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mac ssd data recovery

Mac SSD Data Recovery: When Is It Possible and How to Do It

Theo Lucia
Theo Lucia Originally published Sep 05, 23, updated Jun 14, 24

Suppose you're working on a school or video-editing project on your Mac. You open your favorite app and try to load the files, but they're not there. Just like that, you've lost vital files. Now what?

Fortunately, Mac SSD data recovery is possible in most situations. Whether it's a dead SSD, a formatted drive, or system corruption, you can take steps to recover data from an SSD on MacBook.

Below, we'll discuss when it's possible, what affects it, and how you can do it with either Disk Utility, a dedicated third-party recovery app, or by taking your Mac to a physical recovery center.

In this article
    1. How To Disable TRIM on Your Mac SSD?
    1. Retrieve Data From a Mac SSD With Disk Utility
    2. Recover Data From a Mac SSD With Data Recovery Software
    3. Find a Center That Offers Mac SSD Data Recovery

When Can You Expect a Successful Mac SSD Recovery?

Although Mac SSD data recovery is possible in numerous situations, it's not always the case, as certain factors affect the success rate of any recovery operation. These include:

  • 💽 The physical state of the SSD: If your Mac falls and your SSD physically bends or breaks inside the chassis, your chances of data recovery significantly decrease, and hiring professional recovery companies will be necessary.
  • Time since file deletion: Freshly deleted files have a higher chance for recovery since the SSD sectors they occupied are still likely free. However, if you deleted files weeks or months ago, those sectors have probably been overwritten since, drastically reducing your chances for recovery.
  • 📁 Type of file loss: SSD data recovery on Apple devices is only possible in specific situations. For example, you can do it if data loss happens due to accidental deletion, drive formatting, or system corruption, but your recovery odds vary.

TRIM function is also critical. It ensures complete file deletion by running on your SSD and checking if the sectors are ready for writing new data. Most Macs have it on by default, as it boosts the SSD's performance and longevity but negatively affects your data recovery chances.

How To Disable TRIM on Your Mac SSD?

Since TRIM is a significant factor impacting the effectiveness of your Mac SSD data recovery, it needs to be turned off before you try to recover lost data. Below is a short guide on disabling TRIM on SSD on macOS. Here's what you should do:

  1. Open a Terminal window on your Mac by going into Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
    open a terminal window on mac
  2. Enter the following command: sudo trimforce disable
    enter the trim turn-off comman
  3. Hit Y > Enter on your keyboard twice to continue the operation.
    confirm trim disable on macos

Disabling TRIM is vital, as it massively affects data recovery. Once you've disabled TRIM support for your Mac's SSD, you can continue with the data recovery process.

3 Methods to Recover Data From an SSD on Mac

There are three ways to recover files from SSD on Mac – two that you can try at home and one that'll require taking the device to a physical repair shop. You can find more about each of these three methods below.

Way 1. Retrieve Data From a Mac SSD With Disk Utility

Whether you use MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac, the most straightforward way to recover files from an SSD is to use the included Disk Utility app. Here's how you can do that:

  1. Head into Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
    open disk utility application on mac
  2. Select the SSD troubling you on the left side of the screen.
    select the problematic ssd
  3. Select First Aid at the top of the screen and hit Run.
    recover data from macbook ssd with first aid

Disk Utility is a built-in tool that offers basic recovery features and can help in some cases. However, it can't match the functionality of a dedicated recovery tool, which should be the following method you try.

Way 2. Recover Data From a Mac SSD With Data Recovery Software

Professional third-party data recovery software from a reputable company can do wonders when you lose files, and Disk Utility doesn't help. One such tool is Wondershare Recoverit for Mac, which can help in numerous file loss situations.

Whether you've emptied the Trash, accidentally deleted vital files, formatted the drive, had a failed SSD firmware update, or experienced a computer crash, Wondershare Recoverit can help. With its powerful data recovery algorithms, it can restore over 1,000 file types from HDDs, SSDs, USB flash drives, SD cards, NAS servers, and other 2,000+ different storage devices.

Free Download
Free Download

Here's what you should do to recover files from MacBook SSD with Wondershare Recoverit:

  1. Download, install, and launch Wondershare Recoverit on your Mac.
  2. Select Hard Drives and Locations on the left side of the screen, and choose the SSD that's troubling you.
    choose the ssd with data loss on mac
  3. The scanning process will begin automatically, and you can select the file types you're looking for to speed it up.
    scan for lost files on mac ssd
  4. Recoverit will let you preview any deleted or formatted data it finds, and you can fine-tune the search by adding file size, path, and time of deletion to narrow down the search. Moreover, you can filter found files with keywords.
    filter found data by adding keywords
  5. Once you see the files you're looking for, select them, and click Recover. Choose a location and hit Save to save the recovered files.
    start mac ssd data recovery

It's highly recommended that you choose a different drive to save data on, to prevent further data loss or file overwrite. Otherwise, you're risking the same thing happening again, especially if you have a dying SSD.

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Free Download

Way 3. Find a Center That Offers Mac SSD Data Recovery

If the two methods above fail, there's a high chance that Mac SSD recovery will be impossible. However, you can still try one more thing. When home recovery fails, you can take your Mac to a physical shop that does Mac SSD data recovery.

mac ssd data recovery service

Data recovery service providers have skilled technicians with specialized knowledge and experience in handling a wide range of data loss scenarios, including complex cases that may be difficult to address with DIY methods or software. In addition, professional data recovery center have access to state-of-the-art technology, cleanroom facilities, and proprietary tools that enable them to perform safe and efficient data recovery. However, if this fails, your SSD data is entirely and undoubtedly gone forever.

Remember that data recovery service providers may vary in terms of expertise, success rates, pricing, and turnaround time. It's essential to research and compare different centers to choose the one that best suits your needs.

4 Things To Do to Take Better Care of Your Mac SSD

Dealing with data loss can be infuriating, especially if you've lost vital files or dear photos and videos. However, there are things you can do to ensure it doesn't happen again. Below, you'll find four strategies to ensure your SSD's longevity and health and your data's safety.

  • TRIM – Although we've made the TRIM feature to be the bad guy in this story, that's not the case. Namely, TRIM has its ups and downs, and it undoubtedly helps boost your SSD's performance and longevity. However, for the best recovery odds, you'll want to keep it disabled.
  • Backups – Regularly backing up your essential data is vital for its safety. Things happen, errors occur, computers crash, and you can lose your critical files instantly. However, having backups and regularly doing them means you won't be affected much by such occurrences.
  • Cloud – Similar to backups, having your files in Apple's iCloud or any third-party Cloud application can improve the safety of your vital data, so using these handy storage options is highly recommended.
  • Updates – Regularly updating your Mac means you'll receive all performance benefits, security updates, and bug fixes on time, massively reducing the chances of your SSD experiencing a fatal crash.

Having a dying SSD is frustrating, but these devices are replaceable. On the other hand, your vital files and memories are not. Therefore, combining these methods can significantly improve your data's safety and massively reduce the chances of future data loss.

Conclusion

Few people care about proper data safety standards until they lose vital files. It takes an infuriating situation to make most of us take a few extra seconds or minutes to ensure our data is safely stored and our physical devices are healthy.

However, you're not helpless even if data loss has already happened. Data recovery for Mac SSDs is possible in numerous situations, depending on the type of loss, the time since it happened, the physical state of your SSD, and TRIM support, which is why we've shown you how to turn TRIM off on Macs.

In such situations, you can try a built-in Disk Utility app, use a dedicated third-party recovery software such as Wondershare Recoverit, or take your Mac to a physical recovery center and let professionals handle it.

FAQs About Mac SSD Data Recovery

  • Can data be recovered from a Mac SSD?
    Yes, Mac SSD data recovery is possible even if you've accidentally deleted files or lost data due to physical damage or disk failure.
    1. Download and install Wondershare Recoverit for Mac.
    2. Launch the app and select the problematic Mac SSD.
    3. Scan for lost files and preview items the app finds.
    4. Select the files you want to recover and hit the Recover button.
  • Why is it difficult to recover data from an SSD on Mac?
    Modern Macs come with TRIM enabled, meaning that each time you delete anything from the drive, the TRIM feature runs on the SSD, often scheduled when your Mac is idle, and ensures the files are completely removed. However, that also makes Mac SSD data recovery impossible.
  • Can I recover data from a failed SSD on my Mac?
    Yes, you can. Do the basic troubleshooting steps, try Disk Utility's First Aid feature, or run a third-party data recovery software. Regardless of how your SSD failed, you should still be able to recover its data. Connecting it to an external enclosure or putting it in another Mac can also help.
  • Can I recover data from a formatted SSD on my MacBook?
    Absolutely! You can recover data from a formatted SSD on MacBook. Here's what you'll need to do:
    1. Download, install and launch Wondershare Recoverit for Mac.
    2. Choose the formatted SSD and click Scan.
    3. Wait for the scanning to complete.
    4. Preview the found data and select the files you want to recover.
    5. Click the Recover button to save the files onto a drive of your choice.
  • Is it easier to recover data from an SSD or HDD?
    HDD data recovery is far easier than modern SSDs, as they don't have TRIM support. The difference in storage space, design, and how they handle data means that deleted HDD data stays there until the drive's sectors are overwritten and new data populates them.
Theo Lucia
Theo Lucia Jun 14, 24
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