Top 7 Best Free Data Recovery Software in 2023
Losing or deleting a file does not mean that it has been deleted permanently from your device. When next you accidentally delete or lose a file, do not panic, your lost file can still be recovered but only if you act fast.
Drives have directories where they store files. Deleting data takes a long time so any file you have deleted has only been removed from that directory to make way for new entries. Any deleted file will be present until you store new data which will eventually overwrite it. As long as data has not been overwritten it can be restored.
How do you recover data you cannot find on your device? The answer is to use effective data recovery software. Data recovery software is a software program that helps users to recover their deleted, corrupted or inaccessible data from their device. It scans, reviews, and copies data from corrupted or deleted files from the Master Boot Record through powerful algorithms.
In this article, you will learn about 7 of the best free data recovery software you can use to recover your corrupted or deleted files. You will also get a detailed guide on how to choose the best data recovery software for your needs.
Let’s get started.
Best Free Data Recovery Software
Best Overall Data Recovery Software for Windows and iOS Devices
Disk Drill Data Recovery is a very powerful and efficient data recovery tool created by Cleverfiles. It is a popular data recovery software for Mac users and more recently Windows. However, it is not available for direct use on mobile devices.
This data recovery software uses an exhaustive scanning process to recover various types of files from hard drives, USB flash drives, smartphones, and other storage drives. Its developers constantly keep on updating the software so that it can recover data of any file type easily and quickly. The current version of Disk Drill Recovery can revolver data from over 400 different file types.
Disk Drill Recovery is supported on all Mac versions from Mac OS X 10.11 and all Windows versions from Windows 7 SP1 upwards.
- Easy to navigate user interface
- Exhaustive scanning algorithm for deep search of lost files
- Its free version can recover up to 500MB worth of data
- Powerful stop and resume feature when scanning
- Recovers all common file types from all types of drives
Disk Drill Recovery has a free version that can recover up to 500MB worth of lost, corrupted, or inaccessible data. Its pricing plans consist of its basic, pro, and enterprise plans.
The basic plan is suitable for individuals with very small data recovery needs. The pro plan is suitable for individuals with a large amount of data recovery needs. It offers users unlimited data recovery and access to all of its data recovery methods such as Quick & Deep Scan, Smart FAT and NTFS algorithms, Lost Partition Search, and others.
The enterprise plan is suitable for businesses. It supports unlimited data recovery and up to 10 users. Subscribers to this plan also enjoy priority technical support. Disk Drill Recovery does not offer a free trial.
Versatile Data Recovery Software that Supports the Recovery of Over 1,000 File Types
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is one of the best data recovery software in the market. It helps you retrieve your lost or damaged files from just about any type of file loss. Whether you accidentally deleted your files or were attacked by malware, EaseUS can recover your files and in a few steps too.
This data recovery software also supports the recovery of over 1,000 file formats making it one of the most versatile data recovery tools money can buy. With over 70 million+ downloads from users across different geographical spaces, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is popular among users.
EaseUS provides users with an intuitive interface. There is also the option of previewing all recoverable files on the application. This data recovery software helps users recover data quickly and smoothly with no complications.
- Very fast and efficient
- Recovers data from any type of storage device
- Available on Mac and Windows Operating Systems
- A simple user interface which makes it beginner-friendly
The free version of EaseUS allows you to recover up to 2GB of lost files. The pro version costs $69.95 and comes with a free trial. There is also a Pro + WinPE version that costs $99.90 which creates a bootable USB drive for file recovery if you are unable to boot your system.
Best Free Data Recovery Software with Lots of Data Recovery Features Available for Free
Of all the recovery software tools in the market, Recuva arguably has the best free file recovery software tool available. The only drawback of using its free plan is the intrusive ad experience that comes with it. Such an experience It may be inconvenient for you but it is the closest option to professional-level data recovery available if you do not want to pay exorbitant prices.
Recuva has a portable version that is small enough to fit on a USB drive and requires no installation. It also tells you what files can be recovered after scanning through a green/yellow/red color system to indicate the difficulty of recovering a file.
This data recovery software can recover files from any rewritable media that you have. Ironically, Recuva can also permanently delete a file you want to be deleted for good with industry-grade tech. Recuva supports all versions of Windows from Windows XP or later, but does not work on Mac OS.
- Deep scan for buried files
- Language support for over 30 languages
- Has a portable version
- Preview files before restoring them
- Pro version is cheaper than most data recovery software in the market
Recuva is available for free download, however, the free plan comes with very intrusive ads. If you want to enjoy more data recovery features and no ads, you have to subscribe to its pro version which costs $19.95.
Best Open-Source Data Recovery Software Compatible with Multiple Operating Systems
TestDisk Data Recovery software is a simple but powerful application to analyze and recover disk partitions. This software can recover lost files through a tool named Photorec.
When you install TestDisk Data Recovery software, you get a two-for-one package that was created to recover lost partitions and reboot disks that are unable to reboot due to viruses or faulty software.
This data recovery software is open-source software and is supported on a wide range of platforms. Windows 10, Linux, macOS, and various ARM-based platforms are all capable of supporting the program without experiencing difficulty.
TestDisk and PhotoRec use a command-line interface rather than the popular mouse-driven user interface. What this means is that you will have to manually enter which file directories you wish to recover. It may take a longer time to pick your files but it still retains a simple user interface.
- TestDisk Data Recovery software is open-source software so it can be reprogrammed
- Supports RAID, eliminating data redundancy
- Can collect information about a lost file or a compromised drive and send it to TestDisk for technical support.
TestDisk data recovery tool is free to use.
Best Data Recovery Software for Quick Data Recovery
Minitool Power Data Recovery software helps you recover individual files and offers complete partition recovery. The interface of this data recovery software may look a bit outdated compared to other data recovery tools. However, it is largely uncluttered.
This data recovery software provides you with a three-step data restoration process that enables users of all experience levels to easily use the tool. Users with little experience can therefore easily recover files without being overwhelmed.
With its quick scan function, you can easily trace data that has been accidentally deleted recently. All you have to do is select the specific drive you want to scan such as your desktop, recycle bin, or a specific folder to recover a lost file.
A big downside of the tool is that users will be unable to minimize the window while the program is running. This data recovery software is supported on all Windows and Mac OS devices from Windows 2000 to Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.11 to 11.0.
- Quick scanning process
- Ability to restore multiple files simultaneously
- Powerful pause or resume for when the system is shut down and restarted
- Recovery of up to 1 GB of data in the trial version is comparatively high
Minitool Power Data Recovery software offers a limited free trial period. To continue using this data recovery software after the trial period, users have to subscribe to its plans for personal users or plans for business users.
The plans for personal users include Personal Monthly Subscription for $69.00, Personal Annual Subscription for $89.00, and Personal Ultimate for $99.00.
The plans for business users include Business Standard, Business Deluce, Business Enterprise, and Business Technician. All plans for business users are perpetual licenses.
Best Data Recovery Software with the Fastest Data Scanning Speed
Wise Data Recovery software is a software program that is more suited to older operating systems. Reporting on the possibility of recovering files on newer systems can sometimes be inaccurate. But when fully functional, it uses advanced algorithms to complete scans in a matter of minutes
Like most recovery tools on this list, this data recovery software supports multiple types of files, including documents, videos, audios, and emails.
Wise Data Recovery software can also retrieve data from HDD, USB flash drives, Sd cards, Digital cameras, and any other storage drives. It also has a portable version that can be used from a USB flash drive to protect your files from being overwritten because of downloads.
This data recovery software can only restore recently lost files for free. Users are often notified to subscribe to the pro version for a deep scan.
- Advanced scanning algorithm
- Support for multiple languages
- Money-back guarantee for paid subscriptions
- 24/7 customer support service
Wise Data recovery software has three pricing plans: Wise Data Recovery Free, Wise Data Recovery Pro (monthly plan), and Wise Data Recovery Pro (annual plan).
WiseData Recovery Free is available for free download and helps you quickly scan and restore recently deleted files. Wise Data Recovery Pro supports only 1 PC, provides deep scans, automatic updates, and premium tech support. You can choose to either subscribe monthly or annually,
Best Data Recovery Software for Windows 10 and Above
Windows File Recovery software is a Microsoft-created data recovery program. It makes use of command lines instead of mouse controls, so you have to type out what you want to do. This may take a while for newbies to get used to but it becomes a very simple and straightforward task once understood. For clarity on how to write and execute commands, you can visit the Microsoft support page.
This recovery software tool supports the recovery of many file types such as photos, documents, videos, and more. Microsoft’s Windows File Recovery software's signature mode can recover lost data from your hard drive, camera, or SD card.
Unfortunately, it does not support all Windows devices. It can only be downloaded and used on Windows 11 and Windows 10.
- Windows File Recovery software is Microsoft approved which guarantees security and reliability
- Simple user interface
- Likely to receive upgrades
Microsoft Recovery Tool is available for free.
How to Choose the Best Data Recovery Software
Losing a file on your device can be a devastating loss especially if it is an important file you need. However, you can recover the lost data if you act fast. Recovering lost data is not the most difficult task to do.
All you need to find and restore lost or damaged files is to get competent data recovery software. Even when you are using free data recovery software, the most difficult task you will need to do is to select the particular folder for scanning. The data recovery software takes over the data recovery from there.
Not all data recovery software tools have the same capabilities. Some data recovery software is focused more on individual and small-scale data recovery, some are powerful enough to be used by companies, and there is government-grade data recovery software that recovers data for large organizations.
1. Be Extra Careful When Using Free Data Recovery Software
If possible, avoid using free tools as they do not guarantee total data recovery. Most of the data recovery software tools that are free use ads to keep their tools running and in some cases the software may themselves pose malware risks through ads and unverified programs.
While the free data recovery software may save you costs, it does not guarantee your data and device security. If you cannot afford a paid subscription, make sure that you choose a data recovery software provider that is backed up with years of experience and has great consumer reviews.
2. Scan Files in a Read-Only Manner
Ensure that the data recovery software you choose must scan files in a read-only manner. With this in place, third-party applications are prevented from accessing your files without getting your permission.
Using data recovery software tools that scan files in a read-only manner guarantees more security for your files and devices.
3. Supports the Data Recovery of Multiple File Formats
Before choosing a data recovery software, it is important to have a good understanding of the software capabilities. The software should be able to recover data in all common formats from multiple storage devices.
4. Check the Data Recovery Software’s Minimum System Requirement
Ensure that you go through the software’s minimum system requirement. Not all software tools are suitable for both Windows and Mac OS. In some cases, older versions of operating systems will not be able to run newer data recovery software tools. In other cases, a data recovery tool may be better suited to older systems.
The next thing you will have to consider is pricing. Generally, data recovery tools are not cheap when you consider that most people only require the software once.
Not all operations require a sophisticated program so there is really no need to go for very expensive tools if your task is not very complicated. In some cases, you can be very selective. For example, if your operating system crashes, you will need a program that can boot your hard drive.
6. Easy Navigation and Intuitive Features
Any software you want to use must be easy on the eye and should be straightforward to navigate so that your recovery process is very simple.
Be wary of buying tools whose functionality does not match up with their visual noise. In some cases, the software may be simple and easy to use but it is tricky for new users because of unorthodox methods of recovery.
An example of this is the Microsoft File Recovery software which uses line command instead of mouse clicking to pick directories.
7. Available and Responsive Customer Support
In the case of you running into difficulties during or after recovery, it is important to pick software with easy-to-access and competent customer support.
If you need support during the data recovery process, using data recovery software with responsive customer support will prevent you from getting frustrated in the process.
Choose a data recovery software that is fast and efficient while offering you the flexibility to perform other operations on your system simultaneously.
Data Recovery Software FAQ
Yes, as long as it is downloaded from a vetted and trusted source. Data recovery software tools are created for retrieving lost files. Any file that is not retrieved after a recovery process has either been permanently erased or is too advanced for your current recovery software.
Some malware can be disguised as recovery software so before using a product you can check for online reviews
Professional data recovery tools cost money to use while free data recovery tools do not cost you a dime. However, the free data recovery tools contain intrusive ads and only provide a quick scan for data recovery. If you want access to more data recovery features such as deep scan and recovery, you have to use a professional data recovery tool.
Professional data recovery tools offer more advanced features and have higher performance than their free counterparts. They also offer extended and priority customer service when compared to free data recovery tools that usually have little or no customer support available.
There are many situations where data recovery software can be used. They include lost file partitions, accidental deletion of files, viruses, booting issues, and formatted drives.
As long as the file directory has not been overwritten, it can still be recovered by data recovery software. However, the best way to protect against permanent data loss is to already have a viable backup plan in place in case of data loss. Note that it is not possible to recover cloud data that has been deleted
The free versions of most data recovery tools often come with a 500 MB or 1 GB data limit. For EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, the data recovery limit is up to 2 GB depending on if you share their product on social media. Some other data recovery software tools like Recuva and TestDisk offer unlimited data recovery on their free versions.
Which Free File Recovery Software Should I Pick?
There are several data recovery software programs that can perform file recovery for free but the best one out of all is arguably Recuva. It may have a pro version but it still offers a lot of functions for free that you will not get from many other data recovery software tools.
One of the biggest advantages of using Recuva for your data recovery needs is its ability to recover an unlimited amount of recoverable data for free. You will hardly find any other data recovery software program that offers this generous feature.
Recuva’s simple and efficient user interface makes navigation easy. It is fast enough to compete with premium data recovery software tools when performing simple data recovery.
Another major advantage of Recuva is that it can preview the files it has scanned before restoring them. With this feature, you can select the exact files you want to recover instead of having to recover your entire lost files history. This data recovery software can restore all popular file formats for free. If you decide that you want to delete the rest of the data you do not want, Recuva can also help with that.
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