Apple Data Recovery Services vs. Data Recovery Software

By Jenny | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on October 28th, 2021 |

Summary: Do Genius Bars located on offline Apple Stores perform data recovery? This post explains Apple hard drive data recovery services and introduces you to five of the best data recovery software in 2021.

Apple Genius Bar data recovery vs. data recovery software

If your MacBook happens to be experiencing malfunctions, the first thing that pops up on your head is likely Apple Support.

Within the limited 1-year warranty or Apple Care services, Apple will help you solve the problem online or offline in the Genius Bar but not necessarily restore the data you lost.

In fact, data recovery isn't in Apple's service package. In this post, we give you more details about data recovery at Apple Genius Bar vs. third-party software, as well as some of the best Apple data recovery software in the present.

Apple Genius Bar Data Recovery

Apple Genius Bar offers a free consultation about software and hardware problems on your MacBook and other Apple products.

The cost of Apple hard drive recovery services depends on the problem you are experiencing, and it won’t cost a lot if your warranty is still valid or you have signed up for Apple Care.

But what about data recovery? Does a Genius Bar do data recovery?

We contacted Apple support and found that they only provide data recovery service when you have a backup. That's to say, when you go to a Genius Bar to fix a Mac problem, in which case may cause data loss; Apple will solve the problem but leave you to figure out how to recover the data you lost during repairs.

Also, the cost for data recovery is not covered in the warranty.

They do have an exception for users to recover data from dead MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar in 2016 and 2017. A special tool allows Genius Bars and Apple Authorized service providers to transfer data from the failed drive to a functioning MacBook Pro in the case of logic board failure.

But that doesn’t mean it succeeds at every recovery.

Since Apple doesn’t have to recover or back up your data, you should always keep a copy of your data before sending it to a store for repair.

Apple Genius Bar Data Recovery vs. Data Recovery Software

We know that Apple Genius Bar is the right place for problem diagnosis and fixing but doesn't help much with data recovery. So, where else can we turn to?

After confirming the problem with a Genius or other service providers, you can pick your next step. Unfortunately, if it is a hardware failure, you need to visit a data recovery lab to get the files back, which may cost you thousands of dollars.

For most cases, it's a logical failure, and then third-party data recovery software would be the best choice. Data recovery software also costs a lot less than professional data recovery services in the lab.

It's typically free to scan the hard drive, and the software will present you the results to know whether you can restore the files you want and how much storage you need to store the recovered files.

Some data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery also provides free recovery up to 1 GB so that you can get a test of the software.

Best Mac Data Recovery Software in 2021

Here we list some of the excellent MacBook Data Recovery software in 2021 based on the following factors, and hopefully, you can find the right one for you.

Functionality: The most significant feature of data recovery software should be its ability to recover lost files. You should also consider the types of storage devices the software can work with.

Efficiency: Powered by an advanced algorithm, good data recovery software should be able to get your files back as soon as it can.

Interface: Some software is more friendly with beginners, while some are made for command-line users and professionals. We will notify you in the list.

Security: Downloading software may expose your Mac to viruses or information leakage. Therefore, you should choose one that won’t write to your drive and update regularly.

Price: There is a wide range of prices for data recovery software. Some are free such as Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery, but others may cost around $90. But the freeware is often not maintained and works less efficiently and effectively than a paid one.

List of five best Mac Data Recovery Software in 2021

1. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac makes it easy for people to recover lost and deleted files on a wide variety of storage devices. It shines at its ability to recover files from a Mac that won’t boot without going through the trouble of creating a bootable USB drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac provides two scan modes: Quick Scan for deleted files and Deep Scan for formatted drives, lost partitions and old files buried on the drive.

It permits you to pause the scanning process and resume whenever you want. When the scan is complete, there are effective filters to help you find the files that matter. Besides, it has a success rate of up to 99%.

Download it and start your free recovery now!

iBoysoft Data Recovery scan results
  • Pros:
  • Free 1 GB data recovery
  • Free scan and preview recoverable data
  • Easy to use
  • Supports T2, M1 Mac, M1 Pro, and M1 Max
  • Practical for all kinds of data loss scenarios
  • Quick & Deep scans to optimize results
  • Recover files from Mac Recovery Mode
  • The scanned sessions can be saved and reloaded
  • Cons:
  • Deep Scan takes a long time to finish

Price: $89.95/month; $99.95/year

Compatibility: All macOS versions from OS X 10.7 Lion to the latest macOS 12 Monterey

Free version: Free scan and preview contents; 1 GB free recovery

2. PhotoRec for Mac

PhotoRec for Mac is a free tool that provides a command-line interface to recover files from all versions of macOS. It is the best freeware so far, with other free tools either have limited support for macOS or file formats.

PhotoRec Data Recovery Terminal window
  • Pros:
  • Free and unlimited data recovery
  • Supports major file types and file systems
  • Supports macOS, Windows and Linux operating systems
  • Cons:
  • Command-line interface
  • Files recovered have generic names and need to be renamed

Price: Completely free

Compatibility: All versions of Mac OS X

Free version: Free, unlimited recovery

3. Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery

Lazesoft Mac Data Recovery is another freeware that supports various file formats. It functions with fast and deep scan options to help you restore lost and deleted files.

It hasn't been updated for years, but people reported success when running it on macOS Catalina. So it is worth a try if you are looking for free software.

Lazesoft Data Recovery scan results
  • Pros:
  • Free Mac data recovery tool
  • Preview recoverable data
  • Designed for Mac operating systems
  • Can recover formatted drives and deleted partitions
  • Cons:
  • Hasn't been updated since macOS 10.9

Price: Completely free

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.9

Free version: Free, unlimited recovery

4. R-Studio for Mac

R-Studio for Mac is a full-featured recovery tool tailored for professionals and advanced Mac users. It can repair damaged RAID implementations and perform network data recovery.

It can be challenging for an inexperienced user to locate the specific features in its interface but valuable for professionals to access its hexadecimal editor or disk copy module.

R-Studio Data Recovery window
  • Pros:
  • Repair damaged RAID drives
  • S.M.A.R.T Monitoring
  • Recover all kinds of files from disk-based storage devices
  • Cons:
  • Too complicated for average users
  • Features are difficult to locate

Price: $79.99 for general Mac users; $179.99 for network recovery

Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.5 to macOS 11 Big Sur

Free version: Free scan and preview files

5. Disk Drill for Mac

Disk Drill is a paid tool that helps people restore accidentally deleted files and folders. Just like iBoysoft Data Recovery, it’s also easy to use and offers quick and deep scan modes. However, Disk Drill doesn’t provide free trials for users.

Disk Drill Data Recovery interface
  • Pros:
  • Intuitive interface
  • Free scanning and preview
  • Scan results can be mounted as a virtual disk
  • Combined with other tools such as cleaning and disk health monitor
  • Cons:
  • No free recovery
  • No telephone support

Price: $89

Compatibility: All macOS versions from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to macOS 12 Monterey

Free version: Free scan and preview files; no free recovery

FAQ about Apple Hard Drive Data Recovery Services

1. Does Apple charge for data recovery?

Apple doesn’t officially provide data recovery services. You can ask online support, and they will tell you that they only offer data recovery service when you have a backup. But if you do have a backup, you can recover files yourself.

2. Is data recovery expensive?

Data recovery will cost you a lot if your hard drive has physical damage, expecting $700 - $2000. But if it's a software problem, you can choose a third-party software that will cost around $90 for a decent one.

3. What is the best data recovery software for Mac?

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is Mac's best-paid data recovery software due to its security, functionality, and outstanding performance.