Software Review – iSkySoft Data Recovery for Mac

iSkySoft Data Recovery for Mac is a popular data recovery product dedicated to pulling out data lost due to accidental deletion, formatting, virus infection, improper user actions, and other reasons. The software works impeccably with a number of devices such as Macs, iPods, USBs, hard drives, digital cameras, memory cards, etc. With the capability to search for missing data from multiple file systems such as FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ex-FAT, HFS+, and HFSX, this software is probably one of the safest and simplest data recovery options available out there.

The product is equipped with a nice feature set to help home and business users salvage deleted / inaccessible data in case they don’t have a backup. Some features of the software include:

  • RAW recovery on lost Mac volumes
  • Hard Drive Partition Recovery
  • Lost Email and Archive Recovery
  • Support for 200+ file formats
  • Allows File Preview before recovery

The software is compatible with many macOS versions including Sierra 10.12, El Capitan 10.11, Yosemite 10.10, Mavericks 10.9, Mountain Lion 10.8, Lion 10.7, and Snow Leopard 10.6. It is easy to download and installs in a couple of seconds.

To find out if the software stood true to its claims, we conducted rigorous tests to recover data lost from accidental deletion and reformatting. The results of our tests have been summarized below.

Lost File Recovery

iSkySoft Mac Data Recovery’s user guide available on its website indicates that the product can deliver up to 100% recovery results for files emptied from the Trash and accidentally deleted / formatted data from Mac hard drives. It also boasts of being able to accurately recover more than 200 file formats from Mac or other removable storage devices.

We permanently deleted a few documents (docx, xlsx, pdf, txt), images (jpg, bmp, png), video (mp4, mkv, wmv) and audio (mp3, wav) files from our test Mac and used iSkySoft Mac Data Recovery to scan and recover the data. We also ran the software on a reformatted drive to see if it could perform as promised. Here’s what we found.

  • Lost Image Files

    The software lived up to its name as far as recouping lost imaged was concerned. All our deleted photos were recovered accurately, although, their original file names and folder structures were slightly messed up. Since our test set involved only 35 images, the software didn’t take much time to scan the drive. We gave the software a score of 95% in this area.

  • Lost Document Files

    With respect to lost documents, the results were a bit on the lower side. While the Word documents and PDFs were recovered successfully, the Excel sheets had a few columns of data missing. Also, a few of our text files weren’t recovered at all, and 1 had garbage text in it. A major glitch here was the addition of an iSkySoft watermark on recovered PDFs and Word documents which apparently could be removed only if we purchased the full version of the software. This was quite a disappointment. So here, we gave the software a cumulative score of 70% (-10% for the watermark).

  • Lost Audio & Video Files

    In the case of multimedia files, the software’s success rate was average. Though all deleted files were recovered, many of them had video-audio synchronization problems. Also, some recovered music files started looping over and over again once finished. Since our player wasn’t set to loop, we couldn’t exactly understand this behavior change in the recovered files. We gave the software a score of 85% here.

  • Reformatted Drive Recovery

    Note: The drive we reformatted had only our test data which wasn’t much. That accounted for the quick speed with which the recovery process ran. However, with larger amounts of data, the speed may vary.

    • The software recovered all lost image files successfully, albeit without original file names – 95% results
    • A few lost documents couldn’t be salvaged and the ones recovered had watermarks – 80% results
    • Not overly impressive multimedia recovery results – 75% results
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Advanced Features

SkySoft Data Recovery for Mac is equipped with quite a few advanced features that organizations can use to perform technical tasks.

  • Selective File Recovery – Through this feature users can limit the software’s scan area by selecting particular type of files they want to recover. This quickens the recovery process if users wish to recover only certain kinds of files. We could select which kind of files to recover – Images, Audio, Video, Documents, Archives, etc – but not different file formats as opposed to other Mac data recovery software.

  • RAW Recovery – In case the standard recovery procedure offered by the software isn’t able to recover all desired files, an advanced RAW Recovery option is provided. Under RAW Recovery, the software performs a ‘deep’ scan of corrupted / severely damaged hard drives to try and recover lost files. You can choose whether to scan all data on the drive (this has chances of retrieving more files but also takes more time), or only scan deleted data on the drive.

  • Partition Recovery – Mac hard drive partitions / volumes can become damaged / corrupted or go missing due to incorrect partitioning, damage to the partition table, or virus infections. Using iSkySoft’s Partition Recovery feature, you can safely recover lost Mac partitions and all data on them within a few clicks. The software also allows you to specify the target partition’s file system so that the software doesn’t have to spend time identifying it and can complete its operation quickly.

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Ease of Use

iSkySoft Data Recovery for Mac scored quite a few plus points with respect to ease of use:

  • The software is completely Do-It-Yourself, meaning that it has quite a descriptive user interface which is easy to work with
  • The instructions given at each step can be followed smoothly to recover lost data
  • The number of steps to be followed isn’t too much
  • There are many options to customize the recovery process as per requirement

The software cannot be counted among confusing data recovery products. It is in fact one of the simplest to use utilities we came across during our journey to finding the best Mac data recovery software.

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Working Speed & Ease on System Resources

The software’s working speed was measured on two parameters:

  • Hard Drive Scanning Speed – The amount of data that we gave the software to scan was wasn’t much; still, quite impressively, the software skimmed through it very quickly. Considering its speed with dummy data, even in a real scenario where GBs of data would be involved, the software’s scanning speed would be pretty impressive lying within the range of 200 to 250 GB per hour.
  • Data Recovery Speed – This was pretty much the same as the scanning speed.

Downloading the demo version of the software took under 5 seconds and installing it was smooth too. It didn’t need much RAM (1 GB minimum) either. As compared to other data recovery products for Mac, with iSkySoft our system performance wasn’t impacted much which was a very good sign. We could switch between windows while the scan was running and saving recovered data also went through without any freezing / hanging issues.

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Pricing & Licenses

There are 7 flavors to the software, divided into 2 broad categories.

  • Demo Version – Free. Can only be used to see whether the software will be able to recover anything or not by previewing files that can be recovered.
  • Personal License:
    • 1 Year License – Priced at $79.95, this version can be used on 1 Mac for 1 year. It entitles users to free technical support and free updates for 1 year.
    • Lifetime License (Single User) – Priced at $89.95, this version can be used on 1 Mac for Lifetime and entitles user to free technical support and free updates for lifetime.
    • Lifetime License (Multi-user) – Priced at $224.95, this version can be used on 2 – 5 Macs for Lifetime. With this users are entitled to free technical support and free updates for lifetime.
  • Commercial License:
    • Lifetime License (Single User) – Priced at $179.90, this version can be used on 1 Mac for Lifetime and entitles user to free technical support and free updates for lifetime.
    • Lifetime License (Multi-user) – Priced at $485.73, this version can be used on 2 – 5 Macs for Lifetime. With this users are entitled to free technical support and free updates for lifetime.
    • Huge Commercial Licenses (Multi-user) – Priced at $917.49, this version can be used on 6 – 10 Macs for Lifetime or 11 – 20 Mac for lifetime. With this users are entitled to free technical support and free updates for lifetime.
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Help & Support

As far as getting in touch with iSkySoft technicians is concerned, the product fared below average. They do not have a Live Chat window on their website which is strange considering most websites have them these days. They don’t even have a dedicated phone line to answer customer queries. The only way to reach them is by filling an online form given on their site.

There is however a lot of reading material related to iSkySoft Mac Data Recovery that can be easily found on a dedicated FAQ section and Online Tutorial section on their website.

8.5 Total Score

There are a lot of things that make iSkySoft Data Recovery for Mac a worthy product – its incredible scanning speed, ease of use, and feature set. However, when it comes to the thing that matters most (recovering lost data), the product performs lesser than other Mac recovery products. Moreover, it is quite expensive too. Thus, whether you should choose this software depends upon what you wish to recover and how quickly.

Lost File Recovery
8.3
Advanced Features
8.5
Ease of Use
9.5
Working Speed
9.5
Ease on System Resources
9.5
Pricing
7.0
Help & Support
7.0
Supported Formats
9.0
PROS
  • User-friendly
  • Supports many file formats & file systems
  • Excellent Speed
  • Offers multiple modes of recovery
  • Many options to customize recovery process
CONS
  • Too many license varieties
  • Quite costly as compared to others
  • Messes up filenames and folders post recovery
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