1. Disk Drill
Disk Drill is unquestionably a formidable hard drive data recovery software that ranks high in the information technology industry. This application, developed by CleverFiles, is uniquely tailored to scan both external and internal storage devices, from your local disk drive to portable USB drives and SD cards.
Features that bring Disk Drill on top of the list are:
For first-time users, working, downloading and installing Disk Drill is a walk in the park. Testers and laypersons alike assert that Disk Drill is an easy-to-install, user-friendly and intuitive software that is imbued with wizards and GUI tools to make for a successful recovery process.
Excellent recovery results
When it comes to the actual data recovery statistics, Disk Drill is unmatched. Recovering lost documents from a lost partition or a reformatted drive, Disk Drill performed at an optimal 95% recovery rate which is impressive as this is 4% above the average.
Furthermore, Disk Drill performs exceptionally well when it comes to the recovery of images, at an average rate of 99%. This validates the supremacy of Disk Drill as the top data recovery software.
Disk Drill is rootedly powered by various data recovery algorithms aimed at a plethora of file systems, for instance APFS, HFS+, FAT32, EXT and NTFS.
The two central features that maintain Disk Drill's supreme reign as an excellent data recovery software are its supplementary data loss prevention utilities.
Disk Drill adds a layer to the Recycle Bin denoted as Recovery Vault, to safely store a backup reference to all deleted files and media. Disk Drill keeps a copy of each recovered file using a unique featured known as Guaranteed Recovery.
Disk Drill is a favorite among digital forensic experts as the software comes with features which allow users to generate binary data image files, enabling them to isolate the manipulation of data within the clone, protecting the original storage container.
Additionally, Disk Drill offers extensive technical support available through their website.
Being available in several editions, Disk Drill recovery software accommodates users of multiple levels. The most popular is the freely available Basic package, tailored for personal use. The Basic package enables users to preview files that are recoverable as well as recover previously protected data. Free recovery of other deleted data is capped at 500MB per computer.
The PRO version provides full functionality, allowing a user to recover files on various media without any restrictions. The Enterprise version is a commercial license with extended features and permissions such as enabling multiple simultaneous users to run the data recovery software as a commercial service.
Recuva is free data recovery software for Windows computers. It can restore problem files with its deep scan option that searches your drive for traces of deleted data. Use the tool to recover music files, photos, documents, emails, and any other type of lost files. The application also has a feature that employs military-standard deletion techniques to securely erase your data.
Recover any number of files
No technical support
Technical support is available
Automatically updates to the newest version
Supports virtual hard drives
Our look at free recovery software continues with PhotoRec. It’s another freeware app which can be used to recover files on any file system by restoring the underlying data. It performs the recovery in read-only mode for additional data safety during the process. This tool can recover data from many types of storage media and is especially proficient at recovering data from digital cameras. It is a companion to the TestDisk application that is designed to repair damaged or lost partitions.
Supports all versions of the Windows OS
Read-only recovery mode
4. Undelete 360
Undelete 360 is another freeware application that allows you to recover deleted files from your computer’s internal disk as well as from memory cards, external hard drives, and many other types of storage media. It can undelete files that were too big to fit in the Recycle Bin or that have been erased through the use of the Cut command. The tool does not come with technical support so users are on their own when recovering their lost data.
Compatible with older Windows systems
Windows-like user interface
Preview recoverable files
The most harrowing data damage experience is losing an entire partition or drive. This may be attributed to an accidentally deleted partition or an overwritten one, an unfinished format procedure, etc. If this has happened to you, MiniTool Partition Recovery can help.
Here are some of the features of MiniTool Recovery:
The functionality of MiniTool is pretty simple. As the name suggests, this application is available as a small downloadable file.
Upon installation, launch the application and select the drive on which your lost partition was located. The app will then prompt the user with a dialog box querying whether they want to scan the entire disk or just a portion of it. Proceed to select an option and specify the nature of the scan — whether it's a full or quick scan.
From there, the application will take a moment to run and then it will list the detected partitions on the drive. To restore the selected partitions, click Finish. The restored partitions allow a user to view the contained files to verify whether the restored partition is the desired one.
One shortcoming of MiniTool is it's random sluggishness, which results in the app's unresponsiveness once a user proceeds to scan a partition. Nonetheless, MiniTool is adept at recovering lost partitions efficiently without leaving Windows and has a simple interface.
MiniTool Free Edition has 1 GB data recovery limit.
MiniTool provides different license types to meet the needs of users: Personal Standard ($69), Personal Deluxe ($89), Personal Ultimate ($129).
Pandora Recovery is an excellent, easy and free data recovery tool. One of the most exceptional features of Pandora is how well it is suited for beginners. The helping tools, wizards, and customization options feel like the interface is holding your hand and guiding you through your data recovery process.
Here are some of the Pandora’s features:
Pandora may not have a colorful interface as with most freely available data recovery tools, but its features and deep scanning capability make up for this.
Unfortunately, Pandora is not available as a portable software and must be installed. It supports various Windows OS releases such as XP, 7,8, 8.1 and 10. Once installed, Pandora can recover lost files in three significant ways.
Pandora may present a list of files that the application can successfully recover, from which a user can select a file to undelete. Secondly, Pandora can search for records using various criteria such as name, file size and dates. Lastly, the surface scan tool does a deep search of recoverable data on a device.
Overall, Pandora is a simple and efficient tool and is the best choice for casual and curious users looking to perform simple data recovery procedures of the highest quality.
“As of today Pandora Recovery is now called Disk Drill, the Disk Drill software by CleverFiles will replace Pandora Recovery for superior file recovery and restoration”. — prmac.com
Here is a free file recovery tool that offers some advanced features usually only found in a commercial app. This application is freeware and there is no paid version available. The freeware is provided as-is and can be used for any purpose, including commercial applications. It can recover a complete file system or just selected files and has a Mail Recovery Wizard to assist with recovering deleted emails. The File Wiper securely deletes your files permanently and the tool enables you to create an emergency disk image for safe data recovery.
Last update was 2014
Compatible with older Windows systems
Small (1.51MB) application file size
EaseUS offers free file recovery software with its Data Recovery Wizard. The tool enables you to recover data that has been accidentally deleted or from a mistakenly formatted drive or partition. It can easily perform file recovery on an emptied Windows Recycle Bin and can be used on many types of external storage. You can restore lost files, photos, and videos in a variety of file formats with this data recovery application.
Recover 500 MB for free
Recover up to 2GB of data by sharing on social media
Limited technical support
Unlimited data recovery
Single user license
Free lifetime technical support
This multi-featured data recovery application lives up to its name, offering stellar performance and design. Stellar Phoenix is a high-end, user-friendly recovery software that comes in several editions.
Here are some of the Stellar’s features:
Stellar Phoenix Pro is loaded with multiple features that allow users to tailor the recovery process according to their requirements. Among the highlights are Lost Partition, Formatted Drive, Deleted File and Email Recovery of PST files of MS Outlook.
Stellar Phoenix works well with media files and documents. The Document Recovery feature accommodates the recovery of MS Office documents such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, while the Multimedia File Recovery manages to retrieve lost photo files such as PNG, JPEG, and TIFF, audio files such as OGG, WMA, and video files such as 3GP, MOV, and MXF.
On the flipside, Stellar Phoenix recovers slightly fewer deleted files than other software, such as Disk Drill. All in all, though, Stellar Phoenix's full-featured and exceptionally graphic interface is ideal for first-time users looking to recover lost data with an effective simple tool.
The free version allows users to scan for recoverable files.
An upgrade is offered through the purchase of a license key. The Stellar Data Recovery Home license ($60) only recovers files and folders, while the Pro version ($100) comes with an additional partition recovery option.
Data Rescue 5 is an advanced data recovery software package offering from Prosoft Engineering. Relying on 20 years of data recovery development, Data Rescue has helped reunite users with billions of lost and deleted files.
Here are some of the Data Rescue’s features:
Data Rescue 5 supports many different file types for recovery and enables the user to teach the application about new file types by using a few file examples. This extends the tool’s flexibility to allow it to recover any type of file. The new hex previewer enables you to look at your files as raw data before initiating their recovery.
When using the free File Finder you have the ability to make an in-app purchase to recover the files that you have identified as recoverable. A Standard and Professional version are available, and both versions provide you with advanced data recovery tools. You can configure the app to send email notifications regarding current or past scans to allow multiple users to review the scan at their leisure. An intuitive and powerful search facility makes it easy to locate the files you are interested in recovering.
You can test the functionality of the product by taking advantage of their free File Finder app. With the File Finder you can determine which files can be recovered before actually buying a license for the product. The app supports the HFS and NTFS file systems. It is an excellent data recovery tool for your Windows machine running the Windows 7 or later operating system.
Business users can opt for the Professional version of the application which includes a professional user interface that affords more control over your scanning options. Secure file deletion with the secure erase tool and the ability to run the app on 5 devices are features of the professional version of the app. Data Rescue 5 can even perform recovery on RAID arrays.
Data recovery software works by restoring access to files deleted by the operating system. When the OS deletes a file it removes logical access but leaves the physical data on the disk. Data recovery software can restore this logical access if the file’s storage space has not been overwritten.
Yes. Data recovery software is safe to use and will not lead to further data loss. In cases where your drive is experiencing physical problems, attempt to make a byte level backup to be used when performing the recovery. Then you can recover without adding stress to the degraded disk.
Yes, with some restrictions. An SSD drive can be TRIM enabled which is used to improve performance and increase drive life. Unfortunately, if you have TRIM enabled on your drive you cannot recover data from a formatted SSD. Drives that are not using TRIM can be recovered with software.
Recover permanently deleted files for free using these methods:
There are many SD card recovery applications available. Some solutions are specifically developed for photo recovery. The best SD card recovery software is: