How to Recover Data from an Apple Silicon M1 Mac

By Connie | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on December 17th, 2020 | User rating:

Data loss is not unusual for most of us. It happens when your Mac is not booting up, your mistaken deletion, hard drives are inaccessible, pink screen on your Mac, and so on.

But for Apple Silicon M1 Mac users like you, data loss is very troublesome. The CPU architecture of the M1 chip is vastly different from that of the Intel chips. Consequently, some of the data recovery ways that you used before are not applicable for an M1 Mac now.

How to prevent excessive SSD wear of your M1 Mac?

So how to recover data from an ARM-based M1 Mac? This article will give help you.

Data recovery from an Apple Silicon M1 Mac

For the mistakenly deleted data, you can restore it from the Trash. While for other data loss situations, you can recover data from your M1 Mac via the following ways:

Fix the problems on your disk before recovering data

If data loss due to your M1 Mac won't boot, disks are inaccessible or unmounted, use First Aid to have a disk checking first. First Aid also can fix some of the errors it has found when checking.

When your Mac won't boot:

  • Boot into macOS Recovery mode and choose Disk Utility.
  • Select the target volume on the left-side bar of the Disk Utility window and click First Aid.
  • Use First Aid in Disk Utility to fix disk issues
  • Click Run and then wait for First Aid checking and fixing disk errors.

If your Mac can start up, open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility. Then, run First Aid to check your disk.

Note: First Aid can only fix limited disk errors. So, you have to recover your data when First Aid can't help to fix the disk issues.

Recover data from your ARM-based M1 Mac

Data loss reasons are various. But data recovery ways can be universal. Usually, your data may be lost for the following causes:

  1. You've permanently deleted the data - deleting the data and also clearing up the Trash.
  2. Your M1 Mac won't boot for some reason, such as after a sudden power outage, frequent system crash, and so on.
  3. Volumes on the disk have been deleted, or the disk is inaccessible, formatted, or unmounted.

Luckily, you are able to utilize Time Machine backup, some data recovery software, or other ways to help your recover data.

Make use of the Time Machine backup to recover data

When your Mac won't boot:

You should boot into macOS Recovery mode first:

  • Turn on your M1 Mac and hold the power button.
  • Release the power button until you see the startup options window.
  • Select Options, then click Continue.

When you see the following four options on your screen, it means you've booted into macOS Recovery mode successfully.

macOS Recovery mode of M1 Mac

What to do when macOS Recovery mode not working

  • Connect your external hard drive or USB drive containing the Time Machine backup to your M1 Mac.
  • Select Restore from Time Machine, and then follow the instructions to restore your Mac.

On the other hand, you can utilize Migration Assistant to restore your Time Machine backup when your Mac can start up.

After restoring your Mac with Time Machine backup, you'll find that the lost or inaccessible data is back.

Use data recovery software for M1 Mac (The simplest & most useful way)

But for some of you who don't have a Time Machine backup, recovering lost data with the aid of some data recovery software is the last choice.

As the ARM-based M1 chip integrated the data security feature of the T2 chip, some of you may think that the M1 chip has the same data protection function as an Apple T2 Security Chip. But in fact, it's much more than that- an M1 Mac with far higher security than a T2-equipped Mac and other Macs.

Apple's system-on-chip (SoC), also the M1 chip, contains the newest generation of Secure Enclave. As a secure coprocessor, the Secure Enclave supplies CPU hardware-level isolation and memory encryption on every server. Besides, the Apple Silicon M1 chip also includes hardware verified secure boot and a high-performance storage controller with AES encryption hardware. And all these new security features are deeply built into the code execution architecture of M1.

Moreover, due to the M1 Macs are delivered with macOS 11 Big Sur, the new System Extensions and Sealed System Volume designed on macOS Big Sur has highly enhanced the security of M1 Mac too.

M1 chip and macOS Big Sur offer the advanced security

So, data recovery from an M1 Mac is distinct and becomes tougher than from Intel-based Macs. And it is also why the data recovery software you've used is inapplicable for your M1 Mac now. You have to abandon the prior data recovery software and pick up a new one.

iBoysoft Data Recovery Software for Mac is a decent choice. iBoysoft is an identified developer that trusted by Apple. Its data recovery software has been updated to support M1 Macs with macOS Big Sur.

Tips: Data recovery from Apple M1 Mac's internal hard drive is under development. If you have this needs, please contact [email protected]

Here are some of the features of iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac:

  • Support Apple Silicon M1 Mac.
  • Fully compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple T2 chip.
  • Support APFS, encrypted APFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 file systems.
  • Recover lost data after Mac won't boot.
  • Recover lost data from corrupted, unmountable, unreadable drive.
  • Recover lost photos, documents, files, videos, audio, emails, etc. from Macintosh HD and various external drives.

And the way to operate iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is very simple.

When your Mac can start up:

  • Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on Mac.
  • Open iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and select the target hard drive.
  • Click Scan, and then preview the searching results.
  • Select the desired data and click Recover.

When your Mac won't boot, you need to run iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac in macOS Recovery mode.

Other data recovery methods

Apart from the above ways, if you have a disk image, you can also use the Restore feature in Disk Utility to recover data from your non-system volumes. And you can also use the Migration Assistant feature on a healthy Mac to transfer data from your M1 Mac to the healthy Mac.

As data loss happens from time to time, it's better for you to back up your Mac with Time Machine on routine. But for those without a Time Machine backup, this article also offers other ways to help you recover the lost data.

external hard drive

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