Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips

[Solved] How to recover data from crashed/dead MacBook Pro?

Updated on Tuesday, July 12, 2022

iBoysoft author Vain Rowe

Written by

Vain Rowe
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

How to recover data from crashed/dead MacBook Pro?

Summary: This article summarizes 4 ways to get your Mac files off a dead MacBook Pro. Using iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is the easiest and most reliable way.

enrecover data from dead MacBook Pro

Table of Contents:

You probably have never thought that one day your hard disk SMART status reads Failing, and then the MacBook Pro will keep crashing and eventually become dead or unbootable, while unfortunately, it just happens. Then, your Mac won't turn on at all. At that time, you cannot access data on your Mac.

You might have searched ways about MacBook hard drive data recovery from the Internet. To be honest, it's not easy to recover data from an unbootable MacBook.

However, this post offers some stepwise and efficient solutions for recovering data from a dead MacBook Pro. Are you ready? Following the complete guide and you'll become a data recovery expert.

Recover data from dead MacBook Pro

How to recover data from dead MacBook Pro?

Believe that the files on that dead MacBook Pro really mean something to you while recovering them seems so tough. Actually, there have ways.

Solution 1: Use iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover data from dead MacBook Pro (Easiest)

Maybe you have learned that Mac file recovery software is the best solution to retrieve your files from an unbootable Mac. But do you really know what's the best and safest one? Indeed, some data recovery software even will damage your original data on Mac.

Here are some necessary characteristics of the qualified MacBook Pro data recovery software:

  • Compatible with your Mac operating system (Even the current macOS 12 Monterey)
  • Only read data on Mac and won't destroy it
  • Easy and intuitive operating procedure
  • Powerful ability to recover lost data in different situations

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery software is such a useful and safe data recovery software.

To recover data from a dead MacBook Pro with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, there is no need to create a bootable drive for running the program. But almost all the other data recovery software requires you to do so. It's troublesome to find another working Mac to create a bootable USB drive. Right?

With iBoysoft data recovery software, all you need to do is boot your dead MacBook Pro in macOS Recovery mode. Then, rescue data from the MacBook within a few clicks.

To help you know every step clearly, here is the video about how to use iBoysoft Mac data recovery software when Mac won't boot.

 Recover data from Mac that won't turn on 

Or, you can also follow these steps to recover data from your dead MacBook Pro:

Step 1: Shut down your Mac.

Step 2: Restart your Mac and immediately hold down Command + Option + Shift + R keys to boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

Step 3: Choose a network for your Mac. You need to make your Mac connected to the Internet all the time.

Step 4: Select Utilities > Terminal. Type in the following command lines and then hit Enter to launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac through iBoysoft Server:

sh <(curl http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh

Open Terminal

Step 5: Select the MacBook Pro hard drive after launching iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and click Next.   
(This program will start scanning for the lost files on the drive.)

Step 6: Preview the scanning results and choose the files you want to get back.

Step 7: Click Recover and find a different location to store the recovered files.

If you still have problems in practice, watch the video above, which is easier to follow.


Solution 2: Create a bootable installer and recover data from dead MacBook Pro (Complex)

If you only have this crashed MacBook Pro, data recovery is hard. But there still has a method. That is to boot the dead MacBook Pro with a bootable USB drive first, and then get data off the Mac hard drive.

Creating a bootable installer is the crux. You should prepare some stuff and the process is very complex.

Here is what you need: a healthy Mac, a USB drive, and a cable.

Next, get down to create a bootable USB drive:

  1. Download the macOS installer from the App store on the working Mac.      

    Note: Don't proceed to install macOS at this time, just download the installer.
  2. Connect your USB drive to the Mac and open Terminal (Finder > Applications > Utilities).
  3. Type one of the following command to create a bootable installer (Replace "MyVolume" with the name of your bootable USB drive).      

    macOS Big Sur:  sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume  macOS Catalina:  sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume  macOS Mojave:  sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume  

Or you can find other macOS versions from support.apple.com.

Now, you have a bootable USB macOS installer. Next, use it to boot up your dead MacBook Pro.

  1. Plug the USB drive into your MacBook Pro.
  2. Restart your Mac while pressing down the Option key.
  3. Release the key when seeing the startup disk options.
  4. Choose the external USB drive and click Restart.
    Select the bootable external drive as the startup disk

Then, your MacBook Pro will startup. At that time, open Finder and check if the MacBook Pro hard drive is accessible.

In terms of past experience, it won't. But you can use the data recovery software to rescue files from the corrupted, inaccessible, or unmounted MacBook Pro hard drive.

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your MacBook Pro.

Step 2: Scan the MacBook Pro hard drive and preview the scanning results.

recover lost data from macOS drive

Step 3: Select the desired files and click Recover.

Within a few clicks, you'll recover lost data from the MacBook Pro hard drive.

Solution 3: Recover data from crashed MacBook Pro with another Mac (Risky)

If you have another working Mac, it is also possible to recover data from the dead MacBook Pro with its assistance of it.

In brief, this way requires your MacBook hard drive works as an external hard drive to be connected to the healthy Mac. Uh, a little bit of a problem, isn't it?

The preparations: a screwdriver, an external hard drive enclosure, and a USB connection cable.

The possible risks you should know before taking action:

  • As you should take out the built-in internal hard drive from your dead MacBook, your MacBook Pro will be damaged.
  • If the MacBook Pro's internal hard drive was dead due to a virus attack, your healthy Mac will be influenced too.
  • If you are not an expert in Mac machines, you may fail to connect the MacBook hard drive to another Mac.

If you can accept these negative consequences, go on following the detailed steps.

  1. Open your MacBook Pro case and remove the hard drive carefully.
  2. Put your MacBook hard drive into the external hard drive enclosure.
  3. Connect the MacBook hard disk to the healthy Mac.

Whoops, what a way with full of the risk! It's all for your sake to use a data recovery tool rather than taking out the built-in MacBook Pro hard drive for data recovery.

Solution 4: Using Target Disk Mode to recover data from dead MacBook Pro (Failure-prone)

Target Disk Mode, a boot mode on Mac, enables a Mac to behave like an external hard drive for another Mac. It is used to transfer files between two Macs.

But things aren't that simple. You need another healthy Mac, and use the Thunderbolt or Firewire cable to connect the two Mac computers. Besides, disable FileVault on the working Mac.

After connecting, press the power button of your dead MacBook Pro while holding down the T button. Your dead MacBook will show on your healthy Mac. But as there are some issues with your MacBook Pro hard drive, usually it may not show up on the healthy Mac.

Whatever, for the sake of unnecessary hassle, use the data recovery software to do the data recovery task.


How to repair and restore the dead MacBook Pro hard drive?

After recovering data from the crashed MacBook Pro, you can fix your dead MacBook Pro without worrying about data loss. Then, when your MacBook Pro can boot up, restore your MacBook Pro with the recovered data.

Fix your dead MacBook Pro with some basic solutions

  • Reset PRAM/NVRAM.
  • Reset SMC.
  • Boot in Safe Mode.
  • Repair with Disk Utility in macOS Recovery mode.

Erase the MacBook Pro hard drive & reinstall macOS

Nevertheless, if the solutions above are failed to fix the MacBook that is dead, another solution is to erase the MacBook Pro hard drive and reinstall macOS.

 Note: Reformat will fix the file system corruption and ERASE YOUR DATA, therefore, make sure you have recovered files from the crashed MacBook Pro with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac at first.

  1. Reboot the Mac with Command + R keys pressed so that you can boot the Mac in macOS Recovery mode.
  2. Select Disk Utility and then click on the Macintosh (or named macOS) volume.
  3. Click on Erase at the upper menu bar, then fill in the Name, Format, and Scheme boxes.
  4. Click Erase to confirm the erasure process.
  5. Right-click the Macintosh-Data (or named macOS-Data) volume and select Delete APFS Volume.

Next, go back to the macOS Utilities window and select the Reinstall macOS utility. Follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall macOS. Then, your MacBook Pro can boot up again.

FAQs about MacBook Pro data recovery


Yes, but with some conditions. The deleted files are recoverable only when they are not overwritten by other data. Therefore, stop doing any further operation on your drive until you get your files back.


No. Files on dead MacBook Pro can be recovered by Mac data recovery software only when your hard drive is not physically damaged. For example, if the drive has serious bad sectors or the drive has been broken, no software can help.


Yes. Since 2016, the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has used SSD that is directly soldered to the computer's logic board and people are wondering can they recovered lost data in this case? In fact, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can recover lost data from corrupted APFS SSD with ease.


It depends on whether the files on this drive are important for you or not. If they are too valuable to be lost, you can send the MacBook Pro to a local data recovery lab for help, which will cost much usually. Or if they are not, you can replace the drive with a new system drive.