5 Best Alternatives to Data Rescue

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Data Rescue for Windows is a well-established software that has been on the market since 2002. But just because the app has been around for a long time, it doesn’t mean that it’s better than other tools on the market… In fact, Data Rescue may have very well been left behind. In this article, we feature the 5 best alternatives to Data Rescue for Windows. Read on!

Top Data Rescue Alternatives

Below are the top 3 best alternatives to Data Rescue for Windows. We’ll meet the other contenders later in this article.

Top pick
1. Disk Drill for Windows
The Windows version of Disk Drill empowers regular users to reliably recover all kinds of lost data with a few simple clicks. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows
Distributed as:  Freemium
2. DiskGenius for Windows
DiskGenius is a feature-rich data recovery solution that equips its users with a highly technical toolset to tackle complex data recovery situations. Read full review 
Platform:  Windows
Distributed as:  Freemium
3. PhotoRec for Windows
PhotoRec for Windows offers unbeatable value, but you need to overcome a steep learning curve to unlock it. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows Linux
Distributed as:  Free

What Is Data Rescue?

Data Rescue for Windows is a professional data recovery software that promises users the ability to restore documents, photos, and videos from their PC and other media devices. It also offers very few (but appreciate) extra recovery tools that we’ll explore more in this article.

Despite the fact that developer Prosoft Engineering, Inc. has been present in the market since 1985, Data Rescue doesn’t enjoy the same popularity as other apps available. Does that bode ill for its actual ability to recover data and overall value for its users? Find out below.

Data Rescue Logo

Why you might need an alternative to Data Rescue

#FeatureResultDescription
1The number of formats supported by deep scan
Decent
Lacks support for common file signatures that other tools recognize
2Scan speed
Average
Scans and recovers data at a fairly high speed, but lightweight tools are faster
3Scan for lost partitions
No
Doesn't support lost partitions
4BitLocker support
No
Doesn't work for BitLocked devices
5Effectively filters out corrupted scan results
No
No filtering tool (for corrupted files nor specific file types)
6Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
No
You have to wait for the scan to complete, lacks session management
7Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
No
Same as above – the scan has to be completed first
8Auto-resuming scans of failing drives
No
The app lacks a session manager, so you'll have to start from the beginning every time
9Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
No
Users have to choose a scan type manually at the beginning of the scan
10S.M.A.R.T.
No
No S.M.A.R.T. monitoring tool

There are 2 major reasons to seek alternatives to Data Rescue. First, its price tag is anything but accessible. Users can recover 1 file for $19 each or pay for a batch of files at a time. For unlimited recovery, expect to pay almost $400 (and for relatively average results). It’s just not worth it – especially since all the alternatives in this article are not only more affordable but offer more in terms of features and performance.

Top 5 Best Data Rescue Alternatives

Below are our 5 favorite Data Rescue alternatives. Read each section for an overview of each app along with a pound-for-pound comparison against Data Rescue for Windows.

disk drill windows icon

1. Disk Drill for Windows

4.30 • Best choice for Windows users – Disk Drill for Windows is among the best data recovery software applications available to Windows users.
Version
4.5.616
Last Release
4th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

Disk Drill for Windows is a well-known and highly-rated data recovery software from the development company Cleverfiles, Inc. It supports over 400 file signatures (more than any other entry in this list), Windows, Mac, and Linux-based file systems, and offers useful recovery tools like byte-to-byte backup.

Read full Disk Drill for Windows review

Disk Drill’s consistently reliable performance and modern interface make it a fan favorite with users at different levels of tech-savvy. It also offers an affordable lifetime license that gives this app a high value for money considering its features.

The main differences between Disk Drill and Data Rescue

Overview of main differences
#FeatureData RescueDisk Drill
1Starting price$19.00 / 1 file$89.00 / Perpetual
2FAT32 partitions recovery
3exFAT partitions recovery
4Scan for lost partitions
5Modern user-friendly interface
6Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
7Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
8Multiple view modes in scan results
9Filter recoverable items by type
10Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms
11Auto-resuming scans of failing drives
12Recovery chance prediction
13Mount recoverable items as disk
14Data protection
15S.M.A.R.T.

Just one glance at the table above makes the vast difference between Data Rescue and Disk Drill crystal clear.

Let’s start with the basics: Disk Drill supports the 3 most used Windows file systems – FAT32, ExFAT, and NTFS. Data Rescue only provides advanced support for NTFS file systems, but does at least produce average results when restoring recently deleted files from FAT32 and ExFAT volumes.

In terms of user experience, Disk Drill also emerges as the clear victor. Disk Drill provides a sleek and intuitive interface and makes it easy for users to organize found files. Disk Rescue looks and feels like a program from the 90s – it’s ugly, it only offers one view, and there is no way to sort and filter results.

Finally, Disk Drill simply has more features that make its users' lives easier, such as S.M.A.R.T. monitoring and session management.

The finishing move for this round is the big difference in pricing and consequent value. Disk Drill only costs $89 for unlimited recovery for life. This sealed the deal for its #1 spot.

data rescue logo disk drill windows icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full Data Rescue versus Disk Drill comparison

Disk Drill is a good alternative to Data Rescue because:

Supports all Windows file systems (and those of macOS and Linux)

Beautiful interface

Supports hundreds of file types

Works great with bad disks

It’s more affordable yet provides way more value (and offers 500 MB free recovery)

Disk Drill is a poor alternative to Data Rescue because:

Doesn’t provide a RAID constructor (Data Rescue does)

diskgenius icon

2. DiskGenius for Windows

3.72 • More than just regular data recovery – DiskGenius includes a host of useful, but technical, data recovery and disk management features. Once you get accustomed to how the software works, it's a powerful data recovery solution that can tackle many complex data loss situations.
Version
5.4.5.1412
Last Release
8th Jul, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

In 2010, Chinese software company EASSOS Technology released DiskGenius – a powerful software equipped with features that even the most popular tools lack.

Read full DiskGenius for Windows review

Behind DiskGenius’ lackluster interface is a combination of powerful data recovery and disk management features. Not only can users expect to restore their data, but they also have access to tools like TRIM control, partition management, disk cloning, and more.

The main differences between DiskGenius and Data Rescue

Overview of main differences
#FeatureData RescueDiskGenius
1Starting price$19.00 / 1 file$69.90 / Lifetime
2Raw photo recovery
3RAID reconstructor
4BitLocker support
5Scan for lost partitions
6Bootable recovery drive creation
7S.M.A.R.T.
8Disk surface test
9Easy-to-locate features
10HFS+ partitions scan
11Hex view for recoverable items
12Live chat
13Phone support

It’s clear that Data Rescue and DiskGenius are developed for different types of users. While Data Rescue better serves the casual user who needs to recover 1-2 important files, DiskGenius solves more complex data recovery problems.

It offers better RAID support than Data Rescue, and accommodates bad disks with features like Disk surface test, S.M.A.R.T. and bootable recovery, and BitLocker support. Not to mention the many features that DiskGenius’ free version offers for disk management.

And when it comes down to it, DiskGenius performed better than Data Rescue during our live data recovery tests.

Neither Data Rescue nor DiskGenius has the sleek interface of the other entries featured in this article. However, the latter is geared more toward professionals and puts functionality above aesthetics.

The verdict: for users that are willing to endure DiskGenius’ learning curve, they’ll find a powerful disk recovery and management tool that is worth a lot more than what Data Rescue currently offers for its price.

DiskGenius is a good alternative to Data Rescue because:

More affordable than Data Rescue

Doesn’t require an internet connection

Bootable recovery

Better data recovery performance

Works with FAT32, ExFAT, and NTFS partitions

DiskGenius is a poor alternative to Data Rescue because:

Even though both apps aren’t pretty, Data Rescue is easier to use

Inferior HEX support

Doesn’t support HFS+ scanning at all (not really important for Windows users)

Inferior customer support to Data Rescue

qphotorec icon

3. PhotoRec for Windows

3.37 • Intimidating but rewarding at the same time – PhotoRec may have a steeper learning curve than most commercial data recovery software applications, but the value it offers is hard to ignore, and its data recovery performance isn't bad either.
Version
7.2
Last Release
1st Sep, 2021
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows XP-10, 11 (unofficial support)

Overview

PhotoRec is a well-known and highly respected open-source software that offers unlimited data recovery for free. Even though it hasn’t been updated in a long time, it’s still going strong and works well with the latest operating systems and file types.

Read full PhotoRec for Windows review

PhotoRec is the sister software of TestDisk, a disk repair and recovery tool. Despite its name, PhotoRec can restore different file types including documents, images, videos, and more. We’ve gotten great results using PhotoRec in the past, and its file signature scanner performed better than Data Rescue’s did. However, its optional graphical user interface leaves much to be desired.

The main differences between PhotoRec and Data Rescue

Overview of main differences
#FeatureData RescuePhotoRec
1Is it free?
2Recovered files' labeling
3Scan free space only
4Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
5Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
6Byte-to-byte device backups
7Partial file recovery
8Latest Windows release supported
9Easy-to-locate features
10Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
11RAID reconstructor
12Built-in disk space secure eraser
13Disk cloning

Many users are familiar with PhotoRec's Command Prompt-like interface, which can be intimidating. Fortunately, as shown in the screenshots above, users can now download QPhotoRec, which is a graphical user interface for the app. While others will like its simplicity, it lacks the bells and whistles of other tools that make recovery more efficient.

But when it comes down to it, PhotoRec performs a lot better than Data Rescue. Even if it’s incapable of recovering folder structure, it still recognized and restored a lot more files than Data Rescue did.

It’s also 100% free, compared to Data Rescue’s pricey payment options ($19 per file or just under $400). Granted, it’s been a few years since PhotoRec has been significantly updated, but it’s had no problem keeping up with the latest operating systems and media file types.

That said, Data Rescue provides important features that PhotoRec lacks – such as RAID support, byte-to-byte backups, and disk cloning. The verdict will come down to each user’s individual needs.

PhotoRec is a good alternative to Data Rescue because:

Works with FAT32, ExFAT, NTFS, and HFS+ file systems for Quick Scan and Clever Scan

Recognizes more file signatures than Data Rescue

100% free

PhotoRec is a poor alternative to Data Rescue because:

No graphical interface (the app looks like Command Prompt), so it lacks visual features like preview

No RAID and JBOD support

stellar data recovery windows icon

4. Stellar Data Recovery for Windows

3.31 • Frequently recommended – Windows users have so many great options when it comes to data recovery software that the paid version of Stellar Data Recovery for Windows simply doesn't deserve our recommendation because it leaves much to be desired in every way.
Version
10.2.0.0
Last Release
3rd Jan, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

Stellar Data Recovery is a well-known data recovery software from a company based in India. Users often find Stellar topping the charts on different tech websites alongside other popular tools like Disk Drill.

Read full Stellar Data Recovery for Windows review

This app is a proper modern data recovery software with a beautiful interface and well-designed user experience. It offers important recovery features that solve common problems that come with data loss (and what caused it). We’ll explore more of these features below.

The main differences between Stellar Data Recovery and Data Rescue

Overview of main differences
#FeatureData RescueStellar Data Recovery
1Starting price$19.00 / 1 file$49.99 / 1 year
2BitLocker support
3Scan for lost partitions
4Corrupted video repair tool
5Corrupted photo repair tool
6Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
7Recovered files' labeling
8Bootable recovery drive creation
9Document formats recovery
10Unmountable partitions
11HFS+ partitions recovery
12Built-in disk space secure eraser
13Hex view for recoverable items

Stellar Data Recovery is well-known for its modern and sleek user interface that is designed to help casual users restore data easily. This is most notable when handling scan results. Stellar provides tools to preview, filter, and sort found files – Data Rescue offers none of these features.

Stellar also provides important recovery features like BitLocker support, bootable recovery, and lost partition scanning, which may be important for certain users. It even offers corrupted video and photo repair tools (but those are reserved for higher-tiered subscriptions).

Unfortunately, Stellar loses 1 major point against Data Rescue: it crashes a lot. However, when it does work, it recovers roughly the same amount of data that Data Rescue does overall. Data Rescue also works better with unmountable partitions and document recovery.

However, Stellar’s comparatively cheaper entry price ($49.99 per year for unlimited recovery) seals the deal for us as a proper Data Rescue alternative.

Stellar Data Recovery is a good alternative to Data Rescue because:

Better graphical user interface

More affordable than Data Rescue

Free 1 GB data recovery

Provides more recovery features

Stellar Data Recovery is a poor alternative to Data Rescue because:

Slower scanning and recovery feed

Crashes often

No HEX view

recuva icon

5. Recuva

3.04 • Good for basic data recovery jobs – Recuva, despite it being a full recovery solution at zero cost, leaves a lot to be desired. Compared to other recovery tools, it's sorely lacking in terms of recovery performance and features. However, if you're in a pinch, it can serve as a quick and easy-to-use recovery solution.
Version
1.53.2083
Last Release
15th Jun, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows XP-10, 11 (unofficial support)

Overview

Recuva is the second freeware tool on this list, providing users with unlimited data recovery software for the competitive price tag of $0.

Read full Recuva review

Recuva is a simple data recovery software that lacks the bells and whistles of popular heavyweights like Disk Drill and Stellar Data Recovery software – but for certain users, it’s more than enough. It also provides useful recovery features that we’ll cover more below.

The main differences between Recuva and Data Rescue

Overview of main differences
#FeatureData RescueRecuva
1Is it free?
2BitLocker support
3Windows shadow copies scanning
4Recovery chance prediction
5Recovered files' labeling
6Effectively filters out corrupted scan results
7Secure data shredding
8The number of formats supported by deep scan
9Unmountable partitions
10Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
11RAID reconstructor
12Convenient scan session management
13Disk cloning
14Phone support

Recuva is a very popular data recovery software for 2 reasons: (1) it's free, and (2) despite its price tag, it’s actually very reliable.

Recuva can restore a respectable amount of data across the 3 major file types (images, videos, documents) and its quick scan works with FAT32, ExFAT, and NTFS partitions. However, Data Rescue scored slightly higher in all our real-life data recovery tests.

Recuva also provides important recovery features like BitLocker support and Windows shadow copies scanning, as well as scan results filtering – tools that Data Rescue lacks.

That said, Data Rescue has a few major advantages over Recuva. First, it has better customer support. Second, Data Rescue is equipped for more complex problems – it supports RAID, JBOD, and unmountable partitions. It also provides a disk cloning tool.

Recuva has a lot of flaws, but its price tag and reliability keep it at the top of the list of paid software alternatives.

Recuva is a good alternative to Data Rescue because:

Free (and the lifetime license is very affordable at $34.95)

Better-looking interface

Super lightweight and fast

Offers a recovery wizard that may be helpful to casual users

Provides more recovery tools than Data Rescue

Recuva is a poor alternative to Data Rescue because:

Inferior customer support

Inferior recovery ability

Lacks support for RAID, JBOD, and unmountable partitions

Supports fewer file systems overall

Wrapping Up

Data Rescue

3.24

Disk Drill

4.30 32%

DiskGenius

3.72 14%

PhotoRec

3.37 4%

Stellar Data Recovery

3.31 2%

Recuva

3.04 7%

Data Rescue is a well-established and respected software – but it’s far from the best, especially considering individual users’ needs. We choose Disk Drill as its #1 alternative, which is not only more affordable, but it performs better and looks great.

Disk Drill for Windows

4.30 • The One to Beat – Disk Drill for Windows sets the bar high for data recovery software, providing a beautiful, functional, and powerful app for an affordable price.

Version

4.5.616

Last Release

4th Aug, 2022

Platform

Windows

Requirements

Windows 7-11

If you only need basic data recovery features and don’t mind a spartan interface, we highly suggest PhotoRec. It’s 100% free and while it looks outdated, PhotoRec is still considered a reliable data recovery software in 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about Data Rescue and its alternatives? Let’s answer them.

After testing dozens of apps, we chose the 5 best alternatives to Data Rescue for Windows:

  • Disk Drill
  • DiskGenius
  • PhotoRec
  • Stellar Data Recovery
  • Recuva

Data Rescue for Windows is a freemium software. It offers a free trial where you can scan and preview your data, but you need to purchase a license ($19 per file or $399.96 per year) to recover data.

PhotoRec and Recuva are both reliable data recovery software that are also free. However, note that the cost of free software comes in the form of customer support, updates, and features. If your lost data is highly important, it may be worth investing in a paid solution.

Depending on your specific needs, we recommend the follow alternatives to Data Rescue:

  • Disk Drill – Best overall alternative.
  • DiskGenius – Solves highly complex data recovery problems.
  • PhotoRec – Performs simple data recovery tasks really well. 100% free.
  • Stellar Data Recovery – An affordable modern alternative.
  • Recuva – 100% free lightweight Data Rescue alternative with decent performance.

Yes, there are more reliable similar software to Data Rescue that deliver better value, depending on your needs. For users who only need to restore one type of file system, we recommend R-Studio.

Users who want a modern interface may prefer EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Restoring mostly high definition photos and videos? Try Wondershare Recoverit.

If you want to check out more alternatives or find more details about our recommendations, have a look at our featured data recovery software for Windows page.

Alejandro Santos
Alejandro Santos
Author

Alejandro is a veteran writer with a rich background in technology. He worked part-time in his uncle’s repair and recovery shop as a young boy, and now uses his experience and writing skills to produce content for multiple tech websites – specifically on the topic of data recovery. As an author for Pandora Recovery, he is constantly testing and experimenting with new tools and technology to help his readers find the best software for their needs.

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Nikolay Lankevich
Nikolay Lankevich
Approver

Nikolay Lankevich has over 15 years of strong experience in various fields and platform includes Disaster Recovery, Windows XP/7. System analysis, design, application (Inter/Intranet) development, and testing. Provided technical supports on desktop and laptops on Win-XP and Macintosh for about 2000 employees.