS+, and on FAT/FAT32 file frameworks utilized as a part of USB streak drives and outside hard drives associated with an Apple PC. Jan 13, 2017  January 13, 2017 NETWORK TECH WORLD Mac Data Recovery Software Review – The Best Mac Photo Recovery Software. Recuperating lost/formatted or erased data from Mac based systems takes a utility that has been specifically created for Mac file recovery. Stellar’s Mac File recovery software fulfils this demand effectively.

Editor Rating: Good (3.5)

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  • Pros

    • Recovered more original file names than competitors.
    • Simple to use.
  • Cons

    • Repairing volumes requires the utility's Platinum edition.
    • Would benefit from advanced filtering.
    • License transfer is onerous.
    • Ineffective for recovering files on solid-state hard drives.
  • Bottom Line

    While it doesn't provide the most sophisticated tools for filtering recovery results, Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery offers an easy on-ramp to Mac data recovery.

Whether you've lost data from an internal or external hard drive, a Windows Boot Camp partition, or an Apple Time Capsule, Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery will help recover it. With a host of scans and extensive file signature support, this data recovery utility scans disks, recovers lost partitions, and recoups documents, photos, and music. While it doesn't provide the most sophisticated tools for filtering recovery results, the $99 Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery offers an easy on-ramp to Mac data recovery.

Pricing and Licenses

On the Mac side, there are two versions of the software, Data Recovery and the Platinum Edition. I tested Data Recovery, though some users might find enough value in Platinum's volume optimization features to warrant the added cost. Windows users can choose from Data Recovery Professional ($99) or Data Recovery Professional Bundle ($199). By default, licenses are single-user affairs, with open-license Technician versions tallying $350 on the Mac and $299 on the PC.

While Stellar Phoenix hits the sweet spot in terms of pricing, its approach to licensing leaves much to be desired. The single-user license is only accessible on one desktop at a time, meaning that if, like me, you want to install the utility on a second desktop, you will need to use the license transfer feature. You must export the license from the first desktop and import the license onto the second using lengthy registration ID and license keys. As Disk Drill, Data Rescue, and DiskWarrior demonstrate, it doesn't need to be this complicated.


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The Ground Floor

I tested Stellar Phoenix alongside four other recovery utilities using two Macs: an early-2015 MacBook Pro and a late-2014 Mac Mini. Both systems run the same version of macOS Sierra . The MacBook Pro features a 120GB solid-state drive (SSD), whereas the Mac Mini uses a 500GB hard disk drive (HDD). To ensure uniform testing, I deleted the same files on both machines two weeks prior to testing. In the interest of testing real world usage, I selected six common file types (DOC, XLS, PDF, JPG, MP3, and MP4).

I opted to test both an SSD and HDD because of the challenges solid-state drives present for data recovery software. The issue is a command called TRIM, which zeroes out the parts of the drive where deleted files are stored. By clearing sectors that are no longer in use, TRIM extends the lifespan of a SSD, but it also greatly reduces the efficacy of data recovery utilities. There is, however, a possibility that utilities can retrieve recently deleted files. While I will touch on unique features, this review focuses heavily on the utility's advanced scan recovery.

Data Recovery

The interface is fairly straightforward. On the main screen, you can either initiate a new scan or resume a saved one. Selecting Start a New Scan reveals a second screen from which you can run three functions: scan a drive for lost or deleted volumes (Scan Lost/Deleted Volumes); recover photos or data from a severely corrupted device (Raw Recovery); or clone a drive for posterity (Create Image).

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery 7

I tested the first two functions on my SSD, but to little avail. Scanning for lost or deleted partitions returned no results. Next, I selected the most granular data recovery option (Raw Recovery/Recover Everything). After about 12 minutes, Stellar Phoenix again returned with zero results. This isn't terribly surprising: data recovery software isn't well-suited for SSDs, and even Data Rescue and Disk Rescue were unable to retrieve my intentionally deleted files.

I had more success on my HDD. To produce the greatest number of results, I ran Stellar Phoenix's advanced scan, which seeks as many files as possible, even if a drive has been initialized or formatted. The tradeoff is time: Running the scan required about two days. However, this HDD is heavily fragmented, and I ran the utility alongside three others. To put that scan time in context, Stellar Phoenix took about as long as CleverFiles Disk Drill Pro 3 , but certainly longer than Seagate Premium File Recovery Suite.

With support for 122 unique file signatures, Stellar Phoenix supports more file types than Seagate Premium File Recovery Suite (which supports 60), but fewer than Disk Drill (357). The utility identified and retrieved approximately 66GB of files, comparable to that of Data Rescue (73GB). Stellar Phoenix also returned more original file names than its peers, which helped to compensate for the utility's lackluster filtering.

By default, the utility filters files by volume and file type. For example, when I opened the Document folder I found subfolders for .ppt, .pptx, .doc, .docx, .pdf, and several others. The Photos folder, meanwhile, parsed eight different file types. The utility also includes a somewhat sluggish search feature and the ability to preview images without leaving the application (via OS X Quick Look).

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While I pined for Disk Drill's advanced filtering, I was able to successfully locate and recover four of my six intentionally deleted files. It's also possible that Stellar Phoenix recovered other files, but finding them in a corpus of more than half a million is no small feat.

Extra Features

The utility supports recovery from encrypted disks, Time Machine backups (including Apple's Time Capsule), and Boot Camp partitions. Similar to Data Rescue, Stellar Phoenix emphasizes clone functionality, which lets you clone drives for further analysis. It's not a quick process—it took several hours for me to export a 120GB copy of my SSD to an external drive—but it's a good best practice, particularly if a drive is malfunctioning. Also, like Disk Drill, Stellar Phoenix includes S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, though the utility doesn't exactly advertise the feature. Whereas Disk Drill offers a menu bar item, Stellar Phoenix requires you to right-click on a drive, select Drive Information, and open a Smart Status tab.

There are a couple of tricks I would like to see Stellar Phoenix learn from its competitors. Unlike Data Rescue and Disk Drill, Stellar Phoenix doesn't let you create a bootable drive in case of emergency. (That said, the boxed version does include a bootable CD.) This isn't a deal-breaker—Seagate doesn't include it either—but it does offer some peace of mind. Furthermore, Stellar Phoenix lets you repair volumes, but it'll cost you; the feature is only included with a more expensive Platinum ($198) version of the software. Given the added cost, you would do well to purchase the Editors' Choice award-winning Alsoft DiskWarrior 5 if they need to perform general drive maintenance on a Mac.

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery 7

A Fine Tool

Stellar Phoenix cannot rival Disk Drill's advanced filtering or Data Rescue's in-house recovery services. The Platinum edition won't unseat DiskWarrior when it comes to repairing Mac volumes. However, for those looking to expand recovery results and limit the learning curve, Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery offers an attractive entry point to data recovery.

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