Does Apple have a data recovery service?

Apple offers limited data recovery options for iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, but does not have an official in-house data recovery service for Mac computers. However, there are third party providers that specialize in Apple data recovery.

Does Apple offer data recovery for iOS devices?

Yes, Apple does offer some data recovery options for iOS devices like iPhones and iPads. However, these capabilities are limited.

If you have an iOS device that won’t turn on or start up, Apple Store Geniuses and Authorized Service Providers can attempt to restore the device in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode. This allows them to reinstall the latest iOS software. If successful, this may allow you to recover data from a backup.

Apple’s iCloud service also provides some data recovery capabilities. If you have iCloud backups enabled, you may be able to restore some or all of your data from a recent backup after replacing or erasing your iPhone or iPad.

However, there are some significant limitations:

  • Apple’s in-store data recovery process depends on the device powering on and the data partitions being intact. If there is physical damage or corrupted software, it likely will not work.
  • iCloud backup only recovers data that was recently backed up. Any data created or changed after the last backup will not be restored.
  • Certain types of data like photos may not be completely restored depending on iCloud storage limits.

So while Apple does offer some basic data recovery for iOS devices, the capabilities are limited compared to dedicated data recovery services.

Does Apple offer data recovery for Macs?

No, Apple does not have an official in-house data recovery service for Mac computers. However, there are Apple Authorized Service Providers who can assist with Mac data recovery.

If you experience data loss on a Mac, Apple recommends trying to recover data from a Time Machine backup first. Time Machine is the built-in backup utility in macOS that can restore lost files if you have a backup available.

If Time Machine does not have your missing data, Apple suggests using data recovery software before taking any further action. Software like Disk Drill and Stellar Data Recovery for Mac can recover deleted files from Macs in some cases.

As a last resort, Apple advises users to take a Mac with non-physical data loss issues to an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Some providers have advanced tools and techniques that may be able to recover data from the Mac’s internal SSD or HDD, although success is not guaranteed.

Apple does warn against taking a Mac to a non-authorized repair shop, as improper handling could make data completely unrecoverable.

What third party services recover data from Macs?

There are a number of reputable data recovery companies that specialize in helping Mac users recover lost or deleted data.

Two of the most well-known are:

  • DriveSavers – DriveSavers has been recovering data from Apples devices for over 30 years. They offer Mac data recovery from external hard drives, internal hard drives and SSDs, and flash storage drives like USBs and SD cards.
  • Kroll Ontrack – Kroll Ontrack uses specialized tools and techniques to recover lost data from all Apple devices. This includes Mac desktops and laptops, external Apple drives, iPads, iPhones, and iPods.

Both companies offer advanced capabilities like:

  • Recovery from severe physical damage – If an Apple device suffered from spilled liquid, fires, drops, or crashes, these firms can often still extract the data.
  • Bypassing encryption and passwords – Many Macs have encrypted SSDs now. Data recovery services use forensic tools to get around FileVault encryption and firmware passwords.
  • Clean room recovery – If a drive has failed entirely, the data platters may need to be accessed in a dust-free clean room to avoid contamination.

These companies charge several hundred to several thousand dollars for Mac data recovery, depending on the severity and urgency of the case. However, they offer the best chance for recovering data from a damaged or encrypted Mac.

What Mac data loss scenarios allow for recovery?

Professional Mac data recovery services can assist when data on an internal or external Mac drive has been lost, deleted, or corrupted due to events like:

  • Accidental deletion of files
  • macOS crashing or data corruption
  • Liquid spills, drops, floods, fires, or other physical damage
  • Password or encryption lockout
  • Filesystem corruption or failed firmware updates
  • Disk utility mishaps that reformatted a drive

Advanced techniques make data recovery possible in these scenarios. However, there are still cases where data may be unrecoverable:

  • Completely failed SSDs or platters with physical data loss
  • Macs with the secure T2 chip that have engaged Blackbird mode after too many password attempts
  • Deleted data that has since been overwritten by new files

So while recovery is very possible in many cases, there are still situations where even the experts cannot get back lost Mac data.

How much does Mac data recovery cost?

The cost for professional Mac data recovery varies based on the service provider, the type of device, and complexity of the recovery case. However, some general guidelines on cost are:

Data Recovery Service Typical cost range
External storage (USB, SD card, external drive) $100-$500
Laptop or desktop internal HDD $300-$1000
Mac internal SSD $500-$1500+
Clean room recovery $3000+

Additional costs may apply for rush services or extremely complex cases. However, most individual Mac users can expect to pay between $300 and $1500+ for typical data recovery scenarios.

How long does Mac data recovery take?

Recovery timelines also vary based on several factors:

  • Type of device – External storage is typically faster, while complex internal drive issues take longer.
  • Level of damage – Highly damaged drives require more delicate processes.
  • Staff workload – More staff means faster turnaround, but specialists are limited.

In general, recovery timeframes are:

Device Type Turnaround Time
External storage device 1-2 days
Laptop/desktop hard drive 3-5 days
Internal SSD 5-7+ days
Clean room recovery 7-10+ days

Rush and emergency options are available for expedited service in 24 hours or less. But most standard Mac data recovery cases take 3-7 business days depending on complexity.

Can you recover data from a dead Mac?

It is often possible to recover data from a dead Mac that won’t power on, but it requires professional assistance. Certified Mac data recovery experts use advanced hardware tools and techniques to access data on non-functioning Apple devices.

Some of the common tools and methods used to recover data from dead Macs include:

  • Direct SSD/HDD access – The storage drive is removed and connected to hardware that accesses it directly to read data.
  • JTAG/ISP – Specialized tools access firmware and on-board chip data not available to standard computers.
  • Mirror imaging – A bit-for-bit drive duplicate is created to safely work on without harming the original.
  • Clean room retrieval – The physical platters with data bits are accessed in a dust-free environment.

Recovering data from a dead Mac that won’t turn on has a higher success rate if the SSD or HDD hardware is undamaged. However, advanced techniques make recovery possible in many cases of power, logic board, or other failures.

Should you try DIY Mac data recovery?

It is usually not advisable for individual users to attempt do-it-yourself Mac data recovery. This is for several reasons:

  • Lack of proper tools – Many recovery techniques require specialized hardware not available to consumers.
  • Risk of data destruction – Mistakes can make original data unrecoverable even by pros.
  • Voiding warranties – Hardware tampering can void any warranties still active on a device.
  • No clean room – Opening drives outside certified clean rooms risks dust contamination.

Attempting your own recovery as an average user often yields very poor results. The best method is taking a Mac to certified data recovery experts when facing data loss.

How can you avoid needing data recovery?

The ideal situation is avoiding ever needing professional Mac data recovery services. While not always possible, there are several precautions you can take:

  • Always maintain current backups via Time Machine, cloud backup, etc. This provides restore options when data is deleted or a Mac drive fails. Backups are the best prevention.
  • Use anti-malware software and be careful of scams, viruses, and harmful apps that can destroy data.
  • Handle Macs and drives carefully to avoid physical damage from drops or liquid spills.
  • Make sure to properly eject external drives before disconnecting them.
  • Avoid exposing Macs and drives to extreme heat, cold, or moisture levels.

While following best practices cannot prevent every type of data loss situation, it can help you avoid the most common causes leading to professional recovery needs.


In summary, Apple does not directly offer data recovery services for Macs, but there are reliable third party services available. These experts use specialized tools and methods to recover customer data from dead, damaged, or encrypted Macs and hard drives. However, DIY attempts are not advisable. And maintaining good backups remains the best way to avoid ever needing professional Mac data recovery.