How to Recover Data from External Hard Drive Mac?

How to recover data from external hard drive mac? Simply download and use 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery to recover files from external hard drive mac.

5 mins read

Updated on 2024-04-17 15:09:45 to Hard Drive

The use of an external hard drive to backup all information from our computers is a common practice among Mac users. Many people commonly use external hard drive devices to keep their vital information protected and safe. But external hard drive recovery Mac is a real headache when you lose data from the external hard drive for various reasons like mistakenly deleted files, virus infection, formatted drive, and more. So in this article, we are going to show you how to recover data from external hard drive on Mac in 4 ways.

how to recover data from externan hard drive Mac

Part 1: Main Causes of External Drive Data Loss Causes

The main cause of data loss, whether from internal or external devices, is human error. Nobody is perfect and is prone to mistakes. One person handling many data and simultaneously making changes can make mistakes once in a while; that is pretty normal.

Data processing involves many operations like typing, editing, updating, and deleting. The regular processing and usage of data devices result in various causes of data loss. Let us see the main causes of data loss from external drives followed by external hard drive recovery Mac.

  • Accidental deletion: One wrong click, and you can lose your precious data forever. If you did not have the backup of your data, it means you can never get your hands on that. Please follow a proper and regular data backup.
  • Hardware damage: External hard drive recovery Mac is impossible if the external drive is damaged. A hard drive soaked in liquids like water, coffee, juices, milk, or any other drink can make the data inside corrupt and inaccessible. Physical damage of an external drive-through breakage, fire, a short circuit could also result in permanent data loss. There is no way you can restore an external hard drive Mac.
  • Theft: The rate of data loss through theft can be quite high. External hard drives are portable thus vulnerable to theft. Furthermore, data can also get stolen digitally through hacking.
  • Software corruption & computer viruses: Failure in file editing software while updating multiple files can make some files fail to save or update. Data can also get lost during backup if the system fails to create copies of the files and folders. The conversion of file formats leads to data corruption and loss too. Computer viruses can infiltrate and damage data stored in external drives connected to network systems. Viruses can steal, corrupt, encrypt or delete important data.
  • Internal and external hardware impairment: Physical or mechanical faults can result from misuse or mishandling of the external devices leading to irretrievable data loss. External impairment reasons are overheating, water and fire, power failure, human abuse, or improper connection. Internal impairment could be firmware corruption, read/write head failure, and corruption of bad sectors.

Part 2: Video Tutorial on How to Recover Data from External Hard Drive on Mac?

How to recover files from an external hard drive Mac? Mac users have asked this question many times, and the answer is more than just yes! But first stop using your external drive immediately to avoid overwriting the data and seek a reliable recovery tool- Tenorshare 4DDiG.


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Part 3: How to Recover Data from External Hard Drive on Mac in 4 Ways

Solution 1: Recover External Hard Drive on Mac from Trash Bin

To recover data from external hard drive Mac check the Trash Bin first. When you drag the files to trash or right-click on them to move to trash, they are most probably not permanently removed until you emptied the trash. Let's do it step by step.

  • Attach your external hard drive to the system and go to the trash.
  • Find the lost files in the folder.
  • To recover files from the external hard drive Mac, start copying them and paste wherever you want.
  • Use the "Put Back" command to do the same and automatically save the files in their original location.

    recover data from external hard drive Mac
  • Advantages:
  • Disadvantages:
    • If you found the files in the trash, it will save your time and energy.
    • Suppose you emptied the trash before restoring the files. In that case, you will need to run recovery software to restore external hard drive Mac.

Solution 2: Restore External Hard Drive on Mac from a Backup File

Another useful way to recover deleted files is from the backup file. Mac grants its users the privilege of backing up valuable external hard drive data files to iCloud with a built-in Time Machine feature.

  • Enter Time Machine.
  • Locate the file you lost in the backup.
  • Press Space Bar to preview.
  • Click on the "Cloud" icon to download.
  • Click "Restore" to recover the chosen file.

    restore from Time Machine
  • Advantages:
  • Disadvantages:
    • It is a good way to restore external hard drive Mac through back up where you don't have to rush for other options. The macOS has a handy Time machine to backup your data automatically.
    • You need to turn on the Time Machine manually and link it to the iCloud. Internet is also a must to make backups. Otherwise, the data will not get backed up on the cloud.

Solution 3: Use Mac External Hard Drive Recovery Software

External hard drive recovery on Mac gets challenging when you can not find your lost data in the trash folder of your system. No data files on backup means you need to run a data recovery tool to restore external hard drive Mac.

For this purpose, the best available tool in the market is 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery that is free too. Following are the reasons it is recommended to recover data from external hard drive Mac.

  • Support to recover file types like images, videos, audios, docuemnts and more from external hard drive on Mac.
  • Support external HDD brands such as Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Maxone, Iomega, Silicon and more.
  • Support macOS like macOS Monterey, macOS BigSur 11.0, macOS 10.15 and below
  • Support data recovery from other devices including HDD, USB, SD Card, SSD, digital camera, and more.
  • 100% reliable and no tech knowledge is required.

Install 4DDiG-Mac in your system that is available at their website for free. Follow the 3 steps and get your valuable data in no time.


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  • Select a Location

    Launch 4DDiG-Mac and choose a location like your external hard drive to start recovery. Then click the "Scan" button to start looking up all lost files.

    4ddig mac select location
  • Scan and Preview

    Once the scan is completed, all deleted files will be list down in front of you to preview and restore your desired ones.

    4ddig mac scan files in external hard drive
  • Recover files from external hard drive Mac

    Click the "Recover" button and select a location to save found files.

    4ddig mac recover files external hard drive
  • Advantages:
  • Disadvantages:
    • This recovery tool has unlimited benefits, and it works like an expensive recovery tool. However, it is available free of cost. It is easy to use, 100 percent authentic, and it recovers almost each and every type of data lost from your Mac devices.
    • You will need to disable SIP first to allow access to Mac files if you need to recover data from macOS High Sierra and later systems.

Solution 4: Try Manual External Hard Drive Recovery Service

Suppose you have tried everything to recover files from external hard drive Mac, including data recovery software, and still did not succeed. In that case, it's time to send it to a manual data recovery expert.

Try Manual Data Recovery Service to Recover External Hard Drive

  • Advantages:
  • Disadvantages:
    • Data recovery guarantee after analysis.
    • Time Consuming, expense required, and you need to research before trusting to hand over your device.

Part 4: How to Protect External Drive Data and Avoid Data Loss?

It is best to be careful then worry after the damage. Try following tips and avoid the data loss in the first place.

  • Be very careful before deleting files or formatting the external hard drive.
  • Correctly eject the hard drive.
  • Avoid physical damage due to any reason.
  • Stay away from the virus attack.
  • Back up important data using Cloud.

Video Tutorial: How to Fix and Recover Data from External Hard Drive Not Recognized on Mac?


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Part 5: Frequently Asked Questions about Mac External Hard Drive

1. How much does it cost to recover data from an external hard drive on Mac?

Suppose you are using a free data recovery tool. In that case, it won't cost you anything, except for the manual hard drive repair that depends upon the damage and analysis.

The average cost of offline external hard drive data recovery on Mac is from zero to thousands of dollars which differs greatly depending on the situation. But if your are seeking for oneline data recovery tools, Tenorshare 4DDiG is the best bet which charges only $55.95.

2. Is it possible to recover files from a corrupted hard drive?

Yes you can try the recovery tool first if not get your desired results then consult to a professional who is a pro in repairing the corrupted external hard drive to recover data.

3. Can I recover data after formatting the hard drive?

Yes it is possible with a good recovery tool like Tenorshare 4DDiG to recover your data even after formatting the external hard drive.


There are four ways to recover files from external hard drive Mac that involves real hard work to check one by one which will work for you. It is better to protect your device and use reliable recovery software like 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery to completely restore the external hard drive.

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

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