How To Download and Use Ddrescue for Windows/Mac

Here’s how to download and use Ddrescue-GUI on Windows and Mac and its best alternative.

Part 1. Can You Use DDRescue on Windows or Mac?

Yes, it is possible to use GNU DDRescue on Windows and Mac operating systems. However, it is not a native data recovery tool for those systems, so additional setup is required. On Windows, you can use a program to install ddrescue and run it as you would on a Linux system. You can use a package manager on Mac to easily install and manage command-line tools, including DDRescue.

As DDRescue is a command line tool, it may require some technical knowledge to use it and interpret its output, even if you can run it on Windows or Mac.

Part 2. Overview of DDRescue-GUI

ddrescue gui interface

DDRescue-GUI is an open-source graphical user interface front-end for GNU DDRescue. It is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the GNU ddrescue command-line tool. DDRescue-GUI is designed to make it easier to use ddrescue and to provide a more user-friendly interface for data recovery. It is multi-platform, supporting Linux, macOS, and Windows.


The developer of GNU DDRescue is Antonio Diaz Diaz. He is a software developer and a member of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).


Some of the features of GNU DDRescue include:

  • DDRescue-GUI can use a recovery map file (previously known as a log file), which means that if your system crashes during recovery, you can resume where you left off.
  • Multiple passes overdrives to get the easiest-to-read data first, direct disk access, and disk-to-disk recovery.
  • Although it was designed for Linux, DDRescue can also run on macOS and Windows, which makes it even more impressive.
  • Recover data from failing or damaged storage devices.
  • Works in multiple file systems, including NTFS, FAT, ext2, ext3, and ext4.
  • Ability to copy data as it is without changing it.
  • Reading bad sectors multiple times.
  • Truncate files to the minimum size needed for the recovered data.
  • Create a map file of the data on the input file.

System Requirements

DDRescue-GUI is designed to be lightweight and run on a wide range of systems.

Linux users: You must be using a current Linux distribution. More specifically:

  • Any Fedora-supported version, as well as all derivatives/spinoffs.
  • Any version of Ubuntu supported and all derivatives/spinoffs.
  • Any recent Parted Magic version.
  • In theory, any other similar Linux distributions such as Slackware, Debian, and others.

Please keep in mind that you will need a fully updated and currently supported version of Linux to run the most recent version of DDRescue-GUI.

Mac users: This should be no problem for any Mac that is even slightly modern, specifically:

  • macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
  • An Intel 64-bit CPU or an Apple Silicon CPU.
  • 200MB free disk space

Use the legacy intel if you need to run DDRescue-GUI on an older Intel Mac.

Version for Mac:

  • Snow Leopard (macOS 10.6) - 10.14 (Mojave).
  • Intel Macs (32-bit and 64-bit).

Finally, use the legacy version if you must use DDRescue-GUI on a PowerPC Mac.

Mac PowerPC version:

  • macOS 10.5 (Leopard).
  • PowerPC G4 or G5 processor.

Windows users: The requirements are minimal, but a recent version of Windows is required.

  • Windows 7 and up (64-bit).
  • A 64-bit x86 processor
  • 500MB of hard disk space

How To Download DDRescue

GNU DDRescue is available for free download on the FSF website. It is Open-Source software and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v3.0. Everyone can download it at It is also available at the main download site, but users can also get the GUI from, from

Part 3. How To Use DDRescue-GUI on Windows to Recover Data?

Step 1. Download and Install DDRescue-GUI. After DDRescue-GUI has finished booting up, the main window will appear.

ddrescue windows gui

Note: You'll get a warning if you're using a version of ddrescue that is not supported. If you see the warning, make sure you're using the most recent version of DDRescue-GUI. The GUI may continue functioning, but you may encounter errors or formatting issues.

There are three major things we must configure in this example.

  1. The Image Source is the corrupted hard drive.
  2. You may have noticed the Detailed Info drop-down menu. It is used to provide you with more information about what is going on during your recovery. If you choose not to recover all the data at once, you can utilize the map file to resume where you left off. If you save the map file, ensure it's on a separate drive for protection.

Note: It is strongly advised that you use a map file. Setting up takes a few seconds, allowing you to pause and resume the recovery process whenever possible. It also allows you to resume recovery if, for example, the power goes out or your computer crashes. If that happened and you didn't use a map file, you'd have to start from scratch!

  1. Finally, you have the Image Destination, where you want your data recovered. It could be a different device or an image file. It's a good idea to use an image file like "recovery.img" for this. Put it somewhere easy to find, so you don't lose it, and make sure you have enough disk space first.

Step 2. Double-check the Settings.

double-check the settings

Step 3. Three presets are at the bottom of the window to help you get started quickly. If you're in a hurry, click one of these and save the settings; everything should be fine. Choose Fastest if you believe your disk is mostly readable. If you need clarification, click Balanced. Choose Best if you know your disk is severely damaged. Save the preset settings and exit.

choose and save the presets

Note: These preset quickly install DDRescue-GUI so you can get started. If the recovery takes too long and you use a map file, you can stop it and restart with a different preset. However, make certain that you select the same options in the main window!

Step 4. You should now be able to begin data recovery. Press Start.

start recovering data on windows

Note: At this point, you will be notified if anything is missing or incorrectly set. Double-check that everything is set up correctly if you see any warnings or errors.

Click the Detailed Info drop-down to see more information about what's happening. Let your system do its thing at this point. You can recover data quickly, but it all depends on how badly your disk was damaged, how large it is, and what damage it has sustained.

Step 5. When your recovery is complete, you should see something similar to this:

windows data recovery completed

Step 6. If you're unlucky, or if your recovery has been halted, you might see something like this:

windows data recovery aborted

Step 7. Hence, if you specified a map file, you can still get more data back. Restart the recovery with the same settings on the main window but read the input file backward and select the Best Recovery preset.

choose set to best recovery

Note: Make sure you use the same settings on the main window, including the map file. Otherwise, you risk losing data or restarting from scratch!

Part 4. How To Use DDRescue-GUI on Mac to Recover Data?

Step 1. The main window will show up once DDRescue-GUI has completed booting up.

ddrescue mac gui

Note: You will receive a warning if you use an unsupported version of ddrescue. If the warning appears, ensure you're running the most recent version of DDRescue-GUI. The GUI may continue to function, but errors or formatting issues may occur.

Just like in using ddrescue in Windows, we must set up three major things:

  1. The Image source or the corrupted hard drive.
  2. The Detailed Info provides additional information about data recovery.
  3. The Image Destination is where you want your data recovered.

Note: Use a map file to pause and resume the recovery process whenever possible. It also lets you resume recovery if the power goes out or your computer crashes. If this happened and you did not use a map file, you would have to start over!

Step 2. Check the settings.

use direct disk access

Step 3. Notice the three presets at the bottom of the window. Click one of these and save the settings. If your disk is mostly readable, select Fastest. If you need more clarification, select Balanced. If you know your disk is severely damaged, select Best. Close the window after saving the settings.

select and save the presets

Step 4. Hit the Start button to start recovering data. Use the Detailed Info drop-down menu to learn more about what's happening. 

start recovering data on mac

Let your system do its thing at this point. You will recover files quickly, but depending on how badly your disk was damaged, its size, and the sustained damage.

Step 5. The recovery is now finished. If you have all of your data, you should be able to mount your output file/device and read it if you are using Linux or macOS. Go to the Mounting Output Files section to learn how to do so.

mount destination drive/file

Step 6. If you've been unlucky, or if your recovery has been halted, you may see something like this:

mac data recovery aborted

Step 7. So, specify a map file to retrieve more data. Restart the recovery with the same settings on the main window but read the input file backward and choose the Best Recovery preset.

set to best recovery

Note: Ensure that the main window's settings, including the map file, are the same. If you do, you risk losing data or having to start over.

Part 5. Is There a Simpler Alternative to DDRescue-GUI for Windows and Mac?

Although you can now use GNU DDrescue on Windows or Mac, many simpler alternatives with comparable features are available. Wondershare Recoverit, a safe and effective data recovery tool, is the best alternative to it. Recoverit has been selected as Leader in Data Recovery by G2 users. You can use it to recover your deleted and lost files, movies, photographs, audio, emails, and more from any catastrophe.

Wondershare Recoverit – Your Safe and Reliable Data Recovery Software

5,481,435 people have downloaded it.

Ability to recover more than 1000 file types from almost any storage media, such as SSDs, HDDs, NAS, USB flash drives, SD cards, external hard disks, digital cameras, etc.

Efficiently handle various data loss scenarios, including accidental deletion, empty recycle bins or trash, formatting, lost partition, virus attack, RAW, and RAID.

An intuitive interface that lets you preview the files before recovery. No payment is required if the files are unrecoverable.

Adhere to these three steps to recover data from a Windows or Mac computer with Wondershare Recoverit:

Step 1. Choose a Location

To recover data from a Windows or Mac computer, you must first select where the data was lost. The default interface will show Hard Drives and Locations. Please choose a hard disk drive from the Hard Disk Drives tab or a specific folder from the Quick Access tab.

select a location to start recovery

Step 2. Scanning Process

Click Start to begin scanning at the chosen location. If there were a lot of large files, scanning could take several minutes. However, you can accelerate the scanning process by filtering the file type or file size.

recoverit automatic scanning process

In the meantime, you can see the scanning results, and you can check the results at any time. You can also pause or stop scanning at any time.

Step 3. File Preview and Recovery

Users can preview the recoverable files before proceeding to the recovery step with Recoverit. This DDRescue alternative lets you preview almost any file, including images, videos, audio, Outlook emails, documents, etc.

previewing files

After reviewing the files and confirming that they are what you want, you can now click Recover and select a new location to save the recovered files.

recover and save the files
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That’s the end of it! This guide introduced the DDRescue-GUI and discussed the steps on how to download and use DDRescue-GUI on Windows and Mac. While dealing with some complexities of using this tool, we highly recommend using the best online recovery software, Wondershare Recoverit. Download it now!